Monday, 17 August 2015

Hull City: Five home-grown transfer success stories

In the latest transfer history blog to bring some levity to your summer transfer window, here's a look at five players who came through the youth ranks at Hull City and were sold on for big money...

Stuart Pearson

Pearson shattered City’s record sale when he joined Manchester United in May 1974 in a £200,000 deal* in the wake of United’s Denis Law-induced relegation from Division One. The previous record sale had been the man whose monumental mantel Pearson picked up at City – Chris Chilton to Coventry City for £92,000 in August 1971.

Pearson’s almost one-in-three goal record was excellent but nowhere near Chilton’s incredible 222 in 478 in all comps. In a minor technicality, both Pearson and Chilton signed for The Tigers as amateurs from local football rather than serving apprenticeship.

Pearson fired Manchester United back into the First Division before moving on to West Ham for £220,000, winning FA Cups with both sides in 1977 (United beat Liverpool 2-1) and 1980 (West Ham upset Arsenal 1-0). Along with his 15 England caps – he has a pretty good claim to being City’s most successful home-grown player ever.

* £170,000 plus Peter Fletcher who was valued at £30,000

Roy Greenwood

Leeds-born outside-left Greenwood broke into the City side in the post-Chilton era making a handful of appearances in the 1971/72 season. He scored only once in his first thirty-five appearances for the club but eventually became a useful goalscorer.

In the 1973/74 season he bagged twelve goals and had scored nine in half of the 1975/76 season prompting City’s Division two rivals Sunderland to swoop for him for £141,600 (second biggest fee received behind Pearson at that point).

Sunderland were promoted that season but Greenwood featured irregularly over the following three years before moving onto Derby County for £50,000, Swindon Town for £30,000 and Scarborough Town.

Peter Daniel

A mobile, intelligent and versatile right-back – Daniel broke into The Tigers team that finished eighth in Division Two in 1974/75 but the side regressed and two mid-table finishes were followed up by relegation in his final season of 1977/78. That was the start of a slide into Division Four before the revival in the Don Robinson years.

While the team struggled to relegation, Daniel picked up England U-21 caps and was rewarded with a £182,000 move to Wolves (also becoming the second biggest fee received behind Stuart Pearson at that point). He became a midfielder at Wolves (perhaps impressed by his six goals in the 1976/77 season) and was a key part of the team that won the League Cup in 1980 (beating Forest 1-0) but suffered a broken leg in 1981 and his career never regained its upward momentum.

He moved on to Minnesota Strikers in the dying days of the North American Soccer League, Sunderland (for £15,000), Lincoln and Burnley. After a spell playing at North Ferriby United – he began trekking around local non-league teams as manager including spells at Ferriby, Goole, Ossett, Brigg and Winterton.

Leigh Jenkinson

When Jenkinson joined Coventry City for £300,000 in 1993, only Tony Norman, Andy Payton and Richard Jobson had ever brought The Tigers bigger fees. Jenko was the definitive flying winger whose pace far out-weighted his ability. His big-money move to a club in the Premier League seemed to come as a surprise to most City fans.

By far the most memorable aspect of Jenko’s City career was his representing the club in the final of the “Rumbelows Sprint challenge” at Wembley ahead of the 1992 League Cup final. Rumbleows were the competition’s sponsor back then and the final was the result of nationwide heats to find the fastest footballer. It was a bit flawed because most of the big names either couldn’t be arsed to enter or didn’t really try. Jenko won the North East heat which you can enjoy in all its glory thanks to TigerTubePlayer. He came last in the final which was won by Swansea’s John “The flying postman” Williams who, coincidentally (or maybe not), Coventry also bought.

On the pitch I’ll always remember him for missing a penalty against Plymouth which I'm sure was saved by a centre half after Peter Shilton was red-carded for the first time in his career. We still won 2-0 though. He also bagged a brace at Stoke, the second goal being particularly good which you can also enjoy thanks to TigerTubePlayer. He scored two of nine goals he bagged in 1991/92 that day. A reasonable return that season which propped up his otherwise very average goal record.

Adam Bolder

Bolder’s City career was short and not particularly memorable. He made his debut in the great escape season as a substitute on the day City beat Peter Beardsley’s Hartlepool 4-0 at Boothferry Park but nineteen of his twenty league appearances came during the 1999/00  - The Tigers winning only five of them. He was however unbeaten in three Auto Windscreen Shield games if you don’t count penalty shoot-outs!

His sale, to Derby County, for a fee of just £90,000 was disappointing given how few outfield players of any promise had come through in the previous five years. Compared with the fees received for goalkeepers Andy Oakes and Roy Carroll (another homegrown player sold to Wigan for £350,000) – it was peanuts.

He proved a good signing for the Rams making almost two-hundred appearances before he became a bit of a nomad and served QPR, Sheffield Wednesday, Millwall, Bradford and Burton in the league and then Harrogate and North Ferriby lower down.

Even more disappointing than the transfer fee itself would be the fact that it was the last payment City received for a home grown player for almost THIRTEEN years until Liam Cooper was sold to Chesterfield for about £100,000.

Bonus: Five more who deserve a mention…

Paul Haigh (Picked up playing local Sunday league including for the fantastically named Hessle Juventus. Sold to Carlisle for £102,000 in November 1980)

Andy Payton (Released by Burnley aged 15, his near one in every two starts record at City earned a move to Middlesborough for a club record £750,000 in November 1991. It stood as a record for fifteen years and is still the biggest fee received for a home-grown player)

Brian Marwood (Sold to Sheffield Wednesday in the wake of City’s heart-breaking failure to win promotion at Turf Moor in 1984 for £115,000. Went on to Arsenal (£800,000) and Sheff United (£350,000) with short spells at Boro, Swindon and Barnet. Won a single England cap against Saudi Arabia in 1988.)

Rob McDonald (Not a well-known name but became the first player City ever sold to a foreign side when he joined Dutch side Wageningen for £19,000. Groningen later paid £75,000 for him.)

Tom Cairney (Picked up by City as a teenager after Leeds released him, Cairney is by far the biggest academy success of the last decade and a half. Left for Blackburn for a measly £500,000 but then moved onto Fulham for a reported £3,500,000 this summer – a deal that brought City around another £600,000 as a result of a sell-on clause.)

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