Diary Dates for the 2017-2018 Season
These are some pictures from Amsterdam won in the Senior Tigers raffle. We were blessed with lovely weather, visited the Rijksmuseum and had a great time. We even got a free upgrade on our cabin!
Welcome to a new season. On 3rd August the Senior Tigers gathered in the 1904 Lounge at the KCOM Stadium for their Annual General Meeting. About 100 members were present and once the business was over and refreshments had been enjoyed, our Chairman David called us together.
David began the open meeting began with one or two notices and in particular the details of our September meeting. This will be held on Thursday, 7th September and in the Circle Restaurant (the upstairs room overlooking the pitch). The reason for the change of venue is that the football club has very kindly offered, once again, to provide members with a free buffet luncheon. This is extremely kind of them and we so much appreciate it. The Circle Restaurant will better offer them the space to make this provision. Members were reminded that the lunch will be served from 1.00 pm and you are asked to bring your Membership card with you. Following lunch, we are delighted that former Tiger, Andy Saville, will be our guest speaker.
Now our guest speaker needed no introduction – it was the Legend himself, Dean Windass. He had been offered as a replacement speaker by the football club in the light of their announcement that match day commentaries would now be offered by Viking 2. We had presumed that ‘Deano’ was to be a part of the commentary team but he was very quick to make it clear that he had nothing to do with this new arrangement and that he would continue with his usual duties as Match Day Host. He commented how proud he was to be appointed the Club’s Ambassador and loves the opportunities to take the club into many areas of city life – especially to our schools. He is also responsible for making the arrangements to bring former players to meet our hospitality guests on match days.
He was asked how he thought the new manager had settled into the club. Deano mentioned that he first met him at the Kit Launch and immediately warmed to him – possibly because Leonid Slutsky knew exactly who Deano was! He certainly found a warmth in the new Head Coach and found him very laid back. Deano would later describe the new Manager as “Crackers!” This was said, however, with respect as he found him a refreshingly warm and open man, such a contrast to the sullenness of his predecessor.
Deano was asked what he thought about the return of Fraizer Campbell to the club. He appreciated that returning to a former club sometimes throws up difficulties but in his own return things had worked out perfectly. He had every reason to hope they would for Fraizer – after all, he had been the one to cross the ball that led to Deano’s wonder Wembley goal!
He was asked about the new season crackdown on diving. He was happy with the idea as it clearly was a response to a problem in the game, but he warned that it will only be successful if it comes with consistency from the referees.
Asked about the crop of young lads breaking through he saw great promise in Jarred Bowen and saw a possible big season ahead for him. He hoped that Greg Luer would have better luck this season without being dogged again by injury.
He was asked what he thought about the massive transfer fee for Neymar. His first response was “Jammie Bas...d” but then wished him good luck, stressing it was not his fault that so much had been paid for and to him. He mentioned that this is reflected in the constant raising of fees, especially at the top levels. He even mentioned that his son Josh now has a £3m clause in his Rangers contract. He shared how well things were going for him at the resurgent Rangers and that they recently took 13,000 to a friendly with Sheffield Wednesday. There is, however, an increasing disconnect between players and fans caused by the spiraling wages being offered. Deano, who has always stayed firmly connected was saddened by this growing trend in the game.
He expressed some regret that at the recent Club Open Day players had rationed their time among the fans and especially the children. Most had excused themselves long before the queues of signature hunters had gone. He could never condone that and regretted it had happened.
Deano was thrilled with the progress of the England Women’s team in the Euro Finals and offered them his congratulations.
Finally, he was asked what his pet hates were. He suggested two ...
- Being called by your surname
- Being winked at!
So, with a wink, we all thanked him for coming. Don’t we love our Deano - wink, wink!
Before closing the meeting the Chair invited two successful members of the Senior Tigers Walking Football to receive trophies from Deano. David Cormack, for scoring 7 goals in a recent match and David Beal who gave a brilliant display as goalkeeper and still managed to score a hatrick!
To close the meeting our resident Poet, David Osgerby, read his latest offering dedicated to the Walking Footballers. Brilliant and well received.
David Cormack and David Beel collecting their tropheys from Deano
September means we are ready to start a new season and over the coming months we have many exciting things to look forwards to. Our regular and always popular meetings at the KCOM, those fabulous outings organised by our Barbara and the encouragement to try something different – like ‘Walking Football’. The Senior Tigers are ready for it!
Once again the football club very kindly offered to provide us all with a Buffet Lunch to mark the new season and with approx 150 members gathered they all received a truly excellent and most generous lunch in the Circle Restaurant. A rapturous round of applause was sent back to the Events Team and Club.
David, our Chair, reported that following our AGM he and two other members of the Committee had met with Tom Rowell & Luke Cash. It was a good meeting at which we were thanked for our willingness to change our planned speaker at the August meeting. Having David Burns was considered to be too close to the change of Media partners. The Club have promised to provide speakers for four of our meetings during the coming season. They also confirmed that arrangements would continue as last season with regards to room hire, provision of tea & coffee and website hosting. They informed us, however, that they want us to change our logo which currently uses the official Tiger’s head. This was, of course, offered to us but they are now trying to secure the use of the image for the football club only. They have not pressured us to change immediately, appreciating that this would be difficult. They also offered us the free support of their Graphic Design Team to help us, should we request.
Given the assurances about our expenses with the football club the Chair told the meeting that we were now happy to release £500 to support some of the young boys of the Academy who have difficulty in providing basic equipment or travel expenses. As last year we will direct this gift through the Tiger’s Executive Club. The meeting was unanimous in supporting that proposal.
