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Hull FC’s celebrations start to mark 150th anniversary

Former Hull FC great Johnny Whiteley said: "The game of rugby league binds the city of Hull together."

A year-long celebration is to take place during 2015 as one of the oldest rugby league clubs commemorates 150 years since its foundation.

Hull FC was formed in 1865 by a group of ex-public schoolboys.

It became a founder member of the Northern Union, as rugby league was then known, in 1895 as one of 22 clubs to bring the new code into being.

Whiteley, 84, who played for, captained and coached Hull FC and Great Britain said the celebrations would “bring back a lot of memories and 99% would be good”.

Johnny Whiteley played for, captained and coached Hull FC and Great Britain

Born close to Hull FC’s old Boulevard ground, he first watched the team when he was four years old.

‘Good times and bad’

Whiteley made his debut in 1949 and played for 15 years. He is still the team’s “unofficial ambassador”.

“Black and White is in your blood, through the good times and the bad,” he added.

The club moved in 2002 to share the KC stadium with Premiership football club, Hull City.

Ash Foster, who is organising the club’s events, has the words Old Faithful tattooed on his arm in tribute to the anthem sung by the club’s supporters.

“It’s my dream job, ever since my dad took me to my first game when I was seven I have followed the team,” he said.

Events are to include a museum exhibition, time capsule burial and special matches.

The club is also going to commemorate former player Jack Harrison VC, who was killed in World War One, and is set to choose a poet laureate.

“All six candidates are ‘ordinary Joe’ supporters who feel moved to write about the club,” Mr Foster explained.

Hull’s second professional rugby league club, Hull Kingston Rovers, plays in the east of the city and was formed in 1882.

Source: BBC News.

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