The Dentists Diary – 399th

Thank goodness for that!!!

‘Every picture tells a story don’t it’

“These sides down at the bottom are fighting for their lives and they’re fighting for their livelihoods too. You can see that in their performances and I think maybe that’s the approach we need”, said Gareth Ellis who on the day led from the front, and knocked himself out trying to get us over the line, however in the end he saw a double image of his team come out of the hole that is 4 straight defeats with a well earned and much need win. There is little doubt we need to fight like that for a couple more weeks but for me 16 points will get us out of the late season bottom two scramble and after that we can I hope, all start looking upwards instead of downwards again.

Make no mistake about it, Adam Pearson and all the folks at the Club knew just how important it was to get a result and that thankfully is just what we got! They are a poor team, as poor as I’ve seen in Super League, something that is certainly borne out by the fact that as they crashed to their 15th defeat of the campaign the Bronco’s equalled the worst start ever to a Super League season by any club. But, by heck we needed those points, we had to win and although at the start of both halves it was undoubtedly hard to watch, in the end we got through and we got them. In our current plight everything else is academic.

For a couple of weeks now we can all sleep more soundly and we just have now to fiddle a couple more wins, including hopefully one in the Derby, to survive so that we are guaranteed a part in the fiasco that will be the Super League next season; financially for our owner and indeed our very survival as a Club, I honestly believe that is an absolute imperative!!!

However sleep seemed to play a big part in the week gone by! The players were sent to bed early on Friday night to get plenty, I got little at all, I had a chat with Adam Pearson on Thursday and it seemed that ‘uneasy laid the head that wears the crown’ while after the game Lee Radford said he was looking forward to his first full night of shut eye for some time!!

Joe Grima the Bronco’s coach said before the game, “I am a practicing Christian and miracles do happen and let’s be honest, we need a miracle!!”Thankfully for us that miracle didn’t quite manifest itself, but I have to admit myself to looking to the heavens a time or two this past week, as I wondered about the possibility of some divine intervention coming our way down in Barnet at the Hive. We spluttered and stuttered and looked a bit like rabbits in the headlights in the first ten minutes of both halves, but otherwise although never playing anything like well, we got over the line, got the points and that’ll do for me…..for now!

It was always going to be a tough afternoon, nerves and anxiety ensured that, and it was always going to be a question of, like the proverbial headless chickens, do we go hell for leather after the worst team in the competition from the off, or do we focus, wait our chance and then go for it. Well whatever we decided on, and I’m still not quite sure, in the end we did enough to get through, we held the line when we went behind and in the end the record shows a thumping win. In the cold light of a Monday morning 50 points looks a massive total, but that just hides a ton of ongoing issues, however we got those two valuable points and that’ll do for me.

All the talk that they were heading for a win ‘sooner rather than later’ got to me a bit during the last week if I’m honest, I’ve been irritable at home and snappy with my mates but that’s just how it gets me I guess! I take things much too seriously. However in the end assisted by a sending off we got our biggest point’s haul of the season and in fact only one Club (Castleford) have scored more against the Londoners at their latest rather basic home this season.

Fetuli Talanoa
A great take and a touchdown, as Talanoa finishes the afternoon off!

The game started as many had predicted with the home side all energy and hope and that was the case too at the beginning of the second half when predictably we took our foot off the pedal. However after they had scored the first try of the game at last Lady Luck shone on us, as Bishay dropped a pass right in front of his own sticks, Ellis reacted first and we quickly drew level.

As the half wore on the Bronco’s seemed to run out of steam just as they have when I’ve seen them on TV, something that this week wasn’t helped either by that sending off following a high shot that was right out of ‘The Jason Crookes book of tackling technique’ and the dismissal was undoubtedly justified in the end!

You can’t run without your head! Someone said in the media the sending off followed a pretty innocuous tackle??????

