The Dentists Diary – 432nd

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“We are top of the League I said we are top of the League!”……………….well at least we are for now, so however much of a false situation it is after just one week, lets enjoy it!

At last the season has begun and it did so with a pretty unbelievable ‘bang’! That came in the form of a focused and gritty performance that produced as good a start as anyone who was there could have dreamed of!! Having fretted a bit about the outcome, it was simply beyond my wildest dreams anyway and a great afternoon out for us all. Add to that the fact that it was also the first time Huddersfield have been nilled since 2011 and the first time we have nilled a Club away from home since 2004 and it was pretty special all round.

But nil them we did, through as fine a game of controlled rugby as you will see, when all of a sudden the much maligned ‘Game Management’ was there in abundance. No-one panicked, few tackles were missed, we held the defensive line perfectly, kept possession and didn’t force the game. Instead we waited for the chances to present themselves, took then and the result in the end looked after itself. It was certainly as good a performance of complete rugby as I have seen for ages. After about an hour we were winning by two tries, a situation we have encountered so many times in the past, before invariably we fell apart. This time we didn’t, in fact we didn’t look like we would do anything but win; that has to be a big step forward!

Lee Radford said after the game, “I think I’m second favourite now to get the sack!” and it was good to see him as relieved as us lot! Friday night is a different beast however, because the Wolves play a lot of open rugby, which could see them force a more expansive game, but on this showing it should be a cracker!

4 points from the first five games was accepted by most as a reasonable return from as difficult a start as you could get, and Huddersfield away as an opener was always going to be a real tough cookie! They’d not lost a Round One game for six years and had beaten Wigan twice but also Saints and Warrington in that run. They know the way it works and are infamous for their fast starts with their big pack destroying teams down the middle in the early rounds. So as usual with doubting old me, I went more in hope than expectation and feared the worst, Mrs R commented on the new edition of ‘Up the cream’ that was on sale at the game and said that should we get the usual outcome at Huddersfield, it may need to be renamed, ‘Up the Creek’!!! Incidentally, it’s a great read again, even though I get some stick in it!

If you didn’t go to West Yorkshire it wasn’t a classic, nor a game of great breaks, stunning tries (although there was one) and fantastic moves, but it was as I said earlier, a gritty, yet cultured performance that made the team that finished 4th last year look ordinary and ineffective. However for the purest that enjoys the chess game that is percentage rugby, it was pretty ace! As Sneyd and Pryce stitched up the middle and Ellis and Minnichello the flanks, the rest kept calm, stayed tough and ground it out, a process that was as I said, simply brilliantly managed. Yes we could be more clinical, but all the games this weekend have shown teams to be scratchy in the play making department and that should come, however the foundation for it was there as we showed a control and discipline previously unseen in this team.

If you weren’t there then consider this example; with 15 minutes to go we led by 18 and got a penalty on the centre spot. Did we go for goal and have a shot at a difficult looking kick which would risk giving the opposition possession back? No, Sneyd grabbed the ball pointed to touch and deposited it there, some 30 yards from the line. We then worked our way down field and when the opportunity presented itself we dropped a goal; suddenly it was ‘four scores to win’ for the Giants and effectively game over! There were many examples of times when last year we would have shot out of the line, conceded a daft penalty or forced the pass, but it didn’t happen yesterday as we hung in the game, took our chances and played that percentage rugby like our lives depended on it.

RL PHOTOS IMAGES8/2/15Huddersfield Giants V Hull FC at the Johns Smith's StadiumHull FC won, 0-19Fetuli Talanoa dives over to scorePIcture - Richard Land, RL Photos
The Dustman dives in!

Am I being over the top?? Well, the Guardian said this morning, “It was the performance of the opening weekend; Hull were simply magnificent, as they proved to be the unlikely first side to record a shutout in this season’s competition”. While even the Huddersfield Coach, Paul Anderson, was complimentary when he said, “Hull were good and we lacked a bit of cohesion and timing on occasions. They were a bit more clinical than we were, in truth.”

