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City fan Dave’s all-expenses-paid Tigers trip is a Turkish delight

A Hull City supporter from Driffield has told the Wolds Weekly how he enjoyed a ‘magical’ trip to Turkey after he was selected as one of over 300 lucky fans chosen to jet off on a holiday – all paid for by the club’s owner.

Dave Rugg, and his wife Jackie, travelled to resort city Antalya along with 320 fellow Tigers season ticket holders after entering a free draw to win the holiday.

Whilst in Turkey, the couple stayed in a five-star hotel, made the most of free food and drink, watched their team play in two mid-season friendlies and spent a special evening watching England beat Wales 3-0 in World Cup.

All aspects of the trip were paid for by Hull City’s owner Acun Ilıcalı, who wanted to reward some of the club’s long-serving supporters, such as Dave, for their loyalty.

The winners left Humberside Airport on 27th November, with two chartered flights taking them to Turkey, along with the players included in City’s squad for a training camp organised whilst the Championship was in recess during the World Cup.

Since going to his first game as a youngster at the club’s old Boothferry Park ground, Dave has seen the lows of City hitting the bottom of the Football League and the highs of promotion to the Premier League, an FA Cup final appearance and European football.

But he never expected to be part of a holiday with his fellow supporters, the club’s players and hierarchy – and still couldn’t quite believe it when he was boarding the plane.

“It was exceptional, just mind-blowing,” said Dave. “I was still pinching myself when I got to the airport.

“I received an email like all other supporters did and I filled in the form. The club put a post out to check your emails.

“I looked and I couldn’t see anything so I just thought I wasn’t one of the lucky ones.

“Someone suggested I should check my junk folder and there it was – it was a good job I checked.

“We reached Humberside Airport and when we got on the plane, all the seats and headrests were covered in Hull City colours.

“When we first got to the hotel, there was a Champagne and cocktail reception with canapes and the food was exceptional throughout the trip.

“You couldn’t have bought this type of holiday.

“When we went to watch the England game, there was a band playing us in as well as during the game.

“We also got the chance to meet all the players, the coaching staff and the owner.

“The owner gave us a good question and answer session and all the players were so approachable, they mingled in with everyone.

“We also met some of the Napoli players, as they were training at the same complex.

“Acun told us that he is looking into buying another club to bring the young players through and talked us through his life story.

“The weather was perfect and there was no way of finding a fault with it. We were all there for the same reason and it was nice to meet fellow Hull City supporters that you’ve seen at matches but never spoken to them.

“Everybody got on with each other and it was absolutely magical. None of us ever thought we would go on a holiday like this with Hull City.

“We spoke to supporters of other clubs who were out there and they couldn’t believe it when we told them that the owner had paid for everything.”

Back home and readapting to the English winter, Dave is now looking forward to watching the rest of City’s season under recently-appointed manager Liam Rosenior, a former player at the MKM Stadium.

Despite his club currently sat 20th in the Championship table, Dave hasn’t ruled out a flirt with the play-offs during the second half of the season.

“Watching them in the training sessions in Turkey, you can see what Liam Rosenior is trying to do,” he said.

“But like he said, there is going to be hiccups along the way. Once it comes together, it will work and you can see the philosophy behind it.

“I think we’ll finish in the top 10 and if we’re lucky, the top six.”

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