Lest anyone ever forgets! – 461st Dentist’s Diary

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The Boulevard Memorial unveiled on Saturday, a gift from the fans of Hull FC today, to the fans and community of the future!

They think it’s all over?….well it is next Sunday!!!! And I for one won’t be too displeased either! I’m always a bit sad at the end of a season but of late I’ve just about had enough by then too!

Friday saw another passionate display from the young lads and another example of how we can get in front, but not far enough in front AND then throw away that lead and capitulate at the last hurdle. Of course that said it was yet another dead rubber for us and another final score line that flattered the much fancied opposition, plus I have to say another pathetically poor gate at the KC. A crowd declared at 9,500 looked a lot more like 7000 to me, but what do I know! Once again on Friday, as so often this term, it was apparent that there is nothing wrong with our youngsters, in fact quite the contrary, but our senior players who should know better just can’t respect the ball or have the poise and game management to get us over the finishing line. It’s that getting your heads right stuff again isn’t it?

After the game in the post match interviews Lee Radford told us that we were “nearly there” and that next season we just have to learn to convert these close losses into wins. Where have you heard that one before?

I’ll tell you where it was, it was in here twelve months ago when, according to Lee, we were ‘nearly there’ again and ready to convert close defeats into wins in the 2015 season. However this year we have had even more close defeats and although Lee said after Friday’s game that he felt we had improved this year, for us lot on the terraces those quotes from last season prove that if we have, then it isn’t by much. In fact the main improvement that I can see from last term is the fact that, because Rovers and Widnes weren’t up to it, we scraped into the top 8, and probably as well, that we have seen some real hope for the future from the production line of our soon to disappear academy.

It was a game that few thought we could win and beforehand I listened to stories as to how you could get 5/2 and even 4/1 on Huddersfield to win the Grand Final and it appeared at those odds one or two FC fans were indeed having a punt. From what I have seen of Huddersfield of late, they are a real evolving team that has moved from the games perpetual nearly men, to real contenders for the Grand Final. They are in fact a real role model for any aspiring Club. But, how have they done it? Well, in grocery terms it’s the ‘No Frills’ approach. They utilise a very basic game plan that concentrates on playing out error free sets, relying on Broughy to get them down field with his kicks and then they defending until they force an error. After which nine times out of ten they just move it wide and sneak in at the corner. It’s not as exciting to watch as our recent ‘Young Guns’ stuff but it’s got them to the brink of the Grand Final.

The visiting support they brought I guess, when compared with their usual ‘two taxi loads’, was quite good and probably the best I have seen from the Giants, but looking round at who turned up at the Boulevard on Saturday, one wonders too how many we would have taken to Huddersfield where the roles of the two Clubs reversed. As far as attendances are concerned, even for the Clubs that are doing well, the game is on its arse!

On Friday, the first half started brightly with the soon to be missed Jordan Rankin crashing in, but then despite a great effort again from the same player that saw him stepping his way out of two tackles, to the line, it was an uphill battle to even get out of our half as the visitors played out that basic style of rugby to perfection and with Broughy buzzing about and a strong defence, they controlled the game on the back of some excellent pass choices and forward running.

The second half, a comedy of errors at times from some of our more senior players, was none the less certainly entertaining and we showed more verve and more tenacity in the tackle. In fact when we had fought back so valiantly on the back of an excellent try by Yeaman that really rolled back the years, we were leading by 2 points for about 15 minutes. Huddersfield were there for the taking, but we couldn’t complete our sets and became sloppy as players like Pryce (who I thought wasn’t fit) and of all people Liam Watts coughed up possession on a regular basis. You know for a Super league Club our ball retention, passing and catching is at times woeful! Then of course the mandatory miss of a blatant forward pass by the official, saw Huddersfield back in front and that was that!!

Was it Jordan Rankin’s best game for us? Well for me, it wasn’t far off, although I also have to say he has had a few poor ones too, but at just 23 he was bound to have a couple wasn’t he? You know already if you read this every week that for me we should have tried to keep him and overall when you look to the future even though our recruitment is pretty spectacular, Jordan will only get better. However he’s got what he wanted and good luck to him!! For me at least, we still have two major issues to address because our attacking play won’t improve until we get a new play maker and we have no cover at all at hooker! Seeing Danny Houghton’s swollen chest on Saturday morning shows that we should have maybe given him a bit of a rest, but we simply don’t have a replacement.

