The Dentist’s Diary – 458th

NOW, I’M NOT ONE TO REJOICE IN OTHER PEOPLES DOWNFALLS!!!

But……

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W00 H50-000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Last Monday Mr. Hudgell said, “The fact is that with Wembley no one remembers the losers”, however on this occasion Neil, I think there might just be an exception!

So to this week’s Diary which is a bit different, however because the players were given the week off its been a quiet old 7 days FC wise, although I still got lots of correspondence, a Whiffs or two and I hope a bit of interesting stuff. Then, in addition to the usual rubbish, this time there is also news of a new Hull FC book that is about to come out and in the 150th spot a great piece by the legend that is Bill Dalton our Club historian, covering Australian players who have played for Hull FC over the years.

Plus who could resist a bit about our noisy neighbours across the City! 0-50 eh??? I’ll have a look at it all from the eyes of the ‘Face-book generation’, (and how they laughed and laughed) But then again, you can’t help but laugh (OUT-LOUD) can you?

RESPECT!!!!!!!

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What a Lady!

This week, in the build up to the City’s biggest none event of the 21st Century, I was mindful to look at a few of the comments I got from Dobbins fans after our 16-0 Wembley reversal against Wigan two years ago and was particularly drawn to one that said, “It’s about time you gave up that drivel and realise that there can be no coming back from getting to Wembley and then being nilled, when we get there we might not win, but we’ll never be humiliated, you lot are finished and the next couple of years will see the mighty Rovers the only big Club in Hull” MMmmm, I thought, you have to be careful what you say in this City don’t you?

That came from an eminent Rovers fan who knows who he is and who still posts on RL fans, so I’ll spare him the embarrassment of revealing his name, (or pseudonym in his case) but as I pondered the game and prepared for the final, I thought he perhaps had a point and that win or lose I’d maybe resist making any comments about Rovers after their Wembley appearance.

It’s certainly been a really torrid few weeks for all of us who nail our colours to the FC mast, with a deal of abuse and ridicule around as we seemed to bump into red and whites we hadn’t seen for years! But Oh the irony when the defeat came! Such were the circumstances surrounding it, that it’s hard not to have a bit of giggle, particularly after all the rubbish we have taken, often from folks who should know better. And, as their Chairman managed to mention again last Wednesday in the Mail that they are the only Hull Club to win at Wembley, no doubt by this Wednesday we will all be again having something that happened 35 years ago rammed down our throats!!!!

The guy I quoted above will no doubt have pondered on his words to me two years on and a year to the very day we beat them by a record breaking ‘nilling’ derby margin of 28-0 at the KC. People outside the game will start to think their title is actually Hull KR nil. Sometimes you’re better having a laugh and moving on, so I will, because mark my words if Rovers had won it would have been bloody purgatory!!

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What was it Peters and Lee sang? “Welcome Home”

The last 48 hours has been great fun hasn’t it, but before anyone from the other side gets too annoyed this time around, let me just say that what goes round comes round and it would just be the same for us were the roles reversed.

So here we go with a look at our neighbours Wembley Trip; LETS GET READY TO FUMBLE!!!!!!

It’s certainly been the season of goodwill of late, particularly flowing from East to West in the City with lots of advice, high handed talk and arrogance coming our way. One kind young well educated ‘whipper snapper’ from East Hull even thought he’d bring a banner to display at the KC!

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The SMC were keen to apprehend the culprit, but there were few clues. It uses the official Rovers font and badge so it could well have come from the Club, although I could only surmise that they can exclude Kieran Dixon from their enquiries, because he’d have dropped the apostrophe!

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There’s lot’s been going on this week away from the National Stadium, for example did you see the story yesterday about the Leeds Carnegie Management changing the name of the South Stand bar at Headingley to the 50-0 bar? ………….No neither did I! Or, the piece about the Police going after the people who put a massive picture of Cher on a bridge over the route out of Hull on Saturday morning, with the strap line ‘Gypsies, tramps and thieves’, underneath it! Or even the rumour that the City Council were re-training their street cleaning staff for Monday afternoon, so they were able to deal with large amounts of tumble weed?

