The Dentists Diary – 438th

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What a star, what a reception and what a hero, straight over the barriers and into the stand to meet the fans. He doesn’t look any different AND boy how we could do with his leadership now!

As for the game on Friday well it was patchy at times, torrid at others and even dare I say in flashes, quite enterprising!

For us lot sat on the edge of our seats, it still proved to be a really anxious time, but in the end a win is a win and boy did we need it!! Our Coach said we could build on it, but on that one the jury is still out, simply because so many variables come into it for me like, just how crap were Catalan? Why did we spend so much time in their half and yet on so many occasions not score? Why did we gift them two tries through ‘brain-farts’ and would a ‘good’ team have absolutely blown them away? On balance I might have agreed it’s a start, well I would where it not for the catalogue of injuries we sustained which with a packed programme of 4 games in 15 days coming up, has to be an additional worry.

Let’s face it, we just had to win and thankfully after a frustrating and at times dumb first twenty minutes we saw a second quarter of quality that took the game away from Catalan. Would a team that looked pretty knackered at half time capitulate again? Thankfully this week the answer to that one was no! But don’t kid yourself that it was in any way a comprehensive drubbing, because it certainly wasn’t and despite the margin, there was always a distinct feeling around the KC that it would only take another slip up, for Catalan to be back in it again!

But it WAS great to get a win!

It was great as well to see both our halfbacks featuring in all the good stuff we did and even at times sharing the same side of the field to quite devastating effect. Approaching games against Cas, the Dobbins, Saints and Widnes in those 15 days and with three of those games away, there are much bigger battles and much better teams ahead, but for now that’ll do for me. In the end although I was far from contented, as I walked away from the game the main emotion I experienced was just relief.

It’s fair to say that I’d fretted most of last week and approached the game last Friday just wanting to get into it and desperately hoping for us somehow to gain two points and the chance to get off that embarrassing bottom position.

Catalan eh? I’m never a big fan of these games and indeed this fixture and the old London one have always been the two I liked least at the KC, mainly because of the lack of any sort of atmosphere. The inclusion of youngsters and locally based Clubs in the North Stand certainly helped this time around and I guess when you set aside all the anxiety and stress piled on the fans by recent reversals, it was a game that at times even managed to entertain. Looking back, I guess a neutral would say that once we gained the lead we never looked like losing, but for us lot with 10 minutes to go and a 17 point lead, no-one, but no one in the crowd thought we had it won. We know only too well what can happen in those sorts of circumstances don’t we?

I was grumbling about Mr Bentham not stopping the French slowing down the ruck (and sending a third man (often leading with his knees) late into the tackle), long before Radford mentioned it afterwards and for me it spoilt the tempo of the game at times. His was probably the worst performance by an official we have seen in a Hull game this season. But few noticed really because by now if you’re still going to games and are willing to put up with it, we all know that almost without exception our officials are basically incompetent. In the last couple of home games I’ve watched the fans sat around me and it’s apparent that although bad decision follows bad decision, we are now so sanitised to it all we just sit there, take it and move on. Obvious forward passes and ‘lying on in the tackle’ hardly raise a comment these days, do they?

However who cares, we won and boy we needed it! There were certainly some positives too and Leon Pryce is fast becoming Mrs. R’s favourite player. For me Leon and particularly Mark Sneyd had their best games so far for the Club. As soon as the runners stopped lying so deep and came onto their play-making earlier, we looked much better. The fact is when you’re not emotionally involved with it all I guess we were pretty much in control all the game and after we scored our first try, the outcome of the match never really looked in doubt. However as I say, we know what can happen and indeed of late what often does, and so the jeopardy is cranked up a notch or two for the fans and right up to the point when the final hooter goes no one can really settle back and enjoy the game.

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Mark Sneyd! Had his best game!

Incidentally the all action approach of Rankin certainly shone through again but as with Mrs R, Pryce in particular impresses me. I say that because he has come to us in the twilight of a very illustrious career and yet he is playing with all the verve and vigour of a teenager, whilst all the time that enthusiasm is under laid by a steadying influence and a deal of nous that far belies even his years.

The thing is though, despite a few heartening sparks of real enterprise and exciting rugby, a performance that should have been about building confidence and a big lead was still interspersed with what I can best describe as our now customary ‘brain-farts’ that in fact transpired to gift them two tries at crucial times. I cite in particular the score we conceded just before half time. With our minds wandering to a well earned rest, twice in the last 30 seconds we went blind and ground out the minutes as we should have done, before then, quite inexplicably, we switched the ball inside and after the hooter had sounded forced a stupid pass. It went loose, they fly kicked through, and a three try lead was reduced to two and provided a deficit that will have heartened the opposition. Instead of our team leaving the field to a standing ovation the fans, for the second time in 7 days, were again screaming at them for not being switched on to what everyone else could see was the obvious option at the death of the half!

