2008 Football League Championship play-off Final
|Date||24 May 2008|
|Venue||Wembley Stadium, London|
|Man of the Match||Dean Windass|
The 2008 Football League Championship play-off Final was contested between Bristol City and Hull City. The match was won by Hull City through a 38th-minute goal from Dean Windass. The victory meant that this was the first time in the history of Hull City that they would be competing in the top flight of English Football. The match took place on 24 May 2008 in Wembley Stadium, London.
Route to the final
||Promotion or relegation|
|1||West Bromwich Albion (C) (P)||46||23||12||11||88||55||+33||81||Promotion to Premier League|
|2||Stoke City (P)||46||21||16||9||69||55||+14||79|
|3||Hull City||46||21||12||13||65||47||+18||75||Qualification for League Championship playoffs|
Updated to games played on 4 May 2008.
Source: The Football League
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.
In the regular season of the 2007–08 Championship, the top 2 teams won promotion to the 2008–09 Premier League automatically. West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City were the top 2, with West Brom promoted as division champions. The 4 teams placed immediately below the top 2 qualified for the play-offs to determine the final promotion place.
Hull City finished 3rd in the Championship, the highest of the teams in the play-offs. It was possible for them to get promoted on the final day of the regular season, but lost to Ipswich Town. Despite a final day loss, they were one of the in-form sides going into the play-offs. They faced Watford in the play-off semi-finals. Watford finished 6th, the lowest of all the play-off positions. Hull beat Watford 2–0 away in the first leg, and also won the second leg at home, by a 4–1 scoreline.
Bristol City finished 4th in the Championship. They had a strong season, staying in the top 6 from the start of September until the end of the season. Having been promoted to the Championship from League One in 2006–07, they were attempting to become the first team to win successive promotions from the 3rd to 1st tiers since Watford in 1998–99. They faced Crystal Palace in the play-off semi-finals, who finished 5th. Bristol City won the first leg 2–1. Crystal Palace led the second leg 1–0 after the regulation 90 minutes to level the aggregate scores and force the tie into extra time. Bristol City scored twice in the extra time period to progress 4–2 on aggregate.
|Crystal Palace||1–2||Bristol City|
|Watson 87' (pen.)||(Report)||Carey 53'
|Bristol City||2–1 (a.e.t.)||Crystal Palace|
The match was a largely even affair, with Hull-born Dean Windass scoring the only goal at the first half. Towards the end of the game, Bristol City put Hull under a lot of attacking pressure, and Hull City needed Michael Turner to clear Lee Trundle's effort off the line with 5 minutes to go to keep their lead. Hull City held on to win a place in the top flight of English football for the first time in their 104-year history.
|Bristol City||0–1||Hull City|
|Bristol City||Hull City|
|Shots on target||13||4|
Hull City manager Phil Brown said "It is very fitting that Dean Windass got the winning goal, I think it was written in the Gods that it would be Dean Windass or Nicky Barmby who would get the winner today.". Goalscorer Windass said that "It feels unbelievable. I don't think there is anyone left in Hull today looking at how many supporters we've got here." Hull City chairman Paul Duffen said "This is fantastic, I think it's amazing. It is something which means a lot to the city of Hull."
Bristol City manager Gary Johnson congratulated Hull, and said that Bristol City would "Bounce back" in the following years. Bristol City chairman Steve Lansdown said that "It's been a great day out for Bristol City football club – it doesn't feel like it at the moment but the future's there and I think we've shown over the last few weeks what this football club can achieve."
- "Final 2007/2008 Football League Championship Table". Soccerbase. Racing Post. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
- McKenzie, Andrew (11 May 2008). "Watford 0–2 Hull". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 5 June 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
- McNulty, Phil (14 May 2008). "Hull 4–1 Watford (agg 6–1)". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 31 March 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
- Hughes, Ian (10 May 2008). "Crystal Palace 1–2 Bristol City". BBC Sport. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
- Harlow, Phil (13 May 2008). "Bristol C 2–1 C Palace (agg 4–2)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
- "Hull head for Premier League". ESPN Soccernet. 24 May 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2012.