“Not a bad wedding present for Mrs Carter.” That was how the Queen Mother, then Queen Consort, put it when she handed the FA Cup to Sunderland’s captain Raich Carter in 1937, a few days after his wedding. One of the finest players of his time, Raich had scored the second goal in our 3-1 win over PNE. Raich died in 1994. His son, Raich Carter junior*, a product of his second marriage, to Pat (he also had two daughters, one from his first marriage), is a warmly welcome guest in the ‘Who are You?’ series. Not a Salut! Sunderland mistake; Raich is an avid … Hull City fan. That’s easily explained and I’ll leave it to him to do so as he answers our question ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup quarterfinal ..
Salut! Sunderland (recipient of great, encouraging messages from Raich during and after the league cup final): This can only start in one way: what on earth is someone called Raich Carter doing supporting Hull City and not Sunderland?
Raich: My dad met my mother when he was manager of Hull City and my mother was secretary at Boothferry Park, so Hull City AFC plays a large part in my existence in the first place!
My dad took me to see my first game on my 3rd birthday at Boothferry Park and apart from my days at University I have only missed 6 home games since. When I was younger I used to jokingly have a go at my dad for not settling down in a city with a decent football team because as you will know I have spent most of my football supporting days at places most Premier League fans don’t even know exist.
What are your own memories of your dad, as a player and father and man, and his own presumably divided allegiances?
My father was very self confident about all things to do with football, he used to hold the Hull City boardroom captivated with his insights and anecdotes after matches, holding fort with the sports writers who lapped up what he said. His stock phrase in those days, when asked about the match was always “bloody rubbish no one on that pitch could kick my backside”!
Unfortunately I never saw my dad play as he hung up his boots 17 years before I was born, however after attending many footballing functions and meeting many ex-players it is quite evident that he was one of the game’s best.
And, to end this impertinent line of questioning, do you have a soft spot for Sunderland yourself despite your obvious passion for Hull?
Half of our family used to live in Sunderland and Sunderland, the city and the football team were always close to my day’s heart so that naturally runs in my genes and I would always look out for Sunderland’s result as soon as Hull City had finished.
I visited Roker Park with my dad many times and always enjoyed the warmth of the welcome with which we were received. However now that we are both scrapping over Premier League survival I don’t mind seeing Sunderland lose more games than we do.
You must be thrilled with the way things have gone in the Premier this season (question posed before the Pardew assault of David Meyler during the 4-1 home defeat to the Mags). Is Steve Bruce now over his infamous late season losing runs? And is he the man to reinforce Hull’s Premier status and lead you onwards and upwards?
Steve Bruce has an excellent record since his arrival here, the fans have full trust in him and we all fully expect to be in the Premier League next season, although we could do without any more debacles like Newcastle.
What about the owner, Assem Allam? Loads of investment but a few own goals on the name of the club …
I would like to thank him very much for saving our club and the investment he has put in since, however I will never agree with the name change it will always be Hull City AFC to me. If the FA decide in his favour I for one will never visits the club shop again!
What does the FA Cup mean to you, not least in the light of the pathetic gates you, like us, have attracted so far?
The FA Cup has always been important in our family as my dad won it twice, the only player to do so either side of WW II. Obviously it has lost some if its attraction as the TV is now awash with football and supporters don’t want to waste their money watching their teams’ reserves. However for clubs like ours it is a sneaky back door into Europe!
Now tell me the high and low points of your own support for Hull.
My all time high is Wembley 2008 never thought I’d see Hull City at Wembley let alone win. All time low so many in the 90s but being locked out of the ground and being told the next match was the last, rate very highly.
And who are the greatest players, your dad included, that you have seen or wish you’d seen in Hull colours?
My favourite players for City were Billy Whitehurst, Dean Windass and Stuart Elliott and I would have liked to have seen the team my dad was a part of at Hull City 1948-1952 which I heard so much about from my mum, dad and grandparents who were all Hull City fans.
Anyone who should have been allowed nowhere near your club?
1 John Lloyd (see Fer Ark’s comment below, correcting this to David Lloyd – ed) – locked us out
2 Buchanan and Hinchcliffe – a real dodgy chairman partnership from the nineties who were both as bent as nine bob notes.
3 Terry Dolan – higher/ longer tactician and useless manager.
4 Millwall fans – always want to take the seats home with them.
Who will win the FA Cup? What will be the Premier top four in order?
FA cup Arsenal as it’s all they can win. Top 4: Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal. Bottom 3: Fulham, Cardiff, West Brom.
Raich: Couldn’t believe that in the space of one short email on Sunday the Mancs scored twice! Just have to win the FA Cup instead!
What most inspires you about modern football
The FA Cup again. Wouldn’t mind a day out at Wembley but not against Arsenal, Everton or Man City. Sheff Utd would be good. What I fear about Sunderland is that should you beat us on Sunday, you will have to fit in four extra games before the end of the season with all the extra injuries/pressure that may involve.
What appals you and might have appalled your dad?
1 the wages – obscene – even mediocre players are way overpaid
2 ticket prices
3 Sterile stadia full of tourists and day trippers – Anfield being the worst
4 Over zealous stewarding by minimum wage jobsworths
5 No contact football/ diving/ cheating
6 Opposing managers head butting your players
7 The fact that hardly anybody dare tackle anymore – it’s all about interceptions. No place for a Norman Hunter these days
8 Being told to sit down – Aaaargh!
Any thoughts on Brazil 2014:
Think England will be there for about 10 days and Belgium to win.
Will you be at the game and what will be the score?
(I think we can assume the first part of his answer would have been a resounding Yes – ed). So to Sunday. As long as it’s not a draw, Sunderland manage to keep 11 on the pitch, no one gets injured and we go into the hat – that’ll do! 1-0 my prediction- but not if we defend like we did against the Mags.
* Raich Junior on himself and little more about his dad (a photo of father and son appears at http://mirrorfootball.mediastorehouse.com/raich-carter/print/695/1671463.html
My dad lost much of his love for the game after the bribery/corruption allegations of the fifties/sixties/seventies. He said everyone knew who was doing it but nobody said a word, so a certain W*** Y**** club (allegedly) got away with it. His other biggest disappointment apart from losing six years to the war was not being asked to rejoin Sunderland after it.
As for driving Hull supporters in the minibus, I enjoy it. You get control of the stereo and manage to remember the game! Ticket and travel thrown in. The downside is the 4-5 hours spent watching everyone else getting tanked up and cleaning the van up at the end of the trip. £32 to park at Norwich, free at SAFC – no consistency. However, our minibus hire firm has just closed this week so who knows what happens next. Ha’way the lads!
** Photo courtesy of Brian Leng, a driving force behind two excellent sites therokerend.com and http://www.roker-roar.com/rokerpark.com/navbar/media.html
*** See also: a fascinating account by Philip Buckingham, a Sunderland supporter who writes for the Hull Daily Mail, of last year’s centenary of Raich senior’s birth: http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/Raich-Carter-centenary-Hull-City-Sunderland/story-20344786-detail/story.html
Interview: Colin Randall
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