Boot on the other foot as Peltier returns

SEVEN games in a five-week stay, only two of which were won, does not sound like the most memorable of loan spells.

But for Lee Peltier, his temporary switch to Hull City from Liverpool in the Spring of 2007 is one he will never forget.

Not only did the Leeds United captain play his part in the Tigers successfully winning their relegation fight, ironically, at the expense of the Elland Road club.

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But he also credits the spell he had in the East Riding with being the catalyst which finally got his career up and running.

Ahead of today’s all-Yorkshire game at the KC Stadium, Peltier said: “Hull was a good little loan spell for me under Phil Brown. I went in and played a lot of games in midfield.

“It gave me a real taste of what first-team football was about, especially as Hull were under a lot of pressure at the time.

“I would say it gave me the push to leave Liverpool, in the end, as after a taste of proper men’s football, I was desperate to have it all the time. That is why I went out on loan again the season after to Yeovil, whom I later joined permanently.”

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Peltier arrived at the KC when Hull and Leeds were among half-a-dozen sides locked in a battle to avoid the drop that would ultimately be decided on the final weekend.

As the first few weeks of his loan spell continued, it became clear both Southend United and Luton Town would fill the bottom two places in the Championship.

So, with QPR and Barnsley moving clear of trouble, it was evident Hull or Leeds would fill the final relegation place.

Both had two eminently winnable final games with Leeds set to host Ipswich Town before travelling to Derby County. City, meanwhile, faced a long journey to Cardiff City on April 28 before the visit of Plymouth Argyle to the KC Stadium would bring the curtain down on the 2006-07 campaign.

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Peltier recalls: “No one knew who was going to stay up. It was an amazing day and one that really stands out in my mind as Hull won 1-0.

“While the game was being played at Cardiff’s old ground, we had no idea what was happening at Leeds other than they’d been 1-0 up.

“So, as soon as the game finished, we all turned to the screen to see what was happening. It said they were drawing but that it wasn’t yet full-time.

“Someone then said that Leeds had been held up because of a pitch invasion. We didn’t know if the game would restart again or not. All we could do was just stand around and wait. Definitely one of the more bizarre experiences of my career.”

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Leeds’s game did, indeed, restart at about 5.30pm but with the final couple of minutes failing to yield a goal, Hull survived.

Peltier, who is today hoping to overcome a groin strain, added: “A relegation battle is not an easy place to be but, as a young lad, I didn’t feel any fear and just played my normal game. I wanted to enjoy myself and I did.

“I had a good relationship with Phil Brown. He was someone who was very positive all the time and, after keeping Hull up, he took them up the following season. That was an amazing achievement.”