SEASONS GREETINGS TO YOU ALL!!
It’s a time of peace and goodwill to all men and at Hull FC there has at least been plenty of Peace this closed season! There has been none of the speculation, comings and goings and ins and outs of previous campaigns and for guys like me trying to write about it all, it’s been the quietest pre-season since the Diary started back in 2005. Still the new seasons not that far off now, so enjoy a bit of ‘peace’, Happy Christmas to you all and I hope you all have a great one!
You know closed seasons have in the past been pretty busy times. Fans love a bit of transfer speculation and a bit of rumour mongering to occupy their minds, but this year all has been quiet and even the message-boards have fallen silent! However perhaps on reflection that’s a good thing and a minimal shifting of players in and out is the least disruptive way of approaching the season. The players that we have in training all know each other, they all know the Coach and therefore get straight down to it, however that is balanced by the fact that there has been a bit of the usual winter illness around and some players aren’t even back from World Cup duty yet. It’s hardly ideal is it?
Still here we are on the verge of Christmas with this the last Diary of 2017 and although its quiet now, it’s once again been a wonderful year to be an FC fan. Am I looking forward to the season? Well I think I am getting around to it, although I still detest the Derby’s and I ain’t that bothered about the pre-season matches these days either, I’ve been to them so often in hope but yet ended up watching a hotch-potch of a game. However, Danny Houghton’s Testimonial is important and I hope you’ll attend if you can.
DANNY HOUGHTONS XMAS FACTOR TONIGHT!!!!!
The season to be merry is also a time to acknowledge people for their help over the year and so thanks to you wonderful folks, who have spread the word and as book sales continue to do well and as Christmas approaches, I have to say that I certainly couldn’t have done so well without your support. I’m reminded of what I have said in here a few times over the years, in that these days, with such a technological backdrop to life, books are much harder to market and sell than they are to write. However, the response from fans to Danny’s Testimonial book has been amazing and its so rewarding when I go out and meet the readers, as I did when I spoke to the Vice Presidents last week. They were a great crowd and bought a few books afterwards as well which was really pleasing. I met a lot of old friends I hadn’t seen for a while and was also able to put some names to a few faces as well.
Thanks guys for all our support. It was a light hearted night and we had a few laughs most with me and a few at me, but that’s just how I like it. Meanwhile the Club shops continue to sell books as Christmas presents and everyone is really rallying around to help the cause and, as I said last week, to save me from going bankrupt!
You know, the VP’s do so much good work for the Club and have over the years always been there to underpin the good times. They’ve offering extra value and added assistance to Hull FC, such as providing that famous freezing chamber for the players when games were coming thick and fast. Then of course as I pointed out to them there have been a few times over the last 40 years when without them there wouldn’t be a Club at all. I thanked them for that and joked with the guys that without them we the fans out there on the terraces wouldn’t ever have got to know what a Cryogenic Chamber was, never mind had to spell it!
On that subject Danny was there that night as well and in a Q and A was asked exactly how the freezer chamber worked and he said the greatest thing was when you could use this very expensive piece of kit between Good Friday and Easter Monday. He said its then that it really does aid recovery, but it’s in the last quarter of the Monday Game that you really get the benefit as you feel better than you ever had in the past at that time in the second holiday fixture.
Danny was then quick to point out how hard pre-season had been thus far and how, as is usual at this time of year, the youngsters and junior players are really pushing the first teamers. He said that the old regime of hard day/ball work/day off/hard day/ball work/hills, had this year changed to hard work/hard work/ hard work/day of/hard work/ hard work/hard work. He then gave an interesting insight into life after Gareth Ellis who he described from a players point of view, as simply a phenomenon on and off the field.
Danny went on to point out that you won’t ever replace Gareth and that it was pointless trying. But, as a Club we are not even trying to do that, as we are approaching his loss in a different way. He said that it was now up to them all, particularly the likes of emerging players like Brad Fash, Jansin Turgot and Dean Hadley to step up and for everyone else to increase their intensity and application by small percentages, to cover for the loss of both Ellis and Fonua. He then went on to say what a great crowd of players the Club now had and indicated as well that all the youngsters had great talent, but most importantly they also had their feet on the ground and no one was ‘up themselves’ at all. Something that had at times, he said, been apparent in the past. So, a good night all round for me and a real insight from a player into how things are going.
