The Dentists Diary – 402nd

Welcome back to the looney bin, as the Diary returns after its summer holiday!

I have to say first and foremost that despite a loss on Friday it was for me an OK experience, I say that simply because it was great to be amongst friends back home at the KC, with the lads playing on a Friday night in front of a big gate. However all that said, it was the same old, same old again wasn’t it really? We witnessed a performance that lacked the necessary nous or organisation to get us home and we sustained two injuries to critical players at critical times which helped make it another wet depressing evening, in what is turning out to be a pretty depressing season.

I was really looking forward to watching a game at the KC and despite the atrocious condition of the pitch and the ‘usual’ weather it was good to be back amongst my pals. However when I left you with my last diary after a great and heartening win at Widnes I had a bit of hope, but now, although we tried hard and showed lots of spirit, once again we didn’t have the guile and inventiveness to open up the ‘wankies’ resolute defence. They soaked up any pressure we exerted and waited their chance to pounce. Looking at the remaining fixtures the top eight is all but gone for me now, and with the bottom two still a way off, it’s probably now a case of us flat lining towards the end of another bitterly disappointing campaign. ‘Relegation will bring the crowds flooding back’, I don’t thinks so do you?

Don’t get me wrong it’s great to be back writing the Diary and after a couple of weeks off I guess it’s a good time for me, (an ordinary fan who loves his Club whatever they do), to assess my own state of mind. How do I feel at present? Well, I guess I’m a bit ‘none plussed’, a bit resigned to things and certainly a bit deflated. Since the last Diary I’ve passed 64 so I’m another year older, the Club still appears to be stagnating, our new acquisitions again offer ‘jam tomorrow’ and I’m having to accept another season of broken promises.

We have made a couple of good signings but this time around with 8 games to go, it looks like we might not even have the prospect of a play-off game to look forward to. That is of course something that could well, on past experiences, be a blessing in disguise. But, it’s been a bloody hard year and one, no doubt that you’ll all be sub-consciously writing off already too. However, off the field, the news and surprises continue and one thing’s for sure it’s certainly never dull at Hull (or at Rovers) is it????

The Hull and Proud stuff of last week went well and at least we saw a great turn out for the game on Friday, however it struck me that despite all the youngsters that attended and the friends for a fiver mob, when you look around we still have an ageing fan based stuffed with long suffering heroes who’ll attend whatever. I have to say that after hearing the news that the authorities at Wimbledon have banned vacuum flasks because they could be bombs, looking at the regulars around me in the East Stand at half time on Friday it was like being in the middle of a terrorist enclave!!! We stride into the KC full of optimism and hope for the game and two hours later trudge out full of depression and despair at ‘What might have been’. At least the flask brigade were back; doing what we do best, drinking their coffee and grumbling!!

We are still making errors, still lacking ideas and still short in the flair department. Add to that losing a half back early on and the other in the second half and it was always going to be all huff and puff and little bite. Those two injuries mean that you immediately lose the ability to rotate the hookers and so good opposition will just wait and wait for a sign of fatigue or a mistake and then pounce. Warrington are a top 4 team who have won 8 on the bounce and they did just that! However there were a few plusses and the usual unfortunate refereeing decisions, as well as the weather, to consider too.

Lancaster is certainly proving to be a real plus and at just 17 he is already lightening fast and a real predatory scorer. His pace for that second try and the way he launched himself to the line was certainly heartening and indeed exciting to watch. Abdul too showed a lot of real promise and his excellent presence of mind on a free play that led to Lancaster’s first try was great to see. I think myself that we went toe to toe with a very good team, you can’t fault the effort, but again dumb rugby (optimised by Danny Houghton in wet conditions, running down the blind side before being pushed into touch) and gifting them field position by the usual penalties, made for the same old story didn’t it?

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Bereft of half backs as it is, Horney’s injury was a massive blow!

