25 May 2009

Relief

The Tigers huddle before kick off.

It was May 24th, 2008 - a year ago. Pathetic as this might seem to non-football supporters, it was one of the happiest days of my life - alongside our wedding day, the days on which our children were born, being selected for Hull schoolboys rugby team, seeing Jimi Hendrix live at The Isle of Wight Festival. Yes it was so happy, Hull City's victory in the Championship play off final to join the top flight of English football for the very first time. It was a day I had often dreamt of but never believed would happen and a day when I discovered the meaning of "tears of joy". They were streaming down my cheeks.

So a year has passed. The Tigers began their Premiership adventure so brilliantly, gaining unexpected victories at Arsenal, Newcastle and Tottenham. We drew at Chelsea and Liverpool and lost narrowly to Manchester United in a seven goal thriller. Okay there were bad days at the office - the heavy defeats to Wigan and Manchester City spring to mind - but our lads got up, dusted themselves down and came back fighting against the odds.

Since Christmas we have been in freefall, lady luck deserting us almost entirely. There were games when you shook your head in sheer disbelief wondering how on earth we had again failed to win a point or three. So it all boiled down to the last games of the season. We were playing Manchester United's reserve team and Newcastle were at Aston Villa. This was "Survival Sunday". Rocking like an in-patient in an asylum and muttering "Oh God" over and over I watched in agony as we again managed to go down to an undeserved one-nil home defeat thanks to a superstrike from United's Darron Gibson.

Over in Birmingham, Newcastle's Damien Duff cleverly deflected a long range Villa shot into his own net. Middlesborough didn't manage a miracle at West Ham so they go down with Newcastle and The Tigers live to fight another day. Another season in The Premiership! Amazing! I wouldn't say I was happy yesterday - just mightily relieved and Lord knows our management team will have to pull out all the stops to strengthen the squad this summer. Getting rid of some fringe players would also help. 2008-2009 has been a fantastic roller coaster ride of ups and downs, highs and lows. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. You might say that there are more important things in life than football but I might disagree.

Charismatic Hull manager Brown serenades the crowd - "This is the best trip I've ever been on..." to the tune of "Sloop John B"

8 comments:

  1. Yes, I might say that there are and you WOULD disagree. But I don't mind that - I like it when people care, there are so many people who don't seem to care about anything.
    See how nice I am to you, even though you clearly don't appreciate my stunning skills in wildlife photography in general and crows in particular?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, I won't be really horrible and say 'Get a life' but actually I thought the title of the post was going to refer to your approaching your last half term at that there school. Sooo disappointing to discover it was only about football. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. A bit scary that you can beat Arsenal and still nearly go down. I'd like to hope Wolves can do as well next season, but I ain't holding my breath.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have never been any good at anything athletic, so I've spent my whole life being an athletic supporter.

    And even though I don't follow English football or European football or rugby or whatever it is, reading this post proved to be a very interesting ex[eroemce. I held my breath several times in anticipation.

    But you kept on writing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I meant to say "experience"....

    My fingers had other ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You must be one happy Hull fan after the results on Sunday.
    Still, the hard part is surviving the first season.
    Next year I hope you get to watch Burnley & Co go through the same nightmare.
    Good on yer Hull

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was rooting for you. Hope they sack the slimball manager though. He gives Alan Pardew a run for his money in the 'chip on the shoulder' stakes.

    Possibly won by a nose by Kevin 'Blackie' Blackwell though!

    ReplyDelete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.