Hull City

The Senior Tigers Club

est 2000

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Diary Dates for the 2016-2017 Season

This meeting gave us the opportunity to celebrate the team's promotion back to the Premier League. With so many distractions it was a great credit to Steve Bruce and team to make the return at the first attempt. The football club very kindly offered us a free buffet luncheon and with 150+ members present it seemed a very well received gesture. As we gathered there was an edited highlights of our promotion day at Wembley being screened and reminding us all of that wonderful day.

Many members, on arrival, joined the queue to pay their subs for the new season and they were joined by 13 new members. All most encouraging. Once the meeting began there was a succession of enthusiastic applause, first in celebration of the Tigers and then for the letter of appreciation that was sent from the Senior Tigers to Steve Bruce. A final round of applause was offered to the Events Management Team who had not only provided us with a superb buffet but had previously scooped two great accolades from the previous season. They won the Matchday Hospitality Trophy for medium sized stadiums and then the overall Trophy for Matchday Hospitality. A fantastic achievement.

Our Chair, David Jackson, welcome new member, Charles Lewis, to the meeting. Charles had previously visited as a representative of the Executive Club and we had invited him to receive a cheque for £500 which they will use to support some of the young hopefuls at the Tiger's Academy who struggle to find the basic equipment, eg boots, that will help them towards a career in our sport.

Members were encouraged to keep looking up the new website (www.seniortigers.org.uk) and send in their contributions - like memories from the past years. Now that we are on world wide web people will find out about us, even so our Chair was surprised to get a request from a young boy in Brazil who was hoping we could arrange for him to have trials with Hull City!! The request was passed over to Tony Pennock at the Academy!

There was an appeal from the Chair for someone to take responsibility to run and coordinate the proposed Walking Football team and a second request for someone with the experience of making fundraising bids and filling in those forms that come with it!

So with introductions over we were now ready to welcome our very special guest of the day - none other than former Tiger's Legend, Dennis Booth. Dennis was quizzed on his start in football, playing kids football at Stanley Common in Derbyshire before being offered an Apprenticeship with Charlton Athletic. Dennis talked about the influence on his development he received from Bob Stokoe. He looked back over his years at Charlton, Blackpool, Southend, Lincoln City and Watford before arriving at the Tigers in 1980. He played with the club for 5 seasons before moving over to coaching. Dennis will long be remembered at this club and for making Hull is home in retirement. He was always more than a player and this came through as he spoke. He had wit and a demon spirit that always made him memorable company. Our afternoon with Dennis was a wonderful time. (JAB)

There was another fine turn out when we met in the 1904 Lounge at the Stadium. Our normal venue was not available due to the arrival of Hull Fair and the special School which is held during the Fair every year. We were also called together a little earlier than normal to enable our Guest Speaker to join us and he was none other than the Club Captain, Michael Dawson.

Before we started there was a wonderful surprise as the Club brought along the Championship Play-off Trophy that had been won at Wembley Stadium. For many this was a first sight close up and the opportunity to gather for selfies etc. was presented

Michael Dawson was welcomed to the meeting by David, our Chair, who then began to ask some searching questions of our guest. First question was checking on his progress from the pre-season injury that has kept him out of the team and we were delighted to hear that he was now back in full-time training and hoping for a run out within the next week.

Michael was then asked about his early days in a football mad family growing up in remote Leyburn, in Wensleydale. All three boys would play football and whilst Kevin’s progress was halted by injury his elder brother, Andy, had a most successful career with the Tigers. Michael, like his brothers, had joined the Junior network at Nottingham Forest and he would make his debut for them in 2002 under Paul Hart – taking his brother Kevin’s place in the team! He also received the MOM for that first appearance. After 8 years at Forest Martin Jol invited him to join Tottenham Hotspurs. There would be 9 successful years with the Spurs and four caps for England – but why not more???

The decision to move to the Tigers was one he found easy. He realised his opportunities at Spurs were likely to be limited and with a big ‘rap’ from brother Andy he joined Steve Bruce’s team in 2014. He spoke well of the great dressing room bond he found, even in that first season when relegation from the Premier came and how that bond carried over into last season and the successful return to the top table of football.

Members were invited to put their questions to Michael and there was no shortage.

Was his recent appearance on Sky as a summariser for a Spurs match in Europe an indicator of his future career? May be – but not yet!

Was he concerned about the referees clamping down on defenders holding opponents in the box? “I was never strong enough to hold anybody!” he replied but was supportive of the move which he felt was good for the game.

How shocked was he over the departure of Steve Bruce? He admitted to being shocked and mentioned that Brucie was a big reason for him joining the club but quick to give a really big rap for Mike Phelan and how magnificent he has been at the Training Ground.

Sam Allardice? Question ducked!!

