City - 1965-66: memories of a fan
It was indeed, an exciting season, in what was a very exciting time for a sixteen year old to be growing up. I`d been watching the Tigers since my dad took me along as a six year old in 1955, but you could sense that this team was something very special.
Cliff Britton certainly had his critics, but the windfall from the Needler family enabled him to put together a team capable of going all the way (or so we thought at the time). Some personal recollections of that team:
Maurice Swan in goal - not flashy, not spectacular, but usually sound. City let in 62 goals in 46 league games, but we never worried - we were always going to score more.
Jock Davidson at right full back was nearing the end of his career, but anyone tackled by Jock, knew they`d been tackled. Dennis Butler at left full back - always dependable and could be dangerous on his occasional forays up the left wing.
The half back line - Chris Simpkin, never stopped trying and the real engine house of the team, linked well with Alan Jarvis, slightly more cultured and seemed to have more time on the ball than his team mates. Big Mick Milner at centre half, was simply big Mick Milner! Prone to errors of judgement, but always there to clear the lines from any high balls.
It was the forward line that caused all the excitement in Hull in the mid-sixties. Ray Henderson, much maligned, but another solid grafter who chipped in with 14 goals. Ken Houghton - a very classy link between midfield and the forwards - 27 goals. Ian Butler, so tricky out on the left wing, he could ghost past defenders before they even knew he was there and also contributed 15 goals.
Which leaves us with the two legends. Ken Wagstaff (31 goals) was simply the most charismatic and gifted player I have had the pleasure of watching in City`s colours in 50 years. Quite simply, when Waggy was on the ball, the crowd held their breath because anything could happen. Opposition defenders (certainly third division defenders) could not handle him. It is often said that he would have played for England if he was with a more fashionable club. In my opinion, he could have graced any first division club at the time.
Chris Chilton was the old fashioned, bulldozing, centre-forward. I believe he would have run through a brick wall for the Tigers. Chillo was excellent in the air and just as strong and committed on the ground. The perfect foil for Waggy`s trickery, they had an almost telepathic understanding on the pitch. Chillo scored 29 times - that`s 60 goals between the two of them. What would they be worth today?
There were so many highlights that season that are still ingrained on the memory, but I`m sure that if anyone else was at Stamford Bridge in March `66 for the sixth round cup-tie, they will never forget the last 10 minutes when Waggy turned the game around. Another five minutes and the game was there for the taking and who knows what would have happened then?
I have so many happy memories of those times. Boothferry Park filled to the rafters, attacking football week after glorious week, home and away. But most of all it was FUN. There were characters in that team that brought a smile to everyone`s face. When you went though the turnstiles at Boothferry Park in 1965/66, you knew one thing for certain - you were going to be entertained.
Thank you, Peter - Rob