February 21, 2008

Hull City AFC.

Filed under: Engl. Promotion Candidates — admin @ 5:55 am

Early attempts to establish a football club in Hull were hampered by the city’s stronger rugby scene, which has featured two nationally prominent teams: Hull FC, and Hull Kingston Rovers.   Finally, in 1904, Hull City Association Football Club was founded.  In 1905, they joined the Football League, in Division Two.  Their first 21 seasons (1905 to 1929) were spent here. They just missed promotion in 1910, finishing in third, but with a goal average of just 0.29 lower than promoted Oldham. 

Right before the onset of WW I,  Hull made it to the quarterfinals of the 1914-’15 FA Cup.  Their best FA Cup campaign was in 1929-’30, when they made it all the way to the semi finals, losing in the the replay to Arsenal 0-1, at Villa Park.  But that same spring (1930), they were relegated to Division Three (North). 

In total, Hull City have had 7 relegations, and 8 promotions.  They have been in the 2nd Level 53 seasons, the 3rd Level 29 seasons, and the 4th Level 10 seasons.  The club has bounced back from their low point, which was the 8 years they recently spent in the old Division Three (the 4th Level), from 1996 to 2004. 

Crowds had dwindled to below 4,ooo for two years (’96-’97).  In December, 2002,  Hull began playing in the 24,500-seat Kingston Communications Stadium (the KC Stadium), sharing it with the rugby team Hull FC.  The new stadium, and burgeoning crowds, helped to energize the club.  In their first full season in their impressive new home, Hull finished 2nd, and were promoted to Division Two.  The next season (2004-’05), they were promoted again, with another second place finish.  Perhaps most important, though, is the recent enlargement of Hull City AFC’s fan base, as average attendances have rose around 12,000 per game- from 6,518, in 1990 (when they were in the 2nd Level), to 18,758, last season (when they were also in the 2nd Level). 

But Hull have struggled to stay in the League Championship the past two years.  After former England Under-21 manager Peter Taylor {see this} had guided the club to their back-to-back promotions, he left to manage Crystal Palace, in June, 2006.  His successor, Phil Parkinson was unable to keep Hull out of the relegation zone the next season, and was sacked in December, 2006.  Phil Brown {see this} was hired as caretaker, and did a good job getting the club out of trouble, as Hull finished in 21st,  just above the drop.  Brown had gotten veteran striker Dean Windass {see this} (on loan from Bradford City) to return to his hometown club, and his 8 goals helped the Tigers to safety.

This season, the much-travelled 38-year old ex-construction laborer Windass, now signed to a two-year deal, continues to score for the club he began with as a teenager.  His 12 goals (10 league) lead the club.  Frazier Campbell, on loan from Manchester United, has 8 league goals.  The squad is bolstered by standout American-born English goalkeeper Boaz Myhill.

Hull City are in 9th place in the League Championship, 4 points from the playoff places, with a game in hand.  This is the closest to promotion Hull have been in over 20 years.  Hull is the largest city in all of Europe to have never hosted first division football.

Click here, for a recent article about Hull’s surprise promotion push.

Below is a programme from 1966.  It shows the club’s old home, Boothferry Park, as well as the club’s old 3 crowns crest (a motif which both of Hull’s rugby clubs still use in their crests).


Thanks to (historicalkits[dot]co[dot]uk)- the 5 older kits at the bottom of the chart are copyright Historical Football Kits, and are reproduced by permission.   Thanks to (colours-of-football[dot]com).   Thanks to (fusion group[dot]uk[dot]com);  (blackpooltoday[dot]co[dot]uk);  footballstadiumart[dot]co[dot]uk).

WordPress database error: [Table 'bil072291136157.wp_comments' doesn't exist]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = '1' AND comment_post_ID = 964 ORDER BY comment_date_gmt ASC


No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress