Of the many reasons a supporter has for watching the worlds greatest game, not many can choose a player as their biggest reason for following a football club.
Growing up in the 1960’s was a Halcyon period for English football, obviously with the solitary World Cup win over West Germany, and it was captivating to be a part of. Following Hull City became a young boy’s obsession. I was not gifted with any footballing ability myself so watching great players was the best that I could do.
My Uncle George took me to Boothferry Park for my first games and being only 8-years-old I became obsessed with players who could score goals, the strikers, and someone who could do that regularly was Ken Wagstaff. Bought from Mansfield Town for a fortune at the time of £40,000, he was to become one of my all-time favourite players.
Scoring on his debut Waggy became the player of the century for Hull City, which was voted by the fans and rightly so. A player who’s partnership with Chris Chilton should have brought bigger stages to play on but successive England managers were blind to anyone outside of the then first Division. The original “Sniffer” Ken could poach goals inside the six yard box or weave through defences as if they were statutes.
Through his career at Hull City Waggy was a player who gave everything, his exploits so nearly took City to the Promised Land,….. the first Division, which evaded us for 104 years. Always approachable the signed picture from the 1960’s is still a prized possession alongside my programme collection.
Waggy’s career was sadly curtailed by a serious knee injury but during twelve seasons he played 370 times in the league and scored 173 goals scoring very nearly a goal every other game. An impression left on this supporter, and never dimmed, or never bettered. It wasn’t even a debate until a certain Dean Windass came about.
Hull born and bred Dean has joined the elite at Hull City—who will ever for forget the scenes at Wembley, a goal written in folkore, a Roy of the Rovers player, that came from Gipsyville and followed his dreams.
During two spells at the club Deano gave everything for the cause. Signed back from North Ferriby by Tony Dolan in 1991, he started his career more as a midfielder, but he soon moved up to become a striker. His goals never disappointed, whether long range efforts, tap in’s, or the occasional free kick, they all contributed to the mantle that was Deano.
Financial constraints meant that he was sold to Aberdeen, a sad day for us all. Though in the 2006/07 season Deano return on loan and became our top scorer with a return of eight goals from fifteen starts. The following season he was bought for £150,000 and he managed a further eleven league goals.
The 2008 Championship playoff, a volley which will never be surpassed, a goal which meant he would never be forgotten,
Age finally caught up with Deano and he retired at the end of the next season. A legend for the cause, a player who always gave his all, a pleasure and a privilege to call “one of our own”. Scoring 77 league goals in 228 appearances……and one goal in a million.