Luckily Catalan were a poor team, but you simply can’t hand a bruised and beaten opposition that sort of heart as they go in for half time, as I commented a lot last week, some players where just not thinking and had in fact switched off and ‘put the cue on the rack’. It was as I say good to get a win, and there were some great efforts from some pretty beat up and knackered players, but let’s not kid ourselves because both sides took loads of wrong options; in fact a better side would have wiped the floor with the Dragons. I lost count of the times when, on the fourth or fifth tackle in their 20 and with our line strung across the field, we went with a one forward drive. They were poor and once we got the lead they never looked like getting it back and yet we were all still anxious. You can marvel at how we came through after losing so many players to injury and credit to the lads for that however that is soon tempered when you look at those games to come and the speed with which they follow each other. That try, after the hooter before halftime, shows how dumb our rugby is at times, but we have to just hope we learn….and quickly!

However I’ll not be too down-hearted for now, because there were some great performances. Talanoa was brave, strong and indeed speedy out on the wing, Michaels had his best game to date and looks really fast and Lineham, despite carrying an obvious injury, took his two tries in true ‘Flyer’ fashion. If you didn’t go and do nothing else this week, then make sure you watch his second try, it’s a killer. Up front Micky Paea was again our top forward, but there was a ‘best of the season’ so far from Green and Watts worked really hard too. So in the end we got the two points and its Castleford next week; somehow I think that little trip down the M62 will prove to be a completely different proposition to our tussle with the Dragons!

So to the rest of the week and here’s a thing! Praise from me for Rovers is an extremely rare commodity, but just have a look at this!

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How it should be? After years of pretty pathetic taunting from their Chairman, at last it seems that despite always being mortal enemies on the field, RL wise the two Clubs might be working for the common good at our end of the motorway! Nice touch Rovers, well done!

A gate of almost 12,000 for the Catalan game looked good on paper but was helped by the inclusion of some concessionary tickets sold for the North Stand. I guess our current form meant that it was only to be expected that, last week, the subject of fans walking away from the Club, was one that would raised its head. Let’s face it when you have been around as long as many of us lot have that’s nothing new. By and large its soul destroying being an FC fan, it grinds away at your very sanity and preoccupies much too much of your ‘down time’. Even when we get to games we are almost obsessed with the dread of what might happen, rather than sitting back and enjoying a game of your favourite sport.

There is little doubt in my mind that whatever else it’s tough being an FC fan; but how tough? Well I would say that in sport it’s as stressful as it gets, mainly because it’s been hard watching the team and the rugby we play (or don’t play) for so long. Back in edition 100 of this rubbish in the spring of 2008 I said, “Being an FC supporter is always hard, and perhaps that’s not just because we are often disappointing out there on the field, but more because try as we may, both on and off the field, little appears to change. We are down more than up, sad more than happy and frustrated more than elated! We occasionally win well, but regularly lose woefully, we always start behind everyone else, are under cooked and over done, and all it seems, just a bit more frequently than all the other clubs in Super League!”

So if I was feeling that back then, it’s easy to see how some less demented individuals have managed to drift away from it all isn’t it? We never ever seem to see a consistent climb towards better times, as every bit of progress is soon shattered on the rocks of the team’s inability to sustain it, or the fans over expectation. If you think that I wrote that 7 years ago, you can understand how it’s easy to call those of us who are still around, ‘long suffering’ at best and bloody stupid at worst.

But still we come and still we hope and despite the fact that I now absolutely hate local Derby’s (probably because we invariably lose them) we’ll all be there again on the aptly named ‘Maundy’ Thursday 2nd April to suffer again in our 225th meeting. We are told by the Club site that ‘Derby fever’ is here again; fever….. it’s more like bloody lunacy for me! Big credit has to go to both Chairman for getting their heads together to devise some great discounts for both the home and away Derby games (although they will have to be giving em away to get me down to Caravan Park) and their efforts, we are told, have generated an unprecedented level of sales many days before the game. In fact it’s the most sold at this stage since the largest derby crowd was recorded in 2007 when we crossed swords with the old enemy for the first time in Super League.

