Hull FC Big Nine Danny Houghton joins exclusive club after reaching 400-game milestone

Earlier this month, Danny Houghton played his 400 the suit for FC helmet. It is an amazing achievement. In fact, of the 1,171 players who have passed through the club, only nine have previously achieved the feat. From club legends to record point scorers, Hull Live profiles those nine players here.

9. Eddie Caswell, Scrum Half, 1919-31, 401 games

Signed from Cardiff Rugby Union, Eddie Caswell was an excellent captain and ball handler who got along very well with his pack of strikers, particularly the great Bob Taylor, Hull’s highest scoring striker in history. The duo had a dynamic partnership and were almost impossible to stop as Hull beat Huddersfield 3-2 and Hull KR 16-14 in the 1920 and 1921 Championship finals. Caswell himself was not far behind, racking up a credible 98 tries for the club. He continued to be a mainstay of the team until his last appearance in 1931, before remaining as manager of the club. He tragically died on the Boulevard in 1949.

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8. Brian Hancock, Stand Off, 1967-80, 410 games

Brian Hancock signed for Hull from Beverley Rugby Union and soon became a regular at the club. During a fourteen-year career, Hancock saw it all, from the depths of despair to the heights of the late ’70s. He appeared in that game against Huyton when just 976 fans passed through the turnstiles on the Boulevard, and then at Wembley before 95,000 people for the 1980 Hull Challenge Cup Final. Hull’s fortunes in those periods could not have been more than a contrast, however Hancock was as dedicated as they got. Scorer of 107 tries, he was part of the “Invincibles” club and is a club legend in every sense of the word.

7. Ivor Watts, Winger, 1945-59, 412 sets

Born in Wales, Ivor Watts moved to Cumbria and, after signing with Hull, soon became a favorite with the crowd on the Boulevard, who loved his Derby attempts and fast runs. Managing a colossal 216 tries for the club, second only to the great Clive Sullivan, Watts played in the 1958 Championship final when Hull beat Workington, before lining up at Wembley in 1959 against Wigan great Billy Boston. After playing, Watts stayed on the Boulevard as manager, taking over as first-team manager in 1970.

6. Johnny Whiteley, loose forward, 1950-65, 418 games

The biggest ever to wear the famous jagged hoops, Johnny Whiteley’s devastating passing in February is still raw. In addition to being the player that he was, Johnny was an incredible human being. Growing up during the war, he wanted nothing more than to play for his beloved black and whites and that is what he did after completing his National Service in 1950. He behaved himself impeccably throughout his career, earning him the nickname of ‘Gentleman John’. He was never dropped and never expelled. A fitness fanatic, Johnny was as athletic as the others and soon became the main mover in the famous 1950s group, which peaked under Roy Francis with two Championship wins in 1956 and 1958. After missing out The entire 1962/63 season and most of the one afterward, Johnny took on the role of player manager until 1965. As manager, he won the Yorkshire Cup Final in 1969 and achieved further honors with Yorkshire and Great Britain.

5. Joe Oliver, center, 1928-38 and 1943-45, 426 games

Joe Oliver, one of Hull’s all-time greatest players and not just because of his position as the club’s record goalscorer and points scorer, was a powerfully built center who joined Hull from Batley via Huddersfield for a a staggering fee of £800. Oliver got off to a steady start to his Hull career before becoming the driving force that saw Hull become winners of the 1936 Championship following a 21–2 victory over Widnes. He dominated that campaign, scoring 27 attempts and 77 goals for a total of 235 points. He scored twice in the final and got five goals, setting a splendid example throughout. Oliver played his last game for Hull in 1945 and stayed on as manager of the club.

4. Tommy Harris, Hooker, 1950-62, 445 games

In an era when the hooker’s primary role was to win the scrum ball, Tommy Harris was ahead of his time. He was a complete rugby league player with an explosive running game who came to the fore as the club became a dominant force in the game. Harris scored the first try as Hull beat Halifax to win the Championship at Maine Road in 1956 and posted an impressive 56 in his career at Hull. That figure was unknown to prostitutes at the time, but that was the kind of player Harris was. A game changer.

3. Harold Bowman, Prop, 1921-34, 451 sets

A frail-looking schoolboy to a powerful striker, a club member and captain, all thanks to his parents sending him to work on a farm in North Newbald. Not your average rugby league journey, but that is the story of Harold Bowman, who was a colossal figure for Hull in the 1920s. Making his debut aged just 19, Bowman was part of the Cup-winning first team from Yorkshire from Hull in 1923, playing in the final victory over Huddersfield, and scored 16 tries in the 1925/26 season which for a prop locked in midfield battles was a feat indeed. Bowman later ran a farm at Holme on Spalding Moor and was tragically killed at Boothferry Park while his son Keith was warming up ahead of a semi-final tie against Barrow. He was only 55 years old.

2. Mick Scott, Prop, 1949-63, 459 sets

A club legend, Mick Scott was the cornerstone of Roy Francis’s group of strikers, captaining Hull to Championship glory in 1956 after Colin Hutton’s winning penalty kick. By 1958 Scott had relinquished the captaincy to Johnny Whiteley, but he was still a big fixture on the Hull side. It was his long pass from him that put Bryan Cooper on Hull’s first down that day, and it was the big prop who also scored late himself. Scott continued to play for Hull until his last game in 1963. He then spent a year at Rochdale before dying in an accident working on the Hull docks in 1968. He was just 37 years old.

1. Ned Rogers, Utility Back, 1906-25, 500 sets

No Hull player has played more games or had a longer career at the club than Ned Rogers. His grand total of 500 may never be surpassed, and would have surpassed 600 were it not for World War I depriving him of four seasons. Ned played for Hull for an incredible 19 seasons and is one of only two players to have scored over 100 tries and kicked 500 goals for the club. He played in many finals, including Hull’s first seven Challenge Cup finals. After the war he took part in League Championship and Yorkshire Cup victories, winning everything on offer in the game. Ironically, Ned was signed for just a few pounds and only months before the club produced a world record fee to sign Billy Batten. Few gave Hull more continuous service than the local little boy, who established himself as a fullback until his last game in March 1925.

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