Billy Bly (1937-1960 – 438 apps)
One of the best goalkeepers of his generation, Billy Bly made over 400 appearances for the Tigers after signing in 1937 as a 17-year-old, following a junior career at Walker Boys Club and Walker Celtic.
Bly kept a clean sheet on his debut in a 2-0 victory over Rotherham United on 1st April 1939, making eight appearances before football was suspended due to the start of World War Two. During the war, Bly was often selected for representative games, before going on to make 25 appearances in all competitions for the Tigers in the first season after the end of the war.
In the 1948/49 season, Bly made 15 league appearances to help Hull City win the Division Three North title as well as reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. One of his biggest battles for the number one shirt came in the 1950/51 season when he competed with Joe Robinson, making only five league appearances.
After reclaiming the starting position, Bly continued to impress with his brave goalkeeping, with one of his most notable performances coming in February 1954. Bly produced a string of impressive saves as the Tigers earned a FA Cup fifth round replay against Tottenham Hotspur. However, the following month, Bly suffered a broken wrist after just being selected to represent the England B team.
The goalkeeper was ever-present in the 1958/59 promotion-winning season, missing only one league fixture as Bob Brocklebank’s side finished second in Division Three. The following season was Bly’s 16th and last season with the Tigers, making 22 appearances in all competitions, with his last coming on 26th March 1960 against Bristol Rovers.
Bly would go on to represent Weymouth and Hull Brunswick, after a benefit match that featured an all-star XI in November 1961, before going on to assist the management team at North Ferriby United. After Bly’s sad passing in March 1982, the Billy Bly Memorial Trophy was formed and is still played every season during pre-season between Hull City and the now phoenix club North Ferriby FC.
Billy is currently sixth in the all-time appearance makers for the Tigers.