For me Pryce is coming to the end of his career and Sneyd (who in fairness had been on the treatment table all week), although obviously talented, needs more support and mentoring on the field, because he is still relatively young and infuriatingly hit and miss.

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Stepping through the line; Jordan Rankin and how I really want to remember him!!

However some of the youngsters were just brilliant and when I spoke to him on Saturday Lee Radford picked out Brad Fash for particular praise. He admitted to wondering at one time about his stature but he said he has adapted his style of playing and the way he pulled off one crunching hit in the second half was just amazing. Dean in the centre too did well playing out of position and some of his positioning in defence was superb. Turgot went OK too and so we go on….again! But in the end it was another defeat full of mistakes and brain farts from which few of the senior players came out with much praise, whilst once again the youngsters excelled.

Saturday brought the first event of Heritage week which was the unveiling of the much anticipated Boulevard Memorial.

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The memorial unveiling, with on the right the Lord Mayor who was in full civic regalia. Quote of the day came from a little girl who walked up to her afterwards and said “Are you supposed to be a pirate?”

This was completely a fans initiative and saw a standing stone in honour of the old ground and to commemorate the memory of all those whose ashes were spread on the pitch over the years, unveiled by Johnny Whiteley and the Lord Mayor of Kingston upon Hull.

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It was a great turn out on a beautiful West Hull morning!

There were about 400 fans there as well as dignitaries and VIP’s that included around 40 ex players, Adam Pearson, Richard Horne, Lee Radford, Andy Last, Gareth Ellis, Danny Houghton and Kirk Yeaman, plus The Leader of the City Council and the St Andrews Ward Councillors. Then there was representation from the RL, The Club Chaplain and Bill Dalton the Club historian, who gave a great talk about the history of the old place. Everyone there was buzzing with Boulevard stories; Knocker, Keegan, Sully and Sterling, the Threepenny Stand, Watery Bovril, muddy nights, flickering floodlights, an amazing atmosphere oh and and no bloody Allams!

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The VIP seats see them all asleep; probably during that Pete Allen’s speech!!!

As the sun shone down and the brass band played ‘Old Faithful’, there were a few moist eyes around the place, as we all remembered and lamented the passing of our old stadium and our home for 107 years. With a big exhibition of memorabilia and a free cup of tea thrown in, it was great meeting so many Diary readers and old pals. Well done to everyone who went!

On Saturday a lot of fans had chats with Adam, who was pulling no punches and at last admitted that the merger stuff was very much down to finance and the fact that at present gates and income simply are not matching expenditure. OK I know he has brought some of it on himself but it really does sound at times as if for us next term could be the last throw of the dice, the cynics will sneer and the protagonists will groan ‘Not again’, but I think this time it’s for real and that perhaps in the not too distant future we may need to mobilise the fan base to rally round the Club.

Much of the problem it appears is down to the KC and the Allams and the way that their continuing and increasing restrictions on our use are strangling our Club. It also seems that their victory in court against the Council has sent concerns running through Club and fans alike and I feel that we are heading towards some tough times unless Frank the Tank and the boys really deliver next season! Whatever else Adam Pearson took away from the unveiling on Saturday, I think it’s fair to say that he had a bit of a ’Light bulb Moment’ when he saw all those loyal fans, one or two with tears in their eyes and a few lamenting ever moving to the KC at all. Perhaps now he gets it a bit more.

I heard some interesting comments from ex FC Centre Alan Hunte as well, when he was commenting on his leaving Mr Koukash and the ‘Circus’ that is Salford at present. When asked what we were getting with Scott Taylor he stated that he was probably the most dedicated and focussed British prop in the game at present. His training ethic, nutritional sense and general leadership off the field is, he said, second to none and both the fans and the Salford owner wanted to keep him. Apparently ‘Marvellous Marwan’ offered to better whatever Hull FC have offered Scott, but he said that this was his childhood dream and with a long contract at Hull FC he was ‘going home’. He might not be grabbing the headlines in our ‘new recruits department’ but I think Scott’s a great signing myself!

