Held at the KCOM Stadium at the end of January, the inaugural event saw five legends from the Club’s past become the first inductees into the newly created Hall of Fame at what is set to become an annual evening, and helped to raise money towards WWF’s efforts to double wild tiger numbers by 2022.
First to be inducted into the Hall of Fame was a man who made 579 appearances for the Tigers, a record that may never be beaten, Andy ‘Jock’ Davidson. Setting the record between 1952 and 1968, Davidson was a tough Scottish centre half who made Hull his home. A natural leader and ferocious in the tackle, even three broken legs suffered at various points through his career couldn’t stop him. After retiring from playing, he stayed on at Boothferry Park as a coach and continued to live in East Yorkshire until his passing in 2014. His award was collected by his wife, Susan.
Next to be inducted was a goal-scoring hero from the 1960s and 70s – Ken Wagstaff. Signed from Mansfield Town in 1964, Wagstaff went on to score 197 goals in 434 games and formed a lethal partnership with Chris Chilton. A striker capable of doing something out of the ordinary, for many seasons he averaged a goal every other game – a stat which would have made him worth millions and millions of pounds in today’s market.
A modern-day black and amber hero was the third man into the Hall of Fame. Ian Ashbee holds the honour of having captained the Tigers in the top four divisions of English football, leading them from the third division to the Premier League as the Club enjoyed a rapid rise up the league ladder between 2004 and 2008. Never one to shirk a tackle from his central midfield berth, Ashbee made 264 appearances and will forever be remembered as the team’s leader during an incredible period in our history.
The Club’s record goal-scorer Chris Chilton was the next man to be recognised. Signing with the Tigers as a local lad, he went on to make the number nine shirt his own and was a man that struck fear into opposing defences. That was hardly surprising given that he amassed 222 goals in a little over ten years, including 12 hat-tricks, and his association with the Club went beyond his playing days as he carried out a number of coaching and caretaker manager duties. Unfortunately, Chris wasn’t well enough to attend the Hall of Fame event, with his award accepted on his behalf by members of the Chilton family.
The final inductee this year was a goalkeeper whose Tigers career began before the outbreak of World War II and spanned four decades – Billy Bly. A popular character, Bly’s bravery in an era when goalkeepers were given little or no protection from match officials saw him put the team before himself. That bravery inevitably led to numerous injuries, yet he still made more than 450 appearances for the Club, and he continues to be remembered to this day as the Tigers take on North Ferriby United each pre-season for the Billy Bly Memorial Trophy. Members of the Bly family were on hand to collect the award.
We would like to thank everyone who attended the event, including a whole host of famous faces from the Tigers’ past, and we are delighted to announce that the event also raised a total of £7,776.24 for WWF.
A video of the evening is available to view by clicking here.