Performance wise Shaul grabbed a superb brace, the first a great piece of handling low down from a training ground kick through and the second a simply majestic dodge and scoot followed by an arcing run to the line. The three quarters worked really well together. The wingers took turns at carting the ball up the middle and the quality of Yeaman and Sa, who both performed well in tandem with Mini and Ellis, ensured that there is no longer a weak side to our defence.

The new half backs looked like they had played in the FC team for years, as they controlled stuff in the middle so well. Pryce is brilliant at organising and at jogging behind the line first left and then right, creating the extra man when he re-joins it and Sneyd is just so skilful. Upfront the back three were amazing and Mini played throughout. He’s such a cultured player who does everything so professionally without fuss, but who hits every tackle hard and always takes some stopping with ball in hand. The home side couldn’t cope with Ellis at all and he was massive. Up front Paea was really effective and Watts worked tirelessly and was better than any Huddersfield front rower. Plus, Houghton was one again magnificent.

Something else that I saw which I felt was significant was the way that when our first choice front row were rotated the introduction of Bowden, Green and Thompson saw no reduction in the intensity and that’s something that has certainly let us down in the past isn’t it? Whiting too chimed in late on with a good stint although he is still working towards match fitness, but you wouldn’t have guessed it. I guess if I was to give a man of the match then for his non-stop talking and organising and for pushing people into position so effectively, I would have to give it to Pryce although he was pushed hard by Sneyd and a couple of others..

Hull FC's Leon Pryce is tackled by Huddersfield's Luke Robinson during the First Utility Super League match at the John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 8, 2015. See PA story RUGBYL Huddersfield. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images
Leon, just shaved MOTM for me from Sneyd and several other contenders.

I have to also mention those 3000 fans that made the trek to Huddersfield because they were simply fantastic. As the players returned towards us after the second half tries, the noise was deafening as they applauded back to the crowd and encouraged their backing, as then the atmosphere cranked up another notch. We wound Danny Brough up remorselessly and knocked him right off his game, as he made a real dick of himself constantly rebuking the referee and the touch judges, while all the time the FC fans loudly acclaimed his tendencies towards masturbation; cruel I know but blooming effective!! One wag afterwards tweeted, “Dear Mr and Mrs Brough, We have found your lost boy, he was discovered in Sentimata Sa’s back pocket!!”

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In full Voice!

I asked Adam Pearson after the game what he thought about it and he said that, “There was only one thing better than the team’s performance today and that was that of the fans, it was staggering, I was so proud to be chairman today”. You really can’t say fairer than that can you? Let’s all turn up and do our owner proud on Friday.

In the end the game really warmed my heart and made me think that we could just now have the quality and discipline we have lacked for so long. My pal Kathy turned to me in the second half and said, “Boy this is a good performance” and it was! So now I’m backing Lee Radford, the boys and the Club to the hilt and at least for the next 6 or 7 games there will be no Radford out stuff in here, because I want us to succeed so much and yesterday I saw a chink of light that brought me a deal of hope. I just think we should all now get behind the team. Friday night is a big chance to get to a game and see the new set up, so do everything you can to there for what is anyway, the battle of the top two Clubs!

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Hardly anyone in the 3000 strong FC contingent left early!

So, after all the excitement onto the week gone by when the announcement in the Mail last Monday that indicated our owner’s ‘undying and unrequited’ love for Lee Radford, sadly came a tad too late for my last offering. However it was certainly an interesting, thought provoking and I thought pretty unnecessary distraction, as we all looked forward to the new season kicking off. Adam said to the Mail, “I’ll tell everyone now, if they think there is going to be a change in the Head Coach of the club this year, they are sadly mistaken. My heels are as dug in as you will find them. If anyone wants to put up a banner saying ‘Radford Out’ then bring it on because it is not going to happen.” I’ve told Mrs R not to bother taking hers, but on a more serious note I felt that it was, at the very least, an inadvisable ‘burning your boats in public’ exercise and at most, a strange sort of statement to grace the back page of the Mail.

