CLUB POET LAUREATE IS CROWNED AT FIRST FC150 EVENT
Hull FC's first formal FC150 anniversary event has seen supporter Phil Lamb named as the club's first ever Poet Laureate in front of a panel of notable judges, including BAFTA winner John Godber.
Head judge, John, acclaimed for rugby league play 'Up and Under', was also joined by 'Sully' playwright Dave Windass, FC Voices chairman Pete Allen and the club's Marketing and Communications Director, James Clark, who also hosted the event.
Five entrants made it through to the live final at Central Library in Hull and all read two pieces of their work, including Hull FC inspired poetry, before Phil Lamb was named the inaugural Poet Laureate.
Surprised as he was presented with his award, Phil, a local vicar, said, "I'm actually really shocked because I never win anything! I thought that Sue would take it with her poem about Jack Harrison because she painted a wonderful picture of him running.
"I am honestly speechless to have won. It's Hull FC and now I'm going to be part of that! I'll have to have a word with the Bishop of Hull now when he comes and tell him I might be a bit busy!"
Before the judging panel retired to make their verdict, they all shared a few thoughts on each entry as well as their own personal journey as authors, writers and their relationship with the club.
Having worked in Hull for over thirty years and synonymous with arts and culture in the city, notably for his work and support at Hull Truck Theatre, head judge John Godber was more than impressed with the standard of the entries and the way they embrace rugby league as an obvious part of life in the city.
"Rugby league is absolutely ingrained into this city's culture and it is important that people know that just because we have been awarded the City of Culture for 2017, that this city has always been rich in culture and that certainly includes rugby league.
"We came to the decision that Phil was to be the winner because we felt beyond the remit of this residency, in order to be taken seriously by other people in the wider world outside of rugby league and Hull FC, that Phil's work would stand out in that arena."
Phil will now join the club's FC150 team and contribute writing and poetry for a number of events and publications as well as represent the club across the city.
He will be working closely with club's team which is overseen by Marketing & Communications Director, James Clark, who said he can't wait to the new role of FC Poet Laureate come to life.
"It was a very tough decision and one that took a lot of deliberation and discussion, but ultimately we decided on Phil because we thought he could bring the most to the role and the wider responsibility of being involved with Hull FC and our anniversary celebrations," he said, speaking after the event.
"It could have gone to any of the entrants, the standard was far beyond any of our expectations, and I would like to thank them all for taking part and producing some outstanding work.
"This promises to be a very special year for our club and it will be more than just enjoying the 80-minutes of rugby on the field, week-in, week-out. This is about celebrating and showcasing every aspect of the club, what it means to the supporters and the impact rugby league has on this city and to be able to do that through the words and performance of our very own writer in residence will be fantastic."
Hull FC's 150th anniversary celebrations are being run in conjunction with the Hull FC Community Foundation and the Heritage Lottery Fund, who have helped fund elements of the work that will see the Black and Whites spend the next twelve months sharing the history of the club through various projects across Hull and East Yorkshire.
A number of other high profile events are planned for throughout 2015 and will be announced on www.hullfc.com throughout the year.