Remembering Chris Davidson

Remembering Chris Davidson

Hull FC are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former player Chris Davidson.

Club News

Hull FC are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former player Chris Davidson.

One of the Black & Whites’ 34 Hall of Fame members, the Hull-born scrum-half made 295 appearances for the club after making his senior debut in 1964, scoring 86 tries.

Undoubtedly one of the finest half-backs ever produced in the city of Hull, Davidson was a prominent figure throughout the 1960s and 1970s and widely known for his fierce and tenacious playing style.

Chris played his junior rugby in the Hull & District league, catching the eye in 1963 in the Inter-Town RL Under 17 tournament shown on ITV, lining up opposite the great Roger Milward.

He signed his first professional contract with the club in early 1964, making a try-scoring debut at the Boulevard as the Black & Whites beat Wakefield 24-16.

In what was a period of struggle at times for the Airlie Birds, Davidson was one of Hull’s shining lights alongside teammates and fellow Hall of Fame members Clive Sullivan, Dick Gemmell, Arthur Keegan, and Mick Harrison – under the guidance of the late great Johnny Whiteley as head coach until 1970.

He remains to this day one of the most iconic figures of the Hull Derby, playing with his heart on his sleeve against the Robins – so much so that no other player has seen as many red cards as Davidson in the fixture, famously seeing red in the 1967 Christmas Day clash.

Hull reached the Yorkshire Cup Final for the first time in eight years in 1968, and despite going down 8-7 to Hull KR, Davidson won the White Rose Trophy as Man of the Match at Headingley, scoring a try and a drop-goal.

Although it was defeat for FC that day, he won a winners medal in the competition just two years later, defeating Featherstone 12-9 at Headingley, with Davidson performing like an extra forward for Hull.

That performance foreshadowed the later stages of his career, which were spent playing at loose-forward as he began to lose his electric pace with age.

He has the distinction of kicking Hull’s first-ever single point drop-goal – in a Second Round Yorkshire Cup tie against Leeds in September 1974.

In 1975-76, he was also in the 15 who became the first Second Division team to contest the John Player Trophy Final under Coach David Doyle-Davidson.

He captained the side during the 1974 and 1975 seasons, and later in his career was part of the club’s legendary ‘Invincibles’ side in 1978-79, which saw FC win all of their 26 Division Two matches, winning promotion and returning to the top flight – the first time a club has won all of its league matches in a season.

It was the start of a period of dominance for the club, but the following season would be Davidson’s last, hanging up his boots at the end of 1980 after over 15 years service to the club.

On the representative front, Chris represented Yorkshire on several occasions, firstly in October 1969 as Millward’s half-back partner at the old Craven Park – Chris contributed a try in a 42-3 victory over Cumberland. He also played in the 1970 encounter with the Cumbrians at Whitehaven.

Chris remained a popular figure amongst his former teammates in later years attending many club and ex-player events, as well as being a keen and fine golfer.

Sadly in recent years, Davidson was one of several ex-players battling Alzheimers.

The thoughts and condolences of everyone at the club are with Chris’ family and friends at this difficult time.