Even the referee was ‘true to form and although I shy away from criticising them much in here, it was on Friday a classic example as to how the officials’ ineptitude can lose you a game. I honestly believe that we could actually have won, had it not been for three Thaler instigated incidents. On the stroke of half time he blows for a penalty when Westwood had moved at least 4 paces off the mark to play the ball; a try ensued. Then he stood with his back to the play as Shaul was dragged around in front of our posts only turning to see our players taking the law into their own hands, before the worst one when Monaghan was about three yards off side when the chip that led to the killer try was deposited over our defensive line.

The latter incident just highlight the inequality there is between games that are televised and those that are not. A review of that chip would have clearly shown the player off side and the try would have been disallowed. I’m becoming a firm believer in the school of thought that you either have video referees for every game or not at all! I may have got those wrong and I certainly haven’t had the benefit of pouring over replays to qualify my remarks, but that’s how I and many more sat around me saw it.

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Lightening fast; Get him signed on an extended contract!!

Ok we were naive at times but, I have to say that after all that is said, we are not far off at all, everyone is trying hard and it will come, because for large parts of the game especially before Abdull went off we were in control, but once again we gave away stupid penalties, took wrong kick options or made basic errors in the wrong areas of the field; one charge down in a game is unfortunate but three is simply unacceptable! They call it game management; I call it being down right slap dash to be honest! Radford has certainly got us controlling games and snuffing out the oppositions attacking ideas, but when the mistakes come they are always at crucial times.

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Whistle while you work! We are controlling the opposition better but these are still tough times for our Rookie coach, but unlike Sandy, at least he’s still here!!!

So there we are, a game that slipped away, as so many have this term, there were some good performances from the likes of Ellis, Abdull, Lancaster, Talanoa, Westerman and Shaul, while I thought that Houghton had a poor game, but then again for me Heramia and Danny both suffered from not being spelled as they usually are. With Salford, Wigan and Rovers to come it’s hard to see where the next two points are coming from isn’t it? As for negative worrying old me, well I won’t be content until Bradford can’t mathematically catch us; at present without the intervention of the high court they need two more defeats in their last 8 matches!!

Now to the week past and firstly what about Sandy eh? It only seems yesterday that I was saying that rovers have signed a new Coach who sounds incredibly like ‘an injury suffered by a Beach Volleyball player’ and yet 3 years have passed and he’s gone after a close defeat to Huddersfield! Has he got a pay-off? Well it’s unlikely, because let’s face it with Hudge it’s usually no win no fee!! You know, with the exception of being a teacher, coaching must be the most difficult profession in the world and at least those taking up the former have the consolation of a brand of Whiskey dedicated entirely to them!

However on a serious note, I have to say that some of Lee Radford’s recent moves have had me baffled, but then again what do I know? For instance it seems now that the inclusion of Miller in the squad for the Wakefield game was just a smoke screen to cover for Jordan Abdull’s debut and aimed at taking the pre game heat off the youngster; I think he’s finished with us myself and I doubt Jacob was ever going to play despite being in the squad and I can’t really see him having any sort of future at the Club at all.

I know some of you will say it’s a shame and others comment that he hasn’t really been given a chance, but unlike Rankin who has shown some real signs of potential, Miller (who is currently the butt of some rather interesting and perhaps a tad far-fetched, rumours about him being Peter Gentles Godson!!!!!) struggled from the off to meet the high aspirations of the ‘specky’s’ as far as a half back is concerned. Indeed Sneyd had better be prepared for an over hyped debut and be thinking about how he handles the level of expectation put on the shoulders of anyone who starts at halfback at the KC, it’s a pressure I’m afraid that comes with the territory these days.

I was certainly getting fed up with our lack of progress on that front and resigned to the same old same old next season, when all of a sudden the internet lit up on Monday night and was buzzing about deals being announced next morning. The signing of Pryce is a short term move but one that could well pay off although a lot depends on how well we can keep him away from injury. He’s an interesting one who some say is too old, Radford describes as a Marquee signing who is in superlative form this season, and a player who has played in several Grand finals!!!

