Wing half Neil Sullivan joined the Tigers in May 1926 after an impressive season for North Eastern League side Newburn. He waited until late October for his chance in the first team when his Geordie compatriot Joe Campbell was dropped, Neil kept his place for three games before a third Geordie, Chris Swan, took the right half berth. In January 1927 Sullivan returned to the first eleven, initially at right half but then switching to left half at the end of January. He remained first choice left half for the rest of the season and scored his first senior goal for City in the last game of the season, a 1-3 defeat at Fulham.
Sullivan remained in City’s first eleven at the start of the 1927/28 season and scored again in a November 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion. He missed two months of football after that game and returned in early February, holding the right half berth until the end of the season. Neil started the first two fixtures of the 1928/29 season at left half before dropping out of the first team and was used sporadically at right half for the rest of the season. He left the Tigers in May 1929.
Cornelius “Neil” Sullivan, also occasionally known as “Con”, was born in Tynemouth but by 1911 he lived upstream at the burdgeoning industrial town of Scotswood to the west of Newcastle city centre, his father working locally as a blacksmith. He played in the North Eastern League for Newburn Grange in his late teens and came to the attention of First Division side Preston North End who signed him in February 1922. Neil was unable to break into the Preston first team and moved to Division Three South side Swansea Town in June 1923. Once again limited to reserve team football, Sullivan transferred to Division Three South rivals Southend United in August 1924 – after spending the entire season in the reserves Neil finally made his senior debut in May 1925 against Queens Park Rangers but that was not enough to keep him in Essex. He returned to the North East for the 1925/26 season and played impressively for Newburn, who still plied their trade in the North Eastern League, before giving professional football a second attempt with the Tigers.
Sullivan joined Bradford Park Avenue in May 1929, he started two games in September 1929 that both ended in heavy defeats and he was not selected in the first team again. He switched to Carlisle United in July 1930 and made ten starts in both wing half positions befiore moving on again in October 1931, returning to the North Eastern League with Wallsend. His career record runs dry at the end of the 1931/32 season, by 1939 he was working in the chemical processing industry on Teesside and living in Billingham. Neil retired to nearby Darlington where he died in 1988.
Date/Place of Birth: 6 June 1903, Tynemouth
Hull City First Game: 23 October 1926, Blackpool H (Division Two), 23 years, 139 days old
Hull City Final Game: 16 March 1929, West Bromwich Albion A (Division Two), 25 years, 283 days old
Newburn Grange, Preston North End (1922-1923), Swansea Town (1923-1924), Southend United (1924-1925), Newburn (1925-1926), Hull City (1926-1929), Bradford Park Avenue (1929-1930), Carlisle United (1930-1931), Wallsend (1931-1932)
Hull City Record
Career: 70 apps, 3 goalsNeil Sullivan