So to last week and once again, rather like the deals we have given out over the years to players like Tom Lineham, Jamie Shaul and Danny Houghton, we have again recognised talent and when it is real class, tied it up on a long contract. Jack Logan deserves a deal and has for me got all the attributes to make him a really good centre in coming seasons. I think he’s a really exciting player and you have to get these quality youngsters tied up on a deal as soon as it’s apparent that they have ‘something’. Otherwise these clubs (you know who) that can’t raise their own youngsters, but instead depend on other Clubs doing it for them, will be circling. He’s a talented kid and I expect that he might even get the number 3 shirt next season, which would be great for him and for us.

On the same day the Club announced, almost as an after-thought, the re-signing for one year of the Clubs veteran record try scorer Kirk Yeaman. He has actually been signed for blooming months and why it’s been such a secret, heaven (and James Clark) only knows, but I welcome his continued employment myself, whilst recognising too that 2016 is more than likely to be his last season at the Club; as a player at least. I don’t get some folks sometimes, I know there is no room for sentiment in sport but the thing about Yeamo is that he might well make a second rower, he can run the lines out wide and proved that with a great try last Friday and he’s still one of the Clubs best ‘one on one’ tacklers. In addition he also has tons of passion, he ‘Gets it’, loves the Club and hates Rovers. In addition he’s certainly far from the highest paid player on our books and so he’s hardly keeping a marquee signing out is he? He’s a fan too and I remember he told me three years ago that he would never ever play for anyone else because Hull FC was his team, (you get a lot of bullsh*t from some players but not from Kirk) and so I guess, I’m pleased for him.

You might feel that’s all a bit over the top, but I just feel I need to counterbalance some of the disparaging comments that are made about Kirk on social media. Although no doubt he will become a bit part player next season and at the end probably leave to continue his playing career elsewhere (probably on the settee with his Play Station) for now he can play second row and in the centre, if he’s needed and so for me he’s still a useful guy to have around, if, that is, he stays fit.

It was good to hear that Jamie Shaul won’t need an operation after pulling up at Wigan and even better news that he is to be ‘wrapped in cotton wool’ and not forced to play again this season. There is no point whatsoever in playing him is there, the season was over weeks ago and like it or not, however hackneyed it has all become, at this time of the year we now have to look to the future.

I’m told he could have played patched up against Catalan at a pinch, but his style of fast moving acceleration based attack, makes for a real danger of him doing more damage, so let’s get him fit for next season. A product of our Academy, Jamie is a real one for the future and a Hull kid who loves to play for the Club. Ok he’s had his issues, but what confident kid doesn’t? However he’s the future of the Club and now he has a long contract to prove his worth, but he is also a player that we have to look after. We have to value our assets because if we didn’t have such class coming through the ranks, we might be looking at recruiting a full back probably from the Championship; thankfully we are starting to see a great production line of talent and Jamie is again proof of that.

So now back to our owner and although the obvious love affair between Leeds United and Adam Pearson continues (you always love your first love) it seems he has again walked out of Football, as hopefully at least his passion for Hull FC was too strong to ignore. Well that’s the story anyway and having spoken to him I feel that it’s credible at least!!! It was only a matter of time before we heard from Adam about the parlous state of our finances and sure enough there it was in Thursday’s newspaper. I knew that our owner was only attending our Club one day a week and that a lot of stuff on the sponsorship and corporate side was on the slide and I’d also heard that the foundation was floundering too, but it was still with some surprise that I received an E mail from a reader (who is a Leeds United Steward) last Tuesday afternoon, claiming that it was all over Leeds that Adam had walked.

I had heard from several people that Adam was to be ‘In’ all week too, but thought nothing of it, however its apparent that the boss feels he hasn’t been able to do justice to his investment of late and I guess it’s an indication that you can’t, on one hand, fail to replace departing section heads and then continue to stay away yourself on the other! If you don’t have a Chief Executive to oversee the organisation in such circumstances, something has to eventually give, because you can’t expect things to continue to be all ‘tickerty boo’ if you’re not on hand yourself to oversee them!