He’s certainly a real exponent of the pass that brings on the centres, and a great instigator of that broken play, wide rangy running game; I guess he’s a bit ‘cookeyesque’ really! I hope he stays fit because he’s got a lot of ability. Pryce however also admitted he would have gone back to what was his spiritual home and rejoined the Bulls next season had they not been facing relegation from Super League. The former Bradford star, who returned to Odsal with Catalan on Sunday, actually spoke to chairman Marc Green and chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul about heading home to West Yorkshire for 2015. There is little doubt too that his friendship with Radford and his ability to come in and mentor our young halves was our big pulling card and I wouldn’t be surprised if by this time next year, we are hearing him talked about both as a player and as our specialist half back coach.

Sneyd however is another kettle of fish altogether and I can honestly say that I have on several occasions over this season, run the re-run button on Sky plus to point out his skill close to the line to Mrs R. He is like most other players at Cas extremely well coached and the influence of Danny Orr from their coaching staff is there for all to see. He gave a typical display last Thursday at Widnes, he’s a really cool character and a developing player that has a way to go, but who could just turn out to be an outstanding acquisition. He’s certainly the best young English half back coming through the ranks in this country.

We didn’t just sign him either we went out, beat off the opposition and paid a fee well in excess of £100,000 to secure his services. That showed great ambition by Pearson and was certainly one in the eye of the Dobbins fans who said that we (and Adam) were doing things on the cheap! I’ll tell you about ‘that teams’ ambitions in that direction later in the whiffs! However by Tuesday night I was well pleased with our days work, however I believe our cap is severely stretched at present, so prepare for some departures!! As for Castleford well they were very quick and pretty gracious in wishing Marc well and they said that they have got plans with regard to his replacement, I’m told one is likely to be Jeff Robson of the Cronulla Sharks who we looked at before we opted to ‘Buy British’.

In the ever popular Whiffs department there seems to be a lot of ‘tittle tattle’ about concerning Liam Watts leaving the Club at the end of the season, with Castleford as his likely destination. This rumour became so prevalent that I believe the administration even asked Wattsy about it, but he’s staying put at the Club, he’ll tell anyone that he’s happy here and has no intention of going anywhere. Meanwhile Wigan are sticking their heels in about keeping Taylor to the last ‘option’ year of his contract and who knows it could be 2016 before he’s here now, although if he is delayed, I’d expect us to still announce his signing shortly, but the situation is ongoing and we’ll just have to wait and see. Then there’s Reece Lynne who apparently wants to come back to work for his childhood mentor Mr Radford. I never rated him much, but he’s certainly improved, bulked up and it’s a return that no one at the Club is ruling out!!!! Watch that one too folks! I also believe there is at least one more player to come in and the name I’m hearing from a couple of readers in the Kirklees District is David Fa’alogo the ex Huddersfield second rower.

However there is little doubt that the cap situation means that we have to get some players shipped out at the end of the season too. This past week the ‘in’ door has certainly been the big talking point but, in the next few weeks, we shouldn’t take our eyes off the ‘escape hatch’ either. Personally I can’t see Jay Pitts, Liam Colbon, Jacob Miller, Shannon McDonnell, Joe Arundel, Jason Crookes or Chris Green surviving, can you? McDonnell was a silly lad for sticking his heels in and I’m glad he’s agreed to go to Saints; he’s too good to be sat at home!

There must also be a big question mark over Rich Horne continuing as a player although if he retires he will certainly be kept on as part of the Coaching staff. Finally in the bigger picture it’s likely that the two referee’s idea which was to be launched next season will be put back a year (until we can find some) I also hear that the owners voted last Friday on the principle of one Marquee signing per Club being allowed outside the salary cap and that from next season.

Well the leave of absence granted to Jordan Rankin was another announcement that came a bit out of the blue and it was I’m sure, a tough call for the Coach. No doubt it was one Radford felt he had to make to ensure the best possible outcome for the player’s ongoing relationship with the Club. They all believe he has a big future but at his age being so far from home when there is trouble in the family is really tough and it’s likely his focus would be effected by it all, so his release for two weeks had to be the best for everyone. Then of course there is the news that Callum Lancaster is negotiating a new deal at the KC. For me he has to be secured for the future because he has one thing that is guaranteed to both thrill us fans and also win us games…..lightning pace.

