One of the sainted four City players to appear for the club in all four divisons, versatile midfielder Ryan France was the least heralded of that quartet but his role for the Tigers in the opening decade of the 21st century should not be under-estimated. He joined City, his first senior club, just shy of his 23rd birthday, by which time he had amassed over 200 appearances for Alfreton Town while studying for a Sport Science degree in Nottingham. He was eased into first team action initially, mainly appearing as substitute, but in his second and third seasons he was a mainstay of the first eleven as the Tigers swept through League 1 and established a foothold in the Championship. A cruciate ligament injury in early 2007 halted his career progress while City went about climbing into the Premier League. It was January 2009 before France made his Premier League bow, starting against Arsenal in a 1-3 reverse at the KC Stadium.
France left the Tigers in the summer of 2009 and spent two seasons at Sheffield United, despite having a trial at rivals Sheffield Wednesday during pre-season training. But his time at Bramall Lane was studded by further knee injuries and he retired in 2011.
France now works in wealth management – I think that savings to you and me – and is still regularly seen at events that attract ex-City players.
Date/Place of Birth: 13 December 1980, Sheffield
Hull City First Game: 27 September 2003, Kidderminster Harriers H (League Division 3), 22 years, 288 days old
Hull City Final Game: 17 March 2009, Arsenal A (FA Cup Sixth Round), 28 years, 94 days old
Alfreton Town (1999-2003), Hull City (2003-2009), Sheffield United (2009-2011)
Hull City Record
Career: 151 apps, 9 goalsRyan France
|2003/04||7 (21)||2||-||-||-||-||-||-||2 (0)||1|
|2004/05||22 (9)||2||1 (1)||1||1 (0)||1||-||-||-||-|
|2005/06||30 (5)||2||1 (0)||0||0 (1)||0||-||-||-||-|
|2006/07||13 (11)||0||1 (1)||0||3 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|
|2007/08||3 (10)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2008/09||1 (1)||0||2 (2)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|