Adam was certainly popular with the Leeds United fans and their message boards went into melt down last Wednesday as supporters berated the Leeds owner and despaired at the demise of Pearson who I’m convinced did leave on good terms with Mr Cellino (another first I think!). You can understand Adam’s stance can’t you? With a lot of fans undecided about renewing for next season, people fed up with another mid table inconsequential meander to the end of the season and there still being a deal of disquiet about concerning the merger of the two Hull’s academies, he must be a tad concerned. The latter is something that seems to have been reawakened in the light of what has happened since the kids got into first team action to show exactly what the current academy set up had produced and I guess he’s decided that he will need to concentrate on getting as many fans signed up as he can for season tickets.

It’s a good deal this year and the signings are brilliant, but I realise at the Boulevard on Saturday that it’s not about value for money anymore, but more about the demeanour of the average fan and the number of times he/she has received big promises which subsequently and persistently have little substance in the end. While some don’t like the merger, some don’t like some of the players and indeed others don’t like the Coach, but were it ever so? Yet we have always lived with that sort of stuff haven’t we?

I know myself that I am sort of hanging back a bit on renewing our seasons although there is little doubt that I will subscribe in the end, but something has to change soon, because folks are drifting away from both the sport and our Club and it’s something that needs to be reversed. Whether we like it or not the Clubs survival is dependent on our continuing good will, having said that however the game itself doesn’t do much to help itself either. We are just too beholden to TV and if the RL are pleased with the gates at the Super 8 games thus far, then they must be blind, but that’s an issue for another day.

However Adams more ‘local’ concerns are impacted further by falling sponsorship levels and corporate support but that’s nothing new in Hull at all. Adam said to the Mail on Tuesday that “The City of Culture in 2017 is turning into a real threat for us because that’s where businesses are wanting to invest and we have to be very careful we manage the club well in the next few months before next season to give us a chance to build to where we want to be. It is crucial to the financial wellbeing of the club we get it right”.

But, Hull is a fiercely proud City, that’s why as the article in the Mail stated, Adam shouldn’t really be surprised at sponsors leaving the Club because they don’t like the merger, that’s how passionate Hull people are and all the sports Clubs ignore that trait at their peril. Perhaps Adam needed to come out straight away and say exactly what the consequences of not merging where!

However when something trendy (and ‘locally patriotic’) comes along like 2017 then that will capture the imaginations of the businessmen. Many other organisations outside the City’s sports clubs have experienced this over the years too, because the fact remains that Hull is a small pool with one or two big fish in it, but by and large there is only so much sponsorship around and often too many begging bowls out for it to fulfil.

I remember when I was working on the Hull 700 Celebrations back in 1999 for the Council, it was easy to get what local company’s we have on board because it was a City wide celebration that had national impact, the Queen and Desmond Tutu were coming and it pushed all the right buttons. But I remember back then receiving complaints from the Sports Clubs that we were taking all the available sponsorship and over the years little has changed really. Adam compares Hull with Leeds and envies the support that industry and commerce in the West Yorkshire City give to United and the Rhinos.

But Leeds is a centre of not only traditional industry but also an emerging centre for business and commerce and has far more major industries based there than Hull has. The fact is we don’t have enough core international industries with their HQ’s located in Hull. So when something like 2017 comes along it becomes a massive distraction that makes it really tough for the sports Clubs and local charities to compete.

If I’m honest here, I never felt at ease with Adam being at Leeds. However I understood that he was being paid well for what he was doing and so could understand him wanting to keep his hand in football wise whilst offsetting his investment here with a bit of dosh coming in as wages, but he obviously knows where his priorities lie and I guess we should be pleased that for now at least, they are with us. It’s certainly an interesting situation isn’t it and with Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds and now this, there’s a bit of a developing ‘Soccer Soap Opera’ surrounding Mr Pearson too.

