The Last Game: Lining up yesterday against Liverpool
Not everyone likes watching football - I know that. They wonder what all the fuss is about but I love it - especially following my team - Hull City AFC. My father took me to my first match in 1964 - forty six years ago. Through the years I have followed them everywhere from Runcorn to Bournemouth and from Tottenham to Newcastle. I also followed them to the very bottom of the fourth division when crowds were down to four thousand and it looked as though the club would implode financially and die.
As a boy, cutting out newspaper pictures and reports, making scrapbooks and poring over programmes, I always dreamed that one day The Tigers would make it to Nirvana - England's Premier League - formerly Division One. Ten years ago that dream seemed more impossible than ever but then the magical journey began. We climbed up the divisions. We moved to a superb new ground on the site of The Circle in west Hull as the old ground - Boothferry Park - submitted to weeds, ghosts of past players and vandalism.
Then on May 24th 2008, at Wembley Stadium in London, the now legendary Dean Windass struck a wonder goal in the Championship Play-Off Final to take us into the Premier League for the first time since the club was formed in 1904. Joy upon joy. Tears of joy. The best feeling ever. Just to be there in the promised land taking to the same field as Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea. We had dared to dream and now we were about to live it.
If we had been relegated with zero points, I wouldn't have minded but we survived that first season by the skin of our teeth and our manager, Phil Brown walked out on to the pitch with microphone in hand singing: "This is the best trip I've ever been on" to the tune of "Sloop John B".
We saw some brilliant games beating Arsenal and Tottenham and Manchester City and Everton. Yes us! Little Hull City - a footnote in the history of English football. This season we were unlucky only to draw with Chelsea at home and only lost to them through a last minute Didier Drogba goal down at Stamford Bridge. They are now the Premier League champions while we go down - relegated to The Championship having been cruelly wounded by internal financial injury. Foolish egotistical money men who come and go and only pretend to be football supporters.
But I wouldn't have missed it for the world. To be up there - with the big boys. Once I walked in to the bar of our local pub where there are three TV sets up on the walls. One set was showing Sky Sports News, another was showing BBC "Match of the Day" and the third was showing Sky 1. On all three sets, Hull City were playing. Quite bizarre.
We may never get back there - those transitory money men have seen to that. But I have been there and my wife Shirley and our friends Tony and Fiona have been with me every step of the way. It really has been "the best trip we've ever been on" and we'll never forget it. Up The Tigers!
Shirley and Fiona at halftime