Sporting bygones: Fitting tribute to the Invincibles of Hull FC

Toasting the Invincibles: Hull FC captain Vince Farrar.
Toasting the Invincibles: Hull FC captain Vince Farrar.
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THIS classic image of the late Vince Farrar must be a favoured shot from Hull’s record-breaking Invincibles team of 1978-79.

Although honoured slightly early, that side celebrated the 40th anniversary of its remarkable achievements at a special dinner on Thursday.

Hull players launch the 2018 jersey, which is a fitting tribute to the Invincibles side which played under the late Arthur Bunting.

Hull players launch the 2018 jersey, which is a fitting tribute to the Invincibles side which played under the late Arthur Bunting.

Hull FC launched their new 2018 jersey which – with the same style as that worn by those heroes so long ago – was designed in tribute to Arthur Bunting’s tremendous squad.

It was in 1978-79 that Hull, with the likes of Steve ‘Knocker’ Norton, Farrar, Keith Tindall and Sammy Lloyd, won all 26 of their league games to earn promotion to the First Division.

That set of results still stands as a record today. It is a feat that has never been repeated since and, in all likelihood, will not ever be.

This year, meanwhile, also marks the 40th anniversary of the Hull FC Vice-Presidents, who formed to support the East Yorkshire club financially at the beginning of what would become a golden era for the Airlie Birds.

The Vice-Presidents, who currently sponsor Fetuli Talanoa and Carlos Tuimavave in the Challenge Cup winners’ squad, raised funds to pay the transfer fee of Great Britain star Norton to join from Castleford in 1978, as well as similar gestures.

Along with supporting players during their testimonials, including Hull FC Hall of Fame member Richard Horne, the Vice-Presidents also funded 2005 Challenge Cup-winning captain Richard Swain’s flight when he joined from Brisbane Broncos in 2004.

Back in ’78-79, however, Bunting oversaw some stunning feats.

Plenty of records were broken as the rampant Hull players swept all before them.

Lloyd could only equal the club match record, though, for goals when he was successful 14 times in the game against Oldham on September 10, 1978.

That said, they were part of a club record 170 goals in a season, and a club record 369 points for a full campaign.

In that glorious season, Paul Prendiville scored 25 tries along the way, with team-mate Graham Bray contributing 21 as Division Two failed to live with Hull’s power and pace.

Promoted alongside them was the wonderful concoction of New Hunslet, York and Blackpool Borough, although their old rivals still had the last laugh – Hull KR being crowned Division One champions the same season.

Bunting sadly passed away earlier this year as did Farrar, the former Great Britain forward who served the likes of Hull and, more famously, Featherstone Rovers so well.

Fourteen former colleagues were in attendance at the event at the KCOM Stadium, however, as the current Hull side helped celebrate the achievements of their predecessors.

On stage, the likes of Norton, Keith Boxall, Tindall and Lloyd joined modern-day heroes fans’ ‘Player of the Year’ Albert Kelly and Jake Connor, who modelled the new kit for Lee Radford’s side – past and present in unison.