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But, all joking apart, I don’t know how it was for you, but for this fan, last week was a tough one! We’d already had to avoid every bloody Rovers fan we knew hunting us down to gloat about their Wembley appearance, some of whom incidentally, I didn’t even know were red and white (probably because they weren’t before the semi final!) I even got accosted by a women working on the checkouts in Morrison’s and had to leave half my shopping!! Then there was the Mail going ‘banana’s’ about it (my pal Kathy cancelled her copy from last Monday) and the Council granting Rovers wish for a massive street party and open top bus procession whatever happened, based on the fact that, let’s face it, the Robins never go down without a fight do they!!

Last Friday night I said to Mrs R that I really envied the fans who had gone down to London, because that night, on the eve of a final, when it’s your team down there for the big occasion, is particularly special! I spent the last two we’ve had with some great pals and it’s a time I’ll never ever forget because it’s all about the camaraderie and seeing people you haven’t seen for years; it’s simply amazing. However my yearning was also tainted somewhat by the thought of how on every occasion but one in the past, those feelings of euphoria and expectation had been dashed on the rocks of reality come 5-00pm next day.

You always hope for the fairy tale ending but inevitably it never manifests itself and that was the case for all the Rovers fans on Saturday …..They lost too, but this time they made a monumental and indeed historic job of it!!!

As for today’s civic bun fight in Victoria Square, well I’m a big supporter of the council, but what an embarrassment it is when an authority in the grips of austerity should celebrate ‘whatever’. Yeh, celebrate bringing the cup home to the City, but not an embarrassing humiliation, the Tory national media will have a fielded day.

When we were at Wembley two years ago I helped a bit with the arrangements from the fans point of view and remember as a Club we stipulated beforehand ‘no win no party’. I recollect well that Peter Gentle was absolutely adamant that you don’t celebrate anything but victory, a philosophy which in the case of our poor showing on the big day two years ago, certainly paid dividends. However ‘loyal’ a fan I thought I was, I wouldn’t have been able to face Victoria Square and neither would most of the players I spoke to afterwards. Can you imagine the sort of party the Aussie are planning for their returning Ashes cricket team? Of course they won’t be doing anything except holding an inquest, because for me, you simply don’t celebrate failure!

Personally though from an FC standpoint (and as I said last week) on Saturday I really did fear the worst. I say that simply because I thought the portents were flowing towards an unlikely victory, they could always score points and ran well ‘on emotion’ and all that was to unfold in our 150th year; we’d have never ever lived it down would we? Yet sport is a funny thing and impossible to really predict, so instead of all that, it went the other way and folks will now look back on our special year and say, “Wasn’t that the same year that Rovers got themselves into the Guinness book of records for that humiliation at Wembley?” It’s a sad but true fact, that although we should remember it for our own heroics, our 150th year will actually now be immortalised for what the local opposition DIDN’T do at Wembley. That’s the stark reality and the sad, resentful and indeed bitter situation our sport has sunk to in the City!

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It all started so well!

However that’s how it is these days, I don’t know how it’s sunk to that nor do I have any clue how we change it, but we have descended a long way from that day in 1980 when in victory or defeat the City genuinely celebrated its two Clubs being at Wembley!

The mould is made and the die is cast and that aint going to change so for now thank goodness all’s well that ends well and indeed we live to fight another day, whilst as for the Dobbins? Well they’ll certainly take some time to live this one down! I bet Neil Hudgell’s face was a picture and that Gwylum Lloyds wasn’t far behind either!!! However despite an outcome better than any of us could have dreamed of, whatever you say looking back as an FC fan, it’s been a tough old few week to get through!!!

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This made me smile a bit! It’s a Caravan Park (literally)

So to the week gone by and to add to all the stress before the game in the capital, there was the fact that Hull FC, for some reason, wouldn’t play the strongest team they had against Rovers in the last every Under 19’s Derby last Wednesday night, preferring instead to play two players that were not fully fit, not considering Logan and consigning both Fash and Downs to 18th and 19th man. That action in fact all but ensured that the bragging rights for the Hull Under-19s teams will forever remain with Rovers! Rumours even reached me from the families of the players that it was a conscious decision not to play too strong a team for fear of rekindling the merger argument just before season tickets go on sale, but that was just as I say a rumour. However sometimes I despair and as a passionate FC supporter, I can’t help but end up thinking that some people just don’t get it at all; it’s tough being a fan at times, isn’t it?

