Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
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Leeds City F.C. History
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Hulse: Robert William (Rob)

2005-2006 (Leeds Player Details)(Player Details)


Born: Crewe: 25-10-1979

Debut: Reading (h): 12-02-2005

6’1” 12st 4lb (2006)

Hulse began his career at his home town club of Crewe Alexandra, having been part of the club's youth system since he was nine years old. Unfortunately, a sudden spurt in height during his late teens left him with a serious back injury and was sidelined for around twelve months. When he returned to fitness, he was given a two month loan to then Unibond League side Hyde United. He made his debut on 16th October 1999 at home to Blyth Spartans, a game which Hyde won 5-2, with Hulse getting on the score sheet in the sixty-ninth minute. He followed this up a week later with two goals as Hyde lost 2-3 at home to Emley, but then came the game that earned him his place in Hyde United folklore. He'll forever be remembered for his hat trick at Blyth Spartans as Hyde came back from 3-0 down to win 4-3, in his stay he scored nine goals in eleven appearances during the 1999-2000 season and was instrumental in the club gaining a second place finish. His final game for Hyde was on 15th January 2000 at Hednesford Town in a 1-1 draw in the F.A. Trophy. The successful loan spell led to Hulse's first team debut for Crewe, in their 1-0 win over Norwich City on 4th March 2000. There were three more appearances that season, against Port Vale, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Barnsley. It took him those further three appearances to score his first goal for the club, which duly arrived in the 2-0 away win over Barnsley on 7th May 2000. He quickly became a fans' favourite at Crewe, thanks to his high work-rate and finishing the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons as the club's top goal-scorer with eleven and twelve goals respectively. The club were relegated at the end of the 2001-02 season, sadly for the Railwaymen they were doomed on the last day of the season, when Sheffield Wednesday claimed a point from a 2-2 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers meaning that Crewe went down instead of the Owls despite a 2-0 victory over Rotherham United. Hulse, along with Dean Ashton and Rodney Jack, proved to be a force few Division Two defences could handle in 2002-03. He finished as the club's top goal-scorer for the third season in succession, scoring twenty-seven goals. Hulse also scored his first professional hat-trick in a Football League Trophy (LDV Vans) game at Mansfield Town on 22nd October 2002. The club won promotion at the first attempt, with eighty-six points, which was enough to go up in second place, with Wigan Athletic fourteen points clear in first place. His performances during the season earned him the club's “Player of the Year” award as well as making the PFA Division Two Team of the Year. Despite Crewe's promotion back to Division One, Hulse rejected a new contract at Crewe and manager Dario Gradi decided to sell him instead of letting him go on a Bosman. He had scored fifty-one goals in one hundred and thirty-one appearances, twenty-one as a substitute, in all games while at Gresty Road. There were forty-five League goals in ninety-seven starts and nineteen from the bench, no goals in five starts and one game from the bench in the F.A. Cup, two goals in six starts and one substitute appearance in the League Cup, and four goals in two starts in other games. A whole host of clubs were interested in him. Fellow promoted club, Cardiff City, were close to signing him for a fee believed to be in a region of £750,000, but the striker rejected the Blue Birds overtures. It was West Bromwich Albion that would secure the signing of the young striker for a fee of £750,000 on 11th July 2003. Hulse made his debut for the Baggies in their 4-1 defeat at Walsall on 9th August 2003, in the new season's opening fixture, but scored his first goal for the club in the 4-0 home win over Brentford in the League Cup just three days later. He played a key role in the club's promotion challenge prior to having a stomach injury during the Christmas period. After recovering from this injury, he made a further nineteen appearances but only managed a single goal in that time. Despite his influential role in the previous year's promotion campaign, his second in two seasons, Hulse was given little chance to prove himself in the top flight, this was because of the summer signings of Robert Earnshaw, Geoff Horsfield and Nwankwo Kanu. Hulse played seven games for the Baggies during the 2004-05 season, scoring no goals in any of the games. He was obviously way down the pecking order at the Hawthorns, so Hulse decided to join Leeds on 4th February 2005, on loan for the final three months of the 2004-05 campaign in favour of a £1.2 million switch to Stoke City. He scored thirteen goals in forty-six games at the Hawthorns, comprised of ten goals in twenty-nine starts and nine games as a substitute in the League and three goals in five starts and one game from the bench in the League Cup, while failing to find the net in a start and a substitute appearance in the F.A. Cup. His debut for Leeds was spectacular, scoring two