History of the Senior Tigers
The Senior Tigers Club came about as part of ITV’s Year of Promise in partnership with the Nationwide Building Society and The Football League, in 1999.
Most football league clubs decided to make their Promise to the youngsters of the club but we at Hull don’t follow what everyone else does. Hull City Football Club decided to “Promise to create an organisation for their senior supporters which will make them feel an integral part of the Football Club within the community”. The letter and application form were completed by David Capper, the Director of Football Administration at the club, and Andy Dakin, the Commercial Director. The form was sent to the Football League for approval.
Following that approval from the Football League, each club that joined the scheme received a grant of over £10,000. The Senior Tigers Club was launched at the home game against Exeter City in the Nationwide League game on Saturday 4th December 1999.
A meeting took place at Boothferry Park in the Tiger Club Lounge in January 2000. A working committee of 8 was formed and the inaugural meeting of the Senior Tigers Club was scheduled for 3rd February.
David Capper chaired the January meeting but soon handed the control over to the ‘elected’ committee. Most of the members of the committee already had a close working relationship with the Football Club. As they all had various jobs on match days, from the ticket office to manning the turnstiles and generally helping out where needed.
Referring back to being ‘elected’ as Gordon Towse recalls, it was very much a case of David Capper saying to Gordon at one particular time in the ticket office: “Gordon you are the Chairman and Mavis (Boddy) you can be the Secretary”. Mavis also knew lifelong supporter Alan Tichias and persuaded him to become the Treasurer. The others coerced into being committee members were Joyce Towse, Ilona Tichias, Betty Corfield, Shirley Cross and Gordon Owen. David’s decision has proved over the years to be a good one, as this committee stayed together for 15 years and built a solid foundation for the Senior Tigers to grow.
The inaugural meeting in February, which was held in the Sponsors Lounge, attracted nearly 50 members all enjoying a lunch provided by the Football Club. By the time the March meeting was due, the Sponsors Lounge wasn’t big enough, so the Executive club room was called into action to house the ever-increasing membership.
In the first couple of years, the newly formed Senior Tigers Club received help from the Football Club under the then Chairman Nick Buchanan by making rooms available for the monthly meetings at Boothferry Park.
For the Christmas lunch, the Business Club room was made available. When the membership increased the Executive room was used. When this room became too small a section of the gymnasium behind Bunkers Hill (what memories does this name bring back?) was transformed using nets and curtains to resemble a marquee (it did have other names).
When Adam Pearson took control of the Football Club in 2001 he not only gave the Senior Tigers his full backing but attended some monthly meetings and lunches. In January 2002 the Football Club moved from Boothferry Park to the brand new KC Stadium. Adam made the Whiteley Suite available when that became too small we moved to the Carter Suite, then into the Wilberforce Suite (now known as 1904 Suite). Not only did he make the room free of charge but also provided free tea/coffee and biscuits for the members.
In 2008 the ownership of the Football Club changed once again and Paul Duffen became Chairman. He also continued with previous arrangements for the Senior Tigers at the KC Stadium.
Little did we know what troubled times were ahead for the Tigers especially in 2009/10 when the club was in danger of going out of business.
Along came Dr Assem Allam in 2010 who saved the Football Club from near extinction and invested millions into the club. It also brought changes for the Senior Tigers as the free use of the Wilberforce Suite and refreshments came to an end.
The charge for the use of the room was beyond what the Senior Tigers could afford and so the decision to move to the more affordable Sports Bar (later to be renamed as The Dugout) was made.
The initial subscription in 2000 to become a member of the Senior Tigers was set at £5.00 to be renewed annually. With this membership, you were entitled to various benefits such as a 10% reduction in the club shop. ( sadly this is no longer available)
The first increase in the cost of membership came in 2003 when it was raised to £7.00. It was increased again in 2012 to £8.00 and once again in 2015 to £10.00
For those interested, there are detailed yearly financial reports available from the first year to the present day by visiting the Financial Reports page.
Initially, the Senior Tigers Club year ran from January to December and in 2004 it was decided to change to fall in line with the Football League season. So the 2004/05 year started in September and ended in May. This change allowed the Senior Tigers to have an end-of-season lunch in May to add to the already popular Christmas lunch.
Throughout the history of the Senior Tigers Club we have, when funds have been available, made various donations to local charities. In the early years when times were financially difficult for the Football Club, they also helped to sponsor several players’ kits.
