Stuart will be fondly remembered by Hull City fans. (©PAphotos)
by Dave Batte
, read by 1,126 people.
The news that former Hull City winger Stuart Elliott has decided to hang up his boots will have been greeted with sadness by many Tigers fans who will readily recall the spectacular and vital goals he scored for City in the back to back promotion campaigns between 2003 and 2005.
Jan Molby's reign as Hull City manager was a short one but he certainly had a good eye for talent in the transfer market and it was Molby who signed Elliott from Motherwell for £230,000 having also signed captain Ian Ashbee. At Motherwell Stuart scored 22 goals in 70 appearances and had come to the attention of Northern Ireland making his international debut against Malta in 2002.
Elliott is a born again Christian and his devotion to his faith has played a major role in his football career and has limited his options with clubs based close to a place of worship.
Elliott got off to a great start scoring on his debut for Hull at home to Southend and went onto net 12 times in his first season in the black and amber shirt. With Peter Taylor installed as manager following the dismissal of Molby, City started to look like promotion contenders.
In the season 2003/04 I was working as club commentator for Hull City and had the pleasure of commentating on the net busting forward line of Elliott, Danny Alsopp and Ben Burgess who terrorised defences as City marched to promotion.
Elliott's pivotal goal that season was probably a bullet header at home to then league leaders Swansea in front of a full KC Stadium on a Tuesday night in September which lifted the roof off.
Weighing in with 14 goals Elliott had played a major role as an out and out left winger with a telling burst of pace. Follow that... and he did.
Back to back promotions were secured the next year and this time Elliott scored 30 goals in all competitions including a half way line strike against Luton and a hatrick at home to fellow promotion hopefuls Tranmere. The Irishman was unstoppable and had become a firm crowd favourite and he celebrated every goal with his trademark cartwheel celebration.
In the Championship Stuart found goals harder to come by as his blistering pace started to wane a little and defences were stronger and tighter. In January 2007 he came off the bench to net twice late at home to QPR as Phil Brown battled to keep City in the Championship.
Eventually though in 2008 he made a move to Doncaster and subsequently to Hamilton via Grimsby and now Elliott has decided at the age of 32 to end his football career to devote more time to his faith. His contribution at Hull City will always be remembered by the fans who always loved his cartwheel celebration after every goal.
Good luck Stuart.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.