We had our adversity too though, with new boy Sa dropping out beforehand, Gareth Ellis, who had a massive first half, suffering from double vision and mild concussion and Westerman’s wrist going again. They were by and large our best two players and have been for some weeks now, but the two half backs that had been scratchy at best up until the 60 minute finally started to fire and after a rare half break by Watts, a Houghton try started a final 30 minutes which saw us home, and ensured in the end that a win was never really in doubt! At last our confidence was back and that’s something we can take into the next two weeks of training and indeed the game at Widnes. However I have to say that throughout I thought our field kicking was again pretty woeful, our option taking poor at times and our defence allowed them far too much space to move down the middle, but we scrapped as if our lives depended on it, kicked our goals and scored some good tries; that’s all we could ask for really.

Well done Callum…….That’s a relief!

The match was never going to be a classic one but it was at least a great day for young Callum Lancaster who we have all wondered at when we watched him play at Bishop Burton, and who a just 17 but who also already now looks to have a great future. Yeamo looked after him well and provided him with a couple of good passes and his tries were very well taken. It’s rare indeed to see one so young thrown into the maelstrom that is Super League rugby but he has done well and filled the breach admirably. I fact so well has he proved to have developed, that the Club have sent Jason Crookes off to Featherstone for the rest of the season, so there is a lot of faith in young Callum. He also of course possesses one thing that we have lacked of late and that is pace and in the end on Saturday he was desperately unlucky not to score a hat trick.

Going in, try number two on a great afternoon for Callum Lancaster!

Of course there was still a lot wrong and despite our lads getting a bit of a half time roasting about keeping up the momentum, London responded better than we did after the break and we went to sleep before that Houghton try snapped us back from the dawning reality and concern of us just being 10 points in front. The option taking of our halves was poor as was their short kicking game in those periods, but who cares as I said earlier, beforehand I’d have taken 50 points any day of the week. Particularly if Rovers lose by a similar margin next day!`

Craig Murdoch said on Radio Humberside on Friday that he felt there were points for and against us allowing London to play young Cunningham in the game, something that I honestly found totally bemusing. He was one of their best players at Caravan Park last week and in our position you do everything you have to, in your quest to survive. Make no mistake about it should Bradford get points back this week I would recall both Pitts and Arundel, at least until our position is made clearer, Arundel isn’t doing much, but from what I could see Jay was the Bulls best player last week in France.

That result for me, with 12 games to go, must see the Bronco’s down and we’ll now have to await what the tribunal has to say about the Bulls this week, but on Saturday we had to win and we did and for a change I’m a deal more heartened this Monday morning, compared with how I have been in the last few Diary’s and no mistake!

Talk about you don’t know what you’re doing, Exiled FC fan and top bloke Richard Kirk grabbed this photo of a couple of disorientated souls in fancy dress sat in the away end at the Hive on Saturday!

So what’s been happening at the Club this week, well a few Diary’s ago I told you that our owner and Coach had decided that they wanted to change our policy on signings in the future and so it came to pass on Wednesday when the Hull Daily Mail announced that Hull are already known to have adopted a different approach to signings. It stated that Lee Radford was eager to maximise the salary cap in quality rather than quantity, with a smaller squad at his disposal but one that boasts more experience. The article went on to say, as I also told you a few weeks ago, that a new experienced half-back is likely to arrive, while ex nemesis Michael Dobson and New Zealand Warriors’ Thomas Leuluai were amongst those believed to have been approached. Gwilym Lloyd asked Radford about Dobson on Friday in his Press day interview before the London Game, but Lee was suitably none committal, but as usual they are way behind the game and it’s nailed on now that Dobbo looks likely to be heading to Salford, but he’s just one of three halves that we have offers in for and I’m told one could be close.

But, having read the message boards all week the question has to be asked will Lee Radford actually be here next season? Well that’s one for the future and only time and results will tell us, but I still feel that although he might not have been the best choice, (as I said in here at the time), it would be foolish to get rid in the middle of a season in which we simply have to survive. Whether I’m right or wrong on that one, again, only time will tell!