We have sold some it’s true, but more I would guess to the casual Easter revellers rather than the hard core fans who are with our usual erratic form, struggling a bit at present. However with around 15,000 sold (including getting on for 8000 season ticket holders), it’s likely that the early season flamboyant style of ‘The Entertainers’ across the ‘Great Grimpen Mire’ of Poorhouse Lane, guarantees that most have been sold over there! That’s emphasised by the fact that Hull KR are close to selling out their entire lower tier allocation. Now billed as the Big City Derby by the ‘dicks’ on Sky, it’s certainly a great occasion in the game particularly if you’re not involved. However if you are and you feel like me, then it’s just another bloody Derby to suffer through. Bring it on, I say……so we can get it out of blooming way!

Looking back at my Diary after the Huddersfield game I said in the glorious but short lived afterglow of that first game, “….my pal Kathy turned to me in the second half and said, “Boy this is a good performance” and it was! So, for now I’m backing Lee Radford, the boys and the Club to the hilt and at least for the next 5 or 6 games there will be no Radford out stuff in here” Well, I’m pleased to say I have managed 5 more games, but have also to admit to biting my tongue at times too, along the way.

But now, with the tirade on social media last week almost impossible to ignore, perhaps it’s time to break my silence and have my two penneth and join the life-long pastime for many FC fans of ‘Coach Bashing’. Firstly let me say that I don’t think that Lee Radford is a bad coach or a bad clubman in fact quite the contrary. What I do think is that he’s an honest guy, a fan and someone who has worked hard to produce the infrastructure needed to grow the Club and bring success. However I also feel that he is inexperienced and if I’m honest, perhaps a tad too chummy with some of the players and thus I feel he might just be a bit ill prepared for some of the issued and problems that crop up so regularly at our Club. Perhaps that’s where he needs some help.

Way back 18 months ago I said in here that I felt that Peter Gentle was fired too soon and I’ll always stick by that, but I got on well with the affable Aussie and so perhaps my judgement was coloured somewhat. In any case as a fan I stick with the decisions made on high, hope they are right and try to support the owner; that’s what you do. However I don’t think, had Peter stayed, that things would have been any worse than they are now, do you? I thought as I said in here at the time that he wasn’t given a fair chance, although it was apparent that it looked as if he had lost the confidence of some of the players. However I was also dismayed and even a bit worried to observe too, that it looked as if our coach had been relieved of his duties after something of a ‘mutiny’ from some of the players and staff.

We were linked with other coaches, Adam once told me that they included the much vaunted Daryl Powell who had just been given a chance by Castleford and was too loyal to leave it behind and I think perhaps Steve McNamara was in the frame too. However the owner, however inexperienced or reactionary he might have been back then, has to ‘know best’ and Adam went for Lee and we all hoped that a local lad would ‘come good’, as we all (well most of us anyway) got behind him and gave him our support.

For so many reasons I wanted him to succeed and I still do, but with two wins from six games and all the ‘usual issues’ rising to the fore again, things ain’t panning out too good at present are they? Perhaps the position came to Lee a bit early really, perhaps it’s all been a bit unfair on him and maybe, I suppose, it bears out what I’m saying about Peter Gentle being sacked too hastily.

Lee Radford has all the attributes that could well see him, in time become a good coach, but whether we can wait that long or the club, as we know it, will survive that long, is a matter for conjecture. Do we have that time? Well one thing is for sure; with things as they are we simply must avoid the ‘League of Death’! We do however look at present to be destined to bump around at 8th or lower for the rest of the regular season. For me, as I said two weeks ago, if we finish in the bottom 4 with our confidence so frail and ‘paper thin’, it could end up with us down and out! That is for me a very real and present danger.

So if action is to be taken then it has to be taken soon. Adam can make all the statements of loyalty he wants, but once sales start to fall off in the shops (this week it only needed some tumble weed blowing across our stores for the picture to be complete) and people vote with their feet at the ticket office, he will have little room for manoeuvre. But change is costly too!

Last week I said that changes in our backroom staff indicated we were scaling back there, so who knows what we can now afford. Lee just has to keep going and I hope (but doubt it very much) that the loud protagonists who go on and on ad infinitum about changing our coach, spare a thought for how he will feel personally at present, with just about everyone seemingly against him. It’s a great place to be when you’re winning trophies but by and large Head Coach is a lonely position to be in and having been ‘privileged’ to see firsthand how it initially effected John Kear and Peter Gentle after they were fired, it’s never pleasant.

However, that said Lee and every other Coach in the game know that it’s also invariably where it will all end….in tears.

