AMID all the hullabaloo of what, by early Saturday evening, felt like the most famous haircut the globe had seen since the Friends character Rachel spawned a million imitations, one impressive personal milestone by a Hull City player was largely lost.
George Boyd’s first goal in the Premier League meant the Tigers’ man has scored in the top five tiers of English football.
Throw in his goals for England ‘C’, basically non-League football’s representative side, plus Scotland ‘B’ team, and it is no wonder that the 28-year-old is immensely proud of an achievement that few in the game can match.
“It was an amazing feeling when the ball hit the back of the net,” said Boyd, when speaking to the Yorkshire Post about his goal in the six-goal weekend mauling of Fulham.
“I got a bit emotional thinking about it, even during the match itself.
“It was a very special moment for me. It has been a long road to get to this point, but I am so proud to be a Premier League player and for Hull City to be doing so well.
“More important, though, was the team performance. It was fantastic to be a part of that. Scoring was the icing on the cake, just a brilliant feeling.”
Boyd’s happy end to 2013 was in stark contrast to how he began the year as an unwitting pawn in the battle for power at Nottingham Forest between then manager Alex McLeish and the club’s Kuwaiti owners.
As is usually the case in such a scenario, the owners won as McLeish’s planned capture of Boyd, then of Peterborough United, was cancelled at the 11th hour and after a thorough medical at the City Ground.
When it later emerged that the plug had been pulled because the midfielder did not have 20:20 vision, the Forest board was widely subjected to ridicule.
Boyd, meanwhile, had no option but to return to London Road and it was not until February that he got his hoped-for move – initially on loan – when Hull came calling.
Four goals in 13 appearances later and the Tigers were back in the Premier League. A permanent transfer followed in the summer.
“This year has been an eventful one for me,” laughed the Hull man, “and a great one. Just to be playing in the Premier League is a fantastic feeling so to score against Fulham topped the year off for me.
“As a team, I think we are above where everyone thought we might be.
“I heard a lot of people say in the summer that we would be in the bottom three this season.
“Obviously, none of us thought like that, but it is still great to prove people wrong with the way we are playing.
“We have played some good football all season.
“The manager is key. He has been there and done it. He knows what situations will come up in games. At half-time (on Saturday), he said we’d played well and that if we kept doing the same things then the goals would come.
“Things just clicked after that. We took the chances that we had been creating all season but maybe not taking. The second goal probably killed it. You could see after that just how much everyone was enjoying it.”
The victory over Fulham has set Hull up nicely for what is certain to be a tough start to 2014, a visit to Liverpool. For Boyd, the trip along the M62 will be uncharted territory.
“It is a game I am really looking forward to,” said Boyd. “I have never played at Anfield or even been there, to be honest.
“Everyone says it is a great place to play and I know the lads are looking forward to it. I have a few mates who are Liverpool fans that are coming up to watch the game from London.
“After the performance against Fulham, we can go there full of confidence. Plus, we also beat Liverpool (3-1) at the start of this month so that shows we can do it.
“I thought we played them off the park in the second half at home. It was a similar performance to what we managed against Manchester United on Boxing Day (when Hull were unfortunate to lose 3-2 after being two goals ahead inside 13 minutes).
“Obviously, the lads were disappointed after that. We had put a lot into that performance, which had been excellent.
“Losing like we did was disappointing, but the manager freshened things up for the Fulham game and we did really well.
“For us, a win like that is a massive confidence boost. It also sends out a message to the rest of the League. Not many teams win 6-0 in this division – unless you are, maybe, Manchester City.
“It is no mean feat to win any game like that. The manager, though, will keep our feet on the ground. It is just another three points towards the total of 40 that we want to get to stay in this league. That is all that matters to this group.”