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Hull City
Hull City badge
Full name Hull City Association Football Club
Nickname(s) The Tigers
Founded 1904
Ground KC Stadium, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire
(Capacity: 25,404[1])
Chairman Adam Pearson
Manager Iain Dowie
League Premier League
2008–09 Premier League, 17th
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Hull City Association Football Club is an English football club based in Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, founded in 1904. In 2007–08 they achieved promotion to the top flight of English football for the first time in their history, by winning the Championship play-off final at Wembley Stadium. They finished the 2008–09 season 17th in the Premier League table, successfully avoiding relegation by one point. The previous highest position Hull City had finished in the English Football League was third in the old second division in 1909–10, which they matched in 2007–08 when they gained promotion. Their greatest achievement in cup competitions came in 1930, when the team reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Hull play their home games at the KC Stadium. They previously played at Boothferry Park, but moved to their current home in 2002, with Boothferry Park set for demolition. They traditionally play in black and amber, often with a striped shirt design, hence their nickname The Tigers. The club's mascot is Roary the Tiger.



Hull City Association Football Club was founded in June 1904. For some years previously, attempts had been made to found a football club, but this proved difficult because the city was then dominated by rugby league teams such as Hull FC and Hull KR.[2]

Hull City's first season as a professional football club consisted only of friendly matches; because of the date of its founding, the club was unable to apply for membership of The Football League for the 1904–05 season.[3] These early matches were played at The Boulevard, the home of rugby league club Hull FC.[4] On 1 September 1904, Hull's debut match took place against Notts County; with 6,000 in attendance at The Boulevard, Hull held County to a 2–2 draw.

Hull's first competitive football match was in the FA Cup, but they were eliminated, after a replay, in the preliminary round against Stockton, the score was 7–4 on aggregate. After disputes with landlords at The Boulevard, Hull City moved to Anlaby Road Cricket Ground.[2] After having played 44 friendly fixtures the previous season, Hull City were finally admitted into the Football League Second Division for the 1905–06 season.[5] Other teams competing in the league that season included the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, as well as Yorkshire rivals Leeds City, Bradford City and Barnsley. Hull faced Barnsley in their first game, a fixture which Hull won 4–1.[6] Eventually, Hull would finish the season in fifth place.[5]

The following season a new ground was built for Hull City across the road from the cricket ground. Still under the managership of Ambrose Langley, Hull continued to finish consistently in the top half of the table. They came close to promotion in the 1909–10 season, recording what would be their highest finish until they matched it in 2008. Hull finished third, level on points with second placed Oldham Athletic, missing promotion on goal average by 0.29 of a goal.[5] Hull regularly finished in the top half of the table prior to the First World War, but after the war the team finished in the bottom half in seven seasons out of eleven, culminating in relegation to the Third Division North in 1930.[5]


Mid-20th century

Hull City squad of 1936

Hull's greatest achievement in cup competitions was in 1930, when they reached the FA Cup semi-finals.[7] The cup run saw Hull knock out the eventual champions of the Second and Third Divisions; Blackpool and Plymouth Argyle respectively. They then knocked out Manchester City, to meet Newcastle United in the quarter finals. The first leg at St James' Park finished as a 1–1 draw, but in the replay Hull beat Newcastle 1–0. The semi-final match against Arsenal took place at Elland Road in Leeds, the game ended 2–2, and was taken to a replay. Arsenal knocked Hull out at Aston Villa's home ground, the game ending 1–0.[5]

After the Second World War, the club moved to another new ground, Boothferry Park.[8] In the 1948–49 season, managed by former England international Raich Carter, Hull won the Third Division North.[9] "Yo-yoing" between the second and third tiers of English football, Hull City had promotion seasons from the Third to the Second Division again in 1959 and 1966, winning the Third Division in the latter season.[10][11] Hull also became the first team in the world to go out of a cup competition on penalties, beaten by Manchester United in the semi-final of the Watney Mann Invitation Cup on 1 August 1970.[12] By the early 1980s, Hull City were in the Fourth Division, and financial collapse led to receivership.