The Chair mentioned that, having taken advice, the Committee have taken out Insurance Cover to ensure that members are always fully covered on our activities.
Acklams have once again agreed to sponsor the Senior Tigers. They will be joined this season by new sponsors, Tucker Mechanical & Electrical Building Services. These sponsors have offered us generous donations.
The forthcoming trips were set to be great occasions. Manchester City (Oct) & Sheffield United (Nov) are already fully booked, although members can ask to be put on a reserve list should places become available. There were just 5 places left for the Grimsby trip later in the month.
Ernie introduced the idea of a Senior Tiger’s Walking Club and members are encouraged to let him know if they would be interested. Contact him via the website Contacts page.
Preambles over we were now ready to welcome our special guest, Andy Saville. Now working as a postman his arrival was delayed through work commitments but once with us we all received full value. Andy grew up in Hull and learnt the basics of football skills at Malet Lambert School, giving praise to his early mentor, Mr Huckstep. He was drafted into the City Minors at 16 years, encouraged by Pete Sissons, Arthur Perry & Mike Rawding, but no offer of an apprenticeship would be offered. From school he joined Reckitts and played as much football as was possible and at the mature age he was invited to join the professional ranks – albeit taking a pay cut to do so! He signed on and the rest is history.
He made his City debut in 1983 whilst still only registered as part-time. City beat Port Vale 1-0. His first goal for the club would not arrive until 1985 when Billy Whitehurst flick a ball through for Andy to round the Cambridge United goalie and score. He eventually made 101 appearances for the club scoring 18 goals. His highlight game was a ‘derby’ against Grimsby Town when he was introduced as a 2nd half substitute and the Tigers trailing by 2 goals. His two goals that afternoon would earn the Tigers a point and help the Mariners towards relegation!
He admits to being gutted when his time with City came to an end but life after the Tigers saw him play for Wallsall, Barnsley, Hartlepool, Birmingham City, PNE, Wigan, Cardiff & Scarboro. At the ‘Pool he banged in 20 goals in a season which then saw him transferred to B’rum and add a further 9 goals in just 10 games. Andy was top scorer that season for two different teams. At Preston he scored 30 goals in his first season and promotion. That was the first of three successive promotions, the other two being with Wigan. His colleagues at Preston included David Moyes, Russ Wilcox & Graham Atkinson.
Best team mate: Gary Parker
Best Captain: Ian Bryson (PNE)
Best Manager: Gary Peters (PNE)
Biggest ‘nutter’: Barry Fry!
Asked about today’s football he felt that players had rather lost touch with the supporters, they had become like film stars and were beyond the reach of the average fan. He expressed some hopes for the current City side although realised that they would take some time to ‘bed in’. He wqas disappointed to see the lack of local lads in the team – 6/8 when he was playing.
On match days Andy is often around the club as part of Dean Windass’ squad to entertain the Corporate Guests.
On Thursday 21st September, we set off from the KCOM stadium at 10am, with 35 members.
We arrived at the Grimsby Fishing museum about 10.45, and were split into two groups.
One group went on to the Ross Tiger trawler moored alongside the museum, while the other group had a conducted tour of the museum. Then we changed over – each tour taking about an hour. There was also time for a cheeky coffee.
Both tour leaders were really knowledgeable about the whole of the fishing industry in Grimsby, and also of Hull’s too.
The man on the Ross Tiger had been to sea with her for many years, and at one time had been the skipper. The other tour guide was the grandson of a Grimsby fisherman, and he had a wealth of knowledge handed down from his grandfather.
We then went on to The Pier at Cleethorpes, which is now a Papa’s restaurant, and enjoyed a superb fish and chip lunch, in amazing surroundings.
There was time for a short walk along the sea front, before returning home.
We met a week late due to the ongoing Hull Fair School in the Dugout and other stadium activities. No problem, we still saw a large turnout, approx 130 members, when we met in the 1904 Lounge.Our Chairman, David, gave his summary of recent activities including the memorable trip to the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The menu for our pre-Christmas Luncheon was available and bookings were now being taken. He also mentioned that the Walking Football Club, on Mondays, was doing well but could do with a few extra members - 5 or 6 would be a brilliant outcome.
Barbara gave an update on the forthcoming Outings. The trip to Manchester (Oct 19th) was almost full, two spaces available. Those going were encouraged to bring a packed lunch with them for this trip. The Bramall Lane visit is fully booked. She introduced the list of proposed outings for the New Year and there was a general hum of excitement among the members. We discussed the issue of late cancellations for outings – some coming on the day. It is appreciated that members may have genuine reasons to withdraw but the members agreed that we would not be expected to offer refunds unless it was possible for us to find someone else to take the place.
David informed the members that Pete Magee of Jupiter Web Solutions had been added to our list of Sponsors in recognition of the generous contribution he makes towards our website.