Well, it’s finally been announced and as I have hinted in here over the weeks, the Derby pre-season game is back and this year it will be Danny Houghton’s Testimonial Match. I’m still pleased he’s getting that game to benefit from and that as fans we can all go along and thank a player that has over the years been a model clubman and servant to the Club. As I said earlier, I’m not sure I would have even attended had it not been a game dedicated to our hooker, because I’m fed up of meeting the Dobbins and even though we had a break from them last season, I’m sure I’ll feel just the same by the end of 2018.
However, this match is more than just another pre-season Derby and with the Danny Houghton Testimonial Brochure going on sale that day as the programme as well, it’s a great celebration of a great player. I’ll be there of course and I hope that you all get your tickets and go along to the KCOM on 14th January to support a real local hero.
Adam Pearson has been brilliant in his support for the Testimonial and the £1 from every club shirt sold initiative is just one of the ways by which he has got the actual Club involved. To give the gate receipts that Hull FC will receive (after all the expenses of putting on such a game have been covered) is brilliant as well and I for one will be over-looking my personal feelings about Derby games to attend. It’s not going to change anyone’s season and there are no competition points at stake, but I guess that whoever turns out for both sides they will want to win. Indeed, as was pointed out this week, this does at least present both clubs with a Friendly game that will be played at a far greater intensity than any other warm-up match that will take place that weekend. It’s also a brilliant opportunity for the younger players, with both coaches offering them an opportunity to experience a derby, even though it is only in a friendly.
With a bigger gate than any other game either Club could have staged outside the regular season, it also means that the income levels will be up and I’m sure Danny couldn’t have wished for more backing from the Club on this one. Some fans will understandably moan, as I would have been doing in different circumstances, but what’s new with that?
It was interesting to see that Fox Sports have revealed that they will be televising our historic meeting with St George Illawarra Dragons, on Saturday February 17, across the Australian sub-continent.
Both games in the double headers at the ANZ Stadium will be covered by what is without doubt one of Australia’s top sports broadcasters. Although Fox and Sky work closely together, there is no guarantee the games will be broadcast here, but I do think that it is a distinct possibility and with Sky likely to Broadcast our history making clash with Wigan a week earlier, it seems likely that both our Aussie games will be broadcast back here in the UK for those of us who ain’t going. Good news all round that, if it comes off!
I have to say I wasn’t that surprised to read this week that Frank the Tank might well call it a day and retire before he completes his second year of his contract with the Parramatta Eels. As Captain of Samoa he’s been heavily involved in the World Cup and a body that was for me beginning to look a bit crocked when he was at Hull FC, is perhaps starting to tell him it’s over. Frank is a massive guy and as often happens with big men his knees gave him a lot of trouble in his year at the KCOM.
Frank was without doubt as the leader of the ‘Brothers’, a massive part of what made 2016 so great and as a fan I will never forget him. His amazing showing in the pre-season game against Rovers, sitting in the Stand with the fans at Wigan, that great try against Salford away, the car pool Karaoke moments on the way to training on a Monday Morning it was all just great. For this fan at least the memories just go on and on. I was really sorry when Frank went home but his wife couldn’t settle and as they say that was that, but he was a great presence in that great team and I certainly wish him well if he decides to retire in the new year.
Well as I hinted the other week it seems that the Clubs have taken the initiative and have now voted to change the structure of the administration of the game with team representatives set to replace RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood. I’m told that the Clubs met over a month ago with 75 percent voting to change the structure, allowing Wood, who will remain RFL CEO, to take over as Chief Executive of the Rugby League International Federation, with as I said last week all the ensuing remuneration!!!
He couldn’t take on that role without relinquishing his position with the Super League Board but he is now OK as he is not affiliated with a country’s governing body. It appears as I go to print that RFL chairman Brian Barwick is to remain on the Super League Board, with the changes set to be explained in detail to Rugby League’s next club council meeting.
It was announced this week too that in a change to the norm Toronto Wolfpack will play Toulouse Olympique at next year’s Magic Weekend. The two teams will clash at St James’ Park in what will be the first ever Championship fixture to take place at the Super League event after participating clubs approved the decision to add a seventh fixture to the weekend. The Wolfpack were due to host the French side in Toronto that weekend, but have relinquished their home advantage in order for the game to be staged in Newcastle.
It means the Magic Weekend will feature seven matches for the first time since 2014, which was the last time that there were 14 clubs in Super League.