During his first four games for us I have been amazed with his potential, but more than that I was impressed with his ability to stay cool in tight situations. He is a really impressive young player and at 17 a massive prospect, a few lads from the Under 19’s tell me that Rovers have been sniffing round already, so let’s get him signed up…. and quick. I asked our owner about him the other day and he said talks were on-going and that he foresaw no problems; Callum wants to stay and we want to extend his contract!

Now here’s a whiff for you!!! A Rovers fan who accused me on RL fans of making up stuff that cast dispersions on his Club (you don’t have to make it up mate) had a go because I said that we had signed Sneyd, despite Mr Koukash and Hudge having hatched a plot to take the young half to Caravan Park for 2015 on loan, allowing Salford to be able to take him back in 2016. However the question is, if that is true (and it is), then why should that be the case. Well Hudge and the good Doctor are really big mates these days (and perhaps there is some truth in the gathering rumours amongst local businessmen that one of the Koukash clan and not his wife, is in talks with the Rovers Board about buying the Club!) That last bit also comes all the way from a reader of the Diary, who is on the staff of a Lancashire newspaper and who was first with the Dobson to the Red Devils story, it’s far-fetched and hard to prove, but stranger things have happened! The Rovers statement on poor old Sandy Dicks sacking said, “…..With that in mind (we) have placed Chris Chester in charge of first-team duties initially until the end of the season whilst a full review of all off-field operations is carried out” Could that delay in appointing a new Coach and that review, be tied into a change of ownership? Conspiracy theories eh? Don’t you just love em?

We all certainly hang on every word in the media as they announce the comings and indeed goings at the Club, but one that seems to have flown right under the Radar was the imminent departure of Tony Sutton, Adams number two and in effect our Chief Executive. It has been Sutton’s steady hand on our financial tiller that has seen us through some difficult times, but as seems to be the norm in evolving businesses, often, for varying reasons, slowly but surely the new ownership sees in a new structure. The official word (when you can get one) is that Tony has left to take up a senior position in the area and little else is available. I did some digging and any conspiracy theories about ant sort of fall out are quite frankly ‘bollocks’, because Tony, a real family man, who has for many years worked a 7 day week during the season, is off to Hull College to take up a Senior Executive position on the finance side of things. He’ll be missed but we’ll be fine as I’m hearing that we could just be bringing in a new Financial Officer who has had extensive experience at two top Lancashire Clubs.

Speaking personally ‘as I found him’ Tony was always a top bloke and I got on with him really well. He was always there representing the Club at events ranging from forums to fans funerals, but was in general a quiet bloke who was great at his job and a steadying hand at times of strife. He certainly helped me a lot when I was selling my books, he also had a great business brain and loves the Club, so I’ll miss him around the place. And perhaps too, so will Adam!!! I know he sometimes reads this so good luck Tony and thanks for all the work you put in ‘keeping us straight’; unsung heroes eh, where would any Club be without them?

While we are on the subject of finance I see that the Widnes Board are telling everyone this week that they are now completely debt free and so it has to be a well done to James Rule who went there and who has obviously turned thing around from the days when they almost went bust. However I have to pose the question of are they really debt free? You see when Jimmy was at our Club (as well as being Kath’s fall guy and prime candidate for being hung out to dry for everything that went wrong), he had a reputation for declaring a profit, year in year out; but was it actually a profit? There were players as assets and questions a plenty every year and so despite Mrs B and the legions of message board accountants trying to make sense of it all, I always worried a bit, in fact, call me stupid, but I feel a lot more comfortable with our financial state under Adam particularly since we have be declaring a loss every year! That seems much more realistic than week in week out looking at the acres of empty terraces at Widnes, and trying to work out how they can possibly produce a profit! So I guess some fans over there must be wondering themselves, with gates of around 5000, just how debt free is ….debt free?

