Bloody hell, don’t the months fly by? We’re already half way through the season and at the time of writing I’ve just got back from Wakefield after what was, in the end, another good win.
As has always been tradition for this fixture (and indeed the ones at Castleford, Leeds and Huddersfield) we hired a mini bus to pick us up at Club and as usual we arrived in the West Riding just in time for the pubs opening. As is also customary, we all had a pint (or five) in our usual watering hole. It’s a hostelry where, after years of visiting, we almost feel like regulars and where the Landlord even lets us park our coach round the back. However this time the atmosphere in the old place was, compared with previous visits, decidedly different.
Over the years I have always found Wakefield fans to be a great set of lads and the trip to Belle Vue has remained one of my favourite away days. It’s a traditional stadium and although facility wise it’s positively ‘Spartan’, it’s still a great place to watch Rugby League. I’ve been going there for decades, in fact I’m so bloody old I go right back to the days when we travelled there with Hull Supporters Club on a Danby’s Motor Coach. It was a time when Rocky Turner was their 13 and the Wakefield team included Vines, Fox, Skene, Holliday and Round. I still also recall with great affection that afternoon in the 80’s when Peter Sterling made his debut for us and Wally Lewis made his for the Trinity; we took 4000 fans over to Belle Vue that day and of course we won. I remember too how Mick Crane and a 36 year old Keith Tindall were, along with the great Sterlo, our stars that afternoon. On our recent trips to West Yorkshire, the great history and rivalry that exists between the two Clubs has always been a topic of conversation with the Trinity fans in the pub before the game but, as I say, this year things were a little different.
Whether it was down to the fact that Wakey had gone five games undefeated and were starting to believe their own publicity, or just that there were a lot more younger folk with ‘new scarves and shirts’ around in the bar, I don’t know. However they were pretty cool towards us old timers and indeed for the first time ever a tad arrogant about their chances of turning us over later that afternoon. So, in an atmosphere more akin to having a pre-match pint in Wigan, we kept ourselves to ourselves, had our beers, thanked the Landlord and moved on. However once we got into the ground what we’d experienced in the pub became a reoccurring theme.
As usual we went to stand in the North Terrace behind the sticks, but were greeted there by a load of home supporters who were complaining about us to the stewards and requesting that we be moved out and sent to the West Terrace which, they said, was the segregate area for away fans. I wouldn’t have bloody minded, but looking round I’d without doubt been frequenting that end of Belle Vue since well before some of that lot were in nappies. Then in the second half when we stretched our lead to 8 points, my mate Harry ‘The Horse’, who is knocking on 75, was threatened by one youth who took exception to his cheering. That was the last straw for me. What is it with some fans eh, give ‘em a bit of success and they go berserk?
With around five minutes to go and the FC on top, I turned to smile to the whinging hoard behind me, but of course they’d all gone by then. But, after so many years in the wilderness why had a little success gone to their heads so much and made a few of them so sodding arrogant? Don’t those once great Wakefield fans know that in sport it ‘all comes round again’ in time and so it never does does to gloat, or is it that those guys were just the soulless gits that a bit of success attracts. For me, if it is the latter, then it’s definitely a case of, “Where were you when you were crap”. Whatever the motives behind their behaviour however, ‘For God’s sake get a bloody grip lads’.
There are undoubtedly hundreds of good and honest Wakey fans out there and I hope that next time we go its back to normal and that small knot of supporters the Cholmley lads experienced are replaced again by the Trinity fans of old and if it takes Wakey descending back into mediocrity again to achieve that, then so be it.
It appears to me that arrogance is however a growing issue in sport in general, because only the other day the word cropped up again when I was talking to our lasses sister Emily who has been a season ticket holder at City since well before the days of Waggy and Chillo. However, she’s fallen foul of this Hull City Membership rubbish and the new fangled ideas that are to be brought in to replace season tickets for 2016/17. She’s not getting her season ticket next year, whatever they do to plicate her, because she’s just had enough.
Her pass has at present gone up to the level of a full adult because her concession as a pensioner has disappeared, as has, it appears, the seat in the West Upper she selected when the KC Stadium opened back in 2002. She claims that instead of being rewarded for her allegiance over 67 years, she is being penalised and points to the arrogance of the management at Hull City in not recognising her loyalty. There’s that word arrogance in a sporting context again. Enough said there I think.
While I’m on a roll I’ll tell you who comes across as a bit arrogant as well; that gadger Jason Netherton at the City of Hull Academy. He’s spent years slagging off Hull FC and their fans at every opportunity and now he’s bragging in the Mail, (as if to thumb his nose to us lot), that he will be in full charge of the new merged academy for the next two seasons. That whole bloody set up’s a bake for me. As you already know I wouldn’t merge our office cleaners with bloody Rovers and neither would any of our lot in Club.
When the merged organisation was playing Leeds earlier in the month everyone was saluting a great performance, whilst failing to recognise that 13 of the 17 youngsters on duty that night hailed from Richard Horne’s old Hull FC Academy. All the while there’s the Dobbins bragging about how they are looking to promote youth and give contracts to local lads, but they haven’t bloody got any. However that said, it’s hardly takes sodding rocket science to understand where they expect these young players to be coming from.
As a Club, Hull FC will be looking to keep as many of their young stars (in whom they have invested for year) on board and will therefore have to spread ‘the jam’ a bit thin to do it. My theory on all that is that Rovers will just wait till that happens and then offer any real standout young FC stars that are out of contract, bigger salaries to lure them away. All our investment and time spent on these youngsters will them benefit…well guess who??? AND on that one…. are you surprised? I’m certainly not and it all seems a bit of an arrogant attitude all round to me. So as you can see arrogance is the word of the month for yours truly because for me there’s simply too much of it in sport these days.