Don Robinson took over as chairman and appointed Colin Appleton as the new manager. Both had previously held the equivalent roles with non-league Scarborough. Promotion to Division Three followed in 1983, with a young team featuring the likes of future England international Brian Marwood, future England manager Steve McClaren, centre-forward Billy Whitehurst, and the prolific goal-scorer Les Mutrie. When Hull City missed out on promotion by one goal the following season, Appleton left to manage Swansea City.

Decline in the late 20th century

Hull reached the Second Division in 1986 under player-manager Brian Horton. They remained there for the next five years before finally going down in 1991, by which time the club's manager was Terry Dolan. Hull finished 14th in the Third Division in the 1991–92 season,[13] meaning that they would be competing in the new Football League Division Two the following season. In their first season in the rebranded division, Hull narrowly avoided another relegation, but the board kept faith in Dolan and over the next two seasons they achieved several mid-table finishes. Financial difficulties hampered City's progress, as key players such as Dean Windass and Andy Payton had to be sold to fend off winding-up orders.[14] In the 1995–96 season Hull were relegated to Division Three.[4][15]

Boothferry Park in March 2008

In 1997 the club was purchased by former tennis player David Lloyd, who sacked Dolan as manager and replaced him with Mark Hateley after Hull could only finish in 17th place in the table.[16][17] Hull's league form was steadily deteriorating to the point that relegation to the Football Conference was looking a real possibility. Lloyd sold the club in November 1998 to a South Yorkshire based consortium, but retained ownership of Boothferry Park.[16] Hateley departed in November 1998, with the club at the foot of the table. He was replaced by 34-year-old veteran player Warren Joyce, who steered the club to safety with games to spare. Hull City fans refer to this season as "The Great Escape".[18] Despite this feat, Joyce was replaced in April 2000 by the more experienced Brian Little.[4]

Despite briefly being locked out of Boothferry Park by bailiffs and facing the possibility of liquidation,[14] Hull qualified for the Division Three playoffs in the 2000–01 season, losing in the semi-finals. A boardroom takeover by former Leeds United commercial director Adam Pearson had eased the club's precarious financial situation and all fears of closure were banished.[4]

Recent success

Graph showing Hull City A.F.C's progress through the English Football League System 1983–1984 to 2008–09 (last position shown: 29 September 2008, 6th in the Premier League)

The new chairman ploughed funds into the club, allowing Little to rebuild the team. Hull occupied the Division Three promotion and playoff places for much of the 2001–02 season, but Little departed two months before the end of the season and Hull slipped to 11th under his successor Jan Mølby.[4]

Hull began the 2002–03 season with a number of defeats, which saw relegation look more likely than promotion, and Mølby was sacked in October as Hull languished fifth from bottom in the league. Peter Taylor was named as Hull's new manager and in December 2002, just two months after his appointment, Hull relocated to the new 25,400-seater Kingston Communications Stadium after 56 years at Boothferry Park.[4]. At the end of the season Hull finished 13th.

Hull were Division Three runners-up in 2003–04 and League One runners-up in 2004–05. These back-to-back promotions took them into the Championship, the second tier of English football.[19][20] The 2005–06 season, the club's first back in the second tier, saw Hull finish in 18th place, 10 points clear of relegation and their highest league finish for 16 years.[4][21]

However, Taylor left the club on 13 June 2006 to take up the manager's job at Crystal Palace.[4] Phil Parkinson was confirmed as his replacement on 29 June 2006,[22] but was sacked on 4 December 2006 with Hull in the relegation zone,[23] despite having spent over £2 million on players. Phil Brown took over as caretaker manager,[23] and took over permanently in January 2007, having taken Hull out of the relegation zone.[24] Brown brought veteran striker Dean Windass back to his hometown club on loan from Bradford City,[25] and his eight goals helped secure Hull's Championship status as they finished in 21st place.[26] At the end of the season, former manager Brian Horton rejoined the club as Phil Brown's assistant.[27]

