Video of the Day: Hull City vs Preston North End, September 1984
Staffordshire-born Brian Horton may never quite have scaled the heights of either fame or fortune as a player, but in almost six hundred appearances for Port Vale, Brighton & Hove Albion and Luton Town, he earned a reputation as a solid, dependable midfielder, and played not only in the Brighton team that was promoted to the First Division for the first time in the club’s history in 1979 but also in the Luton Town team that won were promoted to the top flight as champions of the Second Division four years later.
Horton was appointed as the player-manager of Third Division Hull City in the summer of 1984. Hull had suffered the chill wind of receivership two years earlier and Horton’s appointment the year after the team had responded in the most positive way possible to their new start. Promoted from the Fourth Division in 1983 with a team featuring Steve McClaren, Brian Marwood and Billy Whitehurst, the team had only narrowly missed out on a second successive promotion before manager Colin Appleton departed to take over at Swansea City, leaving the vacancy that Horton would fill.
The 1984/85 season started with the team going five matches unbeaten – three of which were against Lincoln City, two in the League Cup and one in the league – and keeping three clean sheets out of three in their league fixtures before welcoming Preston North End to Boothferry Park in the middle of September. Preston, for their part, had started their season with two wins from their first two games. Little would anybody be able to tell from these performances that Preston would end the season relegated in second from bottom place, having conceded exactly one hundred league goals, whilst Hull City would promoted into Division Two. Commentary for this match comes from Barry Davies.
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