Video Ref, as in Rugby League? He certainly saw the potential merits but was concerned about the stop/start potential to the game.

The new players? Ryan Mason needed no introduction having played with him at Spurs. Great signing and the Manchester pair of Weir and Keen were really promising.

Did he see potential England players in the current Tiger’s squad? He responded with Curtis Davies, Ryan Mason & Jake Livermore. Roll on the selectors!

Michael also explained a change in the rules when a player is injured by a foul tackle. Under the old ruling he was required to leave the pitch following treatment but now, if the opponent is booked by the referee for the tackle, the injured player is not required to leave the pitch.

Finally Michael was asked about his future plans beyond playing. He was undecided except that he really wants to remain in the game, coaching, media – “it’s the only thing I know!”

Following Michael’s presentation we had refreshments and opportunity for more photos with the Championship Play-off Trophy and then a short presentation by Ollie Izard from the Tiger’s Trust on ‘Walking Football’ and the announcement of a 6 week pilot session beginning on Thursday, 3rd November in the Airco Arena. The sessions will start at 10 am and cost just £3 (or £15 for all six weeks). Hopefully enough members will join up to ensure that it takes off and becomes a regular fixture. Our thanks were expressed to Senior Tiger member, Trevor Richardson, who had agreed to coordinate this along with the Tiger’s Trust.

A great day was had by 37 members at Flamingo Land.

It was with thanks to the Club that we were subsidised for our visit and the weather was kind to us. Within five minutes of arriving, Peter Lincoln decided he would have a ride on a motorbike roller coaster, and we watched him go hurtling round. He came off, complete with all his bits in tact, and then he met up with Russ, who tempted him onto another large ride. They were like two young  teenagers, encouraging each other.

For the rest of us, it was a sedate ride on the train, watching a great variety of animals, and taking the aerial car to watch the baboons.

The restaurants were very good for lunch, and everyone seemed to have a good time.

I thought that the ride home would be quiet, with most people falling asleep! Not at all - there broke out a heated ‘debate’ about the why’s and wherefore’s of Harry McGuire ( all good, by the way )

Another encouraging turn out of members, eager to enjoy another afternoon of Tiger Memories. Some of the early conversations were from those with bragging rights for having attended the first session of Walking Football earlier in the day. From all accounts it was a really encouraging session and promises to develop well over the coming weeks. Those who had attended nominated their choice of “MoM” and the winner was named at the beginning of our meeting. Not sure whether she could really qualify for “Man of the Match” but none the less Brenda Beck was the chosen one and to mark this she was duly presented with flowers from our Chairman. The Walking Football now continues for the next five Thursday mornings in the Airco Arena from 10.00am to 11.30am. It costs just £3 per session for an activity you will certainly grow to love. All will be welcome – just turn up.

Now to our meeting itself. Before introducing our guest speaker the Chairman gave a quick summary over our busy programme as Senior Tigers. There seemed a general approval for the Flamingo Land experience, with some members placing their safety on the line with some of the extreme rides! Next up will be the Beamish trip on 17th November. The coach is well filled but there are just 3 or 4 seats available if members want to join the fun! Our wonderful Outings Coordinator, the lovely Barbara, then informed the meeting of the planned outings for the New Year. Watch for further details but Senior Tigers are heading to the National Railway Museum in York (January 19th), the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham (February 16th), England’s new training set up at St George’s Park in Burton (probably March 16th) and the newly enhanced Anfield in Liverpool (April 20th). That should ensure that Senior Tigers remain as a truly exciting experience.

Our speaker was then introduced, Curtis Woodhouse. Curtis played for The Tigers for a brief period in 2005 but made his reputation at Sheffield United and Birmingham City. Born in Beverley he grew up in Driffield because he said he wasn’t “posh enough for Beverley” but he always considered the East Riding to be his home. Curtis made no claims to being a good scholar at school – mentioning that he acquired just one GCSE, and that was in PE! He mentioned that his driving ambition was to be a professional footballer and, indeed, to be the ‘next John Barnes’. That was all that mattered. Recapping over his career he outlined his schoolboy contract with York City. His potential was spotted and it was Sheffield United who persuaded York to allow him to join them – for a fee. Thus it was that he made his professional debut with the Blades at the age of 17 years. His career took flight and he became United’s youngest ever Captain and youngest ever winner of the Player of the Season. Peter Taylor offered him the opportunity to play for England Under 21’s, the first of four caps played in Hungary where the weather was “chucking it down”.

