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Since the move to the KC Stadium, Hull have had many high finishes in the Super League table. 2003 saw the team just miss out on play off qualification to Warrington Wolves and in 2004 the club finished 3rd.

What was widely seen as the birth of the modern day Hull FC, life started well with high finishes in Super League, including 3rd in 2004, but the best was to follow 12 months later.

The Black and Whites secured the most recent piece of major silverware when they claimed a now famous 25-24 Challenge Cup Final victory against Leeds at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. A last minute try and conversion clinched the trophy and sparked jubulous scenes among the thousands upon thousands of fans who had made the long journey down from East Yorkshire.

League success wasn’t too far away that year either, with a 4th placed finish, whilst things improved a year on as the Black and Whites made the 2006 Grand Final despite the loss of their cup winning coach. John Kear, who had steered them to victory in the final, resigned after a string of bad results and was eventually replaced by former Manly and Melbourne coach, Peter Sharp.

Under the new head coach, Hull mounted a serious charge up the table which culminated a 19-12 semi final victory over Bradford, the side that had knocked them out of the play offs a year earlier, to book a meeting with St. Helens at Old Trafford.

Unfortunately, there was no fairytale ending, as despite a committed performance, Saints ran out 26-4 winners.

The team success of this period, also brought around some personal accolades. One club man Richard Horne, who went on to celebrate his testimonial year in 2010, equalled a club record and set a new Super League landmark for scoring a try in 13 consecutive matches.


It also hailed an era of international recognition with Horne, Gareth Raynor, Kirk Yeaman and Gareth Carvell all being picked for Great Britain duty down under, whilst Motu Tony went on to represent New Zealand.

Understandably, 2007 started with great expectations, contributed to by the arrivals of Australian test star Matt Sing, former Castleford man Willie Manu and Wigan duo Wayne Godwin and Danny Tickle, the latter who would go on to become one of the club’s greatest goal kickers of all time and a two-time Player of the Year before leaving the club at the end of 2013.

Whilst 2007 and the subsequent couple of years marked a difficult period of crippling injuries and in turn, less success, it was still notable for two big reasons.
Firstly, despite such a depleted squad, Hull did make another Challenge Cup Final in 2008, to be defeated by Saints once again, whilst it was the return of top-flight Hull derbies.

Hull KR’s first venture into Super League came in 2007 and derby fever gripped the city with 23,002 fans packed into the KC Stadium for the first match and a 22-14 victory for Hull.

The subsequent contests fuelled what was already an intense rivalry, assisted by the controversial cross city switch of Hull’s Paul Cooke and then the swaying of the bragging rights from west to east and then back again once more.

2010 highlighted the rivalry more than any other year, helped by the recent overhaul of the Hull FC squad.

Following the sacking of Sharp in 2008, due to a distinct lack of form, long standing assistant coach Richard Agar was given the lead role. It took some time for him to finally shape the squad he was after, but his influence was clear to see in the 2009 off-season that heralded the arrival of some of the games biggest names.

Rugby League’s most decorated player, Sean Long, joined from Saints, whilst two of Australia’s all time greats flew in with Mark O’Meley and NRL record holder Craig Fitzgibbon also heading to the Black and Whites.

This in turn had coincided with a shake up of the current squad with a host of players released and a variety of the club’s talented youngest promoted and given the chance to shine in the form of Tom Briscoe and Danny Houghton.

It led to one of Hull FC’s most memorable seasons, the equal best home record in Super League and four great derby matches.

Richard Horne celebrated his testimonial with a pre-season win over the Red and Whites before two home and away wins for the Black and Whites, the KC clash most notable for Briscoe’s unbelievable late try saving tackle on Peter Fox, one of the greatest ever derby moments.

However, Rovers would have the last laugh with a play-off victory later that year, fuelling the fire once more for another mouth-watering clash with 2011 kick off with a magic derby day offering at the Millennium Stadium.

The 2011 season proved to be a mixed one for the Black and Whites with an equal number of wins and losses and one draw coming from their Super League matches as they finished eighth. However, it would prove to be a big year for the club off the field as new owner Adam Pearson took charge at the KC Stadium with the intent of making Hull FC one of the competition's heavyweights once again.

One of his first decisions was to bring former coach Shaun McRae back to the KC Stadium as Director of Rugby and together the duo appointed the highly rated Peter Gentle as the club's new head coach. A former assistant with Wests Tigers and the Australian national side, Gentle set about making a number of important changes on and off the field leading into 2012.

Super League XVII proved to be another eventful one for the Airlie Birds as Gentle overcame a number of injuries and player departures to steer his side to a sixth placed finish on the ladder. Demolishing Huddersfield in the opening round of the play-offs at the KC Stadium before losing narrowly to eventual Grand Finalists Warrington Wolves, it proved to be a year of optimism for the Old Faithful boosted by the marquee signing of England international Gareth Ellis despite the attention of a number of domestic rivals.

With Ellis taking over the captaincy from 2012 Player of the Year Andy Lynch, Hull's top four aspirations were dealt a cruel blow on the opening night of the 2013 season when the skipper limped out of the warm-up at Headingley. To their credit, the Black and Whites overcame the loss of their leader for an hour against Leeds Rhinos before the reigning champions pulled clear in the final quarter.

It began a run of ill fortune for Gentle's men before young star Jamie Shaul burst onto the scene with a stunning two-try debut on Easter Monday to seal a victory at Wakefield that sparked a run of nine wins in 10 matches in all competitions including triumphs over North Wales Crusaders and the Wildcats once again in the Tetley's Challenge Cup.

In the quarter finals of the knock-out competition, Hull overcame a mid season blip to beat Catalan Dragons in Perpignan, a Shannon McDonnell double and tries from Tom Briscoe and Tom Lineham setting up a semi-final against Warrington Wolves the following month. Taking place at Huddersfield's John Smith's Stadium, it proved to be the scene of FC's best performance of the season as they booked their place at Wembley with a 16-12 victory, the game being best remembered for a length of the field score from Lineham that would later be voted try of the season.

Sadly, Hull couldn't match their heroics against Wigan Warriors in the final as they lost 16-0, while the Challenge Cup winners also went on to win the Grand Final in a remarkable season. Hull meanwhile, once again had the better of Catalan in the a winner-takes-all clash as they dumped the Dragons out of the play-offs only to lose to League Leaders Shield winners Huddersfield Giants the following week.

Despite ending on a low note, the season will be best remembered for reaching Wembley and for the emergence of several young players, most notably Lineham and centre partner Ben Crooks who were crowned Hull FC's and Super League's Young Player of the Year respectively.

The pair also earned a place in the Super League Dream Team and will have high hopes of kicking on further in 2014 under new head coach Lee Radford, who has taken the reigns from Peter Gentle. A shake up of the club's coaching structure has also seen former Head of Youth Andy Last return to his further role of assistant coach as the Black and Whites look to build around home-grown talent in Super League XIX.

Ex-player Alan Hunte chats to Hull FC Live at the recent launch of the away shirt. Click here
New signing Curtis Naughton speaks to Hull FC Live about his first week at training. Click here
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