The meeting took a short break as we waited for our Guests, Fraizer Campbell & Jarrod Bowen. When they arrived there was a spontaneous round of applause to greet them. David began his ‘interrogation’ – Fraizer was somewhat surprised at the number of questions that kept coming! The questions were spread among the players but for these summary notes, we will take the players in turn, starting with Fraizer Campbell. We learnt that he was born in Huddersfield in 1987 but at the early age of 10 he was invited to join the Manchester United Academy who had already spotted his talent playing for Huddersfield Town boys. He was already a Man U fan so this opportunity was a dream come true. His first game came when he was asked to play in Roy Keane’s Testimonial match, which he considered a great privilege. He made his competitive debut as a sub in 2007 in the local ‘derby’ against City. Soon after he was loaned out to the Tigers – and scored on his debut for us. He certainly had a great season with us, ending up as our top scorer and then providing the peach of a cross from which Deano scored his wonderful Wembley goal. There were hopes that City would keep hold of him but United had other plans, they were trying to land Berbatov from Spurs and needed a ‘carrot’ so Fraizer headed to White Hart Lane. This had also scuppered a plan for him to come not back to Hull but headed for Wigan and Steve Bruce. A year later and with Brucie now in charge at Sunderland, Fraizer kept his promise to join him despite Hull’s tempting offer to return. His time at Sunderland started well but then, in his second season, he damaged his cruciate and that took him out of the game for 18 months. When he was able to return he moved, for a fresh start, to Cardiff City before then transferring to Crystal Palace where he would spend three seasons. The yearning to return to his Yorkshire roots eventually led him to his return to the Tigers – it took nearly 10 years but we got him back! Having played for England at Under 16, U17, U18 & U21 level he eventually was called up for a full International Cap in 2012 against the Netherlands – it was also the day his eldest daughter was born and the highlight of his career. Asked about his favourite managers he gave praise to Sir Alex Ferguson before saying that Leonid Slutsky is the easiest manager to approach and get on with. Both our players mentioned how the players love him and appreciate his attitude to be involved with them on and off the pitch. When asked who was the best defender he came up against he responded by naming Rio Ferdinand.
Now Jarrod: He was born in 1996 in Herefordshire and played first for Leominster Minors and then Hereford United. He made his first-team debut at just 16 years whilst his first goal came in 2014 against Alfreton Town – and on his dad’s birthday! Hereford sadly folded that season but he was offered a lifeline in the game when the Tigers came calling – a Premiership club? He thought it was a joke! Tony Pennock was the one to spot the raw talent and encourage the club to bring him in. With Hereford folding, it also meant that he came on a free transfer.
His City debut came in August 2016 and an EFL Cup tie away at Exeter City and a 3-1 victory. He made seven appearances for the club in the Premiership but, sadly, there were no victories to celebrate during what was a tough season. The first six were from the bench but the final game of the season saw him handed a debut start – but it was not a memorable debut with City being thumped by Spurs! That is now history as he taken his opportunity this season in great style.
Asked what helps him to keep his feet on the ground he quickly responded – my Dad!!
With the Tigers scoring well and both these players with goals in the bag we can look ahead to better days.
On Thursday 19th October, 47 members set off to Manchester. We had a slightly late start due to traffic congestion around the City, but our superb driver, Chris, got us to the Etihad in time for our 11.30 tour. This took over 90 minutes, and we sat in the heated seats, saw the home and away changing rooms, the showers and hydrotherapy pool, and went pitch side through the tunnel, and stood near the dug-outs.
We learnt about the history of this amazing stadium, from its beginnings as the venue for the 17th Commonwealth Games (attended by the queen in her Golden Jubilee year), to how it was converted into the great venue it is today. We were also made aware that Pep Guardiola’s daughter was at the Ariana Grande concert, and he has a poem printed on one of the walls that was written for the memorial service.
We also learnt that our driver was one of the Acklams’ coach drivers from Hull that evening.
The weather, in true Manchester style, turned very wet, so we got back onto the coach for our packed lunches earlier than planned, and made our way – literally across the road – to the National Cycling Centre.
After coffee etc, we were split into two groups for our tour.
Housing one of the two largest indoor BMX tracks in Europe, we watched youngsters from local schools training, and our tour guide himself was a BMX racing member in the past, and very knowledgeable. The centre was built in a very deprived area, and has round it, an outdoor BMX track that can be used by the public, with free sessions – including bikes and protective clothing.
Then to the Velodrome – this was a fantastic experience – nothing like seeing it on the television.
The GB men were over in Germany, but we watched the ladies training, and the tandems with partially sighted members at the rear.
I think that most of our members had a great day. It took us over three hours to get back, the weather was horrendous and the traffic very heavy, but our driver made two detours to successfully get us out of the hold-ups.
More than 150 members gathered in the Dug Out for our November meeting when we had our Head Coach, Leonid Slutsky as our special guest speaker.
To start with our Chair, Dave, covered a few pieces of information for members. First members who had booked to visit Bramall Lane on Tuesday 14th Nov. were reminded that the coach leaves the KCOM Stadium at 9.30 am. The pre-Christmas Luncheon for members is booked for Thursday, 7th Dec and due to the high number of bookings will be held in the Circle Restaurant, overlooking the pitch. Allen, our former Club Chaplain, will also reprise those Christmas Carols that used to take place at half time during the nearest to Christmas match.
Barbara was asked to update on the Outings for the New Year. January’s trip to Lincoln (Hemswell Market & the new Bomber Command Memorial) was full but a few extra seats have now become available by booking a larger coach. The price has increased to £21 but this now includes a Buffet Luncheon at the Dambusters’ Inn. There are still some places left for the Sunderland trip in February and some extra places have been created for the oversubscribed trips to Grosmont (March) and to the Boat Lift in April. Further details from Barbara, who expressed that the enthusiastic response had “blown her mind!”
The Chair introduced our January meeting, which will follow a different format. It will be a Memorabilia Day when members are welcome to bring along some of their treasures from earlier days following the Tigers. A number of key collectors had already promised to bring along their special collection. In time we hope to launch our Senior Tigers Memorabilia On Line collection.
