21st November 2020, 16:27 | Hull
Hull FC have launched their 2021 principal jersey in a special tribute to club legend Johnny Whiteley MBE on his 90th birthday.
The Airlie Birds new jersey will feature irregular Black and White hoops for the first time since 2018, with the jersey modelled on shirts worn by club captain Whiteley in the 1950s and 60s.
The jersey also includes a version of the three crowns club logo which donned shirts from Whiteley’s era, whilst a photo montage tribute to Johnny is also included in the collar. The badge also makes reference to ‘JW90’ and his heritage number denoting he was the 541st player to wear the Hull FC jersey.
Following the shirt’s launch, Whiteley said: “The shirt is absolutely brilliant, and I can’t thank the club enough for this incredible gesture.
“I’ve been associated with this wonderful family club and the fantastic people who come with it for seventy years now – Hull Football Club is special, and this really emphasises that.
“I’ve been locked up since January having had an operation prior to the start of the pandemic, so to be in the thoughts of everybody, on what to me is just another day, is really special.
“I’ll treasure this shirt – it can’t get any better than this. I’ll make sure it is handed down to my Great Grandson, who plays for West Hull.”
Whiteley amassed 417 appearances for the club between 1950 and 1965, leading the club to the 1956 and 1958 Championship Finals, the 1957 European Championship, and FC’s first-ever appearances at Wembley Stadium for the Challenge Cup Final.
In addition, Whiteley lifted the Rugby League World Cup in both 1954 and 1960 as well as coaching Great Britain Rugby League to their most recent Ashes Series victory Down Under back in 1970.
Whiteley was awarded with an MBE for ‘Services to Rugby League and Community’ in 2006.
Watch the special video launching this iconic shirt here.