The ten years since 1995, when speedway returned to Hull after a fourteen-year absence, have been a rollercoaster ride for the Vikings. A string of new owners oversaw successive periods of on-track success and failure, and closure often seemed imminent until the club finally succumbed in 2003. Bouncing back under Paul Hodder, the Vikings enjoyed their best ever season in 2004, winning the league title to herald in an exciting new era for the club and the city.
Charmed life, luck, tenacity, refusal to die – whatever – the first ten years at Craven Park have been anything but dull, and all this is brought to life in the second volume of Roger Hulbert’s history of the club, which like the first volume contains many quality photographs and all the relevant statistics to complement the narrative of Hull Speedway’s most recent era. It is an essential read for all fans of the club.
In 1974 the brilliant and controversial Brian Clough made perhaps his most eccentric decision: he accepted the Leeds United Manager’s job. As successor to Don Revie, his bitter adversary, he was to last only fourty-four days. In one of the most acclaimed novels of this or any other year, David Peace takes un into the mind and thoughts of Ol’ Big ‘Ead himself, and brings vividly to life one of post-war Britain’s most complex and fascinating characters.
Years after his retirement, Ken Wagstaff remains a massive icon with fans at former clubs Mansfield Town and Hull City. A prolific goal scorer, he terrorised English defences for fifteen years, amassing 303 career goals in 625 appearances. At various times he was tipped for international honours and coveted by top managers including Brian Clough, but England eluded him and he ended up cementing his hero status at Boothferry Park by ending his career there, his partnership with Chris Chilton becoming the stuff of legends.