The shape of things to come? Well, some Championship teams are behind the scenes fuming about the choice of these two teams and with big announcements expected about the shape of the competition in 2019, the pundits are touting these two teams to join a new 14 team Super League in its first year. So that, with one up one down conventional relegation and promotion remaining, the door would still be open to other Championship clubs to enter the Super League. However, I’m told that at present there is still a lot of arguing going on between the clubs as to the best way forward but should this come about, I bet they are thinking of ring fencing the tenure of the Canadian and French new comers for a couple of years so that they can’t get relegated until they get themselves established. In fact it could be back to Franchises again I guess.
In addition to all that conjecture it’s not hard to argue that the inclusion of a championship fixture in the Magic event is a step in the wrong direction as far as the current structure is concerned. Could it be that to boost viewing figures in future we will have to depend on showings in the US, Canada and France and not on the quality of rugby on display from Super League itself? Magic viewing figures have certainly dropped of late!
Taking away opinion on the Championship fixture and monetary gains for the clubs involved, there is also a big argument as to whether the weekend itself hinders the actual integrity of the sport and its impact on the season overall. If you were to talk to a football fan and speak of a dedicated extra fixture, they would laugh in your face. Imagine if Liverpool finished a point behind Everton not because their greatest rivals were better over the course of home and away fixtures, but because they had a contrived ‘magic’ equivalent where Liverpool played Man City and lost and Everton played Swansea and won!
If it’s hard to balance an entertaining programme with a fair fixture list then scrap it, because from what I’m seeing on message boards and social media the manicuring of fixtures has started to annoy fans, including myself.
If we have a quick look back at 2007, then back then there was a need of an event that raised the bar and created a buzz about rugby league and especially Super League, the idea was almost revolutionary but all the same a bit of a culture shock for all us fans who live and breathe the sport. It included some of the most exciting games of the season in the space of two days. The Wigan/Saints derby, the great Hull derby, even the old Yorkshire derby between Leeds and Bradford were all in there. It was a bit alien and a bit contrived but at least it was well planned and it became a great advertisement of the game.
Now look for a moment at the proposed 2018 weekend. Comparing the fixtures, in terms of relegation and promotion, Bradford and London made way for Widnes and Castleford, meaning Castleford can take the place of Bradford and create an all Yorkshire affair. Widnes returning to the top flight meant the return of the Cheshire derby. Except, the fixtures have separated the two Cheshire sides, Warrington and Widnes. Not only has the Cheshire derby been split, to create revenue Warrington have been pitted against Wigan meaning the loss of another derby against Saints. In fact, with the Dobbins recent promotion back after a season out, our derby and the all Yorkshire tie between Huddersfield and Wakefield are the only fixtures left standing from 2007.
It doesn’t take a lot to admit the fixture list is just not as appealing as it once was, its fixed and contrived in a desperate effort to get people to attend and watch on TV which is fine but hey guys there are two valuable league points at stake here and your now just making it up as you go along! Unbelievable really isn’t it? You might think I go on about it now and that my protestations are a bit over the top, but if we finish one point off eighth this year and that’s down to us losing to Rovers at the Magic event, you won’t think that then, believe me! That’s it, I promise I won’t bring it up again but I doubt that I’ll be going!
In Codgers Corner I have labored somewhat recently on games from more recent times however this week I want to look back at one that came at a time when undoubtedly things were tough and when wins were at a premier and victories over the old enemy even harder to come by. Back in 1973 the emergence of Hull City as a force in the Second Division and other economic factors, meant that gates were low, cash was tight and Hull FC were floundering. It was in addition a season that started with us losing 8 of our first 10 games.
By the following April we had entered a little purple patch though, having recorded a fine win over Dewsbury and had a one point loss at home to Castleford and a one point win against Huddersfield away. There followed a heavy defeat at Dewsbury before we faced the old enemy at the Boulevard on Good Friday April 20th 1973. The Dobbins were up for promotion and it was to be the last time we would meet them for 18 months. I remember well that the ‘Fair Weather’ Rovers fans were there in force with a bunch of them giving us a deal of stick as we all made our way out of Crimlis’s the fish shop in Airlie Street before the game.
We had been struggling with injuries and signed Colin Cooper from Rovers to shore up our playing roster. He started on the bench that day against his old team mates. They had just signed Jim Neale from us, and featured a young Roger Millward at 6. As the teams ran out, Rovers, who were then coached by Arthur Bunting, had a real spring in their steps, whilst the FC lads had more of a dire resolute look about them.
