If you’re a Hull FC fan already nervous for Wembley this weekend, you may want to look away now.
This weekend marks the ninth occasion Hull FC have headed to Wembley for a Challenge Cup final – and the ninth occasion they will aim for a first ever win at the national stadium.
Fans on both sides of the river in Hull know all too well about one of rugby league’s most infamous records, with Hull looking to lay some serious history to rest this Saturday if they can beat Warrington Wolves and lift the cup inside Wembley for the very first time. Here, in advance of that final, is a look at Hull’s previous eight visits to Wembley..
1959 v Wigan: lost 30-13
Hull had played in cup finals before 1959, but this year was the first team they ever managed to get to one at Wembley. Their hoodoo began with a fairly comprehensive defeat in front of nearly 80,000 fans, as the likes of Billy Boston and Mick Sullivan scored tries to consign the Black and Whites to defeat. However, they would return to Wembley the following year..
1960 v Wakefield: lost 38-5
Just like 12 months prior to this defeat, Hull once again had no answer for their opponents at Wembley, this time coming up short against Wakefield. 20 points alone from Neil Fox was enough to see off Hull, who could only muster a try from Stan Cowan and a goal from Sam Evans in reply.
1980 v Hull Kingston Rovers: lost 10-5
It would be 20 long years until Hull made it back to Wembley again, this time being matched up against their bitter rivals from across the river: and this one may have been the one that stung the most. 95,000 packed into Wembley to watch Brian Lockwood win the Lance Todd Trophy, KR win the cup for the first time in their history and Hull lose at Wembley for the third time in a row.
1982 v Widnes: drew 14-14
The only time in Hull’s history that they didn’t lose at Wembley was the 1982 final, when they held Widnes to a draw to force one of only three replays in the competition’s history. Over 92,000 watched the two sides draw 14-14 before Hull eventually won the replay at Elland Road to lift the Challenge Cup.
1983 v Featherstone: lost 14-12
As reigning champions, Hull returned to Wembley looking to beat Featherstone Rovers and retain the cup for a second straight year – but once again they were undone by their Wembley hoodoo, falling victim to one of the biggest shocks in Challenge Cup history as Fev won 14-12.
1985 v Wigan: lost 28-24
One of the most fondly remembered finals – most notably for the Peter Sterling-Brett Kenny battle – saw Hull’s sixth game at Wembley in succession without a win, as they slipped to a narrow defeat at the hands of Wigan, losing 28-24 in front of a colossal crowd of over 99,000 people.
2008 v St Helens: lost 28-16
Hull’s first visit to the new Wembley saw no change in fortunes for the Black and Whites, as they lost to St Helens – who at that time were enjoying a real period of domination in the Challenge Cup, with this their third straight victory in the tournament.
2013 v Wigan: lost 16-0
Three years ago saw one of the most underwhelming finals in history, as Hull were nilled in the rain at Wembley by Wigan. That was the eighth game in a row Hull have failed to win at Wembley – will be nine come Saturday evening, or will the hoodoo finally be over?