Anlaby Road

By Andy Beill
Last updated : 06 November 2007
After an initial move to The Cricket Circle for seventeen games and a game played at Dairycoates before that, the Tigers moved to their own ground adjacent to the Circle. The ground was opened on 24th March 1906 with only 2,000 spectators able to take advantage of a covered stand for the visit of Blackpool, which turned out a 2-2 draw.

The stand at Anlaby Road was extended to 8,000 by the start of the 1907-8 season with a further 8,000 capacity of uncovered terrace. The season passes for the first season cost 21 shillings (£1.05).

Over the next few years, parts of the North and East stands were covered over despite the best efforts of the north east wind which whisked away several sections of the stand. A much worse problem hit the Tigers on Easter Monday 1914 a few hours after a 0-2 defeat to at home Bury. A massive fire destroyed the main stand and it was only the considerable efforts of the Fire Brigade that prevented the destruction of the North stand too. The cause was never determined though speculation included a carelessly discarded cigarette, arson and even the actions of suffragettes! The stand was replaced in the summer with a new brick and steel structure provided largely due to the generosity of one of City's directors, Bob Mungall.

The history of the ground was uneventful until 1941, with the exception of one alleged crowd incident on 21st April 1934 after a 1-0 home defeat by Preston North End which resulted in the ground being closed for the first fourteen days of the 1934-35 season.

The Tigers suspended their operations in 1941 as a result of the War. Like much of Hull, the ground was not spared the ravages of the Blitz and estimated repair costs where in the region of £1000. At the same time, the Cricket Club had served notice to quit and in 1943, the tenancy was officially ended.

Although the Hull City first team never played there again, football was played at the Circle until 1965. This included several war time fixtures, two seasons of use by Hull Amateurs and Junior matches for the Tigers. The last game at the ground was played on 20th April 1965 and two days later, the ground was demolished to make way for a section of rail track to link the East Coast line to Scarborough and allow the removal of three level crossings. This development had hung over the heads of the Tigers for most of the inter-war period but was not implemented until twenty years after they had started playing in their next and current stadium, Boothferry Park.

Hull City AFC, along with Hull FC, moved to the new Kingston Communications Stadium built on the land at Hull Circle in December 2002. A return home!

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