Adam Pearson sold the club to a consortium led by Paul Duffen in June 2007, stating that he "had taken the club as far as I could", and would have to relinquish control in order to attract "really significant finance into the club".[28] He resigned from the board on 31 July 2007, thus severing all ties with the club.[29]

Phil Brown and players celebrate on promotion to the Premier League in 2008

Under Paul Duffen and manager Phil Brown, Hull City improved greatly on their relegation battle of 2006–07 and qualified for the play-offs after finishing the season in third place. They beat Watford 6–1 on aggregate in the semi-finals and played Bristol City in the final on 24 May 2008, which Hull won 1–0 at Wembley Stadium, with Hull native Dean Windass scoring the winning goal.[30][31] Their ascent from the bottom division of the English football league to the top in just five seasons is the third-fastest ever.[32]

Despite being one of the favourites for relegation, Hull began life in the Premier League by beating Fulham 2–1 on the opening day in their first ever top flight fixture. With only one defeat in their opening nine games, Hull City found themselves (temporarily) joint top of the table, third on goal difference, following a 3–0 victory over West Bromwich Albion[33] - ten years previously they had been bottom of tier four of the league. Hull City's form never replicated the highs of the early autumn, winning only two more games over the remainder of the season.[34] Despite the drop in form and slow slide down the table, Hull City went into the final game of the season in 17th place and above the drop zone. They ultimately lost the game against Manchester United 0–1, however Newcastle United and Middlesbrough also lost their games against Aston Villa and West Ham United respectively, thus securing a second Premier League season for Hull City.

On 10 June 2009, Hull City were officially announced as part of the Barclays Asia Trophy 2009.[35] In this 4-team tournament Hull City competed against two other English sides, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United, as well as local side Beijing Guoan, who they beat 5–4 in a penalty shoot out after a 1–1 draw.[36] On 31 July 2009, Hull City faced Tottenham Hotspur in the final of the Barclays Asia Trophy and were defeated 3–0.[37] On 6 August 2009, Hull City acquired American international striker Jozy Altidore on loan from Spanish side Villarreal, with an option to buy him after the 2009-10 season.[38]

On 29 October 2009 chairman Paul Duffen resigned his position with the club[39] and was replaced by former chairman Adam Pearson on 2 November 2009[40][41] and on 15 March 2010 manager Phil Brown was relieved of his duties after a run of four defeats left Hull in the relegation zone.[42] Browns replacement was former Crystal Palace and Charlton boss, Iain Dowie and the appointment was met with some disbelief by supporters who were hoping for a "bigger name" replacement. Dowies first move as manager was to bring Tim Flowers and Steve Wigley onto his backroom staff, with former Hull City manager Brian Horton joining Phil Brown on gardening leave.[43]

Colours and crest

Old club crest

For most of the club's history, Hull have worn black and amber shirts with black shorts. These black and amber colours are where Hull's nickname, The Tigers, originated from.[4] However, in the club's first match against Notts County in 1904, white shirts were worn, with black shorts and black socks. During their first season in the League, Hull wore black and amber striped shirts and black shorts, which they continued to wear until the Second World War with the exception of one season, in which they wore sky blue shirts.[44] Following the end of the Second World War, Hull spent another season wearing sky blue, but changed to plain amber shirts, which they wore until the early 1960s, when they swapped back to stripes.[45]

Original kit colours.