individual goals struck from outside the box against the high-flying Reading. The success of the loan spell led to a £1.1m transfer to Leeds. On 28th September 2005 Leeds beat Derby County 3-1 at Elland Road with Hulse scoring a hat-trick. After this success came a goal drought and failed to find the net between 21st October 2005, in a 1-1 draw with Sheffield United, and 31st December 2005, a total of thirteen games, until he netted in a 3-0 win at Plymouth Argyle on the 2nd January in the New Year. Thankfully for United they could rely on Robbie Blake, David Healy and Richard Cresswell with Hulse failing to score. They did enough to reach the Play-Offs, Hulse netting in the second leg in a 2-0 win at Deepdale against Preston North End, having drawn the Elland Road tie, 1-1. The final was a disaster, losing 3-0 to Watford at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. Hulse scored twenty goals in fifty-nine games. He was the club's top scorer with fourteen goals in the 2005-06 season, despite being in competition with several forwards including Robbie Blake, David Healy and Richard Cresswell for a place in the side as well as playing with an ankle injury during the start of the season. With Leeds failing to gain promotion to the EPL, Hulse's ambition led him elsewhere and on 26th July 2006, With such a long list of strikers on their books and the urgency to cut costs with no Premiership parachute payment, Leeds had no choice but to sell Hulse to rivals Sheffield United along with keeper Ian Bennett, whom joined on a free transfer. Leeds accepted a bid of £2.2 million from the Blades, who beat Norwich City to Hulse's signature and a three year contract. The contract was such that if all criteria were met it could rise to as much as £3 million. Hulse scored on his debut for the Blades against the high flying Liverpool on 19th August 2006. It was the first goal of the 2006-07 EPL season. Unfortunately for Hulse and the Blades, Liverpool managed to equalise through a Robbie Fowler penalty. With goals against Reading, Middlesbrough, Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic, Hulse was the Blades' leading goal-scorer by December 2006. He scored his eighth goal of the season at home to Everton on 3rd March 2007. But misfortune struck on 17th March 2007 at Stamford Bridge, when Hulse and Chelsea’s goalkeeper Petr Cech challenged for the ball as Keith Gillespie got in a low cross and as the keeper raced out to smother his centre there was a collision between the two, in which Hulse's ankle appeared to snap beneath him. It was later confirmed that Hulse had fractured his left leg in two places and he underwent surgery. His season over, he still finished up as United's top scorer in the EPL with eight League goals. Hulse returned to the squad in December 2007 after nine months out, but despite making twenty-four appearances he failed to score a goal. In June 2008 Derby County showed interest in signing Hulse and he eventually left Bramall Lane on 21st July 2008 for £1.75 million on a three year contract. In his time with the Blades he scored eight League goals in thirty-eight starts and twelve games from the bench and also made three substitute apearances in the F.A. Cup. He made his Derby County debut on 9th August 2008 at home to Doncaster Rovers and scored his first goal for the Rams on 13th September 2008 against his former club at Pride Park. His form picked up in October when he netted four times in five games. He finished the season as the club's leading goalscorer and won both the club supporters and the players "Player of the Year" award. In the 2009-10 his early season was disrupted by injury and he did not score his first goal until 15th September 2009 but quickly notched his one hundredth League goal against Sheffield Wednesday on 3rd October 2009. His run of good form was brought to a halt when a mixture of injuries and loss of form saw the goals dry up. He was, however still very much in demand and Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burnley and Stoke City all had offers turned down in the January transfer window. He returned to the Derby starting line-up and soon hit the form that made him the club's leading goalscorer with twelve goals, which would have been more had he not been out from injury which required surgery. After the end of the season, now in the lastseason of his contract, Derby received enquiries from Burnley and Queens Park Rangers, as well as his old club, Leeds United, but Derby resisted the temptation to cash in. However, on 31st August 2010 they accepted the inevitable and he signed for Queens Park Rangers. He had scored twenty-eight League goals in seventy-three starts and nine games from the bench, scored three goals in the F.A. Cup from six starts and one game as a substitute and failed to find the net in five starts and two games from the bench in the League Cup. After featuring in Rangers promotion to the EPL as champions of the Championship, he was overlooked by Manager Neil warnock for EPL duty and it was not until the advent of Mark Hughes that he was restored to the squad. He had scored twice in twenty-three League games, ten of which had been from the bench and had made one start and one substitute appearance in the F.A. Cup without scoring.

League 45/718
F.A. Cup 21
League Cup 1/10
Play-Off Finals 31