Clive Sullivan


Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Cardiff, Wales
Clive Sullivan


Hull FC apps: 352
Hull FC tries: 250
International honours: Great Britain, Wales
Hull FC debut: 1961

Welsh rugby league legend, Clive A. Sullivan MBE, is one of Hull’s greatest sporting heroes.

The Cardiff-born winger enjoyed an illustrious career that spanned across three decades.

Not only is he remembered as a fantastic try-scorer for the Black and Whites, but also as a pioneer in sport.

Having made his debut for Hull FC on December 9th, 1961, Sullivan went on to become the club’s all-time leading try-scorer whilst holding the record for most tries in a single game (7) and most career hat-tricks (20).

He switched to cross-city rivals Hull Kingston Rovers for a successful six-year spell before returning to the Airlie Birds to help them lift the Challenge Cup in the Final replay at Elland Road against Widnes in 1982.

Sullivan was also significant on the international stage for both Great Britain and Wales. In 1972, he became the first black person to captain any national British side, paving the way for a change in rugby league and sport for years to come.

He led the ’72 World Cup-winning Great Britain squad and scored a memorable length-of-the-field try in the Final to help his side earn a draw with reigning champions Australia, awarding the cup to GB by virtue of a better position in the table.

All in all, Sullivan earned 17 Test caps, scoring 13 tries. He also gained 19 caps for Wales, scoring 12 tries.

Sullivan took up the coaching position at Doncaster after his playing days, although he did return for a third and final stint at the Boulevard in 1983, playing a handful of matches for the Airlie Birds to help them reach the Challenge Cup Final.

Sadly, cancer claimed his life only six months after his last appearance for Hull FC. Hull FC and Hull KR now remember Sullivan through the annual pre-season derby fixture – renamed the Clive Sullivan Trophy, whilst his legacy is still felt across the city.

The A63 road on the western edge of Hull was renamed ‘Clive Sullivan Way’ after his death – a fitting memorial that links both halves of the community which he served with distinction for nearly a quarter of a century.