I was talking to Richard Whiting last Thursday afternoon and he told me that he’s back in full training and even looking likely to be having a run out next weekend for Donny! While in the Whiffs department The latest information I am getting from Lancashire and the Rovers camp is that Wigan have made a massive offer to Rovers hooker Josh Hodgson, who they see as a foil for Mcllorum.

Last week I told you of Adam Pearson displeasure at the Jason Crookes sending off at The Magic Weekend and so it was no surprise that the wayward winger that has had more chances than you’ll find in a box of Monopoly, has been shipped out to Featherstone. Joining him however is Chris Green which is a bit of a surprise because he was reported to have had his best game to date for Donny on Duel registration last week. He had a good game for Fev against Batley yesterday and it didn’t take Andy Hay long to come sniffing did it? However as much as it’s about getting a dodgy player out and giving another game time, it’s also I believe, about freeing up some cap space. Crookes is on quite a hefty fee and while Greens’ loan is for a month, Crookes is loaned out for the season, although he can be recalled if we want anyone’s head taking off!! It’s never dull in and around the FC squad these days is it?

Well I never believed it would happen but for the first time in what I would loosely say is ‘living memory’ the Club didn’t run a Coach to London for the game on Saturday. What a damning indictment that surely is, not just of where we have sunk to as a Club, but also where the game is at present! When we can’t find 50 people who want to travel to the capital for what used to be a guaranteed trip for up to 1500 FC, fans, it’s a sorry state of affairs indeed. Other established ‘independent Bus Trips’ like the one run by Tony Roberts that has started from The Bass House, The Duke of Cumberland in Cottingham and latterly the Buccaneer in Brough for well over 30 years and never missed an away game, are desperately scrambling around to fill seats. In fact rather like Wolfie’s famous ‘Fun Bus’ that fell by the wayside some time back, I heard that this week’s was the last ever trip that Tony would run!! That really does mark the end of an era for anyone who travels away on a regular basis. While in modes of other transport, the days of special trains and even discounted rail tickets to away games, have long gone; there’s simply no money in it for the rail companies.

It’s not just us lot that ain’t travelling either! This season on the back of the City of Culture announcement, our Club has valiantly tried to tie visiting fans from other Clubs into week-end breaks in the region, but there were few takers and in the end it was a massive disappointment. When we should be rallying round the Clubs we love and the game of Rugby League in general all the fans of the game across the Country seem to do is run it down at every opportunity and with the way that things are run and the state of the game in general, who can blame them; like you and I they all care about Rugby League and despair at its current demise. Locally however interest is dramatically dropping off and we should, I believe, be worried. Ok I have to admit that RL in Hull is suffering from the ‘Premier League effect’ radiating from Hull City, but nationally the game has been on the slide for a couple of years at least.

Bring back relegation and promotion was the cry but is that having the desired effect? There is no sign of it reflecting in gates thus far and I do wonder if the games inability to manage the Licensing system properly and the RL’s perceived allowance of some Clubs to in effect do as they like inside and outside the rules, was the pebble that bounced down the hill of Super League, to start the landslide! That has been impacted on by the constant tinkering around with the structure of the game, the quality of refereeing, the baffling ‘sentences’ handed out by the disciplinary committee, the systematic devaluing of the Challenge Cup, the drain of our best ‘Box office’ players to Australia etc. etc. Teams like Featherstone, Halifax and Leigh are rubbing their hands at the prospect of Super League under the ‘bright new dawn’ initiatives of next season, but they should, I believe, be careful what they wish for, because life in the top echelons of the game isn’t all sweetness and light these days!

