In 1926, they became the first English team to win three successive league titles – a feat which only three other clubs have been able to match. On 2 February 2005, the name of the club was changed from Huddersfield Town Association Football Club to Huddersfield Town Football Club.
Nicknamed The Terriers, their mascot is Terry the Terrier. The club traditionally plays in a blue and white vertically striped shirt with white shorts. Its main rivals are Leeds United and Bradford City, and lesser rivalries exist with Barnsley, Oldham Athletic, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday. The club has developed a reputation as having a strong academy, a notion backed up by the present squad which contains a number of academy products.
The side plays its home games at the Galpharm Stadium, a ground shared with rugby league side Huddersfield Giants. The ground was originally named The Alfred McAlpine Stadium (after the construction company involved in its creation) due to a 10-year sponsorship agreement.
Their chairman is Ken Davy, who also holds the same position for Huddersfield Giants. This dual role, and unclear financial arrangements between the clubs, is a source of discontent amongst some sections of the support. On 10 April 2008, it was announced that Davy was to step down as chairman after completing a deal with local businessman Dean Hoyle, who will take over at the end of the 2008–09 season.
Huddersfield entered the Football League in 1910. In November 1919 a fund-raising campaign was needed to stave off a move to Leeds! Citizens of Huddersfield were asked to buy shares in the club of £1 each, and the club staved off the proposed merger. Remarkably, the team went on to reach the 1920 FA Cup Final and win promotion to Division One.
Town subsequently won the First Division Championship for three consecutive years 1923–24, 1924–25, and 1925–26. Herbert Chapman led them to the first two titles and then left to take over at Arsenal. Cecil Potter then took charge, to guide Huddersfield Town to their third consecutive First Division Championship. They were the first club to achieve this success. After being losing finalists against Aston Villa, they won the FA Cup 1–0 against Preston North End on 29 April 1922 at Stamford Bridge. They also won the Charity Shield in 1922.
But, despite Beattie's efforts to save the club from the drop, he had come too late. Huddersfield were relegated to Division Two for the first time in their history. Beattie, though, then one of the youngest managers in the Football League, and who had now nailed two lucky horseshoes to his office wall, was already planning ahead. During the summer months he was to make three crucial signings. Full-back Ron Staniforth and utility player Tommy Cavanagh followed him across the Pennines from Stockport County, whilst inside forward Jimmy Watson came down from Motherwell to pep up the attack.
Under Andy Beattie, Huddersfield Town took Division Two by the scruff of the neck – and shook it. During the 1952–53 season Town and Sheffield United left the rest behind with United eventually pipping Town for the title by two points as both Yorkshire clubs gained promotion. Along the way Huddersfield had also recorded an 8–2 thrashing of Everton, a 6–0 beating of Barnsley, and 5–0 wins over Lincoln City and Southampton. Incredibly the entire defence of Jack Wheeler, Ron Staniforth, Laurie Kelly, Bill McGarry, Don McEvoy and Len Quested played in every fixture, as did winger Vic Metcalfe. For good measure 30 goal top scoring centre forward Jimmy Glazzard missed only one match as Town gained an immediate return to the top flight.
Back in Division One, Beattie’s team then continued the charge despite being wracked by injury, and eventually finished in a very creditable third place. They were just two points behind runners-up West Bromwich Albion and six behind champions Wolverhampton Wanderers. This remains Huddersfield’s highest finish in the Football League since World War Two, yet a decline was soon to set in. The 1954–55 season saw them slip down to 12th spot, despite a run to the FA Cup quarter-finals, and Beattie offered to resign that August only to be persuaded to stay on.
Huddersfield struggled in vain to avoid the drop, in a season that saw the emergence of future England full-back Ray Wilson, and they succumbed to the inevitable ironically with Sheffield United, the side with whom they had been promoted three years before. Beattie resigned in November 1956 as he felt he had taken the team as far as he could.
Bill Shankly was thus left in charge as Beattie sought out a new career as a sub-postmaster at Penwortham, Preston. During his first full season in charge, Shankly oversaw Huddersfield become the first and still only team to score six goals in a match and be on the losing side. That match took place on 21 December 1957 against Charlton Athletic at The Valley in Division 2. What was even more amazing was the fact that with 30 minutes remaining, Town were leading 5–1 and their opponents were down to 10 men because one of their players had a shoulder injury and substitutes didn't exist back then, but Charlton managed to lead 6–5 before Town levelled through an own goal by John Hewie, before John Ryan scored his second goal of the game to give Charlton a 7–6 win, after five goals from Johnny Summers.
Floodlights were installed in 1961, financed by the £55,000 transfer of Denis Law to Manchester City. They became known as the "Denis Law Lights". Two of them collapsed in a heavy gale, a year later and they were all replaced.
A fast decline during the early to mid 1970s, however, saw Huddersfield slip into the Fourth Division in 1975 - the first League champions to do so. (Others since then include Portsmouth, Sheffield United, Preston North End, Burnley and Wolverhampton Wanderers.)