Why does he do that sort of thing, because it’s not the first time we have had an outburst like that coming right out of the blue is it? Had someone had a go at Adam about the disappointing and almost ‘groundhog day’ like happenings of our pre-season friendly’s? Was it the betting odds? Or was it just our owner trying to convince himself that he was doing the right thing? Personally I don’t think it was any of those, but more perhaps a categorical pledge of support for a Coach who must have been feeling the heat a bit, even if he won’t admit it. If it where me I think I’d have kept stum and let the fans think what they want, or said something like “It’s too early to say” or “ Well, it’s a case of never say never in this business, but I’m pleased with all the work that Lee has done and the way he is performing”.

I think Adam, Lee Radford and the fans would have got what they wanted out of that sort of repost, but it would still leave the door open to anything happening later in the campaign. As I said earlier someone or something had ‘rattled his cage’ but I did find the whole statement a bit bemusing and pretty un-necessary. We all know it’s a fact that in sport if you consistently play crap and that form threatens the income streams of the Club, then sooner or later the Coach is the fall guy; even ‘Bombproof Brucie’ at the Tigers has been loosening his collar a bit of late and knows it! It was a really odd interjection by our owner I thought and quite mystifying for the casual observer. After yesterday however it might just be academic anyway.

Adam was certainly on the front foot again later this week and went on to say, “We have a long-term plan here and I know when you hear that in sport, people laugh their head off. But this is as close to a long-term plan in sport as you can get. Lee Radford has come in and changed the whole culture of the club from top to bottom. We are back to being a hard-working, disciplined club who won’t stand for messing around and have a staff who understand the importance of our position within the city. That has all emanated from Lee and everybody has bought into it. I hope the results show the amount of work put in”So far so good Mr Pearson!

As for me, well if I’m blatantly honest I wasn’t convinced with his appointment and I worried during several periods of last season! But I have to back the Coach and the team we have at present because what else as fans can we do, he’s our Coach and I like to think that in all cases, while I’ve supported the team, I’ve given whatever Coach is in charge my full backing. Until that is the writing is really on the wall and there is little else (or no one else), left to blame. Because it’s my Club, I want to believe that every Coaches’ methods are right and that they take the players and the staff with them in whatever they do.

In fairness those who have read this rubbish from the off will remember that I didn’t want John Kear, Peter Sharp or Peter Gentle to go, in fact I was dead against it in all three cases. However, as a totally blinkered supporter I tried to understand what our owners were doing at the time, because you hope they have their finger on the pulse, your interests at heart and they’ve got it right; as a fan, that’s what you do. However we are all entitled to a view and when it goes as far as it did with Richard Agar and all avenues of reason had been trodden and exhausted and there was only really one reason left for us being so utterly crap, year in year out, then I’m afraid (you’ll remember) I was there with the banner waivers, because it’s our Club and that’s our right!

Fans need scapegoats and, if you like, their ‘comfort blankets’ to blame and use to get them over disappointments. Often it’s either players who have been around a long time, who might have made a mistake or who fans have built up a personal vendetta against, or a coach who when appointed didn’t meet the individual fans lofty aspirations. Immediately things go wrong, there will always be those who see badly of those clubmen and indeed, anyone else we have at the FC that they can blame!

However for me, as far as Lee is concerned, I’m a long way off any of that, I’m backing him, he a good bloke who is having a real go, the players respect him and most of all he’s a bloody fan to boot! I’ve always said I’m not sure he was the right appointment and I stick by that, but as a local lad, I desperately want him to succeed and that’s my position for now. The bloke has my backing, because let’s face it we have our concerns and you know mine, but we can’t be pessimistic all the time, we are supporters and the very meaning of the word dictates that we have to get behind the team and give them some ‘support’. The owner is doing his best and without his continued support were stuffed, so if what he said about our Coach in the Mail is his judgement on the situation, that’ll have to do for me…..for now! But of course again, as is the case with fans, I do reserve my right to change my mind!!

