The Derby: Fun, facts and favourites!

Ahead of #TheDerby tonight, we take a look at the games biggest rivalry including key facts, notable stories and some memorable derby day heroes!

Ahead of #TheDerby tonight, we take a look at the games biggest rivalry including key facts, notable stories and some memorable derby day heroes!


• Today’s meeting is the 229th competitive Hull Derby
• Hull have won 115 matches, Hull KR have won 103 matches and there have been 10 draws
• Hull have scored 2,902 points in Derby games
• Hull KR have scored 2,655 points in Derby games
• The first Derby match took place in September 1899
• Hull won 12 consecutive matches from March 1956 to February 1961
• Hull KR then won 10 consecutive matches from April 1961 to October 1964
• Hull and Hull KR have played in nine competitive finals, with Hull winning four of them
• Hull FC players have scored 15 hat-tricks in total in Derby fixtures, the most recent being Fetuli Talanoa’s three tries at Magic Weekend 2015

• Talanoa became only the third overseas player to score a hat-tricks in Derby games, the others wre Frank Hurley (Aus) and Tevita Vaikona (Tonga)
• The most points scored in a Derby was by Gary Pearce for Hull in 1989, notching up 18 in total
• Kirk Yeaman holds the record for the most tries in Derby matches with 17
• Clive Sullivan MBE is highly regarded as a legend of the fixture having played for both clubs, scoring 12 Derby tries in total (Hull 9, KR 3) and the annual friendly fixture between the clubs is now played in his honour
• The highest score in a Derby is 46 points registered by Hull FC at Magic Weekend in 2015, whilst they also became the first team to nil their rivals when beating Rovers 28-0 at the KCOM Stadium in 2014.


Gary Kemble

Kemble was a hero in the eyes of many fans for a number of notable performances, but he was definitely one man who enjoyed a derby! On Good Friday, 1983, the Championship title was decided with a 21-3 victory for Hull, with the Kiwi once again impressing at full back. That was until he was sent off of course! As the story goes, both sides were engaged in hostilities as tempers flared with seemingly the only exceptions being that of full back’s Kemble and Rovers’ John Lydiat, yet, they were both the ones to be sent off! Rumours later suggest referee, Billy Thompson, sent them walking for cowardice!

Ivor Watts

For a long time, Watts held the record for the most tries in Derby matches with 15, until Kirk Yeaman recently surpassed that milestone. Of the many tries he scored, one notable score stands out. On Good Friday, 1958, Watts chased down a kick to the corner in front of the Threepenny Stand at the Boulevard, boasting a crowd of 27,000 people! Many of a red and white persuasion claimed the ball had gone dead and was in fact kicked back on to the field by one of the packed crowd for Watts to touch down. Watts naturally claimed it was fair, others said differently! Either way, it was in the newspaper the next morning as one of many the Welshman would score in derby encounters.

Kirk Yeaman

Still doing his thing at centre for the current first-team, it will take a few years of retirement to pass before Yeaman is truly hailed as a deserved derby hero. But with a record 17 tries to his name in derby matches, it is recognition he deserves. No other home-grown player from the city has scored more tries for Hull FC than Yeaman and for that reason, the derby means more to him than most. Rival fans have even coined him ‘the badge kisser’ for his passionate displays and celebrations after scoring against them! Something he is quite proud of actually!

Tom Briscoe

Perhaps not quite held in the same regard as those above, not to mention because he later left to join fellow rivals Leeds Rhinos! But with not one but two moments of magic now in derby folklow, the flying England winger deserves his place. As a teenager in 2008 he shot to stardom at the KCOM Stadium as he collected a loose ball deep in his own half before racing the length of the field to score one of the greatest derby tries of all time. If that wasn’t enough, two years later, live on Sky, he then produced a last gasp tackle on Hull KR winger Peter Fox in front of a full house to prevent a certain try and victory for the Robins. Two special derby moments that will live long in the memory.

Chris Davidson

A one club man and Hull lad, Davidson just loved the Derby matches across his thirteen years in Black and White and still enjoys telling the tales now! A talented scrum half in his day, tales and rumours suggest he was sent off more times in Derbies than any other player! We’ll perhaps that’s not strictly true, we’ve check it out, and it was only twice! But one thing is for sure, in the 21 Derby games he played, he was one of the most committed players the rivalry has ever seen!

Steve Ganson

Our wildcard on the list is Steve Ganson, the ever-popular match official from St. Helens! As a referee he was never held in the highest regard by local supporters, but soon enough he became a cult hero when taking his turn in the video ref seat at Magic Weekend 2013! Late in the game, Chris Green broke through to score an unlikely match winning try despite seemingly coming from an offside position, should rival fans be believed, sparking mass celebrations! After much deliberation on the big screen eventually Hull FC fans were greeted with the big ‘TRY’ sign and the rest, as they say, is history! Perhaps it made up for his call in the same game a year earlier, but we best not go into that!


Club Historian Bill Dalton has seen more Derby games than most, watching his first match between the sides in 1956. He shares his notable memories of the rivalry

I have probably been present at just over half of all the competition derbies to date and there are many memories of them. I particularly recall the days when, almost as a tribal ritual, they were played on Christmas Day and Good Friday. It seems incredible now to believe that the last Christmas Day encounter was played in 1968 – 48 years ago. It was also the day that my good friend, David Doyle-Davidson, tackled an up-and-coming second row forward who broke his leg in the tackle. The player – It was the legendary Aussie, Arthur Beetson!

Great players have graced our Derby encounters ever since they began, and all of those derbies have generated wonderful debate in the pubs and clubs across Hull. There have always been great characters and memorable events associated with the Derby fixtures. My early recollections included the sight of a group of ‘Threepenny-Standers’ wheeling a coffin round the ground at halftime to the tune of ‘Death of Old Cock Robin’

Do we ever really fall out with each other? I doubt it, but one belief I feel we should all have – “Love thy Neighbour – but beat him first!”

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