In 2001 Curtis was transferred to Birmingham City for £1 million where Trevor Francis was his coach. The following season Steve Bruce took over as manager and led the team into the Premier League but he only managed a handful of games at that top level. Soon he was moving clubs including a period with Barry “Mental” Fry at Peterborough and that short period with us at the K C Stadium. Curtis was losing his love and motivation for football and found an inner longing to change sports and try boxing. His tough upbringing had always shown him how to look after himself and he wanted to test himself in the ring. As he was registered with the boxing authorities he was ranked as 157 in the country – out of 157 registered boxers at his weight level! That was his spur and with a career that would see 22 professional bouts, 13 k.o’s and just 7 losses he rose from bottom to become the British number 1 when taking the British Title here at Hull Ice Arena. Asked whether boxing was a more disciplined sport than football he quickly responded “Yeah” and explained how in boxing you are on your own so you can’t cut corners. This demanded much greater discipline.

And what of the present? Curtis is back in football, still with a passion, but now looking to forge a career in Management. His first post was with Sheffield FC, the oldest football club in the world, then Goole Town, Hull United and now in his first season as Manager of Bridlington Town. With Ian Ashby as his Assistant they have been a revelation at the club – “eight wins out of eight, it’s a good time to resign!” he quipped. He is certainly settled there and looking to build a reputation. He accepts that he may have not quite become the “next John Barnes” but he is driven and passionate about becoming a success in management.

The meeting broke for refreshments but when we re-gathered it was clear that the members had many questions to put to Curtis. Members had clearly appreciated his refreshing honesty when talking about his career – both the highlights and the low ones! Certainly one of our best speakers.Finally, the book. Curtis has his autobiography now available and confessed that he had not brought copies with him because he didn’t expect more than a handful of people to be present! The Chair offered the members a list if they would like to order a copy and will see if it is possible to bring them to our pre-Christmas lunch on December 1st. He may even persuade Curtis to come and sign them on the day!Curtis Woodhouse had his autobiography, “Box to Box” launched this October. Published by Simon & Schuster UK (ISBN 9781471147722) it is on sale for £18.99. That could make a very welcome Christmas present!!

WALKING FOOTBALL

Today the boys took a short break from training in order to pose for this photo.

43 Senior Tigers braved the cold gloomy weather of mid November to travel to Beamish for the day.

This was helped by the services of our faithful driver Terry, a couple of quizzes and a few snacks en route.

We had a really good day, and as it was the end of the season - no queueing whatsoever.

We visited the miner’s cottages, the school, both the Methodist and Anglican churches, and Clive had a personal visit down into the mine.

Some dined on fish and chips whilst others visited the tea rooms above the Co-op.  We had a fun time visiting the shops and the ‘shop-keepers’ were very friendly and funny.  We bought and ate sweets from our childhood and then had the obligatory visit to the pub.  We visited the dentist’s - a very daunting room, made realistic by the female ‘dentist’ on duty. The dentist’s private house was very luxurious for the period.

The warm coal fires and the ladies working in their kitchens reminded us how hard life was in the industrial north at that time.

We now look forward to out 2017 outings, beginning with a trip to York Railway Museum on 19th January, at a cost of £8.00 each.

Many of you will have been with us this afternoon for our Annual Pre-Christmas Luncheon. 136 members sat down to enjoy a superb meal in the 1904 Lounge at the KCOM Stadium and nothing but praise has been heard. We also were delighted to welcome three special guests from the football club.  There was generous applause when our club Head Coach, Mike Phelan, entered the room and he was joined by the recently appointed Marketing & Communications Manager, Tom Rowell, along with Ann Holland, Supporter’s Liaison, who has filled the gap following the departure of James Mooney.

Following the sumptuous meal we had the raffle, which raised £361! Well done to Pete & Ernie for that one.  There were also two very testing quizzes from Pete Lincoln & Rob Milner which certainly challenged the grey cells

To all our members may you have a wonderful Christmas. We meet next for our New Year meeting in the Dug Out on January 5th. If you want to reserve a seat on the coach to the National Railway Museum please contact Barbara. The trip is on Thursday, 19th January and will cost just £8 (Members and guests alike). The Museum is free and also optional so if you want to do something else in York you can do.

There was an eager expectation as Members gathered for their first meeting in our ‘City of Culture Year’ - they were looking for their first fill of Tiger culture and they would not be disappointed when our first guest of the year was former Tiger, Ryan France.

Ryan is one of the small group of players to have played for our club in all four divisions of the Football League senior pyramid, joining the Tigers in 2003. He played 133 games across the divisions before moving back to his home city of Sheffield. He still lives there but now beyond football, he works as a Financial Advisor.

We were delighted also to have Brendon Smurthwaite who interviewed Ryan for our meeting. From the various questions, we were able to get a brilliant insight into his playing career which had started in the junior network of Sheffield Wednesday. Nothing came from this and he looked to build a career outside football but playing the game in the local leagues. His main club would be Alfreton Town but he, wisely, took his opportunity to study at University.

