Centre half Paul Cedric Feasey was a remarkable servant to Hull City stretching from the post-WW2 era to the mid 1960s successes under the guiding hands of Harold Needler and Cliff Britton. Although born and raised in Hull, Feasey came through the junior ranks at York Railway Institute FC while training as a bricklayer, and signed amateur terms for Hull City in August 1949. City had just completed a splendid season under the management of Raich Carter that saw promotion achieved in front of some of the largest gates ever seen by the club. He was therefore joining a Second Division club on the up and at the age of 16 this was a superb place to learn a trade in football. Feasey turned professional in 1950 but it wasn’t for another three years that the 19 year old Feasey made his senior debut for the Tigers in February 1953, when he had to deputise for injured stalwart defender Tom Berry in a 2-2 draw against Barnsley. Such was the talent available to City in this era that it was nearly three more years before Feasey again wore the City shirt in a senior fixture, selected by Bob Brocklebank to replace Tom Berry once again in a 1955 New Year’s Eve fixture in faraway Plymouth that ended 1-1. Six a bit years at the club, two draws, a slow start.
Feasey played three more times during the remainder of the 1955/56 season but in September 1956 he became the regular choice at centre half, finally usurping the veteran Berry. Over the next 12 months Feasey missed only one game in all senior competitions and when he spent two months out of the side in October and November 1957 his presence was sorely missed. Between December 1957 and April 1962 Feasey missed just 14 of the 222 senior fixtures played by the Tigers, with seven of those coming consecutively in January and February 1960. Although only standing at five foot nine inches tall, and giving away height to many of the strikers he faced, Feasey was a fearsome competitior with a tremendous leap and a strong tackle, skills honed during those formative years in the early 1950s when he played every day in training alongside massively talented players such as Neil Franklin, Viggo Jensen, Harold Meens and of course, the redoubtable ex-RAF officer Tom Berry. Feasey developed a partnership with Scotsman Andy Davidson that would endure for many seasons – between September 1956 and April 1962 Feasey and Davidson would feature together at the heart of City’s defence 228 times in 282 senior matches, a rock-steady foundation on which an increasingly talented squad was based.
While Davidson remained a regular until the late 1960s and saw City’s second great post-war promotion in 1966 from the pitch, Feasey was once again on the sidelines as he had been back in 1949. From August 1962 until he left the club in the 1966 close season Feasey was used more sparingly by manager Cliff Britton, who called upon Paul’s services just 41 times in four seasons. He rarely disappointed when he was needed, and remained a positive part of the first team scene until the day he left the club.
In July 1966 took up the job of player-manager at Goole Town, a role he fulfilled until the summer of 1970, guiding the club in 1968 into the newly formed Northern Premier League. Feasey remained in Hull after his playing days and worked as a bricklayer, the trade he had learnt 20 or more years previously while at technical college in York. By the 2010s he was suffering from dementia, as did so many footballers of his era who headed the ball regularly. He died in January 2012 in Cottingham.
Date/Place of Birth: 4 May 1933, Hull
Hull City First Game: 21 February 1953, Barnsley H (Division Two), 19 years, 293 days old
Hull City Final Game: 19 April 1965, Southend United H (Division Three), 31 years, 350 days old
York RI, Hull City (1949-1966), Goole Town (1966-1970)
Hull City Record
Career: 304 apps, 0 goalsPaul Feasey