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Sunday 18 May 2014

Fact 19. Hull City, Kings of Europe!

Hull City were founded in 1904 but not early enough to register with the Football league so they only played friendlies for their first season. They entered the 2nd Division league structure in 1905/06 with teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Barnsley and Bradford City. They ended up 5th in their first season.

The newly formed club players.

Hull City and Grimsby Town were the only two clubs in the Leagues that were allowed to play matches on Christmas Day due to the needs of their fishing fleets. This stopped in 1970's as the industry

Many masted scene looking out over Hull Fish Dock (Albert Dock) where much of the local fishing fleet is lying. Dated August 15th, 1978.
Very busy Fish Dock in Hull.

They remained in Div. 2 until after WWI when they were relegated to Div III. In 1930 they had a great cup run beating the eventual 2nd Div. Champions Blackpool and 3rd Div. Champions Plymouth Argyle then Manchester City and Newcastle United after a replay played at home where they won 1-0. In the semi final who should they meet but Arsenal. I am writing this the day after Hull City's heroic defeat in the FA Cup final to Arsenal 3-2! They played the first game at Elland Road, Leeds, and drew 2-2. The replay was in Birmingham and Hull lost 1-0.

Hull City 1930 squad.

Hull City's fortunes did not blossom in the after WWII years and the clubs European record was not good, or actually almost none existent! In fact in 1997/98 season they were two places from the bottom of the whole footbal leagues almost in Non League football and so had the distinction of being the largest city in Europe that had never played in their top tier national league.

How ever in the mid 1950's Hull City stunned the national and international sporting press by a magnificent victory in Europe.

Vasas was the leading Hungarian Club and this was in the days before the Communist take over and the era of Hungary's defeat of England 6-3 with Puskas being a world star. Vasas had a pre-season tour for 25 years where they went to various countries and played the top clubs there. This year they were coming to England to play Tottenham Hotspurs, Sheffield Wednesday and Wolverhampton Wanders the top teams of the time. They scored 7 goals against Spurs and 6 past Wednesday. Wolves, who had at the time never been beaten by a Continental club and with a huge list of injuries cried off. Hull City, at the bottom of Division 2 said they would take the fixture on. There was much mocking in the press of the time but the main secret was that Hull City was one of the few clubs with floodlights at the time and this was a requirement to ensure the gate was big enough to meet the costs. The Vasas management visited the city and the ground and declared the match on. Nobody gave The Tigers a chance and at the end of the match the score was 3-0. To Hull City!! If they had been beaten by that score they would have done well but to beat Vasas by any score was a massive achievement. 13889 witnessed it so it must be true.

Vasas 1955.

Well Hull City have survived in the Premier League this season and really acquitted themselves well in their 3-2 defeat. However even their defeat means that they will be competing in the Europa League next season. I think that those Continental clubs need not snigger when they draw City but just remember that history has a habit of repeating itself, and Hull is  now definitely on the map. Hull City, or Tigers, what ever you call them, they have done the city proud.

Curtis Davis, Captain of Hull City, celebrates after he scores to put them 2-0 up against Arsenal in the final. It just wasn't to be though.

The above photographs reveal the changes in sartorial elegance in football however they pictures seem to have evaded the eras of short shorts and long hair.

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