6 players who have featured for both Hull FC and Hull KR in the derby

Ben Olawumi
Paul Cooke, Scott Taylor, Albert Kelly

Paul Cooke (left), Scott Taylor (middle) & Albert Kelly (right) all featured in Hull derbies for both FC & KR

Over the years, a plethora of players have donned both the black & white of Hull FC and the red & white of Hull KR, featuring in derbies for both clubs.

Ahead of this year’s Good Friday clash between the Airlie Birds & the Robins, we take an in-depth look at six of them…

Clive Sullivan

Clive Sullivan
Clive Sullivan with the base of the Challenge Cup following Hull FC’s triumph in 1982

The late Sullivan, who we sadly lost to cancer in 1985 aged just 42, is widely regarded as one of the best players to ever play the game.

He began his career with a successful trial at Hull FC having impressed playing rugby union for the Army at the age of 17, scoring a hat-trick of tries on his debut for the Black & Whites against Bramley in December 1961 and signing a professional deal the following day.

Over the 13 years which followed, Sullivan would go on to establish himself an FC legend, scoring 247 tries in 340 appearances, and by the time he played the last game to his career at the end of a third stint at the club, those figures would rise to 250 tries in 352 appearances.

Between the first and second of those stints, he made the switch over to Rovers, continuing his fine scoring form with 118 tries in 213 games in the east of the city between 1974 & 1980, notably starting out on the left wing in KR’s 1980 Challenge Cup final triumph against cross-city rivals FC.

The Great Britain & Wales international also featured briefly for both Oldham & Doncaster in his playing days, enjoying some time coaching with the latter as well as at FC.

Sullivan – one of less than 25 Welshmen to have scored 1,000 or more points in rugby league – still holds two records at FC: Most tries in a career (250) and most tries in a match (seven). Coincidentally, those seven came against Doncaster on April 15, 1968.

Albert Kelly

Albert Kelly
Albert Kelly in action for Hull KR in 2016

Having been released by the Gold Coast Titans Down Under, Kelly arrived at Craven Park ahead of the 2015 season with 47 NRL appearances under his belt.

He became an instant fan favourite in East Hull, scoring 17 tries in 24 appearances in his first campaign with KR and scooping the club’s Player of the Year award. That year, the Robins were beaten Challenge Cup finalists.

But having taken his tally up to 23 tries in 43 games, he traded the red & white for black & white ahead of the 2017 season. The number of players to have transferred directly between the two clubs is substantially shorter!

Kelly would score 44 tries in 74 appearances for FC over the four campaigns which followed, lifting the Challenge Cup in his first year at the MKM Stadium and being named in the Super League Dream Team a few months later.

Eventually, the New South Wales native would return to Australia for the 2021 season, joining Brisbane Broncos. The half-back, now 33, is currently playing in the Queensland Cup for the Redcliffe Dolphins.

Craig Hall

Craig Hall
Craig Hall scores a try for Hull KR against Hull FC at Magic Weekend in 2012

Veteran Hall is a Hull lad, the son of KR legend Dave Hall, but came through the FC academy system and debuted for the Black & Whites in 2007.

In the three years which followed, with a short loan at Widnes Vikings in-between, Hall would make 75 appearances for FC with 47 tries to his name.

The utility, very much Mr Versatile, crossed the city as he joined KR ahead of 2011. He has gone on to have two more stints with the Robins, the latest of those ending in 2019. His Robins tallies – in total – are 69 tries in 118 appearances.

Currently in the Championship with Doncaster, 118 is the most appearances of any club in his career, with stints at Wakefield Trinity, Toronto Wolfpack, Leigh – then Centurions – and Featherstone Rovers. Now 36, Hall needs nine tries to reach the milestone of 250 in his career.

Scott Taylor

Scott Taylor
Hull FC’s Scott Taylor celebrates his try against Hull KR at Magic Weekend in 2018

Hull-born Taylor made his senior debut for KR in September 2009 having come through their academy, and the prop would rack up 52 appearances for the Robins prior to his departure at the end of the 2012 campaign.

Linking up with Wigan Warriors, the front-rower – who actually made two appearances on loan at Leigh in the May – would win the double in his first year at the DW Stadium, beating boyhood club Hull FC in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

He was a near ever-present for Wigan again in 2014, but come 2015 was shipped out on loan to Salford before eventually joining boyhood club FC ahead of the 2016 season. That year, he was named in the Super League Dream Team and won the first of back-to-back Challenge Cups.

A five-time England international, Taylor remained with the Airlie Birds right up until his retirement at the end of the 2023 season, ending with 178 appearances for the Black & Whites, and 326 in his career overall. In pre-season, his testimonial game was played out between FC and Wigan at the MKM Stadium.

Paul Cooke

Paul Cooke
Paul Cooke (right) celebrates a try for Hull KR against Hull FC in 2009

Another ex-FC & KR man born and bred in Hull is Cooke, who started out with the Black & Whites despite hailing from the east side of the city.

Debuting for FC in April 1999, he would remain there until April 2007 when – as we later discovered was against the RFL‘s rules – he orchestrated a move across the city to KR, his second game for the Robins coming against his former employers.

Having lifted the Challenge Cup with FC in 2005 and become an England international, Cooke’s time there came to an end with a total of 220 appearances and 880 points scored. The utility’s KR career wasn’t nearly as long, ending just a few weeks into the 2010 season when he moved on to Wakefield.

By then, he had scored 222 points for the Robins in the space of 64 appearances. Doncaster & Featherstone were Cooke’s other clubs, hanging up his boots in 2015 having just surpassed the milestone of 400 senior career appearances.

While at Doncaster, the 42-year-old took on a coaching role at the town’s rugby union side, Doncaster Knights. He would also go on to head up the Dons themselves in 2014, and has was also the assistant to Neil Jukes at Leigh. Now, while popping up in the media from time to time, he is the assistant to Andrew Henderson at Championship outfit York.

Jez Litten

Jez Litten
Hull KR’s Jez Litten (passing the ball) in action against Hull FC in 2023

Rounding off our list, we had to get a current player in there, and Litten was the chosen man. Now an England international, the hooker is a mainstay in Willie Peters’ Robins side, one of the leaders in the Craven Park dressing room.

His story however started across the city with FC, debuting for them in April 2017.

The 26-year-old was regularly sent out on loan to Doncaster by the Black & Whites as he struggled to establish himself as a first-team regular at the MKM Stadium, and by the time he was loaned out to rivals KR at the end of the 2019 season, he had made just 18 FC appearances with every one of those coming as an interchange.

The Robins made Litten’s move a permanent one ahead of the following campaign, and he has since gone from strength to strength, with his current KR appearance tally sat at 99. Aptly, his 100th will no doubt come on Good Friday against FC at Craven Park.

Over the last four-and-a-half or so years with KR, Litten has scored 11 tries, including one last August at Wembley as they were beaten by Leigh in the Challenge Cup final. This year, the #9 has assumed goal-kicking duties, with 15 successful conversions to his name already.