We’re pretty crap as a team at the moment, but we shouldn’t be too surprised by the amount of people who didn’t make the trip to London should we, I mean to say how many do other Clubs even manage to bring to the KC these days? Close to home people are losing interest hand over fist, just look at our attendances, but our plight, exaggerated as it is by our poor form, is none the less only a symptom of a much bigger disease, as nationally the game is on its arse. Clubs like Warrington and even Wigan are seeing this year’s aggregate attendances well down on their accepted levels. In fact, so parlous is the state of attendances that all the Clubs on their Club sites are including an extra 36,000, (for their appearance at the Magic event), in their average aggregate attendance figures this season, and when you strip that away all of a sudden we are at the very least in a real hole.

Look at Rovers they’re doing OK, but even with a reasonable squad, 2 Derby wins already, bragging rights and the ‘messiah stand’ they still can’t muster many more than 7000 for a game at Caravan Park, while Widnes struggle to get that many (just 4,755 against the Catalan Dragons on Friday night). Even the bubble that was Castleford has imploded, with only just over 5000 at their last but one home game against Widnes and the men from the West Riding are real high fliers at present! Around 3,500 at Wakey, 5000 at Bradford and Salford, less than 1000 at some London games, it’s all a disastrous picture and the way that the RL continue to ‘prat about’ is just driving the greatest game in the world into the ground. There are probably now only 3 teams that can get regular gates of over 10,000 and the worry has to be that if any of us other clubs that are struggle to attract an audience do come good and I mean really good, it’s debatable whether they will get the gates back and if we do will we sustain them (as I say just look at Castleford). The general opinion of most of those in the know, in the media and in the game itself, is that the RL are oblivious to the issues and the crisis, and in effect just ‘fiddling while Rome burns’!

As I touched on the quality of our current Super League refereeing in the above appraisal of the state of our games attendances, I watched the State of Origin Clash last week and what a difference I saw! The fact is that in the spirit of letting the game flow, they let the proceedings move on by overlook little niggles around the play the ball and keep out of the way while always being definitely in charge. I couldn’t put it any better than my mate Martin who said of Aussie referees the other day, “Aussie referees seem to see themselves as facilitators to entertainment, SL referees think of themselves as #THEBIGSHOW”

It was great to see young Lancaster keeping his place in London but what is it with Wingers and trendy Haircut?

Well it seems that the owner of Hull City and the SMC is once again finding it hard to keep himself out of the lime light, as just as he should be basking in the reflective glory of an FA Cup final appearance and more importantly, it would seem to him, being ‘in there with the royalty’ it appears that once again his battles with the City Council have come to the fore. This time they centre on a Hull Daily Mail story about how he refused to invite the first citizen of the City and Admiral of the Humber, the Lord Mayor of Hull, to the game. From being a child I remember watching the FA and Challenge Cup finals and always seeing those ‘gadgers’ with the Chains standing there in the Royal Box as the trophies were handed out, it was it seemed part of the tradition.

However some ‘well wisher’ in the political ranks of the Authority has it seems leaked an E Mail from Hull City secretary Matt Wild to the local paper, which reads, “It would, ordinarily, be standard protocol to invite the Lord Mayor to the FA Cup for what will be our first time at this stage in the competition in the club’s history. However, as you will be aware, this is not as clear cut as that and therefore, with our chairman having severed his links with Hull City Council back in September 2011, I feel it would not be appropriate to invite the Lord Mayor and her Lady Mayoress to this match. I trust you will appreciate my position.” Talk about occupational suicide, you couldn’t make it up could you?

Many local newspapers would have seen this as a massive opportunity to ‘out’ the Allams and their actions towards the local authority and the feud that continues to fester between the two parties, but alas the Mail has just doesn’t do that do they? They did the minimum they had to and left it at that, while Radio Humberside didn’t even mention it. However for all of us lot outside the goldfish bowl looking in, and following the declining of a city wide celebration after the final, it’s yet another indication, I think, of how petty the whole situation is. However if the owners of Hull City think that their action has done anything to endear themselves to the City Council they should think again, or at least speak to a few of the Councillors I’ve bumped into since the news broke. However for the ordinary man in the street the issues and the way it was handled in that E Mail say a lot for the petty and childish ways these things are handled at a time when everyone should be rejoicing in the success of Hull City. It will be a long time before a City Council administration, that is in fact getting stronger not weaker in the polls, will forget this one, but that as they say is a real ‘every cloud’ moment which can only be a good thing if you’re an FC supporter!

