Listing the amazing saves he pulled off during his time with the Tigers would take forever. Recalling the games when the improbable intervention of a Myhill paw to deflect a goal-bound shot pinched us a result would be an equalling daunting task. Hell, just that one game at Spurs would take a while. But as we steel ourself for life after Boaz Myhill, it’d be remiss of us not to pass an approving eye over his achievements.
For those achievements are monumental. Signed from Aston Villa in December 2003, we nearly didn’t get him at all. He’d been on loan at Macclesfield prior to arriving at the Circle, and they wanted his permanent signature. However, the £50,000 demanded by Villa was beyond the penniless Silkman and, via two loan matches at Stockport, the then 21-year old keeper joined the Tigers as the long-term replacement for Paul Musselwhite. If there’s ever been a better £50,000 spent by this club, we’d love to hear about it.
His debut was a forgettable one. City lost 1-0 at home to Mansfield to slip to fifth in the bottom tier, but shortly after that setback the Tigers embarked on a spree of wins that eventually took Peter Taylor’s charges to promotion. Myhill made 23 appearances in that successful season, and was a virtual ever-present in 2004/2005 as City were again promoted. He picked up the first red card during his time with the Tigers during that season, being dismissed during a penalty shoot-out defeat at Hartlepool in the Auto LDV Johnston Paints Trophy Thingy, but somehow shrugged off that trauma to help City to a second promotion, Taylor’s men conceding just 17 goals at home that season.
2005/2006 took Myhill and co into the Championship, a tougher time results-wise but another success for City’s number one. He effortlessly adapted to life at this higher level, the highlight being two penalty saves during City’s 3-0 win at Stoke in January 2006 and though Matt Duke’s arrival the season before provided him with genuine competition, Myhill remained between the sticks as City limped to penultimate-day survival at Cardiff in 2006/2007.
What happened the following season changed everyone’s lives at City, perhaps none more so than Boaz Myhill’s. A season of modest expectation ended in untold glory at Wembley, with Myhill’s agile and consistent goalkeeping a feature of City’s breathtaking and exhausting late-season push. With City 2-0 up at Watford up in the first leg of the play-off final, Myhill pulled off a genuinely jaw-dropping save to preserve that lead and ensure we took a healthy lead back to the Circle.
He was steady and unbeaten at Wembley, and his majestic rise and catch in the 94th minute at Wembley was the moment we KNEW we were going up. We hope he remembers that moment as fondly as did the 40,000 City fans present.
Onto the Premier League…and Myhill remained first choice netman, joining a small band of players who’ve played in all four divisions for the same club. And yet again, he was not out of place. Matt Duke, an able understudy, took his place a couple of times during the Tigers’ time in the top flight but Myhill’s overall ascendency was rarely in doubt.
It was during the second season in the Premier League that Myhill starred in one of those vanishingly small number of “I was there” moments in English football that involve City: THAT game at Tottenham. At full-time, as the disbelieving majority filed out of White Hart Lane unable to comprehend what’d just happened, the equally incredulous minority in a corner boomed as one “Myhill, in the middle of our goal, Myhill”. Choose your own superlative for his display that day, or maybe even invent a few – none come close to describing just how absolutely brilliant the City keeper was. Anyone there will tell you it was a privilege to witness.
But Myhill is no longer in the middle of our goal. He wanted to stay. Not for a man of his character the obsession with money, fame or status that corrupts others. His time here saw him become a fervent City fan. Everyone who knows him speaks highly of him. Anecdotes of his humble, genuine and considerate nature abound. It’s one thing to be a good footballer; it’s quite another to be a good man. He’s both, and we haven’t just lost a goalkeeper, but also part of the club’s soul. As we look back on the achievements of Glyn Oliver Myhill, Hull City 2003-2010, it is no exaggeration to say that we are saying farewell to an authentic Tigers legend. Boaz: thank you, and good luck.