Last week I told you that we were negotiating with several players over extensions to their contracts and that some had already signed up, well despite his comments in the Mail on Thursday I believe that Mickey Paea is one of them. Mickey commented that every game was an interview, but I believe that negotiations may well be some way down the line with him already. The thing is the Club are waiting before announcing anything until everyone is sorted, so we’ll all just have to be patient and wait and see what unfolds.

I’m hearing that the dark shadow of the Rugby league is again extending its shadow across all the Super League Clubs this season as a new directive tells every Club exactly what they do on kick off and what music accompanies it! You would note the two big flags and the teams coming out together yesterday! I’m told that a new addition to the staff at Redhall has really upset some DJ’s and match day presenters across the game with this directive, as they are also told what music they have to play. It’s rumoured that this guy was recruited from Rugby Union Club Wasps and that the whole format for the start of games is one that has been imported from the kick and clap sport. Described as the ‘Super (generic Clone) League’ by one particular Club’s pre match DJ in Lancashire, it’s actually claimed that the pre match stuff at every Club is based on what Wasps used back in 2005. I think the administrators in our game would be better employed sorting out the officials and the standard of refereeing and perhaps the commentaries our game gets on Sky, than pissing off the Clubs who want to use their traditional and proven player introduction stuff!

Well I’ve been telling you about it since back in November, but for one reason or another the whole project has been shrouded in so much secrecy (I’ve christened it Area 51) however now, at long last, the cat is out of the bag and we have announced our move to Ideal Standard this week. In a revealing piece by James Smailes in the Mail last Tuesday, the project, which will at last see us get a own dedicated training base that isn’t shared with anyone, was unveiled. During the period over Christmas Lee Radford has personally insisted on being in soul charge of the decor etc in the new centre, from the furnishings to what is written on the walls in the way of motivational statements.

In fact every detail of the internal development of what was left as a vandalised shell has been down to our Coach. Our owner won’t like me saying it but to ensure no-one is thinking this is a cheap and cheerful alternative to YPI or that our owner isn’t still investing in the Club, I would say that it very likely that the cost of this development won’t be much short of a six figure sum by they’ve finished. Designed to meet all the needs of the players and coaching staff, there are offices a gym, a new kitchen and eating area and some excellent meeting rooms. New posts are on order and it will be great to have our own dedicated home after so many years of training in other peoples facilities.

Talking of new developments and big changes there are some equally exciting ones taking place just across the road from our new training home at the other side of County Road. Over there at the home of Hull Wyke their Chairman has signed the official documents and soon the builders will be on site (good old PBS – FC fan Pete Smurthwaite’s company is the main contractor) to build their new changing facilities and club room. It was all officially announced yesterday at their annual Sportsman’s luncheon. So the Club who are a leading light in our Fanbassadors scheme will have one of the best sports changing facilities’ in Hull. Hull Wyke is a great junior Club doing a cracking job in introducing a lot of new youngsters to Hull FC. In addition they have received an £80k grant from the RFL for major pitch improvements and they are only one of three RL clubs in the country to get this. Work starts at Cropton Road in March and will take 6 months to complete.

Now, did you watch the game on Thursday night? Well I guess most people did as a new season started at Widnes in front of a record crowd (another team using the added fillip of a few thousand free admissions) who witnessed an interesting game on that shocking synthetic pitch! What game would allow one Club to play on a different playing surface to every other eh? However as we set off again has much changed? Well it’s hard to see it has. In their defence the ‘every minute counts’ pretext certainly started well and Wigan certainly looked beatable, although they really missed McIllorum didn’t they? But you know in the end it was same old same old wasn’t it, because afterwards and indeed since, everyone I talked to just wanted to discuss the referee, as Mr Childs, rather than a ‘look at me’ performance, produced a ‘You can’t avoid looking at me’ showing, which had everyone talking about the official rather than the game. It was the same on Friday night too, although perhaps to a slightly lesser extent, but we still seemed to be focussed on the officials once the game has finished. Keiron Cunningham certainly agreed with me as well when he said after the Saints v Catalan game, “The most disappointing thing for me is that the fans have waited so long for the season to start and after two TV games all people are talking about are the referees’ decision. We just want to play rugby league.”

