The Soul of Hull City #20: Jeff Radcliffe’s hat

Keeping up appearances


Few physiotherapists manage a quarter of a century at one club, and even fewer physiotherapists’ tam-o’-shanters manage to survive the same quarter century. It’s perhaps not the most staggering fact to suggest Jeff Radcliffe was unique because he wore a tam-o’-shanter, but it certainly made him recognisable.

Bought for him by his Scottish mother, he began wearing it after realising that sitting in a dugout watching a terrible game could be quite a cold experience, and the sight of this bobbled head nodding up and down as he ran across the pitch to spray Garreth Roberts’ knee (again) was often more thrilling than the football. One assumes that the hat was dunked in team baths, nicked, placed halfway up floodlights and probably shat in by Billy Whitehurst over its lifespan at Boothferry Park, but it was always there, on Radcliffe’s head, on matchdays.

Such was the impact of said millinery item that nobody recognised Radcliffe when he took to the field in his 1988 testimonial match; indeed only the sight of City and Spurs players applauding him on to the park gave his identity away. An example to any non-playing football employee of how headgear can look good and become part of your already likeable personality – Tony Pulis take note.

3 replies
  1. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Who was the pre Radcliffe trainer? Name escapes me…Built like an ex-boxer or rugby forward. Kit consisted of a very wet “magic” sponge in a plastic bag, and allegedly a bottle of whisky. Always enjoyed his entry to the pitch. Also a long time servant to the club, if memory serves…

  2. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    I was thinking of the guy who rushed out to treat McSeveney when he mysteriously collapsed in front of the West Stand…North end….with no body near him. Continued to play on after the magic sponge treatment! Hang over?
    O/t…Remember being surprised at how well McSeveney performed v Everton in the Cup, which was a 1-1 draw.Everton were termed the “Bank of England club” at the time. Lost replay midweek 2-1…highlights on Sportsnight?

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