During the mid 1970s and early 1980s, the strip was constantly changing between the two versions of plain shirts and stripes. During the late 1980s, red was added to the kits but its duration went no further than this.[46] The early 1990s featured two "tiger skin" designs, which have since featured in several articles listing the "worst ever" football kits. The 1998–99 season introduced a kit with cross-fading amber and white stripes, another experiment that proved unpopular.[47] After the turn of the century, the club wore plain amber shirts until 2004, when the club celebrated its centenary by wearing a kit similar to the design of the one worn 100 years ago.[48]

Hull City did not wear a crest on their team shirts until 1947. This crest depicted a tiger's head in a yellow-shaded badge, which was worn up until 1955, when it was changed to just the tiger's head. This was worn for four years, when the shirt again featured no emblem. Then, in 1971, the club returned to showing the tiger's head on the shirt. This was used for four years, until the club's initials of HCAFC were shown for five years. After this, a logo with the tiger's head with the club's name underneath was used from 1980 until 1998. The next logo, which as of 2009 is the club's current logo, features the tiger's head in an amber shield with the club's name, along with the club's nickname, The Tigers.[49]


The KC Stadium

Between 1904 and 1905, Hull City played their home games at The Boulevard.[50] This ground was used by Hull on a contract which allowed them to use it when not used for Rugby League, at a cost of £100 per annum.[51] Hull built their own ground, Anlaby Road, which was opened in 1906.[52] With the threat of the rerouting of the railway line through the Anlaby Road ground, the club was convinced it needed to secure its future by owning its own ground.[8] They negotiated the deal for land between Boothferry Road and North Road in 1929, which was financed by a £3,000 loan from the FA.[53] Due to the club's financial difficulties, no work took place for three years, and development then stopped until 1939. In that year a proposal to build a new multi-purpose sports stadium on the site temporarily halted the club's plans to relocate, but when this plan failed the club resolved to continue with the stalled development of the site, in anticipation of moving to the new stadium in 1940. The outbreak of war, however, meant that the redevelopment again came to a halt, as the site was taken over by the Home Guard.[8]

During the Second World War, Anlaby Road was damaged by enemy bombing, the repair cost of which was in the region of £1,000. The Cricket Club served notice to quit at the same time, and so in 1943 the tenancy was officially ended.[52] Hull were forced to return to the Boulevard Ground from 1944 until 1945 because of the poor condition of the planned stadium at Boothferry Road.[51] The new stadium was finally opened under the revised name of Boothferry Park on 31 August 1946.[8]

Hull City, along with one of the city's rugby league sides, Hull F.C., moved into the newly-built KC Stadium in 2002.[8] The KC Stadium was named "Best Ground" at the 2006 Football League Awards.[54]

Statistics and records

Chart showing the progress of Hull City A.F.C. through the English Football League system since joining in 1905–1906 to 2008–09

Andy Davidson holds the record for Hull City league appearances, having played 520 matches. George Maddison comes second, having played 430 matches.[55] Chris Chilton is the club's top goalscorer with 222 goals in all competitions. Chilton also holds the club record for goals scored in the League (193), FA Cup (16) and League Cup (10).[56]

The club's widest victory margin in the league was their 11–1 win against Carlisle United in Division Three in 1939. Their heaviest defeat in the league was 8–0 against Wolves in 1911.[57]

Hull City's record home attendance is 55,019, for a match against Manchester United on 26 February 1949 at Boothferry Park,[8] with their highest attendance at their current stadium, the KC Stadium, 25,023 set on 13 March 2010 against Arsenal.[58]

The highest transfer fee received for a Hull City player is £4 million from Sunderland for Michael Turner.[59] The highest transfer fee paid for a player is £5 million, for Jimmy Bullard from Fulham in January 2009.[60]


As of 16 March 2010.[61]

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Wales GK Boaz Myhill
3 England DF Andy Dawson
4 England MF Ian Ashbee (captain)
5 England DF Anthony Gardner (2nd vice-captain)
6 Republic of Ireland DF Paul McShane
7 England FW Craig Fagan
8 England MF Nick Barmby (vice-captain)
9 United States FW Jozy Altidore (on loan from Villarreal)
10 Brazil MF Geovanni
11 Republic of Ireland MF Stephen Hunt
12 England GK Matt Duke
13 England FW Mark Cullen
14 Australia MF Richard Garcia
15 France DF Bernard Mendy
17 Republic of Ireland MF Kevin Kilbane
18 Republic of Ireland FW Caleb Folan
19 France DF Steven Mouyokolo
No. Position Player
20 Netherlands MF George Boateng (3rd vice-captain)
21 England MF Jimmy Bullard
22 England MF Dean Marney
23 Algeria MF Kamel Ghilas
24 Guinea DF Kamil Zayatte
27 England MF Nicky Featherstone
28 Senegal DF Ibrahima Sonko (on loan from Stoke City)
29 Netherlands FW Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink
30 Egypt FW Amr Zaki (on loan from Zamalek)
35 Scotland DF Liam Cooper
39 England DF Steve Gardner
41 England MF John Leonard
42 Northern Ireland DF Nathan Hanley
43 Côte d'Ivoire FW Yann Ekra
44 Nigeria MF Seyi Olofinjana
45 Scotland MF Tom Cairney

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
16 Hungary MF Péter Halmosi (at Szombathelyi Haladás until the end of the 2009–10 season)[62]
25 Gabon FW Daniel Cousin (at Larissa until the end of the 2009–10 season)[62]
31 England MF Will Atkinson (at Rochdale until 31 March 2010)[63]
34 England GK Mark Oxley (at Grimsby Town until 28 March 2010) [64]
36 Republic of Ireland MF Jamie Devitt (at Grimsby Town until 17 March 2010)[65]
40 England FW Ryan Kendall (at Bradford City until 16 April 2010)[66]

Player of the Year

Michael Turner, Player of the year 2007–08, 2008–09
Year Winner
2000–01 Jamaica Ian Goodison
2001–02 England Gary Alexander
2002–03 Northern Ireland Stuart Elliott
2003–04 Republic of Ireland Damien Delaney
2004–05 Northern Ireland Stuart Elliott
2005–06 Wales Boaz Myhill
2006–07 England Andy Dawson
2007–08 England Michael Turner
2008–09 England Michael Turner


As of 15 March 2010.

Only professional, competitive matches are counted.[67]

Name Nat Managerial Tenure G W D L Win %
James Ramster England August 1904–April 1905 0 0 0 0 00.00
Ambrose Langley England April 1905–April 1913 318 143 67 108 44.96
Harry Chapman England April 1913–September 1914 45 20 10 15 44.44
Fred Stringer England September 1914–July 1916 43 22 6 15 51.16
David Menzies England July 1916–June 1921 90 31 27 32 34.44
Percy Lewis England July 1921–January 1923 71 27 18 26 38.02
Billy McCracken Northern Ireland February 1923–May 1931 375 134 104 137 35.73
Haydn Green England May 1931–March 1934 123 61 24 38 49.59
Jack Hill England March 1934–January 1936 77 24 15 38 31.16
David Menzies England February 1936–October 1936 24 5 8 11 20.83
Ernest Blackburn England December 1936–January 1946 117 50 31 36 42.73
Frank Buckley England May 1946–March 1948 80 33 19 28 41.25
Raich Carter England March 1948–September 1951 157 74 41 42 47.13
Bob Jackson England June 1952–March 1955 123 42 26 55 34.14
Bob Brocklebank England March 1955–May 1961 302 113 71 118 37.41
Cliff Britton England July 1961–November 1969 406 170 101 135 41.87
Terry Neill Northern Ireland June 1970–September 1974 174 61 55 58 35.05
John Kaye England September 1974–October 1977 126 40 40 46 31.74
Bobby Collins Scotland October 1977–February 1978 19 4 7 8 21.05
Ken Houghton England April 1978–December 1979 72 23 22 27 31.94
Mike Smith England December 1979–March 1982 99 27 29 43 27.27
Bobby Brown Scotland March 1982–June 1982 19 10 4 5 52.63
Colin Appleton England June 1982–May 1984 91 47 29 15 51.64
Brian Horton England June 1984–April 1988 195 77 58 60 39.48
Eddie Gray Scotland June 1988–May 1989 51 13 14 24 25.49
Colin Appleton England May 1989–October 1989 16 1 8 7 6.25
Stan Ternent England November 1989–January 1991 62 19 15 28 30.64
Terry Dolan England January 1991–July 1997 322 99 96 127 30.74
Mark Hateley England July 1997–November 1998 76 17 14 45 22.36
Warren Joyce England November 1998–April 2000 86 33 25 28 38.37
Billy Russell* Scotland April 2000–April 2000 2 0 0 2 00.00
Brian Little England April 2000–February 2002 97 41 28 28 42.26
Billy Russell* Scotland February 2002–April 2002 7 1 1 5 14.28
Jan Mølby Denmark April 2002–October 2002 17 2 8 7 11.76
Billy Russell* Scotland October 2002–October 2002 1 1 0 0 100.00
Peter Taylor England October 2002–June 2006 184 77 50 57 41.84
Phil Parkinson England June 2006–December 2006 24 5 6 13 20.83
Phil Brown England December 2006–March 2010 157 52 40 65 33.12
Iain Dowie England March 2010- 0 0 0 0 00.00

