Former Hull FC scrum half Greg Mackey passed away on the 24th September 2014 after a battle with cancer.
Bluey made 95 appearances for the Black and Whites between 1989 and 1992, scoring 18 tries and 6 field goals.
Most famous for captaining Hull’s 1991 Premiership Final victory over Widnes, Greg went on to claim the Harry Sunderland trophy in a Man of the Match performance.
Having had two spells at Warrington, not to mention playing at South Sydney, Illawarra Steelers, Canterbury-Bankstown, and Huddersfield Giants, Greg Mackey reached a grand total of 385 career appearances, scoring 79 tries.
But its Bluey’s time at Hull that stands out, as his Black and Whites defied the pre-game predictions to defeat Widnes 14-4 at Old Trafford – for what was a record crowd of 42,043 for a Premiership Final at the time.
Alongside half back partner Patrick Entat, a combination many consider one of the best Hull have ever had, Greg Mackey took control of the game behind a dominant pack. Maybe not the most skilful of Hull sides gone by, this team were hard-working, and prevented the Chemics of a fourth successive Premiership.
Hull’s Australian coach Noel Cleal had spent hours analysing video tapes of Widnes, and his homework proved invaluable for the Airlie Birds first cup success since 1984.
The base of forward supremacy, established by the front row of Karl Harrison, Lee Jackson and Andy Dannatt, was built upon by the craft of the half backs.
Skipper Mackey was irrepressible to earn the coveted Harry Sunderland Trophy as Man of the Match. The Australian dictated play from the first whistle, spraying out passes, putting in kicks and constantly probing for openings.
Bluey memorised Widnes to set up Hull’s first try for Richard Gay. The Chemics – as they were known before all the American-like franchise nonsense – were disrupted by the revelation of a transfer demand from star legend status winger Martin Offiah, not to mention the rumours of their coach heading to Leeds.
This though was all about Hull FC, and after a break orchestrated by French half back Patrick Entat, Russ Walker was able to touch down for his side’s second try.
The men from the infamous Boulevard ground continued to outplay Widnes, but it was the prolific Offiah who struck next, for his 49th try of that particular year. Some talent, with a remarkable record and certainly worthy of his Wembley statue.
From the calm composure of game-star Greg Mackey, Gary Nolan came off the bench to add Hull’s third and game clinching try. Nolan was playing amateur rugby league six weeks prior to Old Trafford and had scored in each of his three previous appearances – again all from the bench.
The vast army of travelling Black and White fans erupted, as Eastwood converted to put Widnes out of reach.
Widnes’ impressive back line – including the calibre of players such as BBC commentator Jonathon Davies – were halted by Hull’s equally impressive defence. They rarely got an opening, such was the dominance of their opposition.
Hull FC deservedly lifted the 1991 Premiership trophy, with Greg Mackey lifting the cup alongside Hull born hooker Lee Jackson – a photo forever cherished in East Yorkshire.
One of the most famous pictures in Hull FC’s history. R.I.P Bluey.
Hull Line Up: 1. Richard Gay, 2. Paul Eastwood, 3. Damien McGarry, 4. Brad Webb, 5. Neil Turner, 6. Greg Mackey, 7. Patrick Entat, 8. Karl Harrison, 9. Lee Jackson, 10. Andy Dannatt, 11. Ian Marlow, 12. Russ Walker, 13. Jon Sharp. Bench: 14. Gary Nolan, 15. Dean Busby.
Hull Tries: Gay, Walker, Nolan. Goals: Eastwood 1/3
Widnes Line Up: 1. Alan Tait, 2. John Devereux, 3. Andy Currier, 4. Jonathon Davies, 5. Martin Offiah, 6. Barry Dowd, 7. David Hulme, 8. Kurt Sorenson, 9. Phil McKenzie, 10. Joe Grima, 11. Paul Hulme, 12. Emosi Koloto, 13. Steve McCurrie. Bench: 14. Darren Wright, 15. Harvey Howard.
Widnes Tries: Offiah. Goals: N/A
Referee: John Holdsworth (Kippax)