In this series, we put together the ultimate Super League starting 13’s for each club that has seen at least five seasons in the competition.
Today it’s the turn of Hull FC, so here’s who we think would make their ultimate Super League XIII…
1. Steve Prescott
A true legend of the game who aptly has the Man of Steel award named after him. What Prescott achieved after his career was cruelly ended by a knee injury was nothing short of miraculous, but he was also a cult hero to the Old Faithful long before then, having originally signed from St Helens in 1998. In his final season for Hull FC, in what was his second spell at the club, he was the leading goal and points scorer, eventually ending his time there with a total of 56 tries and 197 goals.
Notable mentions: Shaun Briscoe, Motu Tony, Jamie Shaul
2. Tom Briscoe
Briscoe didn’t leave FC on the best of terms but, as one of Super League’s most established wingers, is probably among club’s best academy products. He made his debut as a 17-year-old in 2008 and impressed so much that he was soon a first team regular. His try-scoring ability was obvious from early on, while he really improved defensively in his first few seasons, earning a call-up to the England team in just his second professional season. Briscoe scored a total of 90 tries in 148 games for the Airlie Birds, eventually joining Leeds in 2014.
Notable mentions: Nathan Blacklock, Colin Best, Mahe Fonua
3. Richard Whiting
Winner of and try-scorer in the 2005 Challenge Cup, Whiting signed as a teenager from Featherstone Rovers in 2004. The man affectionately christened ‘Lightening Whiting’ on the terraces was a genuine stalwart, with possibly his most dedicated act for the club coming against Warrington Wolves in the 2013 Challenge Cup semi-final, as he replaced the injured Shannon McDonnell and produced a masterful performance at fullback. He made a total of 258 appearances for the club, coming in several different positions, scoring 77 tries.
Notable mentions: Richie Barnett, Carlos Tuimavave, Ben Crooks
4. Kirk Yeaman
He retired in 2016 after 374 games and 177 tries for the club, but what this local Hull product had produced before then was stuff of FC folklore. The first player ever to win the Challenge Cup twice with his hometown club, in 2005 and 2016, he also achieved international call-ups for Great Britain and was part of the squad that set a club record 13 consecutive Super League wins in 2006 and reached the Grand Final. Yeaman also holds a special place in FC fans’ hearts as the man to hold the record for most tries in competitive Hull derbies, with 17.
Notable mentions: Josh Griffin, Sid Domic
5. Gareth Raynor
Signed from Leeds Rhinos in 2001, Raynor came back to haunt his old employers on more than one occasion, including scoring an important try in the 2005 Challenge Cup Final victory in Cardiff. Renowned for his pace and finishing, he was part of a lethal combination alongside Yeaman, racking up 106 tries throughout his Black and Whites career. He also gained international recognition with England and Great Britain, scoring in the Lions’ famous victory over Australia in the 2006 Tri-Nations Series.
Notable mentions: Matt Crowther, Fetuli Talanoa
6. Paul Cooke
Cooke’s reputation among FC fans was undoubtedly tarnished when he joined bitter rivals Hull KR in 2007 but he’s still one of the best halves they’ve had in recent history. His combination with Richard Horne played a huge part in the 2005 Challenge Cup win, while his kicking game, both from the tee and in-play, single-handedly won plenty of games. In 220 games he racked up a total of 878 points, whilst also gaining international honours with England.
Notable mentions: Albert Kelly
7. Richard Horne
Horne made his debut in an away game at Leeds, before retiring after a home win against the same opposition. He had it all – pace, guile, organisation and an eye for a chance before anybody else saw it. A 2005 Challenge Cup winner, Great Britain international and 2006 Grand Finalist, he equalled the club record of scoring in 11 consecutive games in 2006, a record which was originally set in the 1914/15 season by Jack Harrison. After suffering a career-threatening neck injury in 2008, he returned to come off the bench in the Challenge Cup Final and would go on to play until 2014, when he eventually retired after playing over 400 career games.
Notable mentions: Marc Sneyd, Sean Long
8. Mark O’Meley
‘The Ogre’ was a big hit with Hull FC fans for his no nonsense style. The former Australian international was a simply brutal, all-action hard hitter who never took a step backwards. Never the tallest nor the heaviest in the FC ranks, O’Meley made up for it with his pure aggression, and fans can still tell you stories about the bone-crunching hits, enormous go forward and unbridled passion he brought to the side. He spent four seasons on Humberside and made 90 appearances, including the 2013 Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.
Notable mentions: Ewan Dowes, Scott Taylor, Jamie Thackray
9. Richard Swain
Swain was a special player throughout his four seasons with FC, so much so that he beats veteran Danny Houghton into this team. The popular Kiwi was the hardworking catalyst that saw Hull go from also-rans to Challenge Cup winners in 2005, while also increasing the level of defensive effort in the competition with his phenomenal work-rate. He helped ingrain a new belief in Hull FC after some struggles in the years prior to his arrival and after his retirement was greatly missed.
Notable mentions: Danny Houghton, Shaun Berrigan
10. Lee Radford
Radford started his career at The Boulevard before several trophy laden years at Bradford, but returned to FC to captain his side to both the Super League and Challenge Cup Finals. A hardworking forward, Radford never gave anything less than 110% both as a player and coach and while he recently ended his tenure as boss on a sour note, it doesn’t detract from the many years of valuable service he gave. He ended his playing career with over 180 appearances for the Black and Whites, before also leading them to consecutive Challenge Cup triumphs as head coach.
Notable mentions: Garreth Carvell, Paul King, Liam Watts
11. Gareth Ellis
The recently turned 39-year-old warrior has written his name into Hull FC folklore as the captain to bring the club its first Wembley win as well as their first successful defence of the trophy. A previous Super League champion with Leeds and three-time Wests Tigers Player of the Season during his stint in Australia, Ellis was a real coup for the Black and Whites when he signed in 2013 and is undoubtedly a modern-day Super League great. He’s now into his 22nd professional season and is still mixing it with the competition’s top talents.
Notable mentions: Willie Manu, Adam Maher
12. Danny Tickle
The goal-kicking back rower arguably doesn’t get enough credit for his efforts at FC. He was a dependable forward and an excellent carrier of the ball, scoring 47 tries in 177 appearances, however it was his exploits with the tee that often garnered much praise. He was top point scorer in each of his seven seasons in Black and White, with his boot being the difference as FC reached the 2013 Challenge Cup Final with a 16-12 win over Warrington.
Notable mentions: Stephen Kearney, Mark Minichello, Shayne McMenemy
13. Jason Smith
The Airlie Birds raised plenty of eyebrows when they snapped up Australia and Queensland representative Smith ahead of the 2001 season. He had an enormous influence from day one and was subsequently awarded the captaincy in 2002. His defence was always very rugged and his ball-handling skills were a sight to behold, while he also possessed an excellent kicking game. He made a total of 80 appearances for Hull during four seasons, finishing with an impressive win percentage of 62.5%.
Notable mentions: Craig Fitzgibbon, Danny Washbrook
By Jack Conlon and Ian Judson