Things all changed when Hull City unexpectantly called and offered him a full-time 2-year contract. With nothing to lose Ryan took the chance and joined Peter Taylor and Colin Murphy. Suddenly after playing in front of a small crowd, very small, he was playing in front of 18,000 for Hull City. His debut was a dream, his crosses landed to perfection and then the opportunity to score – all on his debut! That first season led to promotion into the third tier and would see the signing of Nick Barmby – Ryan’s vote for ‘best professional’. Incredibly Ryan would be part of the team that would claim promotion into the Championship at the end of his second season, four consecutive promotions for him, having seen back to back promotions before with Alfreton.

The year under Phil Brown would create a real sense of collectiveness and some great training sessions leading to a belief that they could and that they would reach the Premiership. Ryan made his top-flight debut at Arsenal and was persuaded by a friend to get him Van Persie’s shirt and the great striker obliged and duly sent the shirt to the City dressing room after the match – but with the unexpected request that it was swapped for Ryan’s Premiership debut shirt! He hadn’t expected that and muses does V.P. have it displayed on his living room wall? It was also bad news for Ryan, not only had he lost his debut shirt it would also cost him £35 since the club charged players if they gave their shirts away! Nothing new there!!

Ryan had happy memories of the K C Stadium coming with his wife and daughters. The Player’s Bar was more a crèche on those match days. Many great family friendships were forged and still he meets up regularly with the likes of Boaz Myhill, Matt Duke, Andy Dawson and their families.

Questions from the floor would follow:

Your most memorable chant? “Ryan France, France, France” – although he thinks that was a reference to his parents

Best player: Van Persie

Ian Ashbee: As captain in all four divisions he is “unique”, led by passion and example and when he shouted – you listened!!

Stuart Elliott: Probably got the most ear-bashing for always shooting! Ryan recalled doing a fantastic overlap and expected Stuart to slip the ball through to him only to see Stuart ping it towards goal ... “Stu’ey .... (he expressed in despair) ..... great goal!!”

Abuse of Refs: Like many he does not like the way that players abuse the referees – regardless as to whether they are right or wrong. Professional players are role models and what young kids see on the TV games they will copy on the park pitches. Abuse of Ref’s – it should be a straight Red Card – and that from someone who was never sent off in his career.

Other things that happened at our January meeting:

Just two hours earlier Marco Silva had been appointed as our new Head Coach. The Senior Tigers offered their warmest welcome. We also acknowledged the loss of two of our members over the recent weeks. Pamela Roberts, mother of Gareth, and Graham Newdick. Graham had been a Steward on Tiger Travel for many years. His funeral had taken place in Withernsea earlier in the day and a group of 30 members had traveled to that service. Even with them absent, although some would join us later, we started with a healthy 120 members present.

David, our Chair, had been present for the award of grants by the Executive Club for members of the Tiger’s Academy. Last year we had contributed £500 towards this fund. Altogether nine young boys were awarded gifts totaling £1500 and there were all very worthy recipients.

There was a plea for the lady who took the wrong coat home after the Christmas Luncheon to claim her own coat and put a smile on the lady who went home without a coat!

The lads who run the Walking Football were present and reminded us that things begin again on Monday, 16th January – 10 am in the Airco Arena. Adam, who works for the Tiger’s Trust as their Disability Sports Co-ordinator, also introduced the scheme. It is open age, children to pensioners, running events across the city to help people with needs to play sport. All very commendable.

Club Poet, and Senior Tiger, Dave Osgerby, read his new poem in tribute to Mike Phelan whilst Pat Ellis read a moving poem by Nora (Nodge) Jones called a “Song for City”. Two brilliant poems which were read live on the Burnsie Show the previous morning.

Here are some photos that were taken at our meeting. They include a photo of the raffle prizes, another great display and all thanks to Pete Wilson for all his efforts.

On Thursday 19th January, 25 members went to the National Railway Museum in York.

As it was out of season, we were able to visit all the exhibits without having to join queues. We were joined by two members of the Tigers Trust - Adam Newton, who is specialising in disabled sports, and his assistant Steve.  They looked after our member Gerry, and had a great time learning from Gerry himself. They managed to get permission to take him into the workshop, where the Flying Scotsman and the Nigel Gresley locomotives were having their annual overall.

Some members went into York, whilst others stayed around the museum 

We are now looking forward to our next outing to the Black Sheep Brewery at Masham

About 130 members packed into the Dugout for our February meeting when our guest speaker would be John Hawley.

Before John was introduced Chairman David gave a number of welcomes and thank you’s. There was a very warm welcome to the appointment of our new coach, Marco Silva and a spontaneous round of applause for the team’s performance the previous evening at Old Trafford. The meeting also offered their best wishes for a speedy recovery of Ryan Mason following his horrific head injury.