Finally for the pre-ambles it was mentioned that 4 members of our Walking Football team had been offered free travel and tickets for a forthcoming England International at Wembley. Their names were drawn by raffle.
Our very welcome guest was now introduced and received a wonderful & warm round of applause. Leonid Slutsky is the first Russian to manage within the English League. Alongside him for our meeting was the recently appointed Head of Club Strategy, Oleg Yarovinsky. Hopefully these notes will reflect the conversation although translation may suffer along the way!
Our Head Coach began in his introduction by saying that our action is to Support the team whilst his action is the get Results! He also mentioned that we are his Energy Machine!
Leonid was born in May, 1971 and growing up in the former Soviet Union he said that there was plenty of opportunity for Sport whilst he was at school He had joined a football club at 8 years and during his days in the schoolboy soccer he team had beaten Manchester United in Russia and followed up with a 2-2 draw in Manchester. That wonderful glint sparkled in his eyes as he mentioned this! It is well documented how his playing days were to be cut dramatically short but he recounted the sorry tale. Just 2 years into his professional contract, he was a Goalkeeper, he very kindly offered to help rescue a neighbour’s cat from up a tree. Sadly he fell from the tree and suffered horrendous injuries resulting in a full year in hospital. With that twinkle he said that he no longer likes Cats – except Tigers!
Oleg Yarovinsky was born in Moscow 35 years ago and was playing Ice Hockey from just 4 years of age and played the fast game for many years. He made the move to football in 2005 when Leonid invited him to join him at FC Moscow. There were three very successful years with the team finishing 5th, 6th and 4th. They also broke Russian tradition by bringing the 2nd Team players to train alongside the 1st Team – revolutionary for them.
He then moved to CSKA Moscow and during his six year tenure he led them to three Russian Championships, during one of those runs his team kept 15 consecutive clean sheets, a record. In 2010 CSKA reached the knock out stages of the European Cup for the first time and made the Quarter Finals before losing to Inter Milan. In 2015 he succeeded Fabio Capello as Coach of the Russian National Team and took them all the way to the Euro 2016 Finals during which they frustrated the England team! All through this period Oleg has been alongside him.
Asked whether coming to England was a challenge he responded saying that Russian football is really good but England is so much more. Asked whether Leonid has always walked up and down during matches Oleg quickly responded with “Yes!” He added that he was also famed for rocking on his seat and ruined every seat in due course! It was also suggested that as he strutted about he was probably killing kittens in his mind!
He stood down from the national team after their elimination from the Euros in 2016 and resigned from CSKA shortly after. He felt he had achieved everything he could and needed a new challenge for his career. England would be that challenge. Asked how long he had known Abramovich he said 15 years and went on to say that he had created a seed change in the English game when he took over Chelsea – wages for players would now rocket to the heights they now command. He spent six months as a guest of Abramovich with the challenge to learn English and understand how the English game works. Was it easy learning English, he was asked, “No, it is not an easy language to learn and explained some of the frustrating eccentricities of English grammar!
He shared how difficult it was starting at Hull City with so many players leaving as he arrived and only 18 players to start the season with but he did not complain. Seven or eight had joined after the season started and he then had to get to understand them, how they react to instructions and decisions etc. Oleg, for his part, watches matches from the top of the stands to get a better view than that from the dug out. He then feeds information to Leonid during the halftime break. Asked for comparisons they agreed that there is more passion in the English game but because players will take more risks there are also more mistakes. With Chelsea not doing so well this season did they think Abramovich would look to sell ... and buy Hull City? “I’ll ask him on Sunday” replied Leonid!
He was asked how he relaxed and admitted it is very difficult, he is always thinking about the team. He did sometimes go cycling or play squash. When cycling he would travel 70/80 kilometres into the Yorkshire Wolds. He currently has a problem because someone had stolen his bike! Did he end up in a pub? “Sometimes, and sometimes Fish n’ Chips!” He had been spotted recently at Hull Fair and was asked for his opinion of this great local tradition. He had clearly enjoyed the excursion and felt it would help him to understand us. His favourite moment was on the Horse Races but then he admitted he lost 8 matches on the spin! “I hope I get the chance to go again!”
He was asked whether he always smiled in the dressing room and Oleg responded by saying his smile can be a delusion! He was, in fact, one of the most demanding coaches he had known. Apart from the break through of Jarrod Bowen & Max Clarke did he see any more under 23’s knocking on the 1st Team door? “Hopefully in time” he replied and mentioned that 4 or 5 were regularly training with the first team players.
Did he intend to keep playing Squash? He said yes, because he was hoping to improve! He said that he had also tried playing golf and said that the next stop was cricket!!
Finally he was asked whether he enjoyed British culture. “I have to if I am able to manage the players here”, whilst Oleg responded by saying that he was proud to be Russian. “There is much here to be praised but I don’t want to change but be a Russian in Britain”.
Wow ... what a session but let no one think he is merely here to do a job. He is here to succeed and we can only hope he has the time to reach that target.
Elsewhere you will be able to read Dave Osgerby’s wonderful poem in salute to Leonid Slutsky.
55 of our members arrived at Bramall Lane to a very warm welcome.
We were the guests of the Senior Blades, a group that began well back in the 80s and thrives with a membership of over 500.
We were given a tour of the Stadium by the former England, Leeds and Sheffield midfielder Tony Currie. Long gone was the long blonde hair, but his devotion to the Blades has lasted for many years, and he is now working with their community projects in the area.