Talking of things away from the playing side it seems that while the Diary has been missing there has been a bit of a firestorm building on social media about the possibility of us building a new Stadium. These flights of fancy ranged from Adam and Nick Barmby buying the Birds Eye site on Hessle High Road to people in Pickering Road receiving letters from the Council about a 12,000 seater Stadium being built at Costello!!! You’d have laughed when I broached the subject with our owner the other day, who, in reply to my question “What about Birdseye Adam” said ‘Birdseye, whose he”. He obviously thought he was some player we might be rumoured to be after, perhaps even as Captain (I’ll get my coat!). I’m sorry to pour cold water on all this, but I have found absolutely no substance at all in the new stadium stuff and quite frankly although many would like to believe it, I’m afraid it is at present at least, just hoping, wishful thinking and pie in the Sky!

You know for me sitting back and relaxing for the last two weeks the Bradford situation has been simply fascinating. Why the hell can’t they just take their medicine and get on with it? Their new owner has made it pretty clear that he ain’t a wash with cash and yet he’s about to blow between £100,000 and £150,000 on a High Court appeal against that bloody points deduction. Surely it would set a massive president in sport in general if they were to succeed, particularly after the RL have been found to have conducted themselves correctly by an independent sports appeals panel. I see last week my beliefs were borne out by a sports law expert who said in his opinion the Bulls are unlikely to succeed in their High Court attempt. He too cites the fact that the relegation-threatened Super League outfit have already lost an appeal against the decision of the Rugby Football League to dock them six points for going into administration earlier this year. Simon Boyes teaches at Nottingham Law School and is the author of the text book ‘Sports Law’, believes the High Court are unlikely to rule against a governing body. He said in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, “Bradford Bulls’ decision to challenge in the High Court the six-point Super League deduction raises key issues over the accountability of sports bodies through the courts because while the Bulls and their fans might be hopeful that the penalty will be overturned, the reality is that courts are generally extremely reluctant to interfere in the decision-making of sports governing bodies.

Generally, as long as a sport’s regulator acts in accordance with its own rules and regulations, then a court is unlikely to interfere, usually taking the view that the specialist body is in a much stronger position to make an appropriate decision based on its expert knowledge of the sport. A court might, in extreme circumstances, rule that a penalty imposed is excessive or disproportionate. But in previous cases there has always been a wide discretion afforded to the sports governing body in making that decision. In extreme cases the court may regard the rules as an excessive or unreasonable restraint of trade – but examples of successful claims on this basis are few and far between in English law and the restrictions involved are usually more significant than a points deduction.”

Boyes actually thinks that, even if the court rules in favour of the Bulls, it is likely to order a new hearing rather than overturn the points deduction. “One further possibility is that a decision may have been made through an unfair or faulty process and be struck down by a court,” he said. “However, even were this to be the case, this only requires that the matter be heard again, using a lawful process, rather than striking the decision down forever. Ultimately, while a court will carefully scrutinise a claim of this kind which is brought before it, those with an interest in it should be aware that airing grievances before a judge is no guarantee of success.”

Bulls chairman Marc Green’s decision to resort to legal action could cost then big style but he took to Twitter to defend his actions, arguing it is a matter of principle, so we’ll see but quite what any team they catch if they were to get their points back would do at the end of the season is anyone’s guess! What if a team believes themselves mathematically safe so bloods some youngsters only for Bradford to get 6 points back in the last few weeks of the season to subsequently pass them in the league! Perhaps they’ll apply to the high court too. It’s a bloody farce!

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I have over the years banged on quite a bit in here particularly in Codgers Corner about the old practise of folks climbing on the roofs at the south end of the Featherstone ground and watching from the top of their homes. This picture shows that the old practise still continues to this day. That guy on the right is sat in a bloody deck chair!!!

