Hull City Supporters’ Trust was saddened to hear recently of the passing of life-long Hull City fan Jean Fish.
Jean regularly attended City games from just after the resumption of football after the Second World War until 2011 when she became a little frail to manage it.
Jean was born Jean Sergeant on the 5th September 1925. It was a match day – Hull City beat Bradford City 1-0 at Valley Parade. Even the midwife was a big fan of The Tigers!
Jean met her future husband Tom Fish during the war, both having left Ainthorpe Grove School, and together they followed City until starting a family. Tom made Jean a folding box to take to the matches as she stood only five foot one.
When their daughter Georgina was old enough to accompany them – Jean and Tom became regulars at Boothferry Park again in 1971 and continued their support long after Georgina had moved to Coventry in her job as a teacher. They only missed games in very cold weather as Jean suffered from Reynaud’s phenomenon, a circulatory disease that caused pain in her hands in the cold.
That must have been particularly painful as Jean wasn’t one to miss the games lightly. She attended one game despite having chest pains and breathing difficulties when walking to the ground. The following day she was rushed to Hull Royal Infirmary and was diagnosed as having had a massive angina attack. Not to fuss, she just said “I was alright once I sat down.”
The stewards at Boothferry Park considered Jean a lucky omen. They’d say “Oh good, you’re here. They usually do well if you’re here!”
Sadly, Tom was only able to see City a couple of times in the Premier League finding the excitement a bit too much after suffering a massive heart attack in 2008 but Jean continued to attend with Georgina as long as she possibly could. After that, Jean and Tom would listen to the commentary on Radio Humberside every Saturday without fail.
Remarkably, Georgina told us “At the age of 88, she saved my place for me in the queue for FA Cup Final tickets until I arrived from Coventry. She and Dad (at the time a sprightly 91) then returned at 1am with a flask of tea, a blanket and a hot water bottle. It was theoretically for me but they decided to stay and enjoy the atmosphere. Mum sat tucked up my beach chair going to the Sports Bar to warm up every so often. In fact the manager there allowed her to stay for quite a while, contrary to his instructions that the fans could only go straight in and out to use the toilets. They were finally persuaded to go home at 3am as it had become very cold and threatened to rain!”
Jean and Tom watched the game itself on TV barely believing that Hull City had made an FA Cup Final in their lifetime.
Sadly, Jean passed away in 2015. She’ll be pleased to know her daughter and granddaughter continue to follow City, despite being based in Coventry and Sheffield.
HCST would like to offer our sincere condolences to Jean’s family and friends and particularly to Tom and Georgina.