Our Walking Football team was given encouragement on the news that it will be taking part in a tournament on 12th February in York – despite having been sent an official set of rules which in no way compared with the way they had been playing here! Best of luck guys!

Following our successful visit to York and the National Railway Museum we are now looking forwards to the next trip – to the Black Sheep Brewery at Masham. A popular trip and the coach is already full. We will leave at 9.00 am from the KCOM. There are only a handful a places left for the 16th March visit to St George’s Park & the National Arboretum at Alrewas - we were reminded that this trip starts earlier, leaving the KCOM at 8.30 am. Alarms will need to be set!

Now those introductions were over we could give a really warm welcome to John Hawley. How better than to invite Club Poet, Dave Osgerby, to read his original poem celebrating John’s time at the club. A truly wonderful poem that clearly was a little embarrassing for John!! He was described in the poem as ‘John Hawley, the last of the Corinthians’ noting that he was probably the last amateur to play in the professional game.

What did we learn from John’s address?

That his first contact with the club was some 58 years ago when the young lad that he was had the opportunity to play football in the then new gymnasium at the back of Boothferry Park’s old South Stand. He went through the City Juniors Schoolboy network and at 16 years was offered £9 pw to sign as an apprentice. Consideration given he turned the offer down so as to work for his father in their local antiques business. He continued to train with the club in the evenings and was soon offered a Morris 1000 and £10 pw expenses!

His first team debut was delayed when they found that he was not registered and the unfortunate who was called up to take his place would go on to suffer a horrendous career ending injury. John recalled that his observations of the professional around him was that they all chewed gum on the field. He decided to follow the example by didn’t realise that they only had one piece – John put ten in his mouth and soon found that he could hardly breathe with so much! Thoughtfully he removed the gum and even more thoughtfully declined the opportunity to litter the pitch of his dreams with it, he held it throughout the half in his hand and spent the entire interval trying to remove it and open his hand!

Early in his career he was invited to travel with the team on an end of season tour of the West Indies – this for a lad who’d never been further than Scarborough! He recalled that in Surinam there was a plague of beetles which meant they couldn't eat or even open their mouths.

He recalled another close season trip, this time to the USA when he would play for St Louis, was paid expenses of $100 pw, given use of a car and an apartment – he was in La La Land! On one occasion they had New York Cosmos flying in a fixture and their star man was Pele. John was quoted (or misquoted) on the front page of the local newspaper asking “Whose Peel?” It got him in some trouble with the club but after the match Pele came over to him and apologised that he had unwittingly got him in trouble!

John declared that he had no regrets playing as an amateur for much of his career and that in contrast he has some serious misgivings over the excessive wages being offered today. He mentioned George Best, Rodney Marsh and Bobby Moore as some of the special people he played against during his career. He seemed to have some doubts over the wisdom of his move to Arsenal and told the story of noticing some road signs bearing his name ... Hawley Road etc. He then saw one with added graffiti “John” Hawley “is a w..ker”. He innocently asked his solicitor whether he had a claim for defamation and was told “No chance – I’ve seen you play!” It takes a great man to be able to show such modesty.

Of his final goal for City, a memorable peach against Sunderland, he modestly suggested that it had helped to cover up for a long time that he was really “c..p” Well, of course, he wasn’t anything of the sort. John was a Tiger’s legend and always will be. He made 114 appearances between 1972 and 1978 scoring 22 goals – including that ‘peach’ against Sunderland. Today John works for the club on match days, hosting the hospitality restaurant and looking after the sponsors. One member asked why he goes on to the pitch with the sponsors without a coat – don’t you feel the cold? John’s charming response was that “there are whales swimming in the Arctic with less blubber than I have”

John, a very special guest for the Senior Tigers, and we all thank you for the many memories of one of our own local boys doing so well in the game.

Our walking football team played their first ever 6 a side tournament at the PlayFootball York, outdoor 3G pitches at Clifton Moor.

The weather was horrendous. It poured with rain relentlessly for the whole time and was very cold, but 8 members went to take part.

We can only claim to winning one game out of five -  that was against Grimsby - and there were one or two minor injuries. Our corner of the players' lounge smelt rather strongly of embrocation, but both the players and spectators had an enjoyable time.

Anyone wishing to play walking football please click here for more details

46 members took the journey to the Black Sheep Brewery at Masham. 

We learned the story of the The Theakston family, and of the success that these ales, made here, are having in the market now. In 1992 Paul Theakston rebuilt the Brewery as it is today, using traditional equipment, and his son now makes the sixth generation of the family, which has seen highs and lows over decades of dedicated brewing in the Dales. The main ingredient being the wonderful water below ground, brought up by the use of Artesian Wells.

We had a short talk and film show, before a tour showing us round the different areas of processing. We all sat down in their Bistro, to have a two course lunch, and of course to sample the different ales.