Since 1999, at the first meeting for the new season, the Chairman has given an overview of the previous year’s speakers and events. These can be viewed by visiting the Chairs Review of the Season page. These end-of-season reviews give a great indication as to the variety of speakers that were and still are prepared to give up their time to come and speak at our meetings and answer questions from the audience, all in their own time and free of charge.
From the very beginning of the Senior Tigers Club, excursions and trips to other football clubs’ facilities have taken place. Over time, these trips did decline and then stopped for various reasons.
As mentioned previously the original committee was in place for the first 15 years when they all decided to step aside leaving the Senior Tigers solid foundation for a totally new committee to take over in 2015.
As with any new committee, new ideas and suggestions were formulated and introduced. One of the first to be reintroduced at the start of 2015/16 was social outings with great success. The history of these trips can be viewed by visiting the Social Activities page.
In 2015 teas & coffee were once again made available to the Senior Tigers free of charge from the Football Club. This was brought about with the help of James Mooney the Marketing & Online Commercial Manager for Hull City. This gesture by the Football Club was greatly appreciated by the members.
It was around this time that Peter Wilson took charge of running the raffle at our monthly meetings and took it to a different level. The quality and number of prizes he manage to put on his table was fantastic. It remains our main source of income which allows the committee the flexibility of subsidising events or making charitable donations.
As the membership started to increase we thought it was about time the Senior Tigers had their own website and so towards the end of the 2016/17 season www.seniortigers.org.uk made its first appearance online.
Our membership has more than doubled since 2015 and is still on the increase. The range of activities we can offer our members has also increased too, like walking football, swimming, and table tennis, besides our monthly outings, all have proved popular. We have a Christmas lunch and an end-of-season lunch in May when around 200 members have a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
In 2019 a revised constitution was proposed and agreed upon by the members. This constitution emphasised the aim of the Senior Tigers Club to provide opportunities for members to enjoy social activities and encourage member participation that will improve the all-around wellbeing of members
As a result of the changes to the constitution, a Wellbeing initiative was started around four months before the covid pandemic hit the world. Paul Bryan who runs this confidential section played a major role in keeping in contact with all our members every month during this very difficult period. His telephone calls played a major role in making sure our members were not forgotten, which helped to keep their spirits up knowing that there was someone there if needed. It continues to be there for our members today.
We also decided to refresh and update our website to make it more responsive and easier to navigate and maintain. We have been fortunate that our web designer Pete Magee of Jupiter Web Solutions along with our own Rob Wilson have developed a more modern-looking site. We also have to thank KCOM for making this possible by providing the finance for the website upgrade. Members of the committee have also taken an active part in developing this update.
At the same time as the website has been refreshed, our Memorabilia Gallery has been redesigned to accommodate the growing amount of memorabilia and statistics being collected relating to Hull City’s history and heritage. This has been a massive undertaking but under the guidance of Rob Wilson our web coordinator, Tony Conway and his team of Helen Carter, Stuart Tomlinson, Brian & Brenda Becks we feel we have created something unique. We have also collaborated with other like-minded groups who have given their support to our endeavours.
Unfortunately in September 2021 at the start of the new season, at the first meeting back after the 18-month enforced break due to the covid pandemic, the Football Club decided not to provide the teas/coffees for our monthly meetings. We hope this will be just a temporary setback and they will reintroduce it once again in the future.
In December we held our Christmas lunch which proved so popular that we had to change restaurants. We had to move from our much-loved Circle restaurant as it wasn’t large enough to accommodate the 200 members and guests that wanted to come. A fantastic time was had by everyone in the Kingston Suite.
In January 2022 our great football club Hull City unveiled a new owner Acun Ilicali. This heralds a new era for the Club and the Senior Tigers look forward to a long and happy relationship with Acun and his management team.
We hope the above account has given you more of an insight into the Senior Tigers’ history. We do not doubt that we have only touched the surface and that there is a great deal of information that you, the members of Senior Tigers and other supporters of Hull City could contribute.
So we invite you to join in on our Share Your Memories by adding your own personal account of things you remember that could be shared with others. With your help, we can build up a unique History of not only the Senior Tigers but of Hull City Football Club from the spectators/supporters point of view.
We thank you for taking the time to visit our website and look forward to reading your recollections down Memory Lane.