Was it Sully flying down the Best Stand side, Keegan pulling off another last ditch tackle, the Drakes on the rampage or Johnny Whiteley charging down the middle? Maybe it was the changing ends at half time or Wagon Wheels and watery Bovril, the speedway grit all over your seat or even those floodlights with half the bulbs missing? Then there was Smithy up in his crows nest, the way we always beat Leeds, Knocker ghosting through the defence, players ankle deep in mud, and of course the ritual of wading out the toilets at half time?
Let’s face it, anyone who ever went to the Boulevard has a memory because that’s the sort of place it was; once you’d seen it you’d never forget it. Yes, in more recent times it was run down and the facilities left much for improvement, yet to use the word iconic is certainly not overstating the status of one of the most famous stadiums in the game of rugby league.
Hated by opposition players and supporters alike it was to every Black and White fan their spiritual home. Over the years it saw great victories, some heart breaking defeats, loads of wonderful players and some pretty tough times as well. However it was still, without doubt, the place to be in West Hull come kick off time and somewhere where everyone was a friend and everyone felt at home. Few stadia can claim to ever be as significant as the Boulevard was, as for 107 years it played wealth to a number of sporting heroes and some of the most knowledgably, passionate and dedicated fans in the game of rugby league.
However the Boulevard was always much more than a rugby league ground for the followers of Hull FC and when the club finally left to take up residency in the shiny new KC Stadium across Anlaby Road, a small piece of every fans heart remained in those hallowed surroundings just off Airlie Street. All we have now are our memories and yet what of future generations, what is there left to indicate just how significant a place the Boulevard was for legions of Hull fans? With the exception of the Boulevard Academy there is little to indicate that the ground existed at all and that’s perhaps why the idea of a memorial provided by the current fans, for the fans of the future, was born. Today, after three years of hard work by FC Voices the Boulevard memorial is at last a reality and as a simple standing stone, it’s hoped hat it will provide a lasting reminder of a place that has meant so much, to so many, for so long.
Today we unveil an epitaph to great times, a great stadium and the last resting place of many Hull FC fans. Thank you for sharing this moment with us.
Extract taken from the memorial programme by FC Voices