We were shown their museum, which they are very proud of, changing rooms and had the chance to sit in the directors’ box.
We sat down, with 250 of their members, and enjoyed a three course lunch.
The Chairman of the Senior Blades introduced us, and had some friendly banter about Hull City’s past and present.
We were then entertained by the unique talent of Yorkshire comedian/magician Billy Flywheel. He had us laughing from the very beginning and included some of our group in his act.
Allen Bagshawe, having been brought up in Sheffield and encouraged to be a Blades supporter from childhood, gave a very sincere vote of thanks on our behalf.
For the first meeting of this New Year we once again had a room full of members and a busy programme to offer. Unfortunately our hopes to have Craig Fagan as our guest speaker did not materialise although Craig has promised that he will be happy to come later in the year. Brendon Smurthwaite, our former Press Officer, had agreed to fill the breach.
To start our meeting our Chair had a number of announcements to make. He began by reflecting on the hugely successful pre-Christmas Luncheon when more than 160 members were present for what was an exceptional meal. At the Christmas Raffle Janet Brown had won two tickets for the forthcoming Launch of the Hull City Hall of Fame and David was able to present her with the tickets – to loud (and jealous) applause.
More applause followed when we were able to welcome back Pete Wilson following his recent hospitalisation. It was a real joy to have him back amongst us.
Plans for our special Memorabilia Day, Thursday 8th February, were then shared with the membership. The football club have kindly allowed us the use of the Kingston Suite to ensure that we have sufficient space for the many expected displays. It is also anticipated that a number of former players will be joining us, bringing some of their personal items of memorabilia, and that it is hoped to interview them during the afternoon. Arrangements have also been made for the Bar to open during the afternoon – so members might like to use their bus passes!
Every item brought along will be recorded for an On Line Museum and to help us we will have members of the Hull Photographic Society in attendance. Members were informed, however, that we do need some willing volunteers who will be able to record these items ready for the on line catalogue. A show of hands was requested – which, surprisingly, did not produce an expected avalanche! Hopefully members have now considered the request and will make contact with us after the meeting.
There will be a Swop/sell or Donate table for those who want to bring their items and leave them with us. Hopefully this day will be a prelude to a future Museum of Hull City or even Sport in Hull & the East Riding.
The Chair made a donation of £500 from our funds to the Executive Club to support their work with the club Academy in assisting some of the younger hopefuls who need support to follow their (and ours) dreams.
Barbara reminded members that the Hemswell/Lincoln Bomber Command Memorial on 18th February is full and will leave the stadium at 9.00am. The day includes a buffet lunch at The Dambuster’s Arms in Scampton.
The February visit to the Stadium of Light (Feb. 15th) will also take in the National Glass Museum before the stadium tour. Members were encouraged to take a pack lunch on this occasion.
The Grosmont visit in March is fully booked but having doubled the booking for the Anderton Lift (April) we now have space for an additional 17 members – 95 have already booked!!
Members were informed of a special Tribute Evening for Chris Chilton that is being planned by the Ex-Players for the Walton Club on 22nd March. Tickets need to be booked – ask Barbara. Chris has not been well recently and it is hoped that this will be a timely boost to help him along.
Rob Wilson then enthralled the meeting by launching the new Photo Archives on our website. They have long been promised and could never have happened without the generous support of the Hull Daily Mail by giving us full access to their photo archives. Rob had spent hours (hundreds of them) sifting through the photos and their captions (where they had one) and preparing them for a user friendly source readily available. The first sections come from the 1950’s and ‘60’s. Many had not seen the light of day for over 50 years – some never. Members are now encouraged to help themselves and help Rob too – if they spot any errors, spelling mistakes included!
That was the preamble!
The Chair now introduced Brendon Smurthwaite to the meeting. Hull born Brendan attended Bricknell Ave & Hull Grammar Schools before taking an opportunity with the HDM as a trainee journalist in 1995. He loved sport, Hull FC since being 5 years old, and Middlesborough! - the family had lived there for a period. At the HDM he was given early encouragement from David Bond and Dick Tingle, two well respected legends of the paper. In those early days he was sent to local league matches, rugby league, speedway and even asked to write the Ken Wagstaff column – though Ken might dispute that!
He was then invited to join the infamous Hull Sharks by Tim Wilby – until they were eventually locked out! He returned to Hull City as Press Officer and to run their website. What began as a small operation would grow over 10 years into the massive media scramble it has now begun.
In 2011, following a ‘redundancy’ at the Tigers he moved to Hull Kingston Rovers and spent 3 years with them before moving to a new career with Kingston Communications as Community Coordinator. This gave him family time (no more trips to Wigan on a Friday night) and the opportunity to mentor young people in our local schools and colleges, preparing them to reach for their horizons.
Questions followed including “If Brownie had stayed, could he have kept the Tigers in the Premier League?” No easy answer but a suspicion that maybe. Brendon was asked about the use of social media by the players and how they need to give more thought before sharing things so openly. There was a question about Grimsby Town & Radio Humberside were Matt Dean has recently been banned by the club. He shared our disappointment about the recent results of the Tigers but still recognised some hopeful signs both on and off the pitch. “The Club needs to be a happy club” he stressed and recalled days when people gladly worked for nothing just because they wanted to help the club. When asked about ‘characters’ at the club he mentioned J J Okocha who was brilliant with school visits yet couldn’t resist the wind ups. Arriving at a school he would ring Brendon with an apology, saying he couldn’t do the visit and leave Brendon to panic for a few moments and then walk in the door!
