Striker Christian Hargreaves joined the Tigers in July 1993 for a £50,000 fee. He made his debut for City in October 1993, played 18 consecutive games and scored his first goal during November in a rearranged Cup tie against Runcorn. So far so good. However that Runcorn goal proved to be his only strike for the Tigers across two seasons of senior football, poor returns for a forward. The longer the subsequent drought went on, the more Hargreaves tried desperately to reverse it and the worse his form became. Hargreaves was used less regularly by Terry Dolan in his second season, which of course reduced Chris’s opportunities to score further, and he left the club in the 1995 close season.
Hargreaves was born and educated in Cleethorpes, amid the South Humberside barrios, and after a teenage spell with Everton he returned home at 16 and joined Grimsby Town. He made his Mariners’ debut in August 1989 at the age of 17 and in four seasons he played a first team support role, making 67 appearances (45 as a sub) and scoring 8 goals. He had drifted out of first team contention in 1992/93 season, and was loaned out to Scarborough,where he made 3 senior appearances, prior to his move to Boothferry Park.
In July 1995 Hargreaves made a slightly unexpected move to West Bromwich Albion, who were a First Division side (second tier of the Football League) managed by ex-Grimsby boss Alan Buckley. Playing alongside ex-Tiger players Richard Sneekes and Tony Brien, plus future City manager Mike Phelan, Hargreaves was unable to make his mark at The Hawthorns and had a successful three month loan spell at Hereford United. He moved permanently to Hereford for the 1996/97 season where he was a first team regular for two seasons, though the Bulls were relegated to the Conference at the end of 1996/97 season, by which time he had scored six goals in 68 senior appearances. He stayed at Edgar Street for a season in the Conference before switching to Plymouth Argyle in July 1998. He was a first team regular for two seasons at Home Park, scoring seven times in 92 appearances, before joining Northampton Town in 2000.
It was here in the Home Counties that Hargreaves reinvented himself as a solid central midfield organiser and in four seasons he amassed 176 senior appearances and 11 goals for the Cobblers. He spent the 2004/05 season at Brentford, scoring three goals in 39 appearances, then joined Oxford United in the 2005 close season. At Oxford Hargeaves suffered his second relegation to the Conference, making 39 senior appearances and scoring once before staying on for one more season.
In the summer of 2007 Hargreaves joined fellow Conference side Torquay United, and in May 2009 he captained the Gulls in the Conference National play-off final, scoring the first goal in a 2-0 victory over Cambridge United. Returned to the Football League, Hargreaves made 23 appearances for Torquay in the 2009/10 season before returning to the Conference with Oxford United in January 2010 and helping the The U’s to promotion that May. That neatly bookended his playing career, adding two promotions from Conference to Football League to his two earlier relegations from Football League to Conference.
Hargreaves began coaching after his playing career ended in 2010, joining the coaching staff at Bournemouth in 2012. In January 2014 he was appointed manager at Torquay United where he added a third career relegation to the Conference and left in June 2015. In 2016 he returned to coaching at Bristol Rovers, taking the Academy Manager role in 2019. He also worked as a lower league pundit for BT Sports. In May 2022 he returned to the managerial hotseat, taking over the reins at Conference National side Yeovil Town but was dismissed at the end of October 2022 after a run of poor form.
Hargreaves wrote an entertaining biography called “Where’s Your Caravan?”, a chant he regularly heard from opposition fans on account of his luscious lengthy locks. It’s a good read, try it.
Date/Place of Birth: 12 May 1972, Cleethorpes
Hull City First Game: 16 October 1993, Fulham H (League Division 2), 21 years, 157 days old
Hull City Final Game: 6 May 1995, Blackpool A (League Division 2), 22 years, 359 days old
Grimsby Town (1988-1993), Scarborough (1993, loan), Hull City (1993-1995), West Bromwich Albion (1995-1996), Hereford United (1996, loan), Hereford United (1996-1998), Plymouth Argyle (1998-2000), Northampton Town (2000-2004), Brentford (2004-2005), Oxford United (2005-2007), Torquay United (2007-2010), Oxford United (2010)
Hull City Record
Career: 57 apps, 1 goalsChris Hargreaves
|1993/94||21 (7)||0||2 (0)||1||-||-||-||-||1 (1)||0|
|1994/95||13 (8)||0||0 (1)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||2 (0)||0|