The Guardians of the net, Hull City have been blessed with some quality in this position over the years. Here’s one keeper from then and now who really caught my eye.
Then: Ian McKechnie
The term hero is used far too often these days but your childhood always brings you one. Mine was a Scotsman who will be forever known as the first man to save a penalty in a competitive shoot out, saving Denis Laws’ spot kick in the 1970 Watney Cup semi-final. Incidentally, this was my first time seeing Manchester United in the flesh. Unfortunately, he missed from his spot which would have taken the tie to extra time.
I was not blessed with any football out field ability and always played in goal, mainly I feel because of my informative years watching this Hull City stalwart. Born in Scotland he signed for Arsenal as an outfield player who then turned into a goalkeeper of some repute. He played 25 times for the Gooners, but was replaced by another Scot in Bob Wilson, a mistake on their part as we all know who was the better keeper.
He signed for the Tigers in 1966 and played 255 times. So why was he a hero?
Well he was spotted at training by an eagle-eyed fan and as they say the rest was history. Every home game as he approached Bunkers Hill he was bombarded by a barrage of oranges. I remember the first time I saw this I was aghast. I had seen the obligatory toilet roll sail over my head but oranges was a different sight.
I seem to remember a fan arrested at Sheffield for throwing an orange and Ian having to write a letter to the court to “explain” the situation .I am not sure what happened to the oranges but a story my dad told me gives you a measure of the man he told me they went to Newland Holmes orphanage and to old people’s homes. I sure hope they did something like this.
Sadly, Ian passed away in 2015 and is sadly missed.
Now: Allan McGregor
Allan is a Scottish International who has 35 international caps to his name. He was signed by Rangers and had a mixed spell with them. He was an unused substitute in every game of their treble winning season, he then went on to become the first-choice keeper. He made 205 appearances for them. Rangers went to the wall and Allan exercised his right to walk away, he joined Turkish side Besiktas.
He signed for the Tigers in 2013 and has become a fans favourite. A big unit who is a good shot stopper. Allan has skilful hands and his distribution often puts us on the front foot. He was a key member of our Premier Leageu campaigns including the FA Cup run to the final.
He has to date made 118 appearances for City and is set to be a very important member of the side this season. If we are to avoid the unthinkable and finish in the top half of the table we need a strong sequence of performances from Allan.
A player who on his day is as good as any other McGregor has arguably been one of our best players again this season. His rise to prominence is a credit to him.