Our day was very pleasant, and we now look forward to our next outing on 16th March to St George’s Park at Burton. We will have a conducted tour, and then go on to the National Memorial Arboretum.

We will leave the KCOM Stadium at 08:30am

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Before the game

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Getting Ready

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The Action

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End of Match Handshakes

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If there was a buzz of expectation before the meeting by the end it had become a roar of excitement. Much as we look forwards to meeting players, past and present, and listening to their story, today it was different. We had Rob Price, City’s Head of Medical Services. It was a complete eye-opener to what goes on behind the scenes in preparing players for the match day experience. We all learned things we’d never even thought about and realised how vital the role is of those behind the scenes at the Cottingham Training Ground.

Before joining the Tigers in 2012, Rob had developed his skills at Bradford University before joining the Football Association as their first full-time physiotherapist based at the then National Centre in Lilleshall. Here he worked with the England senior squad as well as all the development squads. In 2005 Rafa Benitez persuaded him to join him at Liverpool where he would work for 7 years. The arrival of Brendan Rodgers saw him bring his own back-up team and Rob was out of a job – but not for long. He was immediately picked up by the 2012 Olympic Games as Head Physio’ before Steve Bruce then invited him to Hull. With the Tigers he admits he inherited a situation that was “miles behind” the other clubs and he set about transforming it to a set up to be proud of.

Rob shared some of his experiences, working with Stevie Gerrard when he had a potential career ending injury, and here with Robert Snodgrass and what was described as one of the worst knee injuries anyone had ever seen. Testimony to the efficiency of Rob’s team in bringing him back to full match fitness and who can forget how Snodders, on scoring his first goal after his return, ran to the physio’ team on the bench and flung his arms around them!

Rob talked about the GPS system used to track players, every twist, turn, sprint etc is recorded and they can identify all kinds of information – like a player who is working harder on his left than his right side etc which could identify a problem.

He talked about Ryan Mason’s concussion at Chelsea and how seriously these situations are now taken. The pre-season cognitive tests are always the base they can use to see if, after an incident, a player is not responding in the same way. With reference to Gary Cahill is was sure that the Chelsea team had been satisfied that he had no signs of continuing problems allowing him to continue – and score against us too! Meanwhile Ryan is now home and making really good progress and was full of thanks for the massive support from the fans following his injury.

He also enlightened us about the mad final hours of the transfer windows when we are repeatedly informed that a potential new signing is undergoing his medical. He admitted that it is impossible to undergo a full evaluation in the time available and that they have to give the club a balanced Risk/Reward ratio – balancing the problems with the possibilities and the potential investment risk.

When players go out on loan the club will always keep in regular contact, at least weekly. Any injury will often see the player recalled so that he can be checked & treated by our own team.

It was an extremely enlightening interview and yet there was more! Sat alongside him was young recruit Will Keane who joined us from Manchester United at the end of the summer transfer window. Will, sadly, picked up a serious knee injury and missed most of his first season, seeing rather more of Rob Price than he would have wanted. We were told that he was in his 15th Week post-surgery and was hoping soon to move outside for the next stage of his recovery. Unfortunately it is not his first set back, having injured the same ligaments previously and missing the whole of the 2012/13 season. This injury followed a period with the young England team, playing 5 games in 12 days. Will had joined the Manchester United Academy along with his twin brother Michael (now at Burnley) and played alongside the like of Paul Pogba & Jessie Lingard. At the age of just 14 he was playing for their Under 18’s, a sign of his early potential. His move to Hull was the right time to progress his career and the presence of Mike Phelan helped to swing the decision too, having known him from his coaching days at Old Trafford.

When asked from the floor Rob & Will were happy to speak positively about the new coaching regime, although it has meant a doubling of the time they now spend at the training ground. For Rob there is always the concern of additional injuries coming from that extra demand. Meanwhile the new players had largely arrived without match fitness and that had presented challenges to the fitness team to help them hit the ground running. They agreed that the new Head Coach had an incredible attention to detail and all players are expected to know exactly what is expected of them .. and their colleagues too!

When asked we were informed that Max Sheaf, the young player badly injured in the game against the SportPesa All Stars, was now home from hospital. He has a fracture to his skull and this will mean at least 8/10 weeks recovery. Brian Lenihan, who made his 1st team debut last season, was injured in the Under 21’s Cup Final against West Ham United. He is now back and training, having worked really hard on his recovery. Because of the injury the club did not register him with a squad number so he will not be playing for the Tigers this season.

Well that will have to do as a report back from what was truly a fascinating and enlightening afternoon.

