Approximately 120 members gathered for the November meeting which took place, at the club’s request, in The Kingston Suite at the MKM Stadium.
We were delighted to welcome Lewie Coyle as our guest – one of our own. Lewie was born in the city and into an incredibly sporting family. Until Lewie joined the club the family were perhaps best known for his brother, Tommy, who has been a hugely successful boxer and former Commonwealth Champion. With Tommy now retired the focus is clearly on Lewie although we must note that there are other sporting successes. One brother, Joe, is the professional at Hull Golf Club and the youngest, Rocco, has just been awarded a scholarship with the Hull City Academy. Lewie even commented that he was doing well but, hopefully, not too well as he plays in the same right back position!
Lewie was quick to give praise to his parents for their support, “massive” he said for the support he receives from his dad who attends all the matches. Mum would probably attend if she didn’t have to take over the running of the family’s famous Fruit & Veg stall in King Edward Street while his dad went to the stadium!
Lewie attended a local school in the city and admitted it was “the best time in his life”, he loved it. His entry into football came at an early age. He was taken on by ex-Tiger, Darren France, at North Ferriby United and after a short period when he was ‘useless’ suddenly things clicked into place and he was soon noted by scouts for Leeds United. As a 10-year-old at Leeds, he was even being ‘spotted’ by Chelsea and even Barcelona but he was happy at Leeds. When he joined their Academy structures he kind of suggested that he had always been a Leeds United fan but tried to assure us he was really Hull City from the beginning and only trying to impress them! At Leeds, he had the support of people like Neil Redfern and former Tiger, Neil Thompson. There was certainly a good set-up at Leeds and he thrived. During the week he lodged nearby in Wetherby, along with three other young players and admitted it had helped him “to grow up”.
In 2016 Lewie made his Leeds debut, albeit as a late substitute away at Nottingham Forest – 2 minutes. He still admitted he was ‘blowing’ thanks to the adrenalin drain! His full starting debut came at Elland Road in a game he will always remember against Rotherham United in the FA Cup. They won 2 – 0.
Leeds signed him on a 3-year contract in 2018 but to accelerate his game he was happy to go on loan to lower clubs. He had already been loaned to Harrogate Town but he was unlucky to break a metatarsal in his 2nd game with them. The club that really helped him was Fleetwood Town where he spent three periods on loan (2017-2020) before eventually signing a permanent contract with the coastal club. This includes an FA Cup game against Chorley Borough when he managed to receive his first Red Card. Fleetwood still went on to win and the manager said afterwards that “we played better with 10 men!” In was included in a home FA Cup tie with Premier League Leicester City, a game that attracted a full capacity stadium and a draw that saw them head to Leicester for the reply. In 2018 Lewie received the best of accolades, The Players’ Player of the Season Award. By now his manager was Joey Barton, a footballer who has attracted some ‘raised eyebrows’, but someone who Lewie described as “Second to none”. He was ready to play wherever his manager wanted him and this soon meant higher up the field as central mid-field and then across to the left-back position.
Settled at Fleetwood and only 6 months into his permanent contract he suddenly heard that Hull City was ‘hovering’. This clearly excited him, the chance to fulfil his dream and play for his home city club and he encouraged the possibility with the full support of Joey Barton who would never have stood in his way for such a move.
Lewie’s arrival with the Tigers coincided with a hang-over suspension as well as an injury issue. This meant that Josh Emmanuel got the first chance and he made it tough for Lewie to break through into the first team. When that opportunity did arrive he said it felt so strange without the fans to make an impact. His first goal for The Tigers came in January 2021, when we played Fleetwood Town! Lewie came up with the winner and was swamped by his colleagues as he tried desperately NOT to celebrate against his previous club! He described that season as “surreal”, “a season that will be forever in my heart” and told the meeting that his League One Winner’s medal displays proudly in the cabinet at home.
Questions were invited from the members.
Asked whether the empty stadiums affected his performances last season he said that it was “very strange but you get on with it”. He certainly prefers it with the crowds in attendance – even if they give the stick!
Gordon asked who decides which player takes a penalty. The comment came back, “Not Malik, for sure!”. The Manager, of course, makes that decision we were informed. Asked about the daily Training schedule Lewie told us it starts with Breakfast at 9 am then a visit to the Gym followed by some time on the pitch. Which day decided what the pitch work would be. They are then back in the gym before lunch. Some of the players will then stay on for the afternoon, playing pool is very popular!
Trevor asked about throw-ins. He wanted to know why, as a full back, more option of throwing to a player in an “off-side” position is not taken since there is no off-side at a throw-in. Point made!
Paul asked a cheeky one! He wanted to know whether there were ever fights and scuffles at home when the boys were growing up, especially with his brother Tommy! In answer, he admitted that there were scuffles but that, being the younger, he usually lost! Indeed, he added, “I never won!” He did mention that his dad would always make the lads resolve their arguments before they went to sleep, good advice there.
Asked to spill some beans on his teammates he declared that Josh Magennis is the ‘Joker’ in the dressing room, Greg Docherty is the most ‘Superstitious’ – “way too much for my liking!”, and that George Moncur is the ‘Singer’ in the squad. During a preseason bonding all the players had to sing in front of their mates, most were ‘dubious’ but George surprised them all, “he smashed it!”
It has to be acknowledged that it has not been a good start to the return to the Championship and Lewie admitted that it was very frustrating for the players and that they also understand how much it is for the fans too. They were trying to ensure that all last season’s good work does not go to waste. “Stick with us, bear with us”.
Lewie then took his leave meeting but he had won our hearts.
Barbara updated the members about the Christmas Luncheon. We are booked in the Circle Restaurant. The doors would open at noon and everyone should be in their seats for 12.45 pm. There would be entertainment and a big raffle! Members who were still to pay were now encouraged to do so.
There were just 2 spaces available on the Wold Top trip which would leave the Stadium at 8.45 am on Thursday 18th November.
The Spurs trip, planned for 17th March had had an incredible response. It would be a long day and cost £57 (£33 coach & £24 stadium tour) but this had not deterred members. Almost full but a reserve list would be held should people have to drop out nearer the time.
Members attending North Ferriby United on Saturday 13th should just mention that they are with the Senior Tigers and give their name at the turnstile. We have a block of 32 seats set aside in the stand.
The afternoon ended with the ever-popular Raffle and 13 members were far from unlucky!