‘Alex Fergusson’s’ in any sport are rare indeed and most coaches accept that it will end that way, some try and sit it out, others walk before they are pushed, some move on before it happens, but all start with the best of intentions whilst all the while knowing in the end it will most likely end with moving jobs or the push. They all know that’s the deal. So will Lee survive or will Adam go back on his word and will the reactionary and almost obsessed fans on social media get their way. After Friday those are for now questions for another day, perhaps we do need a change but there are no omelettes made without breaking eggs and whatever happens if change comes, it will be messy and expensive.

I know there’s no sentiment in sport, but I have never been a witness, as a fan, to a coach being got rid of, without feeling for the individual concerned. (Well perhaps besides Richard Agar and Len Casey) However much they expect it and however much they see it coming, it’s still a blow, you’re out of work and scrap heaped as far as the game and the sport is concerned. What will be, will be, Adam is backing Lee and that’s that, but as fans we can’t help but think about what might happen can we?

You know I’m a Hull fan and also that I’m one that believes when weighing all the proof of the last few years under his regime, Mr Allam would have us out of the Stadium if he could! It’s just my belief, perhaps I’m paranoid who knows, but I guess that feeling also makes me a bit biased against the self styled man of the people. I’m not usually bothered that much about what he says about re-branding the ‘Tiger’, I know its bugger all to do with selling shirts and more about his abject dislike of the Council, but I genuinely despair about what has happened at the Airco Arena and really feel for the organisations who are to be evicted.

For me personally what he has done show nothing more than ‘bully boy’ tactics against ordinary people who are just going about their business in the community. They are just trying to provide opportunities for their kids and the residents of the area and are in fact people who, by and large, are unable to defend themselves. He makes his move, upsets the good people of West Hull then retreats behind the barricades and says nothing to the Council despite their request for a meeting. Alan Johnson MP has written to the same end and it will be interesting to see if he has any more luck than the local politicians. As far as meaningful communication to the owners of Hull City is concerned, once they have dug their heels in, you might as well write it in crayon and stick it on the front of the fridge. That’s my view anyway, although you might not (and they certainly won’t) agree!

The interesting bit this week for me is where the local media are lining up on this one. Hull Daily Mail has done its best to flush out the true story and see both sides, despite being most definitely under threat of the consequences of upsetting Mr Allam. But really big raps go to Angus Young their political reporter, who has really got the ‘injustice’ bit between his teeth, he’s really flushed a lot of hidden truths out this week, including the facts that Hull City Council, the owners of the Arena, didn’t know anything about the change of use, until they read it in the paper and that Hull City will get an extra £250,000 from the FA every year if they get the new academy status they desire!

But for me, this week the interesting one is the position of David Burns on Radio Humberside. Loads of people have asked me why he is so obsessed with the football club, why can’t he seem to take a balanced view of it all and why is it everyone else’s fault except Mr Allam’s? I wondered what they were on about until I tuned in and, dear oh dear, I heard him telling one women from a netball team affected by the evictions, to ‘Go to Haltemprice then!’ To another caller he ranted on about the Council’s inability to just picking up the phone for a chat with the Allams. Firstly why didn’t the Allam’s do that before they contemplated all this, and secondly as a local authority you can’t just do that in these cases, it has to be in writing because there needs to be an audit trail should legal action ensue.

Burnsey, who I have known for years, is a good broadcaster and in general the defender of the masses against injustice, big business and bureaucratic organisations. He does an excellent job too, however when it comes to the owner of Hull City he seems to have an absolute blind spot! I actually remember once even hearing him address Mr Allam in an interview as ‘Sir’!! Can’t he see that the very people he usually defends are now being pushed out of a publicly funded Sports Centre by a millionaire involved in a billion pound professional sport? Perhaps he’s frightened of losing his stations access to the City games or of missing out on his weekly junkets around the grounds of the Premiership with Peter Swan, I don’t know, but all he seems interested in is Premiership football (at any cost) oh…. and toadying up to the owner of Hull City.

My angle on it all as an ordinary sports fan is simple really and probably based on a life-long dislike for any form of bullying. You see I know that the Stadium was built with the people’s money and had to be shared by at least two professional teams and include community facilities throughout. That was the deal from the off, it had to be to meet government funding guidelines for publically owned facilities. That community provision has all but disappeared from the Stadium itself and now its future is threatened at the Arena too! It’s about time that the Council stopped pussyfooting about with this one and did everything they can to stop this public facility built for the use of the community, becoming a private concern for the use of elite sportsmen. That’s completely against the principles of a Community Stadium.