Looking forward to the Boxing at Wembley after Saturday’s game.

Funerals are always sad affairs and it would be wrong to ever say that by any stretch of the imagination they could be anything but tragic. However occasionally you do go to one that is sad and heartbreaking but which can also be hailed as an amazing occasion. So it was last Thursday as a packed Hull Crematorium said their final farewells to Steve Smith, the character, massive FC fan and thoroughly good bloke who as I mentioned in here last week is pretty irreplaceable. I can’t ever remember seeing so many Hull shirts old and new in that Chapel at one time, as we all paid a final tribute to the guy who was so black and white he even taught his parrot to sing, ‘We all hate Leeds!’.

The Club chaplain Trevor Coxon took the proceedings brilliantly and the club was well represented too with both Rich Whiting and Kirk Yeaman attending from the playing side, while from the management there was Adam Pearson, Tony Sutton, James Clarke and Sarah McAllister. It’s great to see the owner involving himself in such things and it was a turn out that would have made Steve proud and undoubtedly a sad but fitting tribute to a massive fan and a good bloke. RIP Steve Smith!

Is relegation looming, well who knows, but should it come to that, then in this week’s Codgers Corner it’s a case of never forget!!! Back then to the late 90’s, when it was the second year of the David Lloyd era which could in fact have seen our Club disappear altogether, it was a disastrous season when up to the last game against Sheffield we had won just 4 games. Lloyd offered the players a £1000 per man bonus if they won that game after he had earlier that year slashed their wages in another ill conceived effort to boost their performance and save money.

All the week leading up to the game I had been tense and listless, unable to concentrate on work with my head full of thought about that last, desperate, hit up which would decide not just whether we remained in Super League, but what was of even more concern, whether we would still have a Club to support by Monday morning. If David (the Fat Lady) Lloyd had not exactly started to sing he was certainly clearing his throat. The thought that perhaps the very existence of Hull FC depending on just 80 minutes of rugby haunting my waking hours, as did the Hull KR fans in the Guildhall, who came looking for me at work verbally ‘rubbing their hands in anticipation’ of our demise.

In fact that week I probably dreamed about it too because that’s just the way I am at times like that. I knew from my contacts in the Council that Lloyd had said in several meetings that if we didn’t stay up, then he would walk away and as I couldn’t reveal this knowledge to anyone, having to bottle it up made it even more difficult to cope with. Things weren’t helped by the fact that the actual drama was left to the ‘bitter end’ with the game being stage on Sunday night so as to run concurrently with a critical game over at the McAlpine Stadium. There, the other basement club Huddersfield who had one win more than us but an inferior points difference, only had to win or draw to survive, whatever happened at the Boulevard. So the equation was quite simple really; we had to win and Huddersfield had to lose.

It was in these most frenetic of circumstances, that I had to partake of a pint or three of ‘Dutch Courage’ in the Eagle, before the game. In the pub that Sunday tea time I remember that the crowd felt like a family, gathered to have a quick beer before they went off to the funeral of an old friend. Few could be found that offered any sort of odds on Hull winning, with even fewer backed a Huddersfield defeat to Castleford. We had lost so many games and had our fill of David Lloyds threats, mood swings and posturing so that by then, we were all numb and totally convinced that we would never ever see any sort of ‘good luck’ ever again.