With nothing at all happening in the world of Rugby League this last weekend (well not over the Leeds try line anyway) it was a good time for this particular fan to reflect a bit on where we have got to this year, as my mind wandered onto what we had, if anything, achieved this season. You see, I have to admit that when I stand back from it all I do actually think we have improved, all be it slightly, and that perhaps the signs are there for the future; but where have you heard that one before?

Much of that optimism is in my mind at least borne out of the amazing upsurge of young talent that has come through in the last couple of months. The establishment of Logan in the centre, Abdull’s obvious talent and potential, a debut for Turgot and the heroics of Downs and Fash in the last two games show an academy that is producing some real talent. However we are all a bit ‘drunk’ with the off the cuff no pressure rugby we have seen of late, which does tend to gloss over some of the mistakes we still make and the plethora of poor stuff that went before earlier in the campaign. And make no mistake about it, there was some poor stuff!

I had to admit to being a bit underwhelmed when I discovered (when it slipped out a couple of months ago), that our main objective this season was to just get in the Super 8’s. I guess that was because getting into the top echelon by the skin of our teeth certainly doesn’t make for a successful season in my eyes and quite frankly, after all the hype and with the personnel we have on our books, to have not made that would have been nothing short of a disaster.

However whether it’s the vagaries of the new divisional ‘split’ system or just our inability to win close games again (we’ve come out on the wrong side in even more this year) the fact that we started the final phase so far behind the leading pack of the Super 8’s is not really good enough is it? You know if you’ve read this rubbish regularly that I worried a lot about the middle eight, but now, seeing what has happened, perhaps my concerns were unfounded and we’d have been OK anyway, although I don’t buy into all this ‘Hudgellesque’, “there’s something to play for in there” stuff about the middle bit; I’m still glad we’re nowhere near them.

However our aim next year has to be to finish clear of the tussle for 7/10th place, as I think we should endeavour to start the campaign well and rather like Huddersfield and Castleford this year, get into a position where the pressure is not to avoid the drop, but rather build towards the final few matches. If you can’t be a Leeds or a Wigan then that’s the tactic to adopt and in fairness the Giants and the Tigers have got it spot on this year. For us this time around however the reality is that although we’ve all enjoyed a bit of flamboyant rugby of late, it isn’t (by his own admission) a favourite way of playing for our Coach and so I think we had better prepare for the return of a more structured approach at the start of next term. That’s not proved good to watch thus far and if we are all honest a couple of periods this season have seen us attending at games that have been so predictable and boring that being a loyal fan and attending matches has almost most descended into a chore!

That simply has to stop before the most loyal and indeed resilient fan base in the game finally says “Enough!” Every upcoming season seems to be hailed at this time of the year as ‘make or break’, it’s all that is talked about when the last few games of the current season have already lost their meaning because we can’t get into the play-off zone and thus win anything! This time is no different at all and as the groans of “here we go again” grow louder and louder, I think we all have a feeling of having been here before! There’s nothing to play for at all now and by and large the fans have accepted that. We’ll travel to Warrington next week, as always hoping for a win, but none the less with an overarching feeling of once again just playing out the season.

There were some interesting comments coming from Lee Radford last weekend after Jamie Shaul’s invigorating and masterful display against Leeds. Tucking himself in behind Abdull and Logan in Hull’s new up and coming ‘Golden Generation’ (Craig Murdoch’s words not mine) Shaul showed what we all knew he could do in what was his first game in the full back shirt for some time. Radford claims that Jamie’s problem had been that he has become ‘a little complacent’ and went on to challenged Shaul to now keep his position.