One more brilliant afternoon ... now let’s look forward to our Memorabilia Day.
After a very dull and dreary January, on Thursday January 18th, the clouds cleared and 57 of our members left the KCOM stadium for the South Bank.
Our first stop was the Hemswell Antiques’ Centre at Hemswell Cliff. We were there for morning coffee and a look round some of the exhibits. This, being the largest antique centre in Europe, it is impossible to see everything even in a day, so hopefully some will go back again.
We then went to The Dambusters Arms at Scampton. We were greeted by co-owners Steve and Greg for a buffet lunch, a chance to try their home-brewed ales and a talk about the Dambusters history.
The surprise of the day was a 2 hour display of the Red Arrows team training around the area. It was a bright clear day, and so viewing was extremely clear and lots of photos were taken.
We continued our journey to the International Bomber Command memorial at Canwick Hill Lincoln. Although the Visitors’ Centre will not be officially opened until next month, we were given a guided tour and talk about the memorial, which was a very moving experience.
We were joined by Chris, our Acklams driver, at all three destinations, and we had a safe enjoyable journey both ways.
TIGERS HALL OF FAME DINNER – 31 January 2018
Until I joined Senior Tigers I’d never won a raffle prize in my life, never mind first prize! I couldn’t believe my luck when the first ticket out of the hat at the Senior Tigers Christmas lunch was number 430 – I think that’s one of mine, I thought – OMG it is!
Up I toddled to collect a prize when David (Chair) very kindly asked if I would like the first prize of two tickets to the inaugural meeting of the Tigers Hall of Fame Dinner. Would I? Of course I would.
I duly attended the dinner on 31 January with my husband, Kevin. We both had a thoroughly enjoyable evening meeting fellow like-minded Hull City supporters and chatting through the ups and downs of the current season. The hospitality at the KCOM was second-to-none with an excellent meal. The MC for the evening was, of course, Steve Jordan who kept us all well entertained, reminding us all, in particular, of that wonderful first promotion to the Premier League season as well as the Great Escape year. The formalities continued with the raffle, in aid of the World Wildlife Fund (and before you ask, no, I didn’t win) followed by the ‘silent’ auction.
It was then down to business of announcing the first five inductees into the Tigers Hall of Fame. Awards were presented to the winners, or their representatives – Andy Davidson, Ken Wagstaff, Billy Bly, Chris Chilton and Ian Ashbee. All very worthy winners.
So, to sum up, it was a fantastic evening with great memories being rekindled of some of the best times in Hull City’s chequered history.
36 members set off for Sunderland, and firstly called in at the National Glass Centre.
Our timing was perfect to see a glass blowing demonstration and to grab a quick coffee.
On our arrival at the Stadium of Light we were warmly greeted by three of their official guides.
We were given their media room as a base to eat our packed lunches, and then divided into two groups. Although the stadium is not the biggest we have been to, the tour was certainly one of the best. It was so informative and lasted for two hours…. The time passing so quickly as it was so interesting.
We were shown a lovely photo of the Queen mother presenting Raich Carter with the FA Cup in 1937. Born in Sunderland, Raich made 245 appearances and scored 118 goals, between 1931 and 1939. He is a great hero there and now has a community sports centre named after him in the town.
We cannot forget our special manager, Steve Bruce, sacked by Sunderland in 2011, who came to us the following June for four exciting and memorable years.
Seb Larson was well liked by the supporters there and our guide became very friendly with his family, very sorry to see him leave. He was with them for six years before coming to Hull City.
Another one of their heroes was David Meyler who started his professional career there. They agreed that he was a man of character and was very likable.
Our tour ended with us receiving a certificate, and it’s a visit that we shall all remember with affection.
March 1st and snow and reet cold weather was all around us yet we still mustered well over 100 members for our meeting and to welcome our very special guest, Nigel Adkins.
First our Chair welcomed all for braving it on such a foul day. He also thanked all who attended our special Memorabilia Day in February with special thanks to those volunteer scribes and the good people of the Hull Photographic Society. Over 400 items were photographed and/or scanned on the day and are now being prepared for our On Line Memorabilia site. Before this can happen there is still much work to be done and an appeal to the members was made for three or four dedicated people to help prepare things and chase up additional information etc. Any OFFERS???
Many items may have seemed like footballing trivia but they had tremendous combined value. A bound volume of programmes from 1909-10 had been on display and is valued for £10,000. Another collection had an insurance value of £50,000. Rob Wilson gave the meeting a foretaste of the future with samples of how these items will appear in due course.
Members were then introduced to Vicky Beercock our recently appointed Head of Marketing & Communications.
The end of season Luncheon menu was presented and members were asked to make their reservations. The subsidised cost for members would be £17.50 with guests paying £20.
There was applause for the well organised trip to the Stadium of Light – well done Barbara. Our next visit will be on Thursday 8th March when we visit Grosmont to see the Tornado visit the North Yorks Moors Railway. Lunch would follow in Whitby.