A recovery under Mick Buxton (hired in 1978) saw Town get promoted from Division 4 in 1980 and from Division 3 in 1983. But after his sacking just before Christmas 1986, Town wnet into decline under Steve Smith and then Malcolm Macdonald, which culminated in relegation in 1988 During that season, on 7 November 1987, they were on the receiving end of a 10–1 defeat at Manchester City at Maine Road - a result which portended their relegation back to the Third Division that season.
Former Eire manager Eoin Hand was handed the task of restoring the side to the second tier. Despite the prolific form of striker Craig Maskell, Town failed to achieve a Play-Off berth in any of Hand's seasons in charge and he departed the club in 1992. His replacement Ian Ross did better and, through the creative midfield partnership of Chris Marsden and loan signing Peter Butler and the goalscoring abilities of Iwan Roberts, steered the Terriers to a 3rd place finish and a Play-Off meeting with 6th-placed Peterborough United, a tie Town were heavily favoured to win. Unfortunately for Town, the influential Butler widely credited with sparking Town's strong finish to the season, was ineligible to take part in the matches. Despite this setback, a 2–2 draw at London Road and an early goal at a packed Leeds Road put the Terriers within touching distance of Wembley. However, the players' anxiety clearly increased and The Posh struck twice in the second half to leave Town's hopes in shatters. The devastating defeat affected the form of the side into the next season and it was only the late-season appointment of popular former boss Mick Buxton as Ross' assistant that kick-started the season.
Neil Warnock took over for the 1993–94 season, replacing Ross after the Terriers had made a remarkable escape from relegation to the basement division. He immediately secured the services of Reading 'keeper Steve Francis for the then substantial sum of £150,000. Despite this outlay and a radical overhaul of the squad that saw the departures of fan favourites such as Chris Marsden and Iwan Roberts, the Terriers struggled for much of the season. In late 1993, Town paid Exeter City £70,000 for Ronnie Jepson who acquired the sobriquet Rocket Ronnie. Jepson initially failed to maintain the prolific form that earned him the move north.
However, a successful run in the Autoglass Trophy and a narrow aggregate victory over Carlisle United in the Northern Final earned a trip to Wembley to face Southern Section winners Swansea City. It would be Huddersfield's first Wembley appearance since 1938's FA Cup final defeat to Preston North End. The upcoming Wembley appearance boosted the Terriers' morale and young striker Andy Booth and some memorable performances from another fan favourite Phil Starbuck steered the club well clear of relegation with a strong finish to the league campaign. This came despite the team's 3–1 defeat on penalties to Swansea after a 1–1 draw in front of 27,000 Town fans.
In August 1994, the Terriers opened their new home with a 0–1 defeat to Martin O'Neill's recently promoted Wycombe Wanderers. However, things were soon to get much better for Warnock's team, Jepson and Booth amassing 53 goals between them in League and cup. Town soon reached the top of the league, where they would battle with Birmingham City and Brentford for the one automatic spot that season. But with Starbuck unable to find his form, the festive period saw a downturn in their fortunes. Starbuck had played his last game for the club and would move on loan to Sheffield United, later making his move permanent. Despite a substantial outlay on the Bradford City Lees (Sinnott and Duxbury) with Graham Mitchell going in the other direction, the first warning signs came with some poor results over the festive season, including defeats at Wycombe and Hull City. The Terriers challenge started to fade around Easter with solitary points gained in Yorkshire derbies against Hull City and Rotherham United and a defeat in a match played in farcical conditions at Shrewsbury Town signalled the end of Town's automatic hopes. Warnock's men limped over the finish line in 5th place (one of their lowest positions in months) and signed off with a home defeat by newly-crowned champions Birmingham.
Warnock managed to inspire the side to their early season levels of performance in two thrilling Play-Off ties with Brentford and they progressed to the final with Bristol Rovers after triumphing in a penalty shoot-out at Griffin Park, both legs having finished 1–1. Promotion to Division One was secured after a 2–1 victory over Bristol Rovers at Wembley Stadium, the winner coming 9 minutes from time scored by local boy, the much-derided winger Chris Billy. Despite this success within a week it was announced that Warnock was to step down to accept the vacant position at relegated Plymouth Argyle in the 3rd Division but most Town fans will remember Warnock as one of the finest managers in the club's recent history. He was replaced by former Oxford United and Manchester City manager Brian Horton.
Following such an outlay, much was expected of the Terriers in the 1996–97 season but, despite a bright start from Stewart, Horton was unable to improve on the team's consistently poor away form that had ended the side's playoff bid the previous year. Long-term injuries to Stewart and Morrison did little to help things and, with the previously strong home form becoming increasingly patchy, the Terriers struggled at the wrong end of the table. It was perhaps the least celebrated summer signing Payton who notched an impressive tally of 20 goals and helped staved off the threat of relegation as the side scrambled to 20th.
At the turn of the year, with the side suffering a blip in form, manager Bruce accepted the BBC's offer to cover previous club Manchester United's involvement in the much-derided FIFA Club World Championship in Brazil. With Town's form suffering, his popularity with the club's supporters plummeted. In addition to this, promotion rivals Ipswich bid for leading scorer Marcus Stewart. To the astonishment of everyone, the club accepