If anyone knows about Hull’s Wembley hoodoo, then it is Scott Taylor.
Growing up as a passionate FC fan, the barnstorming forward – who has been one of Super League’s form props this year – was in attendance as a teenager when Hull beat Leeds in Cardiff in 2005 to win the Challenge Cup for only the third time.
But with seven defeats from seven trips to the cup final when it has been at Wembley, Hull’s failure to win a final inside the national stadium is still one of rugby league’s big talking points: particularly when it gets to this time of the year.
Taylor was even on the opposing side for one of those seven defeats, when Wigan won 16-0 to lift the cup in 2013. Yet Taylor insists that one of the main reasons behind joining his hometown club was to help finally consign the chanting and debating about Hull FC and Wembley to the past.
“I was a huge FC fan growing up so I know all about the record with Wembley and it would be massive to try and get rid of that tag,” he said.
“When I signed here it was one of the things I thought about more than most others: getting to Wembley with Hull and winning in the national stadium.”
Taylor insists that there was no regret from beating the club he holds so dear to his heart three years ago – even if his family weren’t best pleased about it!
“It wasn’t a bittersweet day to be honest, it was a brilliant one for me,” he said. “I’m not too sure how my family felt in the immediate aftermath of it, though! They were all sat in the FC end with Hull shirts on but that’s not my problem! It didn’t matter who I did it against: to be 22 and lifting the cup was special.
“But to do it with my hometown team? It would be twice as good. They all knew it was my job and I had to do what I had to do on that day, but it’ll all be forgotten come Friday.”
“It would mean everything to do it with Hull, I can’t describe the emotion I’d be feeling. My family would all be there again – this time they’d be cheering me on – and it would be a dream come true, that’s the only way to describe it.”
Hull’s 17 that runs onto the field at Doncaster on Friday night will have very little experience when it comes to big games in the Challenge Cup – but Taylor believes their experience in high-pressure matches elsewhere will stand them in good stead.
“We’ve got really experienced players in our team who’ve played in some big games and haven’t even been to Wembley, let alone won there,” he said.
“People like Mark Minichiello, Sika Manu and Frank Pritchard have all played in huge international matches and maybe I will have a role to play when it comes to how to handle the pressure of the cup having won it, but it’s about enjoying it.”
Taylor lifted the double three years ago with Wigan, but where would cup glory with Hull FC stand?
“I was lucky enough to win a double at Wigan but anything I do here will be just as special, if not more,” he said. It will be another strange night for the 25-year-old as he takes on his former club in such a big game – but there are few who have Hull FC at heart more than Taylor.