The meeting then gave a really warm welcome to Nigel Adkins, our Head Coach. What followed was a wonderful upbeat presentation when our speaker was always two questions ahead of Chairman David! We learned that he was born in Birkenhead on 11th March, 1965 and as a youngster would watch Tranmere Rovers and Liverpool. His dad was a big influence in his sporting development. He had all round talent, playing basketball and competing in athletics. He was talent spotted by Liverpool and at the early age of 13, invited to sign on schoolboy terms – but it also meant he had to forfeit his place running for England in the schoolboys network, having been selected to run for his country in the 400 metres. Bob Paisley was the Liverpool manager at the time and young Nigel would travel two nights a week to training via bus, ferry and more bus. At 16 he moved up to Tranmere Rovers – realising that he would find greater opportunities to make first team football if he did so. He was not wrong and made his first team debut for the Rovers when he was only 17 years old – as a goalkeeper. He spent five years at Tranmere and made 86 appearances for the club. Then came an offer from Wigan Athletic in 1986 – strangely the manager who signed him left the club that same day for a new post at Leicester City! Over the next 7/8 years he played 155 games for the Latics. He had some misfortunes along the way – two broken cheek bones, a double fracture of the spine, broken wrist and torn knee tendons – not to mention an inherited sight problem which meant he couldn’t always see the ball! He began to realise that his options as a goalkeeper, blind and broken, were diminishing and looked for other opportunities. He enrolled on a part-time degree course in Physiotherapy, seeing this as a potential future beyond football. He was also doing his coaching qualifications and in 1993 was offered the part-time post as Player Manager at Bangor FC. It suited his situation enabling him to complete his degree studies and offer support to his wife who was ill at the time. Stepping down into the League of Wales was not a mistake as he guided Bangor to successive Championships and a place in the European Cup!
In 1996, armed with his phsio degree and UEFA Coaching licence he was invited to join Scunthorpe United. His multi jobs included being Goalkeeping Coach and official substitute goalie but otherwise he would be the Iron’s new club physiotherapist. The family moved to a house in Scotter and settled quickly into the community. Ten years later when Manager, Nigel Laws, moved to Sheffield Wednesday he had the opportunity to go with him or stay with the Scunny. The invitation to become the new Scunthorpe Manager was the winning offer. He saw promotion to the Championship in his first season, finishing League One Champions too, but were relegated back the next season despite having 48 points. Not disheartened they picked themselves up and were again promoted, this time via the Wembley Play-off. They play off final was their second Wembley trip within six weeks. They had first gone to meet Luton Town in the Johnson’s Paint Trophy Final – losing in injury time and devastated. It took some skill to lift them up for the Play-off Final against Millwall and they were 2-1 down at half-time. His managerial skills were fully tested but he reminded them of the pain from that first defeat and they lifted themselves up and won their spot back in the second tier. The following season saw them preserve their place – and watch as the Owls slumped down into relegation! His reputation was growing.
After a poor start to their season, Southampton were struggling in Division One, sat in 23rd place. They made the approach and Nigel was persuaded to move to the south coast giant, even though it meant dropping down a division. From a small club with a small staff he found a plethora of people to manage – as well as the players. Two physios, two doctors, two fitness coaches, two of everything! What Nigel found is that he was able to bring people together because he knew all their roles – he was qualified as a coach, a physio and as a fitness coach – so instead of each department slagging off the others they became a united team. He took with him his assistant, Andy Crosby, and they transformed the Saints, ending that first season in second place – another promotion on his CV.
The next season was impressive, winning their first seven matches. The club had never achieved that before. Throughout the whole season they were never out of the top two and that meant they would be promoted again, the first Southampton manager to achieve that, and the club were in the Premiership. He had become a legend at the club but it did not secure him his position and at the beginning of 2013 he was released. He had a short spell at struggling Reading, also in the Premier League, but the owner then sold out as they slipped into the Championship. The promised investment in new players never happened and they were soon struggling in the Championship with youngsters on the pitch. The new owners moved in and Nigel was released!
His next challenge came from Bramall Lane, where another slumbering giant was struggling in League One. It needed time to restore their fortunes and Nigel was not given that luxury. One season and out. It would be nearly a year and half before we hear of him again ... when Hull City invited him to take on the challenge at the KCOM. Now the future is ahead of us!
Questions would follow from the floor. Evandro’s use of social media to inform us that he was injured (the manager was clearly not impressed), had he ever thought of being a referee? This question followed his admittance that a goalie who gets all the abuse behind the goal and that he can’t see! He was asked about his positive attitude – was it inherited or taught? He felt that he had always been surrounded by positivity at home and clearly shaped by it. Someone asked whether Ryan Mason’s insurance money would be invested in new players. He was not able to answer that one but did say that some would be needed to pay off the outstanding transfer fees for him. He was asked about the merits of Under 18’s and Under 21’s rather than First Team and Reserves. He clearly preferred the old system which meant trimmer squads. The new system provides funding for players who may never make the grade. He mentioned that they looked at some players in the January window who had never played first team football and were still on high wages, or “obscene money” as he put it.
We certainly had a great session and it was clear throughout that our new Coach was full of passion and drive. This also showed when he took over the Raffle and drew all the numbers with rich enthusiasm.
Welcome Nigel and we hope things work out – little doubt he deserves that.
This started off as an organiser’s nightmare. Getting to the stadium to pick up the coach >
proved to be difficult as snow came down quite heavily. The committee were ringing each other up, saying where they were, and trying to avoid traffic jams, but eventually we all made it.
We set off, slightly late, and after Pickering we hit heavier snow and icy conditions. The manager at the Station Tavern said that the valley was OK, but getting a 49 seater coach down into Grosmont was a non-starter. We finally went the long way round through Egton Bridge but just before entering the village, we had to cross a hump-backed bridge, and our driver was not prepared to chance the long wheel-base of the coach, over it, so the last few minutes of the journey was on foot.
