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Favorite Moments - 076 -100 Your fun memories from EOTB

fm76 - Rich travels Sydney to Cardiff Wales to watch Hull defeat Leeds - challenge cup 2005

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Rich Harrison ( A hull man)
Hull. .. is the club I follow

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Rich had planned long and hard that if his beloved Hull Team were to make it to the 2005 Challenge Cup final to be played in Cardiff Wales, then he would take a few days off work at the Balmain Leagues Club and travel over to watch the game. Then return asap to be at work.

Well Hull made it to the Final to be played against Leeds and this is his story in his words...

he tells us about his special day in Cardiff...

I am still coming down from the incredible high of seeing the lads lift that cup!

I’ll give you a run down of what I actually did around the time of the match.

After listening to the Semi-Final on the BBC website I emailed my Boss asking for a week off for religious reasons, After this was granted, I asked my Wife and then my Bank if it would be ok. The bank let me go after lending me an undisclosed sum. Ahem.

I finished work (At Balmain Tigers Rugby League Club in Sydney) on the 24th August at 8pm. I then went to the pub with a few of my colleagues and we put a rather large amount of Dollars on Hull beating Leeds, and proceeded to drink our own weight in cold Aussie beer. As the token Pommie at work, I come in for a fair amount of stick when it comes to international matches, but when it comes down to loving your club, Aussies understand. Everybody at work (110 of them) became naturalized Hullensians for the 80 minutes we played, let me tell you! So, anyway, after a few schooners of Amber Fluid I staggered home to pack and sleep off the beer. I got up at midday with a stinking hangover and managed to repack everything I had packed whilst drunk the night before.

I got to Sydney airport at 5pm and flew out at 8pm.

I got into Manchester (via Malaysia) on the Friday night at 6pm. The flight had been bad, VERY bad, in fact somewhere over India we dropped about a thousand feet in 2 seconds and the oxygen masks came down but only in first class!!! Obviously only rich deserve oxygen according to Malaysian Airlines!

I was met at Manchester by my Mum and Dad who then drove me back to Hull. I then ate the biggest home cooked meat pie I have ever seen (thanks Mum) and then slept until 3am. My Dad and I then boarded the coach to Cardiff outside the Marina and we were on our way!

By 10am, one of my colleagues in Australia had called the BBC and tried to arrange an interview for me on the day of the match. The BBC called my parents number at 10am on the day of the match to beg for an interview pitchside with Clare Balding at 1pm.

When we got to the Stadium and took our seats, it was strange, but you just KNEW that we wouldn't lose. I was surrounded by black and white and as I belted out Abide With Me, all I could think of was the Boulevard and the blokes that I had stood on the Scoreboard hill with since I was little. By the time the National Anthem and the red and white swine Prescott had both shuffled off, the rollercoaster began!

It’s all a blur now…. Motu Tony getting smashed by Mathers’ Knee as he scored… Kearney running forward with 3 hanging off him… The guy next to me rolling his scarf up into a ball and popping a pass out for me to plant on the steps just like Marcus Bai did for Whiting and then us hugging… Danny Brough kicking those touchline conversions… getting that horrible feeling when they went ahead… crying my eyes out as Cookie ghosted over for that amazing try… screaming LIFT IT and almost dislocating my arms after they kicked it dead from the kickoff… then literally screaming until I sounded like the love child of Rod Stewart and Bonnie Tyler when the hooter went.

I turned to my Dad (not usually the sentimental type) and he said, “I wish your Granddad had been alive to see this” at that point the tears came. Tears of joy, relief, tiredness, sadness, you name it I cried for it. Then as I was in the seat next to the steps I had the pleasure of being hugged by Wakefield, Huddersfield, Bradford, Wigan, Rochdale, Batley, Dewsbury, Castleford, Halifax, Widnes, Saints and Keighley, supporters all saying well done and telling me that they had all been rooting for us. Even a few Leeds supporters told us that it was the most amazing final they had ever seen.

I went back to Hull that night and then flew out of Manchester on the Sunday, back into Sydney by the Tuesday at 7am. The guy at customs asked me why I had only been in the UK for 50hrs and why my luggage was twice as heavy than when I left. He almost had the Vaseline and rubber gloves out before I mentioned that I had been to watch Hull. He told me he loved his “footy” and that he was very envious of what I had just done before ushering me straight through into the forgiving arms of my wife. She drove me into work to distribute the presents I had bought for work mates and there I had a coffee. My first non-alcoholic drink for 5 days, as I bored the bum off everyone that would listen.

So, in a nutshell that’s what I did! A mate of mine mailed me recently and said that I was a “first class mentalist” for doing it, my wife still thinks I am unbalanced and my workmates just smile and shake their heads in wonder when I mention how bloody much it cost me! But I really don’t care…. I was there when we beat Leeds.

Yours Old Faithfully,


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