Melton: ‘It is something that can never be taken away’ – News
Twenty years to the day, what is now MKM Stadium first opened its doors when Hull City welcomed Sunderland to the Raich Carter Trophy.
The Tigers defeated the Black Cats 1-0, with Steve Melton scoring the only goal of the stadium’s opening game with a commanding finish.
“It was a pretty decent move from memory,” Melton said. “I remember playing a little pass inside and doing your standard third man midfield run that you do a few times in a game and hopefully you get pushed through and I made that time.
“To be honest I wasn’t sure I was on the side right away so I was a bit muted and maybe waited for the flag to stay down after I pocketed it. I think ‘Greeny’ (Stuart Green) played it in Stuart Elliott who touched it around the corner and I had quite a bit of time to maybe tuck it under the keeper when he came out. I probably hesitated a bit and it got to the point where I was like, ‘Right, I have to show him around here.’
“It was one of those moments where the stadium just exploded,” added Melton. “I thought it counted and once you realized it did for the next 30 seconds it was like a cup final goal. It was celebrated pretty well and all my teammates were there right away so it was a good thing.”
Melton was one of many signings made by Peter Taylor following his appointment as manager. He originally came on loan before moving permanently from Brighton & Hove Albion.
The now 44-year-old focused on preparation for the Raich Carter Trophy and spoke about the anticipation of the stadium opening and the passion the black and yellow army had during his time at the club.
“I remember the night was freezing, much like it is now!” joked Melton. “We took a bus from Boothferry Park, parked our cars there and our fan base got on a bus behind us and there was a lot of fanfare leading up to the game. During training the week before, we all made sure that we were all available for the game.
“The stadium was everything we had hoped it would be. We were in the empty stadium before and looked around in the dressing rooms and out on the pitch and stuff like that.
“The Fine Young Cannibals performed before the game and there was other entertainment, but once the crowd got there you could feel the anticipation like the whole town had been waiting forever.
“The fans were really passionate, home and away,” explained Melton. “They were unsuccessful and you could see the long-awaited anticipation for the club to start. Building the stadium and moving into the stadium has been one of the most important platforms for the club to grow and get back to where it belongs.”
The Lincoln-born midfielder played 33 games for the Tigers. Despite not scoring a competitive goal for the club, Melton wrote his name on both club and stadium records when he scored the first goal at MKM Stadium.
“It’s one of those things that nobody can take from you. It was great to win the game as the opening spectacle of the stadium opening but to be remembered for it is great and something that can never be taken away from you.”