'Loyal Hull FC fans helped restore sanity at KC Stadium' - Johnny Whiteley
HULL FC legend Johnny Whiteley has thanked rugby fans for helping get his picture reinstated at the KC Stadium.
Despite it being 40 years since he last put on a pair of boots for the Black and Whites, supporters recently confirmed he is still very much loved on the terraces.
Hundreds of fans chanted his name and wore Johnny Whiteley masks at the match last Saturday in protest of the Stadium Management Company (SMC) removing memorabilia from the stadium because the club had not paid to display them.
However, following a review, his picture will be going back up in the Johnny Whiteley suite.
Mr Whiteley said: "Sanity has been restored, partly thanks to the loyalty of the people of the city.
"It wasn't about my photograph being taken down, but the way it was done.
"The masks were incredible and very flattering. They really showed the solidarity.
"When I heard my name being chanted at the Warrington game I felt like running back out on to the pitch."
Keeping all the photographs and other items on display would cost the club about £500 per item, which could amount to £10,800 a year.
Ehab Allam, vice-chairman of the SMC, said: "The commercial policy review focused on balancing the commercial strategy with community needs and local heritage.
"Assem and I sought advice from Alan Johnson MP and Karl Turner MP, who kindly accepted our invitation and their help and assistance has been greatly appreciated.
"The review highlighted that of the eight hospitality suites, four are named after prominent local figures, but only one of these, the Wilberforce suite, did not have a photograph.
"In light of the review we decided it is only fair that the naming policy of hospitality suites also carries a picture in their honour. Therefore, as well as reinstating the Johnny Whiteley picture, we will also be introducing one of William Wilberforce.
"The un-named areas have highlighted the opportunity to consider honouring other local heroes and heroines, such as Amy Johnson, and these will be considered in due course."