Everyone felt that we were doomed, but as at any funereal gathering we were determined to do our bit to honour the occasion and if it were to be the last rights then we would give our ‘loved one’ a good send off, full of passion, pride and fighting spirit. The FC Army were not to be found wanting that night. As we took up our place on our lucky step at the Airlie Street end of the ground, it was just like the ‘Glory Days’ again and I couldn’t remember the last time I had experienced an atmosphere like it. Garry watched the game with a radio, tuned to Radio 5, pressed to his ear from which he would provide a constant running commentary of what was going on over in West Yorkshire. What a cauldron of emotion the 5, 437 crowd created that night. If it hadn’t have been in such dire circumstances, l would have loved it, but although I chanted and sang (and even booed as Sheffield came out), I knew that like me no one was smiling and that we’d all experienced a torrid week and an endless Sunday which had led up to a final 80 minutes of destiny deciding rugby. It was, after all those years of fanatical support, my Clubs ‘High noon’ and we just had to win.

Sheffield had already beaten us twice that year and as they kicked off I felt physically sick. In the first set of six twice Michael Smith crashed into, first Steve Molloy and then Simon Baldwin, leaving both the Eagles players laid out on the turf. Then after just two minutes Rob Nolan, playing his last game for Hull FC at stand-off, took the ball, dummied to the left and released Lester. The diminutive number 7 brilliantly zipped inside and then back out again, evaded the grasping arms of Mark Aston, and flew in to score. The ground rocked as Garry reported “Still 0-0” and we watched as Steve Prescott converted from a narrow angle. At 6-0 a nervously subdued chorus of ‘Old Faithful’ radiated across the terraces. A couple of sets later Mick Slicker dropped what looked like an easy pass and as we regained possession from the scrum we saw a really memorable moment of action.

Paul King our young hooker who was tackling everything and timing some great passes from acting half back, got the ball in the line and released rangy prop Ian Pickavance (who we had just brought in to bolster our forwards). Ian, who was a big guy, roared onto the ball, before carving out a gap in the defence and going off on a 30 yard run to the line. His progress went into ‘slow motion’ as the chasers gained on him but in the end he just got there for a wonderful touch-down. Shortly afterwards, before Sheffield could get the ball back, Logan Campbell had scorched down the wing in front of the New Threepenny Stand to be stopped by a high tackle from the Sheffield full back Dave Watson. Stuart Cummings the referee immediately gave a penalty, which Steve Prescott dispatched between the posts to further increase our lead. We cheered every pass and tackle until Garry said, “4-0 to the Shudds”, my heart sank and as the news transmitted itself across the crowd like an unwanted infection, worried and fretting faces were everywhere.

Sheffield could not get their hands on the ball at all, but after Molyneux and Gareth Stevens had combined well to move play into the Hull 20, ‘Kingy’ wrestled the ball from Johnny Lawless in the tackle and play went back up the field through a flowing move featuring David Baildon, Craig Poucher and Paul Parker. We set up a good position near the Sheffield line and after Hull were awarded another set of six tackles after a Sheffield player had got a hand to the ball in a tackle, Lester mesmerised the visitors defence again and Karl Harrison crashed in for a rare touchdown next to the posts. Prescott’s conversion made the score 18-0 just as Garry announced, “8-4 to Cas.” which brought a resounding cheer from everyone.

Sheffield tried to play some rugby but the effort that they had put into stopping the rampaging Hull forwards meant they had little energy left and on 23 minutes Rob Roberts drove them back again with a brilliant 40-20. Straight from the restart Lester fed Campbell, he drew three tacklers before slipping the ball to Prescott who passed to Paul Parker to score wide out. Sheffield brought a young Chris Thorman on to replace hooker Chris Moleneux and just before half time Mick Slicker came on for Michael Jackson who was ‘Blood binned’ with a horrendous cut across his forehead sustained in a Paul King tackle. A try by the Eagles Jeff Hardy after a great breakout by Matt Crowther proved a brief hiccup, but as Garry announced that Castleford were 20-4 up at the McAlpine, Lester and Nolan inter-passed down the middle for Campbell to brilliantly finish off and as we led 30-4, the party started.