At the council meeting on Thursday every councillor of whatever political persuasion was against the change of use and abhorred how the community groups had been treated. Everyone is on side but no one seems to want to make waves. However for me something has to be done before the groups are locked out and the contractors move in and what’s more it has to be done by the Council. With an election pending, politically it must be a good move, because I don’t know anyone, City fan or not, who doesn’t think that Mr A has gone about this all wrong.

So, we are all, be we fans, councillors, members of the public and even the Hull Daily Mail political reporter, singing from the same hymn sheet and want some justice for the community groups and a little bit of ‘Power to the People’. Come on Mr Allam face up to your claims of being a man of the people and Hull City Council, get your finger out, it’s your bloody facility so do something before it’s too late.

Talking of politics, boy am I fed up with all this election stuff its getting on my wick and I that feeling wasn’t helped at all by all the hollow promises and sweeteners we saw last week in the budget. Despite all the rhetoric and you’ve never had it so good stuff, I for one don’t feel any better off at all, do you? However I did work out that it will only take another 299 budgets for my pint at the Drum and Monkey to be free of charge, better not hold my breath eh?

Over the last week the fans have certainly been fed up and in many cases had enough. In many ways now, even a good run of victories will see them still doubting that much has changed. I guess that’s down to the fact that we’ve all seen it all before, haven’t we? Regular reader Alan Smalley hit the nail on the head this week when he said in an E mail, “Adam asked the fans to back the club and to be fair given last season’s poor showing they once again bought into the dream but only success on the field will hold them, any more losses no matter how close will see them drifting away again and no amount of hype or rhetoric will bring them back for 2016. What a shame that our 150th anniversary year looks like being a very difficult one for the best set of fans in SL” It’s a grim picture he paints but it’s also hard to not agree with him isn’t it.

Last week I asked the question when where we last bottom of Super League and as always good old Bill Dalton the Club Archivist and statistician came to my aid. He said, “You wondered in the Diary when we were last bottom. In fact we were bottom for a long spell in 1999, only drawing level on points with Huddersfield with the last-day win over Sheffield (33-16), who had beaten Huddersfield the previous week. We finished up 49 Points better off than Huddersfield on Points difference. Sheffield had beaten them 47-32 thus worsening the Giants point’s difference by 15. Then we improved ours by that 17 Point win on the last day when Hudd’s also lost at Cas by 10-32. It was that close to relegation for Hull after just 2 Seasons in the Premier League”.

He continued, “I was also looking at 1994-95 when we only just avoided the wooden spoon in the Stones Bitter Championship by winning 4 of the last 7 to finish a place above Donny, who beat us 42-38 at their place on 14 Jan 1995. That was Hull’s highest score in a losing game, and was the last win Donny had in the top flight.” Thanks for that Bill fascinating stuff as always!

While we are on the good old days, this week in Codgers Corner we look back to a time when we didn’t miss out on the big player signings, and when, in fact, we sometimes used to pinch them from under the noses of the then ‘Elite’ clubs. This week in our 150th celebrations memories I want to look at one of the finest players the Club has seen. I covered him before about two years ago but in the spirit of the celebrations it would be a travesty to miss him out!

Back in October 1977 Leeds and Bradford Northern were chasing, and expected to sign, probably the best loose forward in the world. Then to the surprise of everyone in the RL up popped little Hull, the little team with big ambitions, to beat both these Super clubs to the signing; that player was of course the great Knocker Norton. It was with some disbelief that we received the news of his capture, I myself saw it advertised on a board outside a news agents on Anlaby Road as I passed on the bus! It Read “Hull sign Norton”, and I was dumbfounded. That was the point at which the greatest and most successful era in the history of our club began!

Knocker Norton was a prodigious talent and at 26 years of age in the prime of his playing career when he arrived. He had joined Castleford, his hometown club, from Fryston Juniors in 1968 and studied his trade under the great Malcolm Reilly who was their loose forward at the time. In 1970 Mally left for Australia and Knocker made the number 13 shirt his own. So successful was he that for two closed season stints he followed Reilly to Australia and even played for Manley in the Grand Final in 1976. On his return his success down under made him the target for the two top Yorkshire clubs at the time. He must have been aware of the demand for his services as he asked Cas for a transfer and in stepped Hull, (Much to the dismay of Leeds and Northern) to snap him up! The deal did not hinge on the record fee (£25,000), but the inclusion of Jimmy Crampton in the package swung it for us.

