You have to hand it to Don Robinson, he knew a few things about promotion. On the pitch, we rose from fourth division to second in just three years after he resuscitated a club that was in receivership in 1982, off the pitch the former wrestler was a marketing maven, launching a club branded cola, having the Harlem Globetrotters play in the club’s gym and boldly announcing Hull City would play on the Moon!
Robbo was in his element in 1984 when he persuaded North American Soccer League outfit Tampa Bay Rowdies to take part in two legged friendly tie dubbed the Arrow Air Anglo-American Cup (Arrow Air was a Florida based charter airline that sponsored City).
The first leg, shown in our video, took place at Boothferry Park on Sunday April 8th (City having played at Wimbledon in a Division Three match the day before) with the return game played at Tampa Stadium, a.k.a. ‘The Big Sombrero’ on June 13th. The Tigers won the first leg 3-0 with goals from Roberts, McLaren and Massey (Pen.) but the day’s talking point was the sight of the chairman riding around the pitch on a horse wearing a stetson! In the Florida game, the Rowdies won 1-0 courtesy of Serbian defender Refik Kozic’s goal, giving the tie a 3-1 aggregate score.
Pete Skipper challenges Roy Wegerle of the Rowdies at Tampa Stadium