Hull City
The KC Stadium

Ground No. 87
Visited – Saturday 25th February 2006
Result – Hull City 2-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Competition – Coca-Cola Championship
Attendance – 19,841

When the fixtures for the season were first announced, I had Hull down on my list of ‘must visit’ grounds, not only as part of doing the 92, but for the opportunity to see what the people who had visited were going on about. Another reason for going was to see Boothferry Park, which is due to be knocked down in the summer, so I was quite looking forward to the day, more so than usual.

The journey up there wasn’t too bad, I’d decided to go early, leaving Wolverhampton just before 5am, and after a change at Birmingham and Sheffield, we arrived into Hull at 9am. After leaving the station, it was a fair walk down, past the KC Stadium, to Boothferry Park, where more can be read about here. Having seen enough of their old ground, it was back to the new one, and the chance to have a good look round. Unfortunately I couldn’t get inside early on, so had to make do with only seeing the outside, which was fairly impressive, set in the middle of a park, and looking quite modern, with the exterior curving all the way round, up to the peak of it’s height in the West Stand. Many people have compared it to COMS, and it’s obvious as to why, however I’d actually rate the KC Stadium as better from the outside, with its brighter exterior looking a lot more attractive.

After leaving the ground, I spent a few hours in the town, eventually meeting up with a friend who lives in Hull, before coming back to the ground.
After going in, and through the rather spacious concourse, (which unusually, wasn’t at ground level), I eventually got my first glimpse of the inside. This is where people were so enthusiastic about it, and perhaps it was having recently visited the bigger COMS, but unfortunately I couldn’t really see what all the fuss was about. To our left was the East Stand, which was a mid-sized single tier stand that had a slight curve on it, wrapping round to the South Stand opposite. Mirroring our end, again it was another medium-sized single tier stand that would have perhaps looked more impressive if it was bigger. The main feature of the ground was to our right, the West Stand. With the ends of the upper tier rising up to the centre, this stand towered over the other three sides, and with a layer of executive boxes sandwiched in between the two tiers, this was the best part of the ground, deserving of its accolades. What really sets the ground apart from most others is not so much the stands, but the roof, which is quite impressive, almost floating above the stands in one continuous structure mirroring the design of the ground with its height peaking above the West Stand.

After having taken enough pics, the game eventually got started, with the announcer having done his best to get the crowd up for the match. From the off, Hull seemed the more motivated team and were doing most of the attacking, only really being denied by the poor quality of the pitch not helping their passing. They had two golden chances early on, but it was Wolves who took the lead when Jeremie Aliadiere cut in from the right with pace, to knock the ball past the oncoming goalkeeper to make it 1-0 to the visitors with their first real chance of the game. This was the start of more pressure from Wolves, and moments later they could have been further ahead when Kenny Miller headed over. It wasn’t all Wolves after this though, and Hull were still looking for a goal, and after some clumsy defending from Joleon Lescott the referee awarded a penalty right on halftime, which seemed to have given the home side a way back in. In front of the visiting supporters, Stuart Green stepped up, and promptly put the ball to the wrong side of the post, keeping the scores at 1-0 as the teams went into the break.

In the second half, it was much the same story, with Hull applying the most pressure, and they got what they deserved with just six minutes gone, when Leon Cort (brother of Carl), popped up to smash home a poor clearance from a corner. With this, Hull upped the ante and went all out to take the lead, but it was Wolves fans celebrating on 59 minutes, when Kenny Miller ran from the halfway line, playing a one-two with Aliadiere on the edge of the box, before striding in to collect the return and make it 2-1 to the visitors. The game carried on from end to end after this, and more Hull pressure was eventually made to tell in the oddest of circumstances, when with what looked like a simple clearance towards the edge of the box near the byline, Rob Edwards somehow smashed the ball back over his head and just under the bar to score a bizarre own goal. That looked to be it, and with the Hull fans celebrating their good fortune, their mood soon drastically changed when with injury time already announced, Wolves broke away, for a deep Rohan Ricketts cross to be met by Carl Cort (brother of Leon!) at the far post, making it 3-2. Injury time passed without incident, and when the referee blew his whistle, it was us who were celebrating for a change!

Throughout the game, there had been a fairly good atmosphere from Hull fans, although sadly it wasn’t really returned by the travelling Wolves contingent. After leaving the ground, we were led out a rather odd way by the stewards and police, with us ending up walking nearly a full circuit of the ground before eventually getting back to the main road. Other than one isolated incident, there was none of the trouble that other people have spoken about, so we managed to get away and back to town in a good mood.
After getting back on the train and having a drink in Sheffield, it was quite a long journey back after the train broke down in Derby, requiring quite a detour from another one, so it was gone midnight when we eventually got back home.

Overall, other than the journey back, it was quite a good day out. Although I wasn’t quite as impressed as I’d expected to be with the ground, it is a worthy successor to Boothferry Park and certainly better than the likes of Leicester or Southampton.

View from the Park

Statue outside the ground

Rear of the West Stand

The West Stand Reception

Rear of the North Stand

The Club Shop

Rear of the East Stand

Rear of the South Stand

Rear of the South Stand

The East Stand

The South Stand

The West Stand

The West Stand

The North Stand

The East Stand


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