As an owner you have to take the fans with you and to do that you have to listen to them, but now, make no mistake about it we are, I think, entering a significant and potentially dangerous phase in the history of our Club. At the very least we simply have to be successful next season because the alternative to that and another inconsequential season don’t bear thinking about! Why have we to be successful? Well it is only by doing well on the field and exciting the crowds that people will come in and watch the games and with sponsorship and business support on the wane, that’s the only way we will survive as a ‘Big’ Club.

Once again I guess, reluctantly, I have to admit that buying season tickets in numbers is the only way we will survive and so it’s being pointed out to us lot I think, that despite what we get served up on the pitch, it’s down to the poor old fans again! Despite a lot of downsizing off the field, income still seems to be constantly underperforming when compared with expenditure and the Stadium deal just gets tougher and tougher. For me, for the first time for years, a dark shadow seems to be growing over our beloved Club and it’s worrying me!

As I always say in these situations, watch this space…and Mr Allam…..and get saving up!!!!

My Quote of the week this time goes to our Coach Lee Radford who said, just like a man who thinks the new merged Academy with Rovers is a great idea (not), “Performances like the one on Friday night at Wigan wouldn’t be possible if not for Bishop Burton. Richard Horne, Danny Wilson, Steve Crooks and Rob Wilson have continued the good work this year in building on the fantastic work put in by Andy Last in establishing the academy at Bishop Burton. Lasty was the one who got it going for us and the fruits of that hard work can be seen now. A lot of investment has gone in over the past few years to give our young players the very best environment to learn and progress through our system. Bishop Burton have been brilliant with us, and down to the fantastic work which Lasty drove, with the backing of our owner Adam Pearson and Jeanette Dawson, Bishop’s Burtons Principal”

The thinking behind the merger is becoming clearer for Rovers fans as well, as their Coach this week came out with a damning indictment of the quality of their under 19’s too when he said, “Where we haven’t been good enough this season is squad numbers 25 to 30. When we’ve have injuries, we’ve not been able to cope as well as we would have liked. We are trying to fill those spots with established Super League players and Championship players.” So much for youth development there then Chris!!

As I touched on earlier I was so pleased for Jordan Rankin last Tuesday when it transpired that he is leaving these shores at the end of the season to get what he wants; a gig in the NRL. Whether he will make a go of it or not is a matter for conjecture and in the end down to him, but just after the Club told me that only Wakefield were interested in signing him, all of a sudden he is off to Wests Tigers, with whom, as I told you last week, he had been linked for weeks. It just shows what our lot know, but I say good luck to him!

According to his agents our neighbours apparently had a sniff, but he was never going there! However whatever his shortcomings and limitations, there is no way you could fault his commitment, passion, love of the shirt and dislike of the Dobbins. He’d never be short of a word when you saw him out in Hull, but when you spoke to him he always made it pretty clear that he wanted to go back to the NRL and I’m glad he’s got his wish. One of the games good guys I think and one who might yet one day return to the fold, I’m just glad that he hasn’t signed for another SL team.

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Jordan Rankin, I’ll miss his enthusiasm!

I see that Gareth Carvell has finally retired from the game after leaving Warrington and joining a succession of Clubs, including us where he has appeared on the field less and less. In the end injuries got him, but as one old timer said to me on Saturday, “Gareth Carvell I thought he retired months ago!” But, while we are on ex players how good it was to see Jacob Miller maybe prove some at our Club wrong as he signed a new two year deal at Wakey. Perhaps we didn’t need him as we moved on in the half back department, but you can guarantee one thing… he’ll be back to bite us!

I’m really looking forward to the arrival of Frank Pritchard next season and the more I see and hear about him the more excited I get. Being paid more than we as a Club have ever paid a player before, to some, at his age, he might be a bit of a risk, but he has again been one of the Bulldogs’ best performers in the back half of the season and his big frame has been causing havoc in the latter rounds of his final NRL season. In fact his skipper James Graham said of him last Monday, “Frankie’s been a huge part of this club for the last number of years and I know it gets thrown around a little bit but I have to say that he’s probably in the form of his career.” I hope he brings it with him!

