Striker Paul Hunter joined the Tigers in March 1990 for a £150,000 fee, a transfer encouraged by his goalscoring exploits in the Scottish leagues. For the remainder of the 1989/90 season Paul came off the bench and scored three times against Oldham, Plymouth and Watford. Having avoided relegation to the Third Division, manager Stan Ternent had higher hopes for success in the 1990/91 season but only five wins before New Year’s Day put paid to those hopes, and Ternent’s tenure. Hunter came off the bench five times in the first seven fixtures without scoring, then spent two months out of the team. His bit part role for Ternent was changed when Tom Wilson took temporary charge, Paul was chosen in the starting XI twice to no avail. Only when Terry Dolan took over the Tigers and Hunter came off the bench on April Fools’ Day did he score his first goal of the season against Charlton and ended the season with three starts and a second goal against Plymouth.
Dolan had to work within a tight budget in the 1991/92 season as the relegated Tigers sought to find their feet in the Third Division. After starting the season as first choice centre forward Hunter again returned to his supporting role, scoring the only goal in an FA Cup second round tie at Blackpool and spending much of the season on the sidelines. In the 1992/93 season Dolan again perservered with Hunter and after scoring the only goal in the season opener against Stoke he remained a regular first team starter until late November, scoring two more goals against Swansea and Stockport. A festive winner against Brighton took his tally to four before injury again kept him out of the side. When he returned to the first XI in late March 1993 Paul scored against Exeter and Bournemouth to take his tally to six goals, his best seasonal return for the Tigers. Despite this achievement City were unable to renew Hunter’s contract and he left the club in the 1993 close season.
Paul Hunter was born in Kirkcaldy and joined nearby Methil club East Fife as a teenager. He was handed his debut in November 1984 ant the age of 16 and a half and by the end of the 1987 he had represented Scotland’s youth international side in a tournament in Chile and scored over 20 goals for the Fifers. He scored 17 goals in the 1987/88 season and added 31 more in the next two seasons – when he joined Hull City in March 1990 he had scored 64 times in 178 senior appearances and netted East Fife their record transfer fee received.
In the 1993 close season Hunter returned north and signed for Cowdenbeath. After one season, 29 appearances and 7 goals for the Central Park side Paul returned to East Fife where he spent one and a bit seasons, scoring six times in 37 appearances. In late September 1995 he joined Stenhousemuir and spent the next four seasons at the club, initially rediscovering his scoring form before dropping out of the first team in 1998 and hanging up his boots in 1999 – he made 78 appearances for Stenhousemuir and scored 17 times. Hunter fitted burglar alarms as a youngster with East Fife, a job he went back to after football.
During his goalscoring heyday at East Fife Hunter was scouted and recognised by the Scottish national setup. After a youth team cap in 1987 Paul was handed his Scotland under-21 debut in September 1988 at faraway Drammen in Norway. He earned two further under-21 caps in 1989, both against France.
Date/Place of Birth: 30 August 1968, Kirkcaldy
Hull City First Game: 17 March 1990, Swindon Town A (Division Two), 21 years, 199 days old
Hull City Final Game: 30 April 1993, Bolton Wanderers H (League Division 2), 24 years, 243 days old
East Fife (1984-1990), Hull City (1990-1993), Cowdenbeath (1993-1994), East Fife (1994-1995), Stenhousemuir (1995-1999)
Hull City Record
Career: 78 apps, 12 goalsPaul Hunter
|1990/91||6 (12)||2||0 (1)||0||-||-||-||-||0 (1)||0|
|1991/92||11 (4)||0||0 (1)||1||2 (0)||0||-||-||0 (1)||0|
|1992/93||19 (7)||6||1 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0|