Whilst the word legend often gets overused when it comes to describing current or former Hull FC players, cult hero should not, and there’s no doubt Shayne McMenemy falls into that category.
Shayne made 102 appearances for the Black and Whites between 2003 and 2007, scoring 15 tries. He was part of the 2005 Challenge Cup winning squad, and featured heavily in the clubs run to Old Trafford the following year, before a shoulder dislocation ended his career in 2007.
A skilful back rower that really exhibited the more flair like components to the game, Shayne’s contribution to the 2005 Cup run alone was massive.
The likes of Paul Cooke, Richard Swain and even Leeds’ Kevin Sinfield took all the headlines, but the Australian had his own significant moments, producing two decisive kicks that led to two Hull FC tries at Cardiff’s then Millennium, now Principality Stadium.
But it’s that semi-final where his heroics really lay – yes, that fabulous semi-final at Huddersfield against St Helens back in 2005.
It’s the closest thing to a perfect performance I’ve ever seen and it was so good that Dick Tingle, the former Hull Daily Mail reporter of 34 years, described it afterwards as “Near Perfection” and “The most outstanding performance he had ever seen from a Hull team”. Some accolades, but amongst this mouth watering team display, it’s the performance of McMenemy himself we’re focusing on.
Against St Helens Shayne was absolutely magnificent. He was unplayable. His line running was brilliant and was fully demonstrated in his try brace as FC ran out unthinkable 34-8 winners. As recently stated in Cookie’s book Judas? McMenemy was the unsung hero that day, and fully justified his praises.
A Western Suburbs (now Wests Tigers) graduate, the Aussie back rower came to England in 2000, and after a brief spell at Rochdale, joined Championship side, better known as East Hull giant killing outfit, Oldham, before a stellar stint at Halifax.
He was Faxs Player of the Year before signing for Hull, and was a prominent figure for the Black and Whites too.
Shayne wasn’t just a hit-up man, although he did that potently, with his offloads accustomy to the early days at the KCOM Stadium. He had a great ability to make metres after the collusion, regularly plodding upfield, and remained loyal to the end, turning down a move away from Hull after being linked with Wakefield on more than occasion.
The 2005 Queen Victoria Square homecoming. Image: Hull Daily Mail