We kicked off and Millington fielded the ball only to be met with a gang tackle by Robson, Harrison and Wardell, which set the tone for the afternoon. After just 8 minutes an obstruction by Neale led to Boxall opening the scoring with a penalty. Then after 23 minutes we saw what even we had to agree was a great try by the other lot, as Moore set off down the touchline from his own 25. He beat our full back Huxley and then raced on to just beat Clive Sullivan to the line to open the visitors account. After another penalty by Boxall reduced the areas, a crunching and suspiciously high tackle on Portz by Rover’s Windmill saw our centre carried from the field, much to the dismay of two Threepenny Standers who climbed the fence and set off towards the big Rovers prop. Luckily the linesman grabbed one of them and as the police dispatched them back over the fence; the two got a big cheer from the rest of us stood huddled on the famous old terracing.
Having made the substitution which saw Cooper enter the fray, Boxall got another penalty, but in the last 8 or so minutes before half time, Rovers surged forward and only last ditch tackles from Huxley and Davidson kept them out. Then Lowe found a gap and Kirkpatrick scored in the corner, and although Boxall reduced the areas with another penalty, there was time for Millward to refuse an easy penalty kick to tap the ball, scoot into our line and send Lowe in at the corner. As the half time whistle went we were losing 13-6 and things looked pretty bleak.
The second half started with Hull exerting all the pressure and Rovers trying some ‘fancy Dan’ stuff that thankfully wasn’t working, as slowly we started to claw our way back into the game. Wardell and Len Casey at the back of our scrum were working really hard, and after one particular tackle by the latter, Holdstock lost it completely and had to be restrained by his own team mates.
Next up popped Terry Devonshire to drop a goal (2 points back then) and as the visitors continued to back chat to referee Lawrenson, Boxall kicked another penalty. Then shortly after the restart the Rovers winger Rooms lost possession and Sullivan almost pierced the line on the left before the ball was moved right across the field for Alf Macklin to hit winger Longstaff with a great one handed ’Fend’ and dive in at the corner.
After what had gone before at 13-13 we’d all have certainly settled for a draw, but more excitement was to come. As the ball moved across the field Keith Tindall was tackled about 30 yards out. From the play the ball Kenny Foulkes flipped a pass to Colin Cooper standing deep and the ex Rovers hero became the villain, as he gently stroked the ball between the posts for a drop goal.
The Red and white fans who had been gloating all the game started to ’Sneak out’, we received two more penalties for back chatting and then as it all got too heated for Phil Lowe he tripped Davidson for Boxall to record another two points. There was no time to restart the game as Referee Lawrenson blew his whistle with the old green score board at the Gordon Street end recording a famous 17-13 victory. That score remained on the scoreboard as we left the ground and it was still there when we returned for the next home game against Barrow…………. on the 25th August the following season!!
Colin Cooper was the hero of the hour being ‘chaired’ from the pitch by our fans whilst there were few Rovers fans left in the ground to applaud their players as the whistle went!
After the Rovers game there were just two away games left for us in that campaign and they were both big losses, 52-0 at Wakey and 51-18 at Bradford. That was the last straw for our Directors and by the next season there was a change of Coach as David Doyle Davidson took over. However, it did not matter because although Bunting and the Rovers lads had got promoted, we had the bragging rights and then as now for the FC Faithful, that was all we needed to get us through the summer. Great memories!
So now in the last edition before the festivities here’s a bit of Christmas fun and one of my little stories that is full of Festive Spirit and good will.
Harry worked for the Post Office at the Central Sorting Office in Hull and his job was to process all the mail that had illegible addresses and wouldn’t go through the machines. One day just before Christmas, amidst a plethora of ‘Dear Santa’ notes a letter landed on his desk simply addressed in shaky handwriting: ‘To God’. With no other clue on the envelope, Percy opened the letter and read:
I am a 93 year old widow living on the State Pension. Yesterday on Preston Road someone stole my purse. It had £100 in it, which was all the money I had in the world and now I have no pension due until after Christmas. Next weekend is Christmas and I had invited two of my friends to my house for Christmas lunch. Without that money, I have nothing to buy food with. I have no family either and so you are my only hope. God; if you’re up there somewhere can you please help me?
…..and she enclosed her address.
‘Pop it in’ was really touched, and being kind hearted, he put the letter up on the staff notice board in the mess room and awaited a response. The letter touched the hearts of the other postmen and they all dug into their pockets and had a whip-round. Between them they raised a very commendable £95. Using a plain envelope and signing a Card ‘God’ they sent the cash on to the old lady, and for the rest of the day, all the workers rejoiced in the knowledge that they had helped make an unfortunate persons Christmas a little easier.
