The Big Adventure

I haven’t managed to take in a live Hull City game for several years unfortunately. The last game was an away game versus Leicester City that I decided on the spur of the moment to go to. At the time, my son Liam and I were visiting family in Hull and we were heading back down to London and the airport at Gatwick for Liam to fly home. We set off on the Saturday morning and in the back of my mind, I had a half a mind to jump off the M1 and go grab the game in Leicester. Of course, the M62 was a packed with traffic due to an accident and so by the time we got to the M1 I wasn’t at all sure that we would make it. Nonetheless, I persevered and we were in Leicester with about 10 minutes to go before kick off. We had to buy tickets at the ground of course so by the time we took our seats the game was underway. It was the season for Hull City under the tanned one. The year that we had all been waiting for when via the Championship play offs at Wembley and the foot of Dean Windass, Hull City were finally promoted to the Premier League. Hull won that day 2-0 and we enjoyed a great time before continuing our journey to London. Thus ended a 100+ year wait and question masters had to revise their questions regarding which biggest city had never had top flight football representation.

It’s funny because I had chances to go to the FA Cup semi-final and final last season but in the end the chances came to late to act on and I couldn’t afford it. The few times I have been to Hull also have fallen on away game weekends too. But tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow, we will drive a couple of hundred kilometers into the Slovak Republic where I will watch Hull City’s maiden European appearance. History will be made and for once, I will be there to witness it in person. I can’t wait.

Many people who track English football decide to have it easy. They decide on Manchester Utd, City or Liverpool or Arsenal as ‘their’ team and support them. For me, the only team I have ever supported is my home town team Hull City. It’s been tough at times let me tell you and for years there was not much to cheer about. I haven’t lived in Hull since 1978. It would have been easy to shift allegiance but that isn’t me – I am a loyal person.

It all started back in around 1966 when I was taken to Boothferry Park by Bob French and enjoyed it so much, it became a regular Saturday trip. I recall watching Chris Chilton, Wagstaff, Ian Butler and the lads and I can name the entire team from back then.. Later, at college in Birmingham, I recall making trips to places like Walsall as a student hitch hiking to see the team. When in the US, I was only able to read reports on the Internet but I did avidly each and every game.

I think I am lucky. The club was founded more than a century ago. I often think about all the passionate and loyal Hull City supporters during all of that time that went to their graves without ever seeing the team in the Premier League or FA Cup Final – never mind the Stadion Pod Dubem in far away Zilina, Slovak Republic.

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