Phil Brown - The Hull City Years

Last updated : 16 March 2010 By Carolina Tiger

When Phil Brown replaced struggling young manager Phil Parkinson in 2006, it was seen as a bit of an uninspiring choice, and not a little bit worrying for some after his unsuccessful tenure at Derby County.

However, with the new manager effect, Brown managed to save the club from relegation and help sink local rivals Leeds United in the process. For this alone Brown would be engraved in Hull City folklore.

The Tigers would go from strength to strength until playing at Wembley stadium for the first time in the club's history, winning promotion to the top flight for the first time in 104 years of existance and surviving to fight for a second season in the top flight. All this whilst under the control of Phil Brown.

Duffen had come in with the standard three-year plan of year-on-year growth with the objective of promotion to the Premiership by year three. The on field plan was even more successful than expected, with Brown's Tigers winning promotion within the first year, through the Wembley Playoff Final.

The year 2008 will forever live long in the memories of Hull City fans. It started with Phil Brown's Tigers riding high in 8th place in the Coca Cola Championship after fighting relegation the season before.

The rest of the regular season would see the Tigers winning 11 of the next 24 regular season games and drawing five, which would be enough to see them through to the Championship play-offs in third place behind West Brom and Stoke City.

The Play-off Semi-Final was against pre-season favourites for automatic promotion Watford. The Tigers provided a 6-1 (on aggregate) demolition of the Hornets, which saw Hull City head for Wembley Stadium for the first time in their history to play against a Bristol City side that were hoping to get back into the top flight for the first time in over 25 years.

The stage was set for a nail-biting match but for fans that weren't involved it was pretty much a dire affair that will be remembered for one of the best goals to have ever been scored at either the new or the old Wembley stadiums. On 38 minutes Fraizer Campbell received a threaded pass through the Bristol City midfield and weaved his way through the Bristol City defence, taking the ball to the edge of the six yards box. But when not able to take a shot on goal, the on-loan Manchester United striker saw the old war horse Dean Windass on the edge of the box, and cleverly chipped the ball to the free Windass, who hit the ball sweetly on the volley into the top corner of the net.

1-0 to the Tigers, and that is how the team got to the top flight of English football for the first time in their history, with a goal from a local lad who had saved us from bankruptcy by being sold many years ago in his prime, only to come back and save the club from relegation the year before and to be the oldest player to score at Wembley Stadium.

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