Christmas came and went. A few days after New Year, to great excitement at the Post Office, another letter simply addressed to ‘God’ fell out of a sack of Mail in the sorting room. Many of the postmen gathered around while Harry opened it up! It read,
How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me it’s a miracle and because of your generosity, I was able to provide a lovely luncheon for my friends. We had a very nice day, and I told my friends of your wonderful gift – in fact we haven’t got over it yet and still talk about it. Even Father John, our parish priest, is beside himself with joy. By the way, I thought I should just let you know that there was £5 missing. I think it must have been nicked by those thieving bastards at the Post Office.
Whilst I was rooting through a load of old research documents notes and scribblings and throwing them out the other day, I found a collection of poetry I’d produced several years ago but never ever contemplated bothering about simply because it wasn’t much good. William Wordsworth it is not, but here is a topical Christmas ditty I found which still managed to raise a smile, particularly because it was written looking back on parenthood.
At four a.m. on Christmas morn I presented to my son,
A Premier Junior Woodwork Kit, Edition Number One,
He tore the ribbon off with haste, the paper rent with ease,
And through my beery bloodshot eyes, I could see the lad was pleased.
Inside the box, arranged in rows, were power tools for boys,
“Awesome” said the little chap “I’m through with childish toys”.
He first removed Grans Wheelchair wheels, to show he’d got the knack,
By lunchtime, though I’d toiled and strained, I couldn’t get them back.
By this time junior, not content, had drilled right through the wall
“That makes,” he said “a better way to see into the hall”
With clockwork hacksaw he commenced, to butcher this and that,
I barely just removed in time the gerbil and the cat.
He produced the battery chainsaw, as I crept from the room,
With feelings of unseasonal dread and gross impending doom.
With eye pressed to the keyhole, I was soon amazed to see,
With a piercing shout of “Timber” he had felled the Christmas tree.
I decided then “Enough’s enough” I’d have to deal with him,
But by then he’d sawed the doorknob off, and I couldn’t get back in!
So next year Dads, mark well this tale and just forget the rest,
For however un-educational, computer games are best!
Well as its Christmas time I guess I’m allowed a bit of navel gazing as I haven’t opened up my personal feelings for around three years in here, but it’s Christmas and perhaps this is the time of year for a few home truths from yours truly. You know the festive season is great for spending time with family and friends and indeed reflecting a bit on what’s been happening as we’ve all somehow got through to another Christmas. As I produce the last Diary of 2017 (which has been another amazing year to be an FC fan) I have to admit that I have through this weekly journal gained so many friends and developed what at times almost feels like a family of kindred spirits when times are good and a ‘Band of Brothers’, when they ain’t!
But Christmas is also a time for reminiscing and remembering, for recounting and assessing what you’ve done and how it went and for hello’s and indeed goodbyes!
The Diary started twelve years ago almost to the day, its always been fun but this last 6 years, since the first book was published, it’s just been an amazing ride for me and I have made so many new friends (many on line, who I wouldn’t recognise if I bumped into them, but who have just the same become real soul mates). The books have been a great adventure because I sort of half expected that only a few of you would wish to buy the first one and that I would be pilloried for even having the audacity to try and write about something so sacred and special to so many people. Yet, with 1500 sold it seemed to work. If that first book went well then the response to the second Roamin’ adventure simply amazed me too.
When you’re a ‘celebrity’ or an International sportsman, or even a famous politician, you probably feel justified in relating your life and revealing for everyone who wants to pitch up with £12-50 the journey you have been on, because you feel important enough to do it, (or perhaps sufficiently ‘up yourself’ in the first place) However, when you’re an ordinary guy who has been lucky enough to have a job that was a bit interesting at times and who has been so fortunate and blessed to have supported an amazing team like Hull FC for 57 years, writing your life down for others to dissect and ruminate over, is a scary old proposition. People grumble, of course they do, but why shouldn’t they, your toying with their precious memories and recollections. As a writer you have to surround your chair with a magic circle, you just write down what you feel and remember and what you’ve been told, whilst being totally immune to what goes on outside it.
But, if you have the audacity to release it, when the book finally bursts out of that bubble, then you simply have to take it on the chin and be totally ambivalent to the comments you get, because you simply can’t worry about it at all. If you don’t want the criticism you don’t do it! In fact, asking a writer if he worries about critics is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs; your there to be shot at and your everyone’s easy target.
