“No attempt at ethical or social seduction can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party . . . So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.” Nye Bevan.
Substitute “Leeds United” for the “Tory Party” and you may feel some of the antipathy that we in Hull feel for our West Yorkshire “brethren”.
Someone once used the phrase, “Paris and the French desert” to described France, and it’s a bit like that with Leeds and the rest of Yorkshire. Meet a fan of another Yorkshire club and you automatically have at least ½ hours worth of conversation sorted.
My visceral loathing is mainly football based. The Revie inspired Giles/ Bremner thuggery being the starting point, the “fans” disgracing the UK at the 1975 European Cup Final in Paris, running the gauntlet of the National Front at Elland Road in 1986, plus the fact that Wilkinson’s 1992 vintage must rank as the worst ever team to win the League Title basing their game on the strong arm tactics of David Batty allied to route one football via the heads of Lee Chapman and Carl Shutt.
But is also political. Whilst the rest of Yorkshire felt the full icy blast of Thatcherism, Leeds continued to return Tory M.Ps including the architect and intellect behind the brand, Sir Keith Joseph.
Whilst mining communities went to the wall, Leeds opened a branch of Harvey Nicholls.
Thus the sight of Leeds United propping up the Championship Table this morning helped assuage the disappointment of last night’s defeat.
A record attendance for a Hull City game at Walton Street, Leeds on the slide and us installed as favourites on the back of an impressive run, plus the long awaited sight of Dean Windass back where he belongs meant that everything was in place for….. a defeat. Well this is Hull City AFC, serial breaker of fans hearts that we are talking about.
Wretched luck was heaped on a strangely low key Tigers performance.
Perhaps they froze? Maybe the favourites tag weighed too heavy? Probably a week in a warm weather Portugal training camp and then having to perform on a typically cold and damp Humberside night didn’t appeal?
Whatever the causes, the effect was a limp showing. Leeds were there for the taking and we dominated possession in the early period without really threatening.
We defended the first Leeds set play badly, Myhill recovered just in time from ex Celtic and Bolton favourite Alan Thompson’s delivery.
Lessons were not learnt and after Forster spurned an acceptable headed chance from a Marney free kick, another Thompson set play saw statuesque defending and Heath hooked the ball home, although there was a distinct whiff of offside about it.
Nevertheless this galvanised the City players and parity was restored as Forster bundled home. (See video below).
On the restart Parkin beat the off side trap and coolly slotted the ball past Sullivan. Cue delirium all over the stadium and especially in our section.
But the flag had gone up (erroneously). Boy, did we feel stupid? All that celebrating for nought.
From then all expected the inevitable wounded Tiger onslaught, as we have been playing a far higher tempo game since Brown took the reins, but it just never came and Wise’s side punished city when Thompson netted an inch perfect free kick, although most in the ground felt Turner had been harshly penalised for the challenge.
Windass was felled in the area but in common with our torpor, the appeal was strangely muted.
The game became more stretched as the end neared, and Myhill was forced to pull off a stunning save as a Leeds man nearly took full advantage on the break.
It was in truth, a dog of a game, littered with errors and frequent ill tempered flare ups which the officials failed to sort out.
But this suited United as it dragged the game down to their level.
In 2001, when Leeds were playing Barca in the European Cup Semi Finals and we were 14th in the bottom Division, such a statement would have seemed frankly cookoo.