With three years of a four year contract to go, it was obvious that we would stick with Jamie and let Jordan Rankin go, a decision that seemed to be vindicated in part by that performance. However, as I have said on several occasions in here, I would have loved to have kept Jordan at the Club as well! It would appear by our Coach’s comments that Jamie has had his issues during the year and in our squad he isn’t on his own on that one is he? I would hazard a guess that perhaps off the field issues are the reason that a potentially talented player like Lineham is off and perhaps we might welcome any offers we get for one or two others in our ranks for the same reasons too. I have often said in here that I think our attitude and approach to games has been a critical issue this year, but as for Jamie, well I think that Radford has faith in him and has persisted in supporting a player that almost left under Peter Gentle, before Lee himself fought to have him retained.

Lee found his faith in our quicksilver Number One vindicated as he said last Monday, “He’s had some counselling sessions from me that’s for sure. The challenge for him is to now kick on and retain his place for the long-term.” It certainly is Lee but with his pace and his eye for an opportunity his only failing besides his attitude was his inability on occasions to find a pass but that looked to be sorted against Leeds too and for Jamie Shaul the future should be bright. Well it should be if as is the case with one or two others in our squad, he gets his ‘head’ sorted out!

Talking of the Under19’s I do hope that everyone reading this who lives in the area will do everything they can to get along to Bishop Burton on Saturday when at 12-00 noon we play our last ever home Under 19’s game. From next year the only chance you have of watching a team from the area competing at Under19 level will be to go along and watch the ‘primrose and blue’s’ of the new City of Hull Academy when they play some games at Bishop and the rest at Caravan Park. So for this fan at least this is without doubt my last ever scheduled Under 19’s game!!! I say scheduled because there are still the play-offs to come when our lads are destined to play away to second place Saints, as they will finish a really commendable 3rd in the League table if they beat Warrington.

I’ve seen most of the home games our youngsters have played this season and the lads have given it a real dig to finish the campaign that high up in the table. When you consider the fact that injuries and first team calls have taken a big toll on their resources then often, from what I’ve seen, it has been team spirit and pride that got them through. To finish well above the British games ‘bench mark outfit’ Leeds and behind only Wigan and Saints, is testament to how far our academy has come since their move to Bishop Burton just two years ago. So for me despite the constraints that have been put on them, it would be great if they could get into the Grand Final wouldn’t it! Try and get there on Saturday at 12-00 if you can; I’ll miss my meat pie and chips on a Saturday next year!

Incidentally the merger is all sorted, it ain’t reversible and we’d better either get used to the City of Hull Academy or bail out, although hang on a bit before you do, because there may just be some interesting news on that front coming out in mid week!

The past couple of years seem at our Club, off the field of play at least, to be a story of departures from the backroom staff both on the performance and administration side of things. This week we hear a rumour that our conditioner Sean Rush is heading out and moving to join our owner over at Leeds United. I think we have been reasonably well conditioned this term and that he has done a good job but it looks, if rumours are to be believed, that his replacement will be Paul Hatton who was up until a few weeks ago Conditioner at Rovers. If that’s true then he’s a top bloke and really well thought of and it will be an appointment that comes as a surprise to the nillers too. But it’s just a whiff at present!!! Also on the move according to the ubiquitous Hutchie on RL fans, is Richard Tate from the Foundation, another guy who has done a good job for the Club…………. and so the merry go round continues!

Now, I was only thinking the other day that it’s THAT time of the year again isn’t it? The end of August always seems to herald the advent of a landslide of begging letters and those annoying phone calls, charity requests and pleas for support!! It’s also likely too that amongst the Doctor Barnado’s, Save the Meadow Orchid and the Bornean Orang-utan Conservation Group correspondence, there will be that other piece of news we have come to expect in early September! Yep you guess it; I’m alluding to the annual ‘begging letter’ from Adam Pearson, that will be accompanying the 2016 Season Ticket brochure.

I’ve been lucky enough to have had a look at this year’s offer and the club should be commended for the quality of it, but it’s not so much the offer, as what has gone before and what the fans expect will happen next, that will be the deciding factor on renewing this time around. The ball started rolling yesterday by the club announcing an initiative to give away 50 passes, why the set on that number I have no idea (well I have really) but I’ll move on!