Now I have mentioned in here over the weeks and months the celebrations the Clubs are planning to commemorate the Clubs 150th anniversary year. As part of that Festival the FC Voices supporters group have been working on the provision of a simple memorial to be positioned in the grounds of the Boulevard academy to celebrate the importance of the site to the City and the game of Rugby league and to remember the dozens of fans who have over the years had their remains scattered there. Things are progressing well and all the required finance is now in place.

Hull City Council are the main sponsors but the Clubs Foundation and the fans themselves through money raised from fans forums have also chipped in as have the vice presidents, the Disabled supporters group and the ex players! In fact it’s a real partnership project which will see a simple inscribed stone placed in the grounds accompanied by two stone seats and a time capsule (to be opened in another 150 years time) to be buried by young fans next to it! The plan is to have a gala day with ex and current players in attendance to unveil it on a significant date in the special year of 2015. Watch this space for further details but well done to everyone who has helped raise the finance to make this great project, which is truly instigated and delivered by the fans, possible.

Well despite what I thought was a scratchy and patchy performance we got a precious point at Wakey thanks to a towering last minute conversion by Westerman. That match got me thinking about all the games we have drawn or narrowly won in the past that were decided by a missed goal by the opposition or a converted one by us and when you start to think there are plenty. However there are few more significant than that brilliant ending in 1988 at the Boulevard against Wigan which I recently featured, when Joe Lydon missed a game winning goal and Pearce, Dick and McCaffrey took us all the way down to the other end to score the winning try. However this week I want to look back to another great win that sticks in my mind and which features similar circumstances, this time however it was played at Fartown Huddersfield on Sunday 15th April 1973. I didn’t go to many away games back then but I remember that two new sections of the M62 had been opened west of Leeds and as motorways were still quite a ‘novelty’ we thought we would travel over there, have a go on them and take in a game at the same time.

We had a good record at Fartown, having won on our last two visits there and on a lovely Spring afternoon I drove over in my little Spruce Green Ford Anglia with a couple of pals. Clive Sullivan was our Coach at the time and he picked a strong side which despite a few long term injuries, looked capable of getting another win. With around 250 other Hull FC fans we watched from the towering terracing behind the try line. It was a poor crowd that day and at times, with just over 1200 in the cavernous Stadium, it was like playing in a Cathedral. The FC players ran out to a hearty round of ‘Old Faithful’ and we kicked off into the bright sunshine at 3-00pm. Both teams were a bit lacklustre in the early exchanges particularly in defence, which is hardly surprising on such an unseasonably hot day that was more suited to Cricket than Rugby. We started well though and pressured the Huddersfield line and after only two minutes a clip across the head from Senior, saw Chris Davidson need attention and Boxall obliged with an angled penalty that put us 2-0 up.

Four minutes later we scored again as Huddersfield were caught ‘napping’ as we forced them back and Mick Harrison broke through. Devonshire and Crane carried play on and worked the ball to the right where full back Gereghty shot through a gap on the 25 yard line and touched-down without a hand being laid on him. We should have kept a firm grip on the game from then on but some sloppy passing and even sloppier tackling saw us fall behind. Firstly Hooson scored with a penalty after the ball had hit both the upright and the cross bar and from the restart Calvert went through a massive gap in our right hand defence. We didn’t learn much from this slip shod defending and soon Senior was careering through to score again and from 5-0 up we were 10-5 down. Then five minutes later, on the 30th minute, we snapped into action. Davidson put the home defence under pressure with a well judged grubber kick and as Alf Macklin almost went over, Len Casey picked up the loose ball he dropped behind him and plunged through the ruck of players to score.

Looking altogether more aggressive we were all heartened when Keith Wardell smashed three Huddersfield forwards away in the tackle and then Portz saw his chance down the middle and nipped in and with a Boxall goal we were in the lead again 15-10. It was certainly end to end stuff as once again having done all the hard work we eased off and in the last five minutes of the half ‘The Fartowners’ retook the lead with two well worked scores. Firstly Flanagan found the space he needed to nip in beside the posts and then when we were caught off side from the kick off, Hooson added a penalty and we trailed at the end of the first half 17-15.