We already had Vince Farrer signed up and slowly we were building a team around his skilful prop forward play. Knockers inclusion in the team certainly speeded that process up! Over 5,800 of us, a season record, turned up for Steve’s debut, although, in our 9th defeat in a row, we lost to the Saints 18-12. It was that sort of season, and led to relegation which was followed by the record-breaking year outlined in a recent Diary! Norton was for me the ideal loose forward, combining as he did, speed, a great pair of hands and real attacking flair. Many I believe forget though that he was also really tough and when needed could play the rugged game that was essential in tight matches back then.

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I met Knocker on many occasions usually on Sunday nights after home games when the players to a man would be guests at the local public houses in the area. At one time I was lodging at the Mermaid pub in West Hull and the lads were regular visitors. Steve always had a tale and was a gentle giant type character really, quite softly spoken, with a broad West Yorkshire accent!

Everyone has memories of Knocker and everyone who saw him play will never forget him. A pal of mine, Karl, says that every time Knocker is mentioned the hairs on the back of his neck start to tingle. If you never saw him play, you’ll not understand that, but I did and I do! One of my best memories was when we were playing Bradford Northern at the Boulevard in a rugged encounter in muddy conditions. Steve took Dave Topliss to one side for a quick word before a scrum 20 yards out from the Bradford line. Toppo got the ball out behind the scrum and immediately placed the ball on the ground behind him and shot off across the line without the ball but with 3 of the Workington backs in pursuit. Knocker got out of the scrum picked up the ball and shot down the blind side to score without a hand being laid on him.

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On another occasion, when Trevor Skerrett was in a scrap with a couple of Leeds players in stepped Knocker the peacemaker to break them up. As the referee took Skerrett and one Leeds player to one side to give them a lecture, Knocker gave the other Loiner’s forward a swift upper cut and sauntered away. The Leeds player crumpled to the ground, the crowd roared and the officials had no idea whatsoever as to what had happened! These two instances although not highlighting his amazing skill with ball in hand still stick in my mind and for me show both sides of a player who was admired the world over.

Does anyone remember when he lost a bit of form in 1981 and requested a transfer and the fans went mad? He was then taken to one side by Arthur Bunting and agreed to stand down as Captain, so that he could concentrate on his game. He was soon back in top form and was always, despite this incident, the darling of the fans.

Towards the end of his FC career Steve received a club record benefit season in 1987 and played his last match in April that year. He was tempted out of retirement in 1988 by his old pal Toppo and he played 10 games for Wakefield the club Dave then managed. Knocker was always a player’s player and always one of the lads and so it was no surprise that his one stint as a coach at Barrow in 1990 only lasted 10 months.

Nortons 10 years at Hull FC were the most successful in the clubs history. In that period we reached 15 finals and a replay. Much of that success was down to the players that wanted to join us after Knocker had committed to the club. They were great days, and people still say that the mention of Norton and the memory of him in an FC shirt sees them ‘filling up’ even after all these years. Like most things, back then you knew he was good, but only the passage of time has confirmed just how good!!! Knocker Norton a real hero and a bloody good player too and most of all a leader, in the days when that tag was not just given to people who can organise a team, but rather those who could lead by example!

So that’s it, another Diary grinds to a conclusion and we all look forward (if that’s the right word) to Castleford on Friday. It’s been a funny old week stuffed with politics, Rhetoric and an eclipse, which saw me spend most of Friday with a colander over my head; no wonder I strained my eyes! (sorry) But, a new week dawns and it’s always a great trip to the ‘Patch you pipe’ Jungle and one I will miss when they move. I think that it’s a game that hold’s more questions than answers though, like, has the wall that blew down been rebuilt again, will there be any lights or even water in the gents toilets and indeed will the chips be as good as always this year? Oh and will we win? The latter is the most imponderable one of all but whatever, we’ll all be there and it will doubtless be another great night in the old stand.

You know, I try to be objective with what I write in here and I’m sorry if I sometimes analyse a victory too much and perhaps take the shine off it a bit, but in here it has to be how I see it afterwards and at least this week we got a win for Hull FC and that was the important thing; in this new structure nothing else it seems matters! Whether we can build on it and get another is for me however, quite another question! Thanks again for reading this diatribe and for sticking with it to the end and I’ll leave you with this thought; boy we could do with a Knocker Norton or a Richard Swain now couldn’t we?

Keep Believing and

COMEONYOUHULLLLLAAAARRRR!!!!!l

Faithfully Yours

Wilf