As I say the new membership scheme is a good scheme, full of great rewards and for value I think as good as we have had for years, but with the fans in general, although buoyed by the weekends exploits in London, still low on aspirations and high on disappointment, it has to be and it will be interesting to see what the sales angle is this time around. You know that I think that we’ve certainly been guilty of over hyping stuff in the past and we’ve already had Bel13ve and only last year it was ‘please be part of this massive 150th year for your Club’, so you have to wonder what exactly we will be presented with this time? However, with the brochure about to wing its way to season ticket holders later this week, we won’t have long to wait to discover that one either will we?

Despite the best and most exciting recruitment for years everything won’t be rosy for everyone, because with the North Stand shut by our Evil Uncles from Egypt, some in the East are going to be disappointed that they won’t be able to sit in their usual seats. That’s because the away fans will be sat there, but otherwise it’s a case of here we go again, as individuals we face the quandary of do we go round again!!

I’ll be getting my pass I guess, I did think of withdrawing my subscription in protest about the merger rubbish but that only penalises me, because if the FC are playing I have to be there and I doubt that will change until the day I die. As I said earlier the recruitment has been first class and watching Frank Pritchard last Saturday on TV made me realise that he’s worth the investment alone.

So I guess on a personal note I’ll probably be waiting until the last minute and then renewing, but I think that my psyche is at present that although I’ll be getting a pass I’ll be a lot more careful what else I invest in for now at the Club! Talking to a lot of fans over the past few weeks it’s a pretty universal assumption that as fans we ain’t really listened to and the merger stuff has just amplified the fact that as just the paying rank and file its hard to get our points of view across. Clubs and their owners have every right to make the big decisions but it would be nice if the customers who are the life blood of the organisation, had at least a chance to comment beforehand, even if the general consensus seems to be that in the end, the management might not listen anyway.

As we have a week off from playing, and I was in need of some inspiration anyway, I invited that doyen of the facts and figures, our resident ‘Statto’, Club Historian and Diary reader, Bill Dalton, to have a look back at some of the Aussie import heroes from across our history. On this occasion he looks at just the Australians and I have to say that I love the disclaimer at the start!!!

AUSTRALIANS AT HULL FC.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the Contributor and are not necessarily shared by Hull FC)

At a time when there is much discussion among Rugby League supporters as to the wisdom of employing overseas players in our game and whether tighter restrictions should be placed on their importation or not, The Faithful might consider that our own Colonial players over the past 107 years have made a massive contribution in terms of quality and, in many cases, offered a high degree of club loyalty. At a time when the game is about to enter the realms of nominating ‘Marquee’ players in an exercise which, in reality, is about dodging a portion of the Salary cap, our followers might well wonder if the ‘Chosen One’ at some clubs will be an Aussie ‘has-been’ over here to squirrel away a last gasp Pension Investment.

As a great admirer and supporter of most things Australian, I have to wonder why a player would ever have wished to leave his homeland to come and play in the cold North of England. But economic necessities in the early years of the last Century largely decided the matter for many Australians in particular. When the First Kangaroos visited these shores in 1908 as a fledgling Rugby League Nation, they brought with them many outstanding players who had been driven to defect from Rugby Union by, if anything, even more stringent application of the ‘Amateur’ Rules than in this Country. So it was, that a considerable proportion of that early touring party were subsequently signed on by English Clubs. Hull signed Jimmy Devereux and Andy Morton. Devereux had been the leading Try scorer on the Tour and, in fact, scored the first Try Hat-Trick in an Ashes Test Match. He went on to become Hull’s earliest Try Centurion, notching up 101 Tries in 181 Appearances over the next 7 years.

In 1912, Herbert Gilbert joined Hull after the 1911-12 Kangaroo tour. Co-incidentally, Gilbert was their leading Try-scorer on that Tour as well. So, we know that Hull consistently sought quality in those days, in contrast to the mediocrity that we seem to have thrust upon us these days!!! Bert Gilbert became the first Australian Captain to lift the Challenge Cup when Hull were successful in 1914. Also joining Hull with him was Steve Darmody, an outstanding Back Row Forward whose career was cruelly cut short after losing a leg in the Great War.