We’ll miss Azza and no mistake though, won’t we? Well we might, a bit, as Heramaia gave a typical performance of off the cuff play making and great running for Widnes on his debut. Some FC fans are already lamenting losing him, but we should all remember that he wanted to go and a salary that was almost up to the 6 figure mark made a bench player a bit of a luxury that perhaps we couldn’t really afford. He’s a good lad though and Widnes will use him well this year!

But, going back to both the games on TV this week it’s just such a shame that a season that needed a strong start, was blighted by a game that was for me overshadowed by an awful refereeing performance and one particular commentator who should I think retire….and quick! On that point so many people have told me that they turned the sound down and even turned off altogether because of the commentary. In fact one senior member of the FC staff said to me after Thursday night, “Sky must get so many complaints and comments about it” and I think they must. How much longer do we have to put up with it, as the Sky commentators make a great game a subject for ridicule? It’s getting as bad as the days back in the 60’s when a massive petition about Eddie Waring was sent to the BBC.

Back then the BBC continued with ‘Our Eddie’ simply because he was liked by viewers in the South of England, but he was more of a cabaret ‘turn’ than a commentator and it riled the regular fans of the game so much. However if anyone new to the game tuned into Sky on Thursday night at around 7-20pm to listen to them trying in vain to explaining the new rule changes, I bet they were back watching Emmerdale in seconds!! The film work and presentation is great but for me the commentating and in particular the punditry and abject interjections by Stevo are simply killing it for the converted and unconverted alike. It could be so much better, but while that lot continue then a game that is light years more attractive to watch, will be way behind Union as a viewing attraction and a spectacle. I watch the England v Wales Onion game after the RL and that match was enhanced by the commentary rather than denigrated by it! Referee’s and Sky commentators= a game going backwards for me!

It was interesting too that in the NRL they are as usual going overboard with their experimentation and quest to make the game more spectacular!! The annual charity match between South’s and Saints, this weekend featured 10 officials; 2 on-field refs, 4 touchline officials, 2 in goal officials and 2 video refs. For me in this country it’s not so much a lack of quantity as a lack of quality that’s the issue.

Now to continue my occasional series which I hope demystifies a bit what’s happening out there in some of the satellite sites that are operated by our Foundation, I focus this week on some digging I did about Chamberlain Road. Deep in enemy territory this development is another mould breaking one for a Community operation, as it is Foundation partnership ‎with Barrett homes, who have, despite some vociferous initial objections from local residents, developed much of an old playing field site for housing, The complex is built on the old Reckitt’s Recreation Ground behind the Hospice and should be a massive fillip for the local community in that area. There will eventually be 2 adult and 2 junior pitches seeded to top sport England specifications and they’ll be the best there are in the City. Plus, there is an extensive clubhouse with committee room and great changing facilities.

The first pitch and the new club house will be ready to open at Easter and the other pitches will be seeded and brought on line during 2015. Lambeth Lions are the first local team to be a tenant but there is scope for other Clubs to make it their home once the other pitches are finished. But why should a Club like Hull FC get involved in all this sort of stuff? Well for me the Foundation is a real harbinger of things to come and is certainly in the vanguard of community development in the British game. The idea for Chamberlain Road is that it will be the hub for the amateur and school game in Hull. These will be the city’s best pitches, prestige pitches if you will, for the local game.

In addition the facility will play host to Hull FC’s involvement in the new Sky Try project which will support more kids and encourage them to enter the game and offer a pathway from schools to amateur clubs. The thing is too that several schools in that area don’t have a playing field or indeed any grass to play sport on at all, so it’s a great chance to link up with them too. In addition some of our junior teams will train there from time to time and there are plans for a girl’s rugby centre of excellence to run from the site as well! So as I say, a real mould breaking development for the Club and particularly Richard Munson and the Community Foundation and one that makes our community arm, one of the best if not the best in the game.

