Hull Kingston Rovers
Nicknames: The Robins, Rovers
Ground: New Craven Park
City: Kingston upon Hull
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Hull Kingston Rovers or Hull KR as most refer to them as, are known as the Pride of East Hull and having been formed in 1882 are one of the world’s oldest rugby clubs.
The club have had many ups and downs with the last 10 years or so having the big highs of promotion into Super League and a Wembley Challenge Cup final appearance but then the lowest lows of losing that final 50-0 and been relegated in 2016.
As you would expect, Hull KR have a huge rivalry with city neighbours Hull FC, with the derbies between the 2 teams always a must watch for supporters and neutrals alike.
As the biggest same city rivalry in the Northern Hemisphere, the city of Hull is historically split in two with those living East of the River Hull supporting Hull Kingston Rovers and those living to the West, supporting Hull FC.
Over the years this has of course changed with the club enjoying support from not only all over the city but from across East Yorkshire although their traditional supporter base can always be seen in club’s slogan of ‘The Pride of East Hull’.
The club’s traditional colour scheme is red and white, with a predominately white shirt with red across the chest. Although this has changed throughout the years, it is easy to recognise Rovers in any match that they are playing in when wearing their ‘home’ kit. The red and white colour scheme gives the club one of their nicknames- the Robins.
The club have had 3 stadiums to call home throughout their long history, Craven Street, Old Craven Park and New Craven Park.
In 1895 the club purchased land on Craven Street in Hull and played home matches there until 1992. In that year, the club moved to a new stadium at the Eastern End of Holderness Rd call Old Craven park. This stadium saw the club have much better facilities and helped to club to grow.
With the club struggling with financial difficulties in the 1930’s, the ground was sold to the Greyhound Racing Company that shared Old Craven Park and it wasn’t until the late 1970’s that the club regained the ownership of the stadium.
After the Bradford City fire and with the club in debt once again, the ground was sold as they couldn’t afford the safety changes needed to keep the stadium operating.
The club moved to a new stadium in 1989 called New Craven Park, which remains their home to this day. The first match at the new stadium saw a crowd of 8,500 in attendance but the new stadium was basic at first. In 2006 the club undertook numerous improvements to the pitch and facilities in a bid to regain a top-flight position. Upon achieving a place in Super League the club have made more improvement to the ground to where it is now one of the better club owned grounds in England.
Hull KR began life way back in 1882 when a group of boilermakers in the Hessel Road part of the city started up a new club known then as the Kingston Amateurs. The club had a nomadic time of it as the Kingston Amateurs but upon changing name to Hull Kingston Rovers, the club settled at Craven Street and started to enjoy success on the field.
In 1895 the club stayed in Rugby Football Union after breakaway of 22 Northern Club to form the Northern Union. Hull KR amalgamated their resources with the Albany Football Club now known as Hull City) and applied to join the Northern Union after years in the baron wasteland of the RFU.
This allowed the club to play the giants of the new Northern Union including their city rivals Hull FC with the first match between the 2 on the 16th September 1899 attracting a crowd of 14,000 to watch KR defeat FC.
The 1920’s was a Golden decade for the club as they won 2 Championships, 2 Yorkshire Cups and 2 Yorkshire Leagues.
The club were impact hard by the War throughout the 30’s and 40’s and it wasn’t until the 1960’s that the good days came back but they did come back with a bang with the Robins enjoying many successes in the Yorkshire Cup and Yorkshire league but it wasn’t until the late 1970’s and 1980’s when the true golden period came about for the club on a national scale as they won 3 Championships, 2 Premierships, 1 Challenge Cup, 1 League Cup and even the Floodlit Trophy.
That sort of success just couldn’t be sustained and the club found themselves in financial difficulties come the late 1980’s and 1990’s but in the mid 2000’s the club found their way back to the top flight and developed their ground. Although they suffered relegation in 2016, things are still looking good for Red and Whites of Hull.