Between the Wars, Frank Hurley, a renowned speed merchant came to the Boulevard, but his Hull career was brought to an abrupt halt by War, but the late 1940’s saw a feast of Antipodean talent with the great Bruce Ryan, George Watt, Duncan Jackson, Keith Gittoes and Johnny Payne gracing the Black-and-White Irregular hoops. They all played in the same team on just one single occasion – at Barrow on 24th September 1949.

An International Transfer embargo saw the supply of Australians dry up for a few years, but there was a short period in the early 1970’s when we had an influx of young players coming to Hull on a ‘swap’ scheme with our own younger talent. However, British Rugby League was woken from its complacency with the coming of the 1982 Kangaroos, who swept all before them, although Hull gave them a fright before going down to the full Test side by 7-13. Of course, Hull were able to secure the legendary Peter Sterling from that Touring party for a couple of short spells, and several others went to other clubs. Later, we had the benefit of the services of, among many others, Craig Coleman, Des Hasler, Ivan Henjak, Neil Henry (who all became Coaches in the NRL), Noel Cleal and Colin Best, who holds the distinctions of scoring the very first Try at the KC Stadium. Although his stay at Hull only extended over two years, Best was arguably our best Winger of the Super League era.

Because of the Salary Cap operation in the RFL and NRL and whatever Tax and Currency exchange advantages which may have existed, not to mention the Off-Shore Tax fiddles that operated to the Colonials advantage, there really has been no let up since the inception of the British Super League in the demand for Australians in our teams and in addition to all of the above, our own top level era has seen a number of latter-day Australian Test Players. Jason Smith, Matt Sing, Nathan Blacklock, Shaun Berrigan, Craig Fitzgibbon, Mark O’Meley and Brett Seymour all spring to mind (some for their good, solid contributions to the Hull FC cause, but sadly, others not so or for other reasons)

While we have to remember that we have had our share of one-game wonders and abject failures, in calculating that Hull has been the temporary home to some 81 Australians, including 15 Test players. I venture to suggest that, many of them gave a tremendous amount of pleasure to successive generations of The Faithful.

Wow thanks for that Bill and perhaps we can look forward to a couple more of your pieces on the Club history in the long cold winter months, when news is at a premium.

While we are on about history and Bill Dalton, don’t forget to get along to the Boulevard Academy on Airlie Street on Saturday 19th September at 10-30 when the standing stone to commemorate the Boulevard Stadium will be unveiled. None of the funding for the stone has come from the Club because it was important that it was a partnership between the City of Hull and the fans. Admission to the event which will run between 10-00 and mid-day, is free of charge and all fans past and present are welcome. There will be music from the Driffield Silver Band, children’s entertainment, a short talk by the Bill Dalton on the significance of the Stadium, a chance to walk on the site of the old pitch and a display of memorabilia on show in the school, plus free refreshments and a chance to meet the dozens of ex players who will be in attendance. This is your memorial so please try to get there.

Now this week instead of a Codgers spot I thought that we would attempt something different and so I went along to interview a name from the past; David Bond! I’m sure many of you who read the Sports Mail way back in the days of yore will remember that David was for many years the Daily Mails Hull City Correspondent. David is a great bloke and decided that this year he would write a book coincide with our 150th year and so he set about researching and sourcing twenty of the legends that have played for Hull FC over the past 15 decades. And here as a Dentists Diary exclusive is a first look at the cover.

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Here’s what David had to say last week when I spoke to him as the launch of his book in September grows ever closer.

“The 20 Legends books comprise an occasional series on clubs in different sports published by Vertical Editions from Skipton in West Yorkshire. They publish only sports books and two days before last Christmas the publisher Karl Waddicor came up with some new 20 Legends possibilities for me, so I chose Hull FC for 2015 simply because it would tie in with the 150th anniversary of the club’s formation.

It instantly meant that the deadline for it would be tight, so it has basically been written from scratch in half a year and I’m very grateful for the support that I’ve received from a lot of people, all of whom are acknowledged at the front of the book. It is actually entitled 20 Legends: Hull FC, it is due out in mid-September and it costs £14.99.

