Hull FC fans flocked to St Stephen’s shopping centre to witness the unveiling of the club’s new shop and third kit.
Replacing the bag retailer Domo, opposite Tesco, the new shop opened on Sunday, November 11, and is the club’s third outlet in the city, in addition to retailers at Savile Street and the KCOM Stadium.
The store stocks the club’s new kits in all sizes, as well as training and off-field ranges, fashion essentials, accessories and Christmas gifts.
It will also be Hull’s destination for NRL shirts and training gear, as well as New Zealand and Tonga Test jerseys.
James Clark, CEO of Hull FC, said: “We’re delighted, it’s obviously one of the premier shopping centres within our region. It’s a signature move for us but it’s brilliant for fans. That’s why we’ve done it.
Take a look inside
“With the accessibility here, parking and transport links this will be busy in the run up to Christmas.
“So for us to be here it’s fantastic and it is a great opportunity for us to promote the club and I hope we hit the ground running into the new season as that’s what it is all about.
“Today is all about the fans meeting the players getting their hands on the new kit and creating that buzz because we know that if the fans, the players and the staff are all united going into the new season then we’ve got a real chance.”
Hundreds of fans eagerly awaited outside the shop for its 10am unveiling and piled in once the shutters lifted.
Club captain Danny Houghton, Josh Bowden and testimonial man Danny Washbrook welcomed fans into the store wearing the new attire, signing autographs and taking pictures with the supporters.
“It never seizes to amaze me how passionate this lot are,” added Mr Clark. “They’ve turned up here at 10 o’clock on a Sunday morning and they’re all queuing up to get into the new shop and that’s because they love the club.
“They want to get their hands on the new shirts home and away, the training gear, you name it they’ve got it and that just shows they’re proud to be black and white.
“The fans get what we’re about and their passion for Hull FC is in my opinion unrivalled. I don’t think there’s any fans in any other sport as passionate as this lot. We’re proud of that.
“Our modus operandi is to do what’s right for the fans. It’s all about them. They are the livelihood of this club. Without our fans, without our members we are nothing.
“We’re not like football – we rely heavily on our members, our ticket sales, our retail operation so it comes down to the fact that everything is about our fans. I’m delighted that they respond in the way they do because they’re fantastic.”
Fans are delighted with the new shop, quickly grabbing the new kit in preparation for the new season and picking up a few Christmas gifts as they shopped.
One fan, Carol Colton, said: “It’s great but it is a bit pushy to get around but that is expected with the following of fans that we have. It is great to see the lads here getting involved as well.”
Phil Goldsmith, of North Newbald, a season-ticket holder, said: “It looks great. It’s a bit packed now but in the future you will be able to get in and have a good look around.
“It’s great to see the players down here and taking part.
“It’s another outlet and being here you’ll get more footfall because people will come to do their shopping and will be bobbing in and out when walking past.”
Meeting the Hull FC stars was a great opportunity for fans to pick up a couple of signatures and get a photo with their idols.
Trevor Edgar, of north Hull, brought along his daughter Cordelia who wanted to pick up the club’s 2019 calendar, grabbing a signature and photo with Mr May Josh Bowden.
She said: “I buy the calendar every year and it’s great to come here and get it signed.
“The new kit looks great and to see the players wearing it gives you a feel of how good it will look on matchday.”
Trevor reckons that the shop will do really well and is in a perfect location for those who travel through St Stephen’s on matchday.
He added: “I think it will do really well because everyone who comes through here on matchday can pick up something before they get to the game.
“Having the players here it makes everybody appreciate who they are and what they do for this club.”
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