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This Lego event at the History Centre on Saturday centred on Rugby League in Hull!

Before this week’s Codgers Corner a word about the last one which generated a big post bag full of memories of an extraordinary night. One or two disputed the fact that I said during the week, that Leeds had Hepworth sent off in the famous walk off game in the mid 70’s but it’s brilliant that we list amongst the readers Bill Dalton the Club historian who, as I said in another place, has forgotten more about Hull FC than most of us will remember. Bills said, “Lawrenson did send Hepworth off in the 63rd minute. The fact that had slipped me by also, is that Chris Davidson kicked our first-ever One-Point Drop Goal in that game in addition to his 4 place kicks. Bill continued, “Lawrenson was quite possibly the worst Ref (among a heap of bad ones) that I have ever seen. He had an enormous attitude problem with players and I once saw him slap a spectator in the face in the tunnel at Cas in response to the bloke attempting to ask him a question. I was stood next to the bloke”. Great stories Bill and thanks for putting the record straight, but now to my Codgers offering this week.

I am as usual continuing my series of players, happenings and games that shaped the Club in the last 150 years, this week I look at a player who I personally saw play about a dozen times in the early 60’s and who I remember most for the aura that seemed to surround him as far as the FC fans were concerned, whenever this aging hero took the field. At the Boulevard the blokes thought of him as one of the best players they had ever seen, while throughout his Hull career the ladies simply loved him. Along with Bruce Ryan he was my Mums big hero! In addition to all that, the iconic Mick Scott is second in Hull FC’s all time list of appearance makers with an amazing 459 games to his name, during which he scored 43 tries and 3 goals.

This record started with just one game in 48/49 and finished with 13 in the 62/63 season. He was, a year before I was born, the first of that amazing pack of the 50’s to join the club, when as an 18 year old second rower he made his debut. Mick though will always be remembered as a mighty front rower in that great ‘Panzer’ pack of the Golden Fifties and for his partnership with Tommy Harris and the Drake twins!

I guess when you talk to folks who saw him play through out that decade, they will always remember the period he captained the team in the mid 50’s, and more particularly one crucial decision he made on a blustery afternoon at Maine Road Manchester. It was just 2 minutes from the end of a pulsating Championship final in 1956 when Halifax were leading 9-8. We were awarded a penalty for interference at the play the ball, about 25 yards out near the touch line. Back then of course you had unlimited possession with no 6 tackle rule and of course everyone thought that we would tap the ball and drive at the Fax defence in an attempt to try and get over the line. Everyone that was except our captain Mick Scott.

Centre Watkinson tossed the ball to Tommy Finn our scrum half to tap start the game, when in ran our captain to snatch the ball and hand it to Colin Hutton to go for goal. The ball was heavy and wet and the kick set 25 yards out and about 3 yards from Touch. The crowd of over 36,000 was stunned into shocked silence, in a time when there was always the best of order from both sets of fans when a kick was taken, until as Hutton sent the ball flying between the posts, a mighty roar went up and Hull RLFC had won a memorable Cup final. Was it the most memorable goal in Hull’s history? Well many who lived and supported through that era would say that it was!!!

Mick Scott our captain had shown great faith in his goal kicker and Hutton, who was subsequently drawn away by the lure of the dark side, justified that faith and won us the game. It was a big decision in fact one of the most crucial ‘on field’ decisions a Hull captain has ever made, but boy did it pay off!!

Mick handed the captaincy over to Johnny Whiteley in 1958, but he was still a masterful player out on the park and the hero of many great victories. In that same year it was his long looping cut out pass that put in winger Brian Cooper in at the corner for the first try on our way to beating Workington in the Championship final, and true to type Mick also used that deft side step that belayed his hefty physique to score the final try in a 20-3 win. Mick played in all 10 finals we got to in that great 1950’s era.

