Kris, who sadly passed away following a short battle with cancer earlier this month, was one of the longest-serving members of staff at the Academy, having worked in the Club’s youth set-up for almost 14 years in a variety of coaching roles with all age groups.
He made a huge impact on the lives of so many through his work – both players who have gone on to enjoy careers in the game and those that have pursued other paths away from football. An outstanding member of the team, his personality, charm and infectious sense of humour will be sorely missed by all at the Academy – staff, players and parents – who have been fortunate enough to work with him.
A Guard of Honour formed by members of the Academy’s U13s side – who were coached by Kris this season – will welcome the Tigers and Swansea City players onto the pitch at the KCOM Stadium tomorrow night.
And we would also like to invite both home and away fans to join us in a minute’s applause in Kris’ honour ahead of kick-off. Players will also pay tribute by wearing black armbands during the fixture.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow night’s game, Academy Manager Jon Beale said: “I think it’s a brilliant gesture from the Club to dedicate the game in memory of Kris.
“Kris played a massive part in the Academy during his time at the Club – almost 14 years. Just looking at the six years I’ve been here, his contribution was clear for all to see – and not just in terms of coaching.
“As a man, he was a wonderful person to have about the place. The kids here absolutely loved him. The staff loved him. Everybody loved him because of who he was.
“I’ve never known anyone before who touched so many hearts and brought so much joy to so many people. The laughter and smiles he put on faces every single day was there for all to see.
“He had this incredible character and personality that allowed him to put smiles on peoples’ faces whatever the situation. He always found a way to make people laugh. And he was exactly the same with the kids.
“It’s difficult to put into words just how important he was and what he brought to the Academy. Time, effort, commitment – nothing was ever too much for him, especially when it came to the lads. He wanted nothing more than to help players progress, develop and achieve their dreams.
“Every time I told him that one of our players was on the bench for the first-team or starting, the joy it gave him was clear for all to see. And it gave an indication of just how important the Academy and the lads, along with the Club itself, were to him.
“He’s going to be a big miss for everyone at the Academy – and the grassroots game in Hull as well. To understand the impact he made in local football, you just had to look at all the messages that were posted on social media in his memory.
“In his almost 14 years working for the Club in the youth set-up, Kris worked with an awful lot of players, some of which have progressed through the ranks here and are currently playing for the first team and others who are enjoying successful careers at other clubs and away from the game.
“I’m sure it’s going to be an emotional night for everyone connected to the Club tomorrow evening, but I do feel as though it’s so important that Kris’ family get to see just how much respect everyone had for him and how much people thought of him. Hopefully, in what has been a difficult time for them, it will provide something for them to cherish.”
Be here to celebrate Kris’ life with us ahead of kick-off tomorrow night. He was a man who shared your passion for this football club and who inspired all he met.