I WROTE this on what was a momentous day for Hull City fans.
We went to press just as it was at last officially confirmed that the 11-year reign of the Allams was over. Honestly, as I wrote on Twitter that morning, I’ve not been this excited since the first bin day after Christmas. And that IS exciting, as I’m sure you’ll agree.
Sorry to go on about football, if you’re not a fan – but I felt that, because the news came too late for us to cover it in any great detail, it deserved a mention. And for me, it feeds into a wider point about sport.
Even if you’re not a fan, and that’s quite all right, the standing of a club like Hull City matters in the community. The more high-profile it is, the more attention it brings to the city – and region – as a whole. When the Tigers were in the Premier League, this meant we were, of course, on Match of the Day, and suddenly the nation knew we existed. Premier League club, Premier league city. You know you’ve made it when you can buy dodgy fake replica City shirts in Tenerife. It was always this success on the pitch, not any ill-judged rebrand, that was going to bring in audiences from further afield.
Since those lofty heights, though, in recent years the club’s star has fallen fast, and Ilicali has a sizeable task ahead to turn things around, as the team hover over the trapdoor of the Championship. While I don’t want to go on here about the legacy of the Allams, a generation of fans has arguably been lost to the likes of Manchester City in the past decade. Let’s hope that the football-mad youngsters who play in our local leagues every weekend are at last given a team they can be proud of, and we see the black and amber shirts being worn en masse once more.
Meanwhile, here at the Gazette we’ll continue to do what we do best – which is covering the wealth of grassroots sports going on across Holderness. Don’t forget – if you have any sports views, news or reports, you can send them to us at [email protected].