Funnily enough, despite like me, being brought up close to the Boulevard, Mick never played rugby as a school boy and in fact was a handy centre half for Mersey Street school football team. His pals were all having trials with our nursery side, Boulevard Juniors, so Mick went along and soon signed for the club in 1948. He played 8 A team games before being selected to play for England Under 21’s and captained them for the next match. All this before he made his debut for the first team at the Boulevard. It was quite an amazing rise to prominence for a player who had come into the game so late.

Scott was a real class forward but he also had that quality that separated the good from the great back then; and he was as hard as nails. Whenever a scrum erupted into a fight as they did in most games back then, Scotty was the prime candidate for starting the fracas. In the 1955 Yorkshire Cup Final against Halifax twice the scrum blew up and twice he emerged with different Halifax forwards sporting facial injuries. He was a real hero and folks who watched him in his heyday will tell you just how good he was in open play too! Strangely for all his games played Scott, who was generally accepted across the game as one of the country’s top props, made few international appearances. In fact, following his debut for England at 19, he made just two more representative games and had none for Great Britain, although he did make one GB trial game.

He was the corner stone of our pack though and continued to be so into the 1960’s, although then his appearances had started to become more sporadic and in 1962 he asked for a transfer. It took a full year before the club could agree a fee with anyone though, but in July 1963 he left for Rochdale where he played one season and 32 games before retiring. Most tragic of all of course was the fact that Mick was sadly killed in an accident on the Docks in 1968 when he was only 37. Mum, Dad and I all watched the Funeral cortège go by the ground and it was a real black and white affair with the pavements lined with folks sporting their scarves and hats! A fitting tribute to a massive FC hero who met an early and tragic end!!

So, we have two points and now we move onwards towards our first home game on Friday. This is without doubt a night that every fan should do their level best to be at the KC, to not only give our lads a lift but because we need to give our 150th season a rousing send off. They did us proud at Huddersfield, now it’s up to us to make them proud of us at the KC. We also have to show the SMC and anyone else who is interested, that we’ll not be put off or pushed out and that when the FC are playing at the KC it’s the place to be.

I love Friday nights under the lights at the Stadium, it’s a great atmosphere and one that has often made the team rise to the occasion to provide some great, great matches. Let’s hope we see another great game, because the early indications are good and we are already on a roll. It’s all now about momentum, so we have now to move onto Friday and try to get a win to start the process of making the place a fortress this year. Will Friday 13th be unlucky for us? Well if it is, let’s ensure that is not down to a lack of numbers or effort on the terraces. We are the most intimidating crowd in the game when we’re riled and on our day we can get at any team.

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Huddersfield yesterday, is there a better support?

All I can say if you didn’t go yesterday is that if the team can produce an equally enterprising and controlled display, you’re in for a real treat on Friday!

All the indications are that this is going to be the toughest season yet in Super League. There are no easy matches at all and if we want it to be a success, we need to be at that optimum level of performance in every area and that includes the support we provide as fans. At Huddersfield it was superb and the atmosphere brilliant but we need to replicate that at the KC and Friday is the ideal opportunity. Don’t wonder about going, don’t dither about getting a ticket, get down to the KC and cheer this team on.

It might all unravel who knows, but the thing about yesterday was that it wasn’t about flash play and brilliant individuals but all about the process, team spirit, the will to win and most importantly the way we manage a game, surely that has to bode well? It was also pretty obvious to everyone at Huddersfield that there’s ‘something there’ and furthermore the part the fans played in the victory could not be under-rated! From our side of things lets again do our bit to make it a great night, let’s get behind the players, the owner and the Coach and hopefully generate another good performance!! Get down there on Friday, make some noise and cheer the new FC on if you can.

Thanks for sticking with the Diary again as for one week at least, happy times are here again, enjoy the next few days and see you at the game on Friday!

COMEONYOUHULLLLAAARRR!!!!!

Faithfully Yours

Wilf
And finally …often youngsters talk the most sense!

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“The trouble with being born is that you can’t decide the family you’re born into…bloody Leeds!”