Our most recent outing was not one but two – and that certainly proved value for money! We set off from the KCOM at the rather early hour of 8.30 am in one of Acklam’s super coaches and headed for the Derbyshire/Staffordshire borders, our first destination being the new St George’s Park venue at Burton on Trent. St George’s is the first dedicated centre for the Football Association, providing training and rehabilitation facilities for our beloved game. Previously they had used the facilities of the Lilleshall Centre but now football can kick on with their own dedicated facilities.

On arrival we were introduced to the opulence of the Hilton Hotel, built in partnership with the FA and providing the accommodation for over 30 England teams when they are in residence. Yes, over 30 teams! That includes not just the England senior team but the various age squads (eg. Under 18’s) for the men, the ladies and the disabled. They are surrounded by a huge number of pitches including the official England pitch which is an exact replica of Wembley – size & surface.

Following our Hilton coffees we were taken on an excellent tour (our full coach required two groups) and shown round the estate. We would see the indoor training facility, the gymnasium, full size indoor pitch and the number one pitch already referred to. We were taken towards the training rooms (many of them) and the hydrotherapy centre which includes swimming pool and plunge pools etc. A few days after our visit the full England squad would be in residence and that morning we were waiting to see if our Harry had made that squad – sadly not on this occasion. It was fascinating to see this country retreat with every possible state of the art facility. We saw the interesting graffiti wall of signatures – it would make a great quiz to see how many names you could recognise!

In the Rehabilitation Centre they had another wall where players were able to record their appreciation following their course of treatment.

That visit, alone, would have been an excellent outing yet we had more! Just a short coach ride away brought us to the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas. This dedicated centre has quickly become of focus of remembrance for our nation. Apart from the central Armed Forces Memorial there are another 300 memorials, each one worth a visit. Following our lunch, on arrival, we took our places on a land train that would take us round the huge site. This hour long tour meandered its way with a clear and very helpful audio commentary. It could not possibly identify every memorial but it introduced us to significant ones, representing fields of conflict, regiments and trades. Many of the memorials were significant sculptures and very worthy of those they honoured. For me, having visited on a number of previous occasions, I can’t help but be moved by the ‘Shot at Dawn’ Memorial which remembers those who for many decades were forgotten in ignominy – cowards who deserted at the hour of need. What we now recognise is that these were men who had given their all in the theatre of war and had seen too much and suffered greatly. Men like Private Charles McColl of 6 Bramham Avenue, Woodhouse Street, Hull. He had served, been ‘blown up’ and suffered heart complications but patched up was sent back to France in 1917. Suddenly faced with the front line he broke down. For that he was shot at dawn and his mother Annie was left to mourn alone for the rest of her life. It took many decades to bring their memories back. That ‘Shot at Dawn’ memorial is now one of the most visited sites at the Aboretum.

Alongside it is the Memorial of the Showmen’s Guild which remembers the many showmen who gave their lives in the two great wars. I had confidently informed our members to look out for the carousel horse that stands alongside only to find that the horse has galloped away – for maintenance!

It was clearly a memorable visit and a number of our members took opportunity to reflect and think.

Our day at St George’s and the National Arboretum was a very special day that will stay long in our memories.

Allen Bagshawe

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Sculpture of footballer (modelled on Rooney)

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The Autograph Wall

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Senior Tigers at the Autograph Wall

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Senior Tigers at the gymnasium

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The No 1 England Training pitch

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Memorial at the “Shot at Dawn” site in the Arboretum

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Grave of Pvt Charles McColl in Ypres

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From the National Memorial at Alrewas

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The sun was shining, the doors where open, welcome to the Senior Tigers April meeting. Spirits were clearly buoyant following the two home victories over the Hammers & the ‘Boro, a confidence that we can survive for another Premier season.

Our special guest was Adam Lowthorpe who played over 70 times for the Tigers between 1993 and 1998. Adam was one of those rare local successes, born and bred in the city. He began playing for Greatfield in mid-field but was encouraged by the great Chris Chiltern to give right full-back a go .. Adam’s future was discovered. He joined the Tiger’s YTS scheme to be guided by Dale Roberts and then Mal Shotton – two good role models if ever there were any. It was a good production line which saw a number of local boys come through to the first team and make their mark. Adam’s debut came as something of a surprise when he thought he’d been ‘dropped’ from the Reserves only to find he was promoted to Terry Dolan’s first team – a match against Bradford City in which ‘Deano’ scored in the first minute. Adam recalls that sense of pride taking his place with his home city club and says he is just as proud today when he looks back at his success. These were different days, the old ‘drinks culture’ had not yet given way to the modern professionalism, but things were changing.

From full-back Adam only mustered three first team goals but our Chair still asked him “Do you remember any of them?” Adam responded with bite .... “when you only score three you remember them all!!” The first two were both away goals, at Scunny and from a flick on by Mark Hateley, and at Rochdale but to this day he has never seen any video. Surely someone in those club will have some archive footage? His final goal was at Boothferry Park against the Orient and this he has seen played back! He recalls that wonderful moment when he could stand in front of the South stand and milk their adoration.