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Big Frank really is, well…… big…. in every way!!!Frank played his last game in Australia this weekend!!

I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t that surprised to hear that Andy Lynch had been awarded the accolade of Castleford Tigers Player of the Year and their Players Player of the Year, when it was announced last Tuesday. We should never have got to a situation where he was unsettled with us, because when he was here he was a great forward and although some at our Club said (through mouthfuls of sour grapes) that he was heading ‘over the hill’, when he left for Cas, he has certainly proved them all wrong, as once again a player that we had worked so hard to capture and prize away from Bradford in the first place, went on to star….for someone else. He certainly deserves the award, because from what I’ve seen of him both against us and on TV he never has a bad game and at 35, he is still doing long minutes and leading as always from the front. Great player….big loss!

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Read it and weep! You won’t be seeing this again…..ever! Hull FC’s depleted and weakened Academy Under 19 team, defeated in the Final eliminator game at Saints 34-14 on Friday. Thanks for some great games at Bishop Burton this year guys!

The other day I was clearing out the loft looking for some stuff for the FC Exhibition in the Boulevard Academy last Saturday and I found a file full of the correspondence I received after I had released the first ‘Roamin the Range’ book and was soon taken by a letter I had got from a real hero of mine, an ex FC player from the late 60’s and early 70’s, Terry Kirchin. Terry was a real hero and a player with such vision and ability he was light years ahead of most of those he played with.

Terry left Hull in 1974 and has he said in the correspondence, only been back a couple of times since. He now lives in Scotland but his letter informed me how he was brought up in Widnes and was actually, in the early sixties, a card carrying member of the Cavern Club in Liverpool where he saw the Beatles on several occasions. It was all really interesting stuff and I hope that Terry comes down to visit us in Hull again one day but nothing can diminish the memories I have of him!

This week in Codgers Corner it therefore seemed appropriate to look back at Terry and the influence he had on our team in those halcyon days of muddy pitches, faded shirts and wagon wheels at half time. The game I have chosen is one that I remember well when on Wednesday 12th November 1969, in front of 3,200 fans, we took on an in form Wakefield Trinity outfit that included several international players and a very young off-half called Dave Topliss. The previous weekend we had watched a good win over Workington Town but on that cold November evening as the Boulevard, as the floodlights caused the muddy morass in the middle of the field to shine and sparkle, I watched an exciting game where we gave the opposition a lead, roared back and then hung on to win.

The start of the game was certainly one some of the FC players will want to forget. Jim Macklin dropped the ball twice whilst Chris Davidson got a caution from the referee for a high tackle on Haigh. Terry Kirchin’s ability shone out that night as he constantly drove the ball in and standing in the tackle with a handful of Wakefield players round him he would release the ball to the waiting arms of Hancock or Davidson. He must have done this three times in the first ten minutes to the appreciative applause of us lot huddled in the spartan but welcoming Threepenny’s. It was not all good stuff in that first half however, and slack tackling wide out allowed Haigh to run through a massive gap and pass onto young Dave Topliss who touched down near the posts. Then Campbell did the same to release Bonnar who uncharacteristically swept aside Arthur Keegan, as our full back looked to be struggling, having just returned from a period out with a shoulder injury.

Then, as a few FC fans round me seeing 10-0 on the scoreboard started to ‘offer some advice’ to a few of our players, we snapped into action. Kirchin ploughed into a three man tackle and supplied Davidson with an early ball that our scrum half passed onto John Maloney who shot down the centre channel to release winger Howard Firth. ‘Firthy’, his blonde hair flowing behind him, ‘pinned back his ears’ and as the cover came across, he kicked on towards the line. The ball bounced around between several players and a couple fumbled it, before Brian Hancock seemed to knock on but touched down anyway, for the score to be confirmed by a referee who was at least 15 yards behind the play. Maloney goaled and two penalties against one from Brown of Wakefield left Hull 9-12 down.

Next it was Terry Kirchin’s turn to shine again, this time in broken play, as he swept into a gap in the Trinity defence and kicked ahead into open space. The ball only had time to bounce once before from nowhere up swept Clive Sullivan. With his embrocated legs shining in the floodlights he timed his run to perfection, collected the ball and outstripped the cover to touch down under the posts. Another Maloney goal gave us a half time lead of two points.