We arrived at the Station Tavern, to a welcome array of tea, coffee and cakes, and we hoped that the Tornado would be delayed, as we were running out of time. It was on time, but now the snow had turned into rain, and we were so glad that we had the shelter of the pub to go back into afterwards, until the driver found another way round to pick us up.
We then went on to Trenchers in Whitby for a late fish lunch, and fortunately the journey home was uneventful. Thanks go to Chris, our Acklams’ driver for keeping us safe that day.
Notes from our April 2018 Meeting
Another great turnout with about 140 members present saw us welcome Jackson Irvine & Harry Wilson to the Senior Tigers. During the meeting David, our Chair, mixed the questions between our two guests but for the purpose of clarity in record we will deal with them separately.
First, our Aussie signing, Jackson Irvine:
Born in 1993 he grew up in Melbourne and agreed that it was a great place to grow up in with a laid back, outdoor lifestyle. He is mixed international with Dutch and Maltese grandparents and a Scottish father! He even represented Scotland at Under 19 level – 3 times – much to the joy of his father but Jackson clearly sees himself as an Aussie boy and when Australia came calling in 2013 he was quick to respond.
Growing up we learned that he played many different sports, Aussie Rules, Cricket, Hockey and Football. He was just 6 years old when he joined his first football club – which was coached by one of his grandfathers. He acknowledged that football is still a growing sport and far from being the number one sport in Australia. The Junior network has still to establish itself and many young talents find that they emigrate overseas to develop their passion and skills. Jackson’s opportunity came when he was 16 years old and a chance opportunity opened up for him to have trials with the Celtic Academy in Glasgow. They immediately offered him a 2 year contract.
He made his Scottish League debut against Hibernian and in front of 60,000 fanatical fans. Celtic then loaned him out to Kilmarnock where he played 30 games in the SPL. The following season (14-15) he was loaned out again, this time to Ross County. The club were so pleased to land him that they persuaded Celtic to let him sign full time. Playing regularly he helped his new club to a top half finish in the SPL and beat Celtic on the way!
After two season in the Highlands he was offered a contract in the English game by Burton Albion at a time when the club were playing at their highest ever level, in the Championship. In their first season at this level they survived and he scored 10 goals and was named as Player of the Year. He started the current season with Burton and playing early season at the KCOM Stadium he managed to score for Burton and get sent off. He didn’t comment on the sending off but suggested that the goal was one of his best and that “it got me a move!!” A few days later he duly signed a 3 year contract with the Tigers!
He recognised that it has been a difficult season with 3 different coaches but he has ambition and looks to be very much a part of our future at the KCOM.
Questions from the floor included “Who supplies your hair conditioner?” and “How do the players get a word in during team meetings with the manager?” His response to the second question was, as we suspected, “We don’t!” Another question referred to an incident when Michael Hector came onto the field with an A4 sheet of paper from the manager. “What was written on the sheet” which was passed around the players? The reply ... “Don’t let them score!!” Someone had picked up that Claire Baldwin said on TV that she knew him – how? The link was long standing with Claire being a friend of Jackson’s mother through horse racing and that he’d known her since he was a seven year old. Other questions were about home sickness and jet lag from those long flights to Australia for international breaks. His parents have visited here, he has opportunity to see them on his trips back and the class of flight he enjoys does include a bed in the cabin!
Now for our Liverpool loanee, Harry Wilson:
Harry was born in Wrexham in 1997 and went to school in Llangollen. Liverpool had him on their radar when he was playing Under 9’s and would invite him over for regular training sessions. His school even had the wisdom to allow him to leave early to get to there. At 15 he joined the Liverpool Academy full time. In his first season he was playing some Under 18’s matches and from 2013/14 he was a fulltime member of that team. Later that season Liverpool offered him full time professional terms. The following season he played and scored against Real Madrid in the FA Youth Tournament and was taken on the club’s pre-season tour of Malaysia in 2015. He had an unsuccessful loan period at Crewe before Liverpool brought him back with a new contract and appointed him as Under 21’s captain. This January his club agreed to loan him to the Tigers in that important search for first team experience. He has never looked back and Liverpool are already eyeing up their options for next season.
He is clearly delighted with the move to the Tigers and said that he’d been given other options but coming to Hull was the one he wanted and that he was delighted when it happened. He is now recognised by the Wales international team and stressed that on his international debut against Belgium he was 108 days younger than Gareth Bale – even if it was only for the last few minutes. That was four years ago but he was recently picked to play for Wales in matches against China (when he scored) & Uruguay. He told us that when he was only 18 months old his Grandfather had placed a £50 bet that he would play for Wales – it won him £125,000!
Questions asked of Harry included “Who is the most excitable manager – Klop or Adkins?” He answered with diplomacy but agreed that both were fantastic managers. Like Jackson Irvine had been, he was asked about homesickness. He certainly recognised the difference in one been multiple thousand miles from home, whilst he was almost local. He still mentioned that staying in digs leaves you thinking of mum’s cooking and the way she made the bed! Scoring his first international goal in the recent match against China had been real boost and he was certainly delighted to make an impression on the new Welsh team manager. The Chinese fans had been, he said, “absolutely fanatical”. Someone asked if he was required to return to Anfield during his loan period. He said this was not a requirement but that the Liverpool club keep in regular contact with him. There is little doubt that they will be anything other than impressed – we certainly are!
The Raffle was interesting and not just for the incredible selection of prizes that our Peter had assembled. Harry Wilson was invited to draw the first number – his own number! He quickly apologised (why?) and drew another number. Smart move, he drew mine!!!