We simply could not believe what we were seeing and as Vince Groak the Editor of the Hull FC Fanzine commented at the time, “It was almost worth all the heartache and previous defeats to experience that feeling” Of course this was Hull FC and there were a few worries still to come because it was always going to be hard to maintain that sort of pressure. We were certainly not helped by Referee Cummings who awarded a string of ‘unfathomable’ penalties to Sheffield in the second half which saw tries come in from Bright Sodje and Chris Thorman, but our lads, on this occasion at least, were not prepared to crumble.

Firstly Sodje tripped substitute Steve Barrow and Prescott stroked over the penalty (something that prompted the first real ‘relaxed’ comment of the night from Steve, who said “That wasn’t very Bright Sodje”) and then ‘Two Bobs’ Rob Roberts dropped a goal and we were home. As the final score from Hudderfield was announced just before the game finished (32-10 to Cas) the whole place erupted and although we all knew it should never have come to this, that final hooter saw old men, women and even a couple of stewards climbing over the perimeter fence and racing onto the field to celebrate with the players.

It was a fine moment and there were fine words afterwards, from all concerned, including David Lloyd. He said he didn’t mind paying the £1000 bonus at all, something that prompted Karl Harrison to comment “You bet he doesn’t”, and that the win would see us ‘never in this position again’. Little did we know what he was to try and do to ensure that was the case, or that our ‘Evil Uncle’ was in fact just happy that the win gave him a more saleable commodity to tout around the Rugby League world. But that night who cared? We all stood on the field till the stewards asked us to leave and then all went back to the pub and got wrecked!!!!

Now sadly just a quick mention of another lifelong fan who passed away last weekend from a heart attack. John How was 70 and had followed the Club through thick and thin, as once again another Old Faithful passes onto pastures new. RIP John How!

I heard this week from a loyal reader Alan who usually gets what I’m trying to say and like me has grave reservation as to where the Rugby League are taking us all, he said, “With every barmy decision or indecision the RFL make they put another nail in their own coffin, they can only blather on about a successful World Cup, and try to convince people all is well for so long but we all know different, 2015 will be a disaster for the game but it will also be a watershed, pass sales will plummet at the teams in the lower half of the table; what sensible fan will risk buying a pass when your last seven games could be against Dewsbury or other championship opposition. I am seriously considering not buying a pass myself”. I rarely include full quotes from fans because quite frankly, I get so many every week and the Diary would contain nothing but them, but thanks Alan that says it all really and I wonder just how many people reading this will agree with you….most I would expect!

Inside Wembley at the Froch v Groves fight!

Well that’s it we got the points I still can’t really see any nailed on wins in the rest of our fixture list, but for now who cares, we are up and running again. Interestingly enough the fact that next week there is no game happens to coincide with the 400th edition of this drivel which is for me at least a massive milestone. I can’t believe that over the past 9 years I have written 6000 or so words about my life-long passion and ‘special’ Club Hull FC week in week out. It’s no secret that I had considered chucking it all in at 400 but that’s pretty unlikely now, although as I have produced 98 Diaries on consecutive weeks I could well have couple of weeks off in the near future just to re-charge my batteries, but more of that next week. Thanks so much for all your correspondence this week, to Rich and Stu for the pictures, Bill, Graham Watts and Stan Pinner for the advice and understanding, Cas for giving me such a good laugh yesterday afternoon and to everyone who travelled to Barnet and also of course to everyone at the Club for getting those two points! No game next week at least means no defeat, but as always thanks so much for sticking with the Diary and for all your great support.

As reader Dave Cooper said in an E mail to me last night “What a relief, at least we can eat our teas”

Faithfully Yours


They might be short of fans and even points but they’re never short of Mascots. The Kirk lads pose with a pair of Dobbins at Barnet!