There's some very good books on Hull City for a moderately sized club. "From Boothferry to Wembley" by Gary Clark, "Now tigers! The early years of Hull City" by Nicholas Turner and of course the biblical "The Decade" by Richard Gardham are amongst my favourites. I'd also add to that the inspiration for today's blog "46 and counting" by Ian Bunton, in which Ian goes to all 46 league games in a season with his lad that happily ends with Sir Mo ruining the day out for half a million Wendies. Not only is a good read but the proceeds also went to Alzheimer's research.
Ian still has Twitter account as the same name and when we managed
to lose the Euros in a "typical England" manner he listed some of his
more heart-breaking moments for club and country and thus... a new top 5 was
born, and I threw in my worst England based loss just to even it up a little.
Well I say that, but this really is a very large field to pick
from. City find ways to break your heart in so many imaginative ways so I'm
highly prepared for some lively debate on twitter afterwards. Truth is
sometimes your response to losing is a very personal thing, you can get done
6-1 at Bournemouth (we did) and you shrug it off and crack on with a night out
(I did) but then you can lost to the odd goal in 7 at Colchester in a
meaningless Div 4 game (we did) and you are left wanting to kick the dog for
days on end (I did).
I think the real whoppers for me, the utter heartbreakers though
are games when it's all on the line and you grasp failure from the jaws of
success. This is something dear readers that you know as well as me that we are
very adept at providing. So enjoy my trip down "I wish I didn't have
this" Memory Lane, in a way... you know.
Burnley 0 Hull City 2 May 15th 1984
City were in a desperately close race for promotion all season.
We'd put together a cracking team under Colin Appleton, since Don Robinson
brought the club back from the brink and were looking for a second consecutive
promotion. Long story short (and being 11 at the time I am going a lot off
memory here) we were left with a final game vs Burnley away needing a 3 goal
margin of victory to get the final promotion spot ahead of Sheffield United. The
game was originally postponed as the city coach couldn't get through the
Pennines in a snow storm that winter, although me and the old man managed to
arrive in a Datsun Cherry. (true story)
This was pretty much the moment that cemented my love of the club,
ironically through glorious failure and not success (I should have realised
this was a sign of things to come). We scored fairly early and then threw the
kitchen sink at mid-table Burnley, but struggled to find a second, then with
around 15-20 to go we made it 2-0 (I think both were Marwood goals) and then
the sink, the shower, the drain pipes and the oven were chucked at the Clarets
but it wouldn't come. It was the first time football made me shed a tear, we
knew the wonderful Marwood would be off and that the home end (that was full of
Blades fans) were loving every minute. This game encompasses three of my great
dislikes, Sheffield United, Burnley and Brian's destination of Sheffield
The tears of the players and the fans would make for a stinging
memory although it also made way for Colin Appleton's exit and Brian Horton's
era which meant that just 12 months later we would fulfil our destiny. It's
still one of, if not the most heart-breaking night of my fandom though.
Leyton Orient 2 Hull City 0 May 16th 2001 Play off semi final
I genuinely think I might still be stood there at Brisbane Road
now. The old man had to almost put one on me to make me leave. Why? I was just
floored by this game. I'd never felt more sure that City's destiny was to win
and go up. We'd survived as a club when it looked like we might not exist after
the Sheffield Stealers had left us to rot (see? Sheffield again!) And then a
bunch of the least likely and least fancy lads had gone on a run that even City
fans had never expected. This took us into the play-offs and when a Jonny Eyre
bullet drive had secured the home leg win 1-0 at Fer Ark, we headed to East
Again my memory may be letting me down, but we just never really
turned up that day and Orient evened things up on aggregate just before half
time. Had our legs finally gone? I'm not sure, this team never knew they were
beat, but try as we might we couldn't seem to find a foothold in the game.
Brian Little brought on Rodney Rowe and I think Rob Matthews but Andy Holt who
was quite an important player had gone off injured first half and we just had
no answers. Orient then scored an absolute blockbuster from Lockwood and we
A season where you feared for our existence had then brought huge
hope and expectation, only to have it all taken away with a sucker punch. When
do we ever learn? Thus I tried a one man protest in the away end and almost got
chinned by the old boy. Quite right too.
Arsenal 3 Hull City 2 May 23rd 2014
Maybe we shouldn't play in May?
Sure some great things have happened too, but by god have some
killer things occurred.
I ummed and ahhed about this one. It didn't hurt like the first
two, not the same crushing failure that had ramifications for the future. This
was a different feeling.
I don't need to bore you all with details as you know them too
well. But this was the biggest "what if" game we arguably ever
What if the ref had quite rightly given a goal kick and not a
corner that led to their equaliser?
What if McGregor didn't take a step in the wrong direction before
the free kick from Carzola?
What if Sone Aluko didn't have the vision of Mr Magoo in the dark
and dragged back the ball for Matty Fryatt?
You couldn't have asked for more effort that day, we died on that
pitch. I desperately didn't want to get a shoe-ing like Villa got the year
after us and you couldn't help but feel proud of the boys and how far they'd
But so close, so desperately close and as a southern based tiger,
I wanted to bury my phone after burning the sim and removing my ear drums to
avoid my most boring Arsenal "mates" and their patronising nonsense.
Stick Arsenal in the Burnley, Sheffield Wednesday and United bin..
Hull City 0 Sunderland 2 6th May 2017
19 points in 21 at home.
The most expansive and entertaining team we'd seen in
A frankly beautiful manager that was going to take us to the promised land looking like a Hugo Boss advert.
It was all too good to be true wasn't it?
Sunderland were down, under the leadership of old craggy face Moyes and all pointed to another glorious step to safety. But that just wasn't typical City was it?
Truth be told we dominated that day and a very young Jordan Pickford pulled off a string of incredible saves, not least of which one from Abel Hernandez where the Uruguayan genius had reeled away to celebrate as he was so certain it was in. Ditto the crowd.
A header from a set piece followed by an injury time second after we'd gone 1-1-8 trying to equalise did us. Not even the appearance of a young George Honeyman could cheer me up retrospectively. This was the killer blow that would ultimately send us down and the fact that it
blindsided most of us just hurt more.
Of course it was in May...
England 1 West Germany 1 AET World Cup Semi Final (Germany win 4-3
on penalties) 4th July 1990
Ok, it's not just City who can break you in two. Ian B picked 1996
when we also lost the semi-final in the Euros to Germany, but somehow this one
edged it for the same reasons stated earlier.
The saying "It's the hope that kills you" is a cliché
but also true.
1990 was full of hope, we had a great team, with Lineker, Waddle
and Platt, we had the best player in the tournament in Gazza, we had the
greatest football song ever by New Order (don't @ me... you know it's true).
The Lineker equaliser that day was most I've ever lost my marbles watching the
telly. 17 year old me did a knee slide, smashed into the fireplace and scared
the family dog out of her mind.
Unpopular opinion that is rarely mentioned when 1990 is discussed.
Peter Shilton was 5 years past his prime and not the player he was. He got beat
by a looping deflected free kick that almost bounced in and was nowhere near
any penalties whatsoever. Harsh but true, he was the Sone Aluko of the World
Cup semi-final. That's not something I imagined myself saying at the start of
England broke our hearts last week, and they did that night. Yet
somehow I'd take another ten of these soul crushing days to give McGregor the
step on Carzola's free kick or score a third at Turf Moor. Funny thing but
those days stay with you like bad tattoos in your mind.