The David Lloyd era had arrived and Mark Hateley was unable to raise moral among a squad he considered weak and was not allowed to strengthen. Adam was allowed to leave the only club he wanted to play for. He tried Gainsborough Trinity without success but eventually came through at North Ferriby United whilst helping with the coaching at the City Under 16’s. He soon retired to concentrate on the coaching side of the game although he greatest playing honour was yet to come! He was playing the game of Futsal, widely regarded round the globe if not in the UK and at the age of 32 was called up to play for England! Now a full International, at Futsal that is, he moved back to retirement and the discovery of his new contribution to the great Game.

Adam had taken a degree in Leisure Management at York and was involved in Hull City’s Football in the Community team and the Centre of Excellence when the opportunity to join the East Riding FA as a Development Officer came along. Now, a few years down the road, Adam is the County FA’s Chief Executive and guiding the future of football at all levels in this region – children, men, women, elderly ‘Walking in Football’ teams and, of course, the referees. Well done Adam on fulfilling such an important challenge.

There were many questions from the floor, about ‘Walking Football’ which is a fast rising star of the game – as well the Senior Tigers know! Ladies Football is also on the growth with some 16/17 local teams. The disappointment is that Hull City Ladies are not given any real support by the Club - one of only two Premier League clubs to fail to back their local ladies. Meanwhile the ERFA have a target of doubling the number of women & girls playing the game over the next 5 years. The problem of recruiting referees was also posed. The County F A have about 300 referees on their panel and run a number of courses every year to help increase the number but attitudes towards the officials can be so very hostile from the sides. Adam was asked why the County Cup Final would not be held at the KCOM Stadium. It seems that the club have raised the hire to an exorbitant level and whilst most County F A’s have the free use of the local stadium for the prestigious local cup finals that is not the case in Hull. It is a pity since most players, who will never play the game at the professional level dream of the privilege of walking out just that once on their local ‘theatre of dreams’.

Adam’s visit to the Senior Tigers was very much appreciated by the membership.

Allen Bagshawe

Adam Lowthorpe and Dave Jackson

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Prizes for the April 17 Raffle

Ollie Ezard of the Tigers Trust kindly arranged a tournament which took place on Monday 10th April at our usual Airco Arena venue.

The idea was to include a number of walking football teams from Hull and a little further afield.

Sadly not all the In the invited teams were able to attend despite their initial interest. In the event we were grateful to Hull Pace Makers who, along with their Hull City hosts, provided two teams each and ensured a successful day.

Hull Pace Makers have been playing Walking Football for somewhat longer than Hull City and their superiority was evident from the start. They had divided their squad into an A team and a B team with the more skilful players in the A team. Hull City meanwhile had adopted a more laid back approach with their squad randomly distributed over their two teams (imaginatively named as Amber and Black) and including two players who joined us only the week before!  

The tournament involved a double round robin format where each team played each other team twice. Not surprisingly the Hull Pace Makers A team were victorious and remained unbeaten throughout the tournament but the Hull City Black team ran them close with Hull City Amber team third and Hull Pacemakers B team finishing fourth.

Highlights included a certain referee forgetting to make a note of the score in one of the matches and the Goal of the Tournament – being a spectacular ‘rocket shot’ of an own goal by the victorious Hull Pace Makers A team proving that even they can get things wrong at times!

Everyone was a winner in the end and we even got to enjoy a slice of cake with the usual post-match cuppa!

Thanks to Ollie for arranging, to our guests the Hull Pace Makers club and to our wonderful band of supporters in the gallery.

Trevor Richardson

48 members went to Anfield.

Although we were originally planning to do the new Free Flow Tour, unfortunately this had been delayed, and we had a restricted Group tour.

Our guide was so welcoming, and two further members of staff so helpful. We had a chance to sit in part of the new stand, see the Corporate lounge and the players lounge and go pitch-side.

The highlight was sitting in the Kop listening to the ‘You’ll never walk alone” recorded music. It was Gerry Ashton’s birthday, and we sang to him from the Kop.

There was a chance to visit the Steven Gerrard museum, and photographs with trophies before moving on to the Albert Dock. Here our party split into groups, some visiting museums, some cafes, some shops and some straight to the bars! 15 of us went on the Mersey Ferry tour, and listened to the strains of Gerry and the Pacemakers.

Thanks again to Acklams for their safe journey.

Photos to follow

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Senior Tigers before the Anfield Tour

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Inside Anfield

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Happy Birthday to Gerry from the Kop

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View from the Ferry on the Mersey

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Gerry and the Beatles ( not the Pacemakers! )

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Report and photos to be added in due course.