Five players who made the cross-city switch in Hull

In the space of a week, Albert Kelly and Jordan Abdull have made the brave decision to change allegiances in Hull.

They say it’s the most difficult move a player can make, given the ferocity of the rivalry between the two clubs, but it hasn’t stopped players doing it in the past.

Admittedly, it is quite rare for a player to swap one side of the city for another, but it has happened more than you might think in the past.

We look at five instances where players have made the controversial move from one of Hull’s clubs to the other.

Clive Sullivan

Perhaps the most high-profile player to make the direct switch was the legendary Clive Sullivan.

Sullivan, arguably one of the greatest to ever play the game, scored almost 400 tries in a glittering career, in which he won the 1972 World Cup with Great Britain.

Sullivan will be most fondly remembered for his time in black and white, where he spent 13 years and scored 250 tries.

However, he eventually ended his stay with the club to join Rovers, where he played 213 times, scoring 118 tries.

Unlike some of the others in this list, Sullivan was held in such high regard by both sets of supporters that he transcended the cross-city rivalry. His services to both clubs were eventually recognised in 1985, shortly after his death, with one road being named Clive Sullivan Way in his honour.

Paul Cooke

Cooke’s cross-city switch has been documented more than any other in history.

Idolised by Hull FC fans, Cooke ‘turned his back’ on the club in 2007 and shocked the world by joining Hull Kingston Rovers.

It was a move that caused outrage among Hull’s supporters, who felt betrayed by their former hero.

The move resulted in a tribunual and suspension for Cooke, but nevertheless, the move went ahead.

Animosity has died down following the release of Cooke’s book, ‘Judas’, but it left a bitter taste in the mouth for a long, long time.

James Webster


One of the most obscure examples of a cross-city move involves the recent Hull KR head coach!

James Webster was a firm favourite during his time at the Robins, however, what happened next isn’t well documented.

The former halfback was released by Rovers in May, and jumped ship to play in West Hull.

However, he would only make one appearance, before joining Widnes.

Josh Hodgson

The now England hooker made the move between the two clubs before he shot to the top of the game.

Hodgson made his Super League debut for Hull FC as a 19-year old, but that didn’t stop him moving away from the club to join KR.

There, he was given the opportunity to play regularly, and he developed into a top hooker, resulting in a move to the NRL.

Liam Watts

Liam Watts

He’s a fully fledged star in black and white right now, but there was a time when Liam Watts represented the club on the other side of the city.

Watts started his career with Rovers, and stayed there until midway through 2012. However, he made the brave switch to Hull FC thereafter.

To be fair to Watts, his decision to move hasn’t worked out so bad for him, as he became a Challenge Cup winner this year.