The first two book have now officially sold out, but I hold a few at home and folks keep turning up (usually around 10pm at night) asking for a copy. I always got so frustrated when the current fans of the Club can’t get their hands on those great titles like Mike Ullyott and Bill Dalton’s ‘Old Faithful’ and Raymond Fletchers ‘Boulevard Voices’ because they are out of print. My first copy of ‘Old Faithful’ became unravelled at the spine and I had to scour the country before I finally got one on line from a second hand book shop in Torquay, at a greatly inflated cost. Now I’m in the same boat really as my first two books are sadly no longer on general sale. If anyone wants one I can sort them out at present, but that won’t last forever, which I suppose a shame. The new one is still in it’s infancy, but has sold over 500 copies and has already raised over £2700 for Danny.
You know, I think after selling over 3000 of the first two and still not making any sort of real profit the one thing I think they have going for them is that from page one FC fans seem to ‘Get it!’ and that’s all so gratifying and indeed all that really matters for me. It’s not about making a fortune but more about reliving our dreams, memories and heritage. As for the others outside the ‘family’ who ain’t FC fans, well I hope they find something in them to enjoy, but in the end these books are personal adventures, personally written for fans, by a fan about fans! You get a lot of comments and a deal of complaints but the fact that the Wembley chapter in the latest book made quite a few people cry is, just the same, very humbling, especially for a guy who couldn’t write a shopping list before he wrote the first Diary!
Make no mistake about it either when you actually finish writing it down and first read it back, it scares you to bloody death. In the early days I sold a few books, just about got my money back on the first two and then I felt I’d done my bit and, having recorded 55 years of my life and that of my beloved RL team, for me at that point, that’s was it.
But then there was 2016!
I had to come out of ‘retirement’ because it was such a life defining season and I just had to write it down whilst it was fresh in my head and the ‘glow’ was still there. It was a season that in the end changed mine and so many other people’s lives forever, and that will I think always be remembered in the hearts and minds of those who witnessed it. Winning again in 2017 was amazing, of course it was! However, as the years go by I’m convinced that 2016 will burn bright in the memory and as the decades moves on it will be talked about in the same breath as Maine Road in ‘56, Elland Road in ‘82, Old Trafford in ‘91 and Cardiff 2005, if it doesn’t supersede all of them! It will be the year that everyone remembers as an epiphany for so many and a game changer for Hull FC as a Club.
You see, I wanted there to be something on the book shelf that people could take down when times were hard with family, friends or indeed with their team so that they could escape and feel the joy, the excitement, the fulfilment and that ‘glow’ that emitted from that glorious victory. In addition, I wanted to leave it on that grimy old shelf in the Charity Shop, the shed, or the loft where one day in the future someone would take it down, blow the dust off it and read what it was all about and ‘get it’ all over again like we all did. Self-publishing costs a bloody fortune, (simply because no one else will), but it’s so rewarding as well.
When I recently did a book signing at the Club shops dozens and dozens turned up. However, having their books signed was secondary for most because some had already read it and they just wanted to talk about the adventures I had related and embellish them with their own stories and memories. The latest book was seen by many as simply an ‘Aide Memoire’ for future reference when they wanted to relive the feeling and to ensure that they never ever forgot it. What all these folks made me realise was that I have obviously missed so much out!
So thanks everyone for all your support of this Diary and indeed the three books and I guess all that is left this week is to wish you all a Happy Christmas and come the New Year, if I’m spared, the Diary will be back to continue on into the unknown of another season.
Finally, here’s a thought to ponder, wouldn’t it be great to be publishing another book next Christmas entitled, “Three of the Best; the Wembley Wonders”, I don’t think I will be doing that do you? But stranger things have happened and I’d sit up every night for a few months to deliver that one, believe me!!!
In the end as for the future, well all we can do is hope and dream and as loyal, fanatical and often deluded fans, that hope and our memories, are often all we have to cling to! However, we should be grateful that we have been blessed to be members of that great family that is the FC Army, we have been there, we’ve seen it, we’ve despaired, rejoiced, been disenchanted and at times been downright disillusioned and yet we’ve been to Wembley and won there twice, in two years and how bloody good is that!!
We are Hull FC, we are the generation that saw it and boy aren’t we lucky, 2016 was amazing, 2017 was pretty darn good too, so now let’s all go and have a blooming great Christmas and lets just see what 2018 brings. One things for sure win or lose we’ll live it all, but perhaps we’ll never quite let it bother us as much as it did before 2016. It’s a funny old life isn’t it?
Thanks for all the cards, good wishes, texts, and E Mails, all being well the Diary will be back on or around 9th January!
Oh and I’m with this guy!