Hull FC's Jack Walker on avoiding derby taunts, aiming high and gratitude to Hull KR and Bradford Bulls
Paul Cooke went from Challenge Cup hero to 'Judas' and even received death threats after leaving Hull FC for Hull KR, while Scott Taylor has been the pantomime villain at Craven Park ever since his move to the MKM Stadium.
Jack Walker has gone from Hull to Rovers and back again with a stop at Bradford Bulls in between, yet appears to be universally popular on both sides of the river.
The talented full-back's energy and enthusiasm made him an instant hit with fans while he was wearing their shirt, not to mention the way he took to the derby.
Walker was crowned the man of the match after helping Hull beat the Robins on his debut as a loanee at the 2022 Magic Weekend.
Twelve months on, he found himself diving over to score the opening try in the red and white of Hull KR in his first Craven Park derby.
If his honeymoon period in the city is over following his permanent move to the Black and Whites, Walker enjoyed the affection while it lasted.
"I wasn't sure when I went to Hull KR whether I'd be hated or loved," he told The Yorkshire Post with a smile after linking up with Hull again.
"I would say a lot of them did like me. I didn't really get any bad comments.
"I love the rivalry. I've played in a Grand Final and the derby is at that level. In a smaller stadium, it's so loud and you can really feel that rivalry.
"It's such a great game to play in. Every time I have played in it, I've enjoyed it. I'm glad I'm going to be doing it for the next two years."
Walker needed just five weeks to recharge after falling agonisingly short of an Old Trafford return during his four-month spell at Rovers.
The 24-year-old got his hands on the Super League trophy with hometown club Leeds Rhinos in his debut season in 2017 but the semi-final against Wigan Warriors in KR colours is as close as he has got since.
"I just thought that was the norm," he said on winning at Old Trafford as a teenager
"It didn't really hit me until a couple of years later after being in the relegation zone for two years. Then I had my injuries.
"I went from such a high to such lows really quickly but you could say it's a good thing that I've been through what I've been through because I'll appreciate it so much more when it does happen again."
Hull have been in a state of decline since winning back-to-back Challenge Cups, with last season's 10th-place finish their worst in nine years.
Tex Hoy was mocked mercilessly for declaring top four was a minimum requirement with the ultimate goal of winning the competition – but that is not stopping Walker from aiming high.
"I saw a quote from Tex Hoy last year and how much stick he got for that," he laughed. "But if he turned around and said he'd be happy with top six, it's such a bad mentality.
"The mentality is you want to finish first. If you aim lower, there's no point turning up on the field. You should never settle for second place.
"I want to get to the Grand Final or the Challenge Cup final. I'm at the age now where I want to start winning again.
"Hull have made a lot of good signings and the direction Tony (Smith) wants to go in and what he wants to achieve is exactly what I want."
A cup-tied Walker had to watch KR's Wembley defeat against Leigh Leopards from the sidelines after representing Bradford in the early stages of the competition.
He enjoyed a run in Willie Peters’ team at the business end of the season and scored a crucial try in the play-off win over Leigh.
Walker got everything he wanted out of his move to Craven Park, even if a long-term deal did not materialise.
"I was under the impression that if I played well, I might be able to get a contract there," he said.
"Every time I was playing, I'd have the fans coming up to me telling me to sign a deal. I was just telling them all to speak to Willie!
"It didn't work out that way but if it wasn't for them, I don't think I would have been able to get a shot at going to another club.
"I think I'm past the injury side now, touch wood, and felt back to my old self towards the back end of last season.
"I enjoyed every bit of it. The game against Leigh in the quarters at Craven Park was awesome. The semi didn't go to plan but they're the games you want to play in as a professional athlete.
"I'm forever grateful to KR for giving me that opportunity."
Walker began the season in the Championship with Bradford after they handed the former England Knights player a lifeline.
Although he featured only seven times for the Bulls, Walker will not forget the role the club played in rebuilding his career.
"I'm forever indebted to Bradford as well," he added.
"I got shown the door at Leeds and Bradford gave me an opportunity to go and play again. Not a lot of clubs had that trust in me to come back from my injury.
"I can't speak highly enough of the people there. They've got one goal in mind to get back to Super League and I can't see why they won't."