With a decade of life-changing significance for Hull City coming to an end, here are the ten most important figures to have pulled on the shirt in these ten astonishing years. All are vital figures, though the list is very much in order of most vital first.
1 - Ian Ashbee
The greatest skipper, the greatest leader. Implicitly trusted by all the managers he played for, there has been much to appreciate from a player who joined on a free transfer from Cambridge United in 2002. His game involves simple passing, tenacious tackling and a stunning will to win that inspires, cajoles and frightens better players but lesser people into giving their all alongside him. And when he is out injured, such as right now, he is missed beyond all comprehension.
2 - Michael Turner
Simply the most talented player in City's history. His brand of defending was based on solidity, bravery, positional acumen and a general brilliance that often made him stand entirely alone in defying scavenging centre forwards, especially in the play-off winning season of 2008. Sold in dubious circumstances for far too little money and will be mourned and missed forever - or until City buy him back.
3 - Boaz Myhill
Some bemoan him to this day, yet Myhill has been far more crucial than sometimes given credit for. Signed as a talented Aston Villa reserve, he has made the rise from division to division more effortless than anyone else and, the odd howler and bad kicking aside, remains as good a goalkeeper as City could ever wish to have.
4 - Andy Dawson
He struggles a little right now, but for consistency, decency and ability there is little to fault about City's long serving left back. Like Ashbee, he made the rise through the divisions look easier than initially anticipated and still earns extra brownie points for his wizard free kicks and the fact that he let his contract run out at Scunthorpe so he could join us.
5 - Justin Whittle
From inspiring the Great Escape under Warren Joyce to leading a hard-as-nails defence to unlikely play-off glory while gates were being slammed shut around him, Whittle remains an icon of harder and more austere times and it is notable that the club has realised how much he still means to the fans by getting him involved with the club's latest publication and giving him a programme column. An example of footballing pride, honesty and raw passion, and Peter Taylor probably regrets letting him go so soon.
6 - Dean Windass
Scored the goal that prevented relegation from the Championship, then a year later scored the Wembley goal that ensured promotion from it. And all while fulfilling the most far-fetched of fairytales by returning to his hometown club in the twilight of his career and doing exactly what a century's worth of players had been unable to achieve before him. The brevity of his return and the unseemly nature of his exit prevents him, perhaps cruelly, from being higher in the table.
7 - Stuart Elliott
A complex and unorthodox figure but a fine footballer who scored bucketloads of goals without ever playing as a centre forward and just adored the club and the city. Phil Brown struggled to understand him and let him go, but only after half a dozen spectacular years and some of the finest scoring sequences ever seen at the club.
8 - Leon Cort
Won every header he needed to win, was as prolific a goalscorer as any defender could be and fetched a million quid in profit after just two years. Also never booked and never in bother.
9 - Nick Barmby
Never as amazing in a Tigers strip as the national media would have you believe, but always committed, influential and impossible to fault when he gets it right. As crucial a peripheral figure now as it possible to be, having arrived at the club in the third tier in circumstances that seemed implausible, promptly lording it over the rest of the division.
10 - Fraizer Campbell
Now not especially liked following his cat-and-mouse nonsense in the summer, and then his gesture to the Tiger Nation during this season's game at Sunderland, but in that promotion season when he came to us on loan, he was dynamite. Quick, strong, confident and a sublime finisher whether he was shooting from distance or poaching at close range. Given his struggles in the Premier League elsewhere, perhaps it's best we remember him this way.
Happy new year.