* Caretaker manager

Current staff

As of 18 March 2010.[68]

Related teams

Reserves and Juniors

Hull City Reserves play in the Premier Reserves League North Division.[72] The team plays home fixtures at the Church Road Ground, home of North Ferriby United.[73]

In the 2006–07 season, Hull finished in fourth place in the league table after picking up 31 points from their 18 league meetings.[72] They also reached the semi-final of the League Cup before losing 3–2 to Hartlepool United Reserves.[74]

Hull City Juniors play in the Football League Youth Alliance, playing their home fixtures at Winterton Rangers' home stadium. The juniors won the league title in the 2006–07 season by a 10 point margin,[75] and retained the championship in the 2007–08 season, when they also won the Football League Youth Alliance Cup.[76]

Hull City Women

Hull City Women play in the Northern Combination Women's Football League. In the 2006–07 season, the team finished seventh in the table with 33 points.[77]


Hull City supporters at the celebrations on the team's promotion to the Premier League in 2008

According to a 2003 poll, Hull City fans consider their main rival to be Leeds United, although this is not reciprocated.[78] Other rivals include their neighbours from across the Humber, Scunthorpe United and Grimsby Town.[78] With Scunthorpe's promotion from League One, the 2007–08 Championship season saw the return of the "Humber Derby".[79] Additionally Lincoln City and York City name Hull amongst their rivals.[78] Lincoln City had an excellent record over Hull City, only losing once against the Tigers in the 21st century. Lincoln were also the first team to record an away win at Hull City's KC Stadium with a 1–0 victory in the 2002–03 season. The club also has a traditional rivalry with Sheffield United.[80] In 1984 Sheffield United won promotion at Hull City's expense with the teams level on points and goal difference and separated only by goals scored,[81] with 33 of United's goals scored by former Hull City striker Keith Edwards. City's final game of the season against Burnley had been rescheduled due to bad weather and took place after their promotion rivals had finished their campaign; Hull went into the game knowing that a three-goal victory would mean promotion, but in front of a crowd which included a number of United fans could manage only a 2–0 win, ensuring that Sheffield went up instead.[82][83]


Honour Year(s)
Football League Championship play-off winners 2007–08
Football League One Runners-up 2004–05
Football League Third Division Champions 1965–66
Football League Division Three Runners-up 2003–04
Football League Third Division Promoted 1984–85
Football League Third Division North Champions 1932–33, 1948–49
Football League Third Division North Runners-up 1958–59
Football League Fourth Division Runners-up 1982–83

See also


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External links

Sport in Hull


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