It was certainly exciting stuff for the neutral supporter but for us lot basking in the sun on the terraces it was a real roller coaster of a game.

Six minutes after the break Weavill the Hudderfield second rower was caught off side and Boxall levelled with a spiralling penalty from 40 yards out. Back came Huddersfield as some poor discipline in the tackle from Mick Crane saw Hoosen kick a penalty and then a drop goal (worth 2 points) and at 21-17 we all felt that a defeat seemed eminently likely. However just as all seemed lost, we witnessed a piece of pure magic from Player/Coach Clive Sullivan. Un-noticed by us all he had swopped positions with Mick Crane and moved into the centre. From an innocuous looking play the ball by Robson, Davidson flashed the ball to Devonshire who ran a scissors move with Sully. With the embrocation on his long legs shining in the sunlight Clive was away and in those situations there was no catching him as he glided in from 40 yards out and Boxall converted to see us back in the lead 22-21. Then as so often happens to us in those situations, disaster almost struck. Mick Harrison pulled off a great tackle round the chest of Hepplestone as the Huddersfield prop drove into our 25, but the referee saw it differently and immediately awarded a penalty. A round of “Oh ,Oh, Oh, Oh what a referee” with the usual flourish of expletives at the end rang out for the FC contingent on the banking behind the goal, but it was to no avail and from barely 25 yards out and dead level with the middle of the posts with less than a minute left, Hooson prepared to convert the penalty to win the game, Then the strangest thing happened. The bloke next to me shouted “Blow you Buggers Blow” and despite the fact it was the most ridiculous of requests and unlikely to change anything at all…..we all did. I am sure our actions had no effect whatsoever on the trajectory of the kick but the sight of 150 burly East Yorkshiremen with their cheeks puffed out might just have put the kicker off, because his conversion attempt glanced the outside of the posts and bounced wide. We didn’t even have time to restart the game before referee Givvons had blown for time and we had done, it and won what was a very exciting game at a famous old ground, by just one point. It was the bit of luck we needed just as Westy’s conversion was last week. Great memories from a much less complicated time!

My Good Sport of the week award goes to the ubiquitous and often berated Gwilym Lloyd of Radio Humberside. On Tuesday he stood in as one of the mystery guests at Rich Whiting’s Quiz night at the KC Stadium. He played the part superbly with Lee Radford eventually guessing him and adding, “I could smell him!”

I have had so many texts, E Mails and calls from readers over my two weeks hiatus from these weekly ramblings and thanks so much for everyone who took the time to come and say hello at the game on Friday, it’s hard to understand how so many still stick with this stuff week in week out. Looking round the East Stand there were a couple of worrying absentee’s, lots of old faces and a good deal of the usual wringing of hands, long faces and abject resignation by the end. However it would be wrong to not say a big hello to John Haldenby who I know reads this rubbish every week and who like all of us really does love Hull FC. On Friday I bumped into his son Chris who told me that at present John is not too well, but he never misses an edition of the Diary. So, Good luck John, thanks for your support and keep believing mate!

So off we go again, as this rubbish returns to its usual weekly format and quite honestly I’m quite glad to sit at home on an evening with my lap top on my knee, escaping the usual round of sorry English World Cup performances, Manic Scotsmen failing to turn up at Wimbledon and biting footballers (Louis Swarez eh? Who wouldn’t be understanding about being bitten by a man who has teeth that looked like he could eat an apple through a letter box). I’ll be trying to entertain you in the coming weeks as we wind down towards the end of the season and no doubt get launched into another round of 2015 hype. Thanks for rejoining me on the FC rollercoaster and for all your support, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!

Try and keep believing,

Faithfully Yours

Wilf

And Finally……….

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I got this picture sent to me by several readers and it was also the talk of the Radio Humberside post match coverage on Friday! Who are these two characters captured a couple of weeks ago then? Well I know who they look like!!! You’d think he’d have at least bought a round of drinks though wouldn’t you?