As Hull ran out for the second half it was starting to rain and a heavily smoking chimney in Carrington Street behind the Best Stand saw a pall of acrid smoke settle across the ground making it difficult at times to see the other side of the pitch. Hull certainly came out fired up and a cross field passing movement instigated by Davidson and McGlone saw John Maloney backing up to take a snap inside pass from Joe Brown and score. He converted and at 19-12 it looked to all of us there as if we had the game in the bag.

As the sound of a fire engine could be heard from behind the best stand we held out grimly as Wakey came charging back and both Harrison and Sullivan saved our line with two truly brilliant last ditch tackles on would be scorers. However with fifteen minutes to go we could not stop Bob Haigh powering through and as Brown converted from wide out and the rain started to pour, our lead was cut to just two points. Arthur Keegan who was clearly in pain and had certainly not looked like his usual self left the field to be replaced by Ken Huxley, who immediately took a brilliant one handed pass from Kirchin but, having juggled with the ball and done the hard bit, he tripped over his own feet and spilled it. Don Robson, David Jervis and Terry Kirchin then turned their hand to defending, as three times they sandwiched Wakefield forwards in crash tackles that loosened the ball. As the referee prepared to end the game, another of our heroes that day Mick Harrison broke into the open but hadn’t the energy or the legs to get away and as the whistle went we all celebrated a brilliant 19-17victory, after what Dick Tingle later described in the Sports Mail as a “Hammer and tongs finish”

That day we saw an international class try from Sully, 13 points from one of the best kickers I have ever seen, John Maloney and an imperious display by Terry Kirchin who got the award of Man of the Match. Terry was a fine player and it was great to find that letter from him this week, which prompted this journey back to the 60’s.

You’ll only get this one if you read this drivel on a regular basis and I’m indebted to Richard in London (who set off at 6-00am) on Saturday to get to the memorial event for spotting it!

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As Rich pointed out, ‘Radders’ would have a field day at England RU training; Get some socks Burgess and the rest of you (and Lineham) pull them up!

I wonder how many will turn up on Sunday for the last game of the season against Catalan! I know that’s the fear for the Club for next week and I also know a lot of you have really had it with rugby this season. However it is the last game and I really do feel that the likes of Mini, Watts, Ellis and Houghton really do deserve a few claps of appreciation and thanks at the end of the game. And, I guess too I’ll be there to give Mickey and Jordan, who have both been model professionals, a clap or two as well. Let’s hope we can get a good win to send us all away to the closed season with a smile on our faces and some hope for the future. However another defeat will mean that we have only won one of our last 8 games!!!!

That’s not good in anyone’s book but we can only hope that better times are around the corner, can’t you? Thanks to everyone who came along to the Boulevard on Saturday it was a great day and it was good to talk to so many Diary readers and old pals. Thanks too for sticking with another Diary and for your continued support when despite another defeat it’s been another interesting week really!!

Keep Believing!

Faithfully Yours

Wilf

And Finally…….

I get so much flak from Rovers fans who read this (Why they bother I don’t know) who say that the Dentists Diary is biased and simply doesn’t give a balanced view of things. So this week in a genuine attempt to redress that in-balance, in the name of a bit of fair play and in the week that the Boulevard Memorial was unveiled, I’ll include a picture of the memorial that was erected to commemorate and celebrate the old Craven Park!

Prints can be ordered from www.thisisphotosales.co.uk/hullandeastriding or telephone 08444 060 910 NEWS...with James Campbell, 29/03/12  :  Pictured, motorists queue for fuel at Morrisons filling station, Holderness Road, Hull. Picture: Jerome Ellerby  petrol station, panic buying

Prints can be ordered from www.thisisphotosales.co.uk/hullandeastriding or telephone 08444 060 910 NEWS…with James Campbell, 29/03/12 : Pictured, motorists queue for fuel at Morrisons filling station, Holderness Road, Hull. Picture: Jerome Ellerby
petrol station, panic buying