One big aim was to try to tell 20 different stories as interestingly as possible, concentrating on the chosen legends’ lives both on and off the pitch in preference to overdoing the statistical material. It is up to others to decide how well I’ve achieved it or otherwise, but I’m pleased and maybe even a bit proud that I’ve been able to interview 14 of the 20 legends or their immediate families to try to bring plenty of new information and anecdotes into the public domain. And in the other six cases I think that there is also a fair amount of little-known material that has now come to the fore.

The whole project has entailed a lot of research – mainly at Hull History Centre – to achieve my objectives, but I also have to stress that everyone I’ve approached for help and interviews has been very kind and co-operative and I think that, above all, that speaks volumes for the local rugby-league fraternity

The only stipulation that Karl made as the publisher was that there should be at least one legend from the club’s early days in rugby league – the outcome, therefore, is that the book goes back to before the First World War – and at least one legend from recent times. And as it turned out, the research may have accidentally ended up becoming a bit easier because exactly half of the legends were born in the Hull area.

At the same time the research aspect was not without its surreal moments. For example, one legend left me a message to turn up at a hostelry in the centre of Castleford to interview another legend, but, when I arrived at the appointed time, it was shut! It was, by the way, only a brief hiccup and everything soon turned out well.

The final choice of the 20 legends will naturally spark a lot of debate – concerning primarily those who have missed out – but there are a lot of factors to take into consideration and things are not always clear in black and white – although in another sense they certainly are in this case!”

So that’s what David had to say and if you’re interested in the book then I’ll let you know when it’s launched and where it will be on sale.

With 16 days between games, this week Radford gave the lads a week off to freshen up and have a good laugh at Wembley (I wish I could tell you about the one who threw a family party on Saturday night to celebrate, but I’d better not!). Lee did this ahead of what he hopes will be a positive end to the campaign but this week our Coach still had time to re-affirm the fact that whatever else he may not be is some folks eye’s, he gets it and is a massive fan of the Club when he said, “We have got a week off now and we can hopefully sit back and watch the Rhinos pick the cup up,” That’s all that was needed really no harking back to past glories in the mists of time, just a display of the same sort of feelings we all had.

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My pal JOE from Black and Whites and the famous Chris, knew which side their bread was buttered on, even back on Friday!

Up to Saturday at 5-00 it had been a funny old week and one I don’t want to repeat for a long time, nay even a life time. I have found people who left the country for the weekend, several others who cancelled the local paper and half a dozen who went to Wembley on pre arranged trips but purchased Leeds shirts. Plus, a pub trip in Beverley that has had some corporate T shirts printed which said ‘Leeds for the day- FC for life’, however as I said early myself I just expected the vagaries of sport to sticks the boot in!

However on this occasion they didn’t and with the FC getting bragging rights from the Derby’s this season and the Dobbins capitulating at Wembley, we should get a bit of peace, for a while at least.

Next up its Warrington after a couple of weeks off and it’s another ‘nothing game’ that will still perhaps see us throwing the ball about a bit and having a go. I’ll be there and I hope you can make it too. It now only remains for me to say a big thank you for the plethora of texts, E Mails, and calls I got on Saturday night, it was all great fun and I guess as well a big relief! Mr Hudgell says that Rovers will be back, but in the mean time perhaps he will have the clock in the 10-5 Bar permanently set at ten to one (0-50)!!!! Thanks for joining me again this week and for sticking with the Diary in a week when there was no FC action and yet there was in many ways a much bigger prize to take away and cherish from the weekend!!

Keep Believing, enjoy your day at work on Tuesday and try to temper your exuberance because who knows next year it might be us losing at Wembley…….but not by 50 points!!!

Faithfully Yours

Wilf

AND FINALLY in an effort to finance this weekly rubbish I have had to start taking advertisements on board so here’s this week’s!

ARE YOU HAVING A PROBLEM AT WORK?
Full-back letting you down, Pack ineffective, Backs embarrassing you on national TV?
Call Neil Hudgell Solicitors on 01482 505050 for a no win no fee claim
We can’t say if you’ll be successful in court as we have a bad habit of not turning up on the big day!