Nick Barmby is all smiles following his unveiling as a Hull City player at the KCOM Stadium in June 2004.
Barmby’s decision to join the Tigers created a buzz of excitement – both around the Club and in the city of Hull. After spending 13 years at the highest level of the English game throughout his career playing for the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough, Everton, Liverpool and Leeds United, also representing his country on 23 occasions, Barmby returned to his hometown club to fulfil one of his major aims in life – playing for Hull City.
“It’s not about money,” said Barmby explaining his decision when speaking to media. “It’s not for financial gain and it shows how desperate I am to play for Hull City and how much I want to make it work.
“I’ve always been envious, no matter where I’ve played, when there have been local lads playing for their local team. There’s no better feeling than turning out for your local team and I’m fortunate to be getting that chance.
“I was lucky enough to play for England under Peter Taylor and a few other managers. But this is just as important as any move, or any big game I’ve ever played in. It genuinely is.”
Then Tigers boss Taylor was just as happy at the addition of the former England international to his squad heading into the 2004/05 campaign, with the Club looking to kick on having secured a first promotion in 19 years the previous season.
“The only thing I know is that we’ve just signed an absolutely brilliant player, a great professional who I know will fit in with the players I’ve already got here,” added then Tigers boss Peter Taylor.
“I think that Nick could still play in the Premiership. I couldn’t rate him any higher. The main thing I’m saying is that we’re very lucky.
“He wants to live in Hull, he has a lovely house near here and this is the club he supported. But he knows I am only interested in him because I know how well he will help the team.
“He is like a Teddy Sheringham, a centre-forward who can drop into midfield and make goals, so he’s a tremendous link. And it’s not like he cannot run anymore. He has had a very frustrating time. Last year at Leeds I think you’ll find he wasn’t injured, they just were not playing him. He just wants to get back to playing and enjoying his football.”
Barmby went on to make 197 appearances in a Hull City and was part of the Tigers’ squad that secured a historic first-ever promotion to the top-flight of English football in 2007/08. In total, his eight-year association with the Club brought three promotions and two Premier League campaigns – and even included a brief spell in charge as manager in the second half of the 2011/12 campaign.
One of Hull’s most famous sons, Barmby will forever hold a special place in the hearts and minds of Hull City supporters.