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11:44am on Sunday, 25th May, 2008:

Burning Bright


Yay! Hull City have won promotion to the Premier League! OK, so it's for one year only, but still...

Where I grew up in East Yorkshire, Hull City was the local professional club. It was always a solid (old) division two, second-tier side, primarily because Hull itself was a bastion of Rugby League, with two major clubs there (Hull and Hull Kingston Rovers) that attracted the majority of spectator interest. Thus, I have a soft spot for Hull City, even though I only ever went to see them play once — and that was a friendly against Leeds United (Hull won 7-6, with at one point their goalkeeper switching to right wing).

As fans of pub quizzes will be aware, until yesterday yesterday there was a well-known question, "what is the largest city in England never to have had its football team play in the highest division?". The answer was: Hull (or Kingston upon Hull, if you want to be finicky).

So, that's the end of that old chestnut, then?

Well no: all this means is that the answer has changed.

That being the case, what's the new "largest city in England never to have had its football team play in the highest division"? Assuming Wikipedia's list of English cities by population isn't entirely out of line with reality, it looks as if the new holder of the title is Plymouth.

You are now sufficiently prepared to answer this question when, over the course of the next few weeks, smug people ask you the question in the expectation that, although you used to know the answer, you won't any more...

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).