The East Yorkshire club start life in the Championship against Bradford Bulls on the back of the sad news their much-respected legendary president Colin Hutton died yesterday at the age 90.
He had a 60 year association with the Robins, first serving as coach and then chairman, but also played more than 250 games for rivals Hull FC to earn respect on both sides of the city.
Furthermore, Hutton famously won the Ashes as a Great Britain coach in 1962, lifted the World Cup six years later, served as an RFL president and was inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame in 2000.
Rovers chairman Neil Hudgell said “Words cannot describe how much of a loss Colin is.
“He was an icon of Hull Kingston Rovers and dedicated a huge proportion of his life not only to the club but the sport as a whole.
“His dedication for rugby league was unparalleled and he was loved and respected by everybody who had the pleasure of meeting him.
“He was a humble and modest man with a keen passion for Hull Kingston Rovers.
“Our support and sympathies are with his beloved wife Marjorie, his daughter Sue and all his family and friends at this tragic time. He might be gone but he will never, ever be forgotten.”
Hutton was in charge of KR for 534 matches during 1957 to 1970, and remains the only man to have appeared at a Challenge Cup final as a player, coach, club director, club chairman, club president and chairman of the RFL.
Born in Prescott, he started his career with Widnes before moving to Hull where his last-minute goal helped the Airlie Birds win the Championship final in 1956.
He was Rovers chairman when they memorably beat Hull in the 1980 Challenge Cup final.
Tributes will be paid at tomorrow’s game when Rovers are also set to give debuts to four players who have joined from troubled Bradford in the off-season.
Danny Addy, Mitch Clark, Ben Kavanagh and Kieran Moss are all named in the 19-man squad.
Bulls include their four loan signings from Leeds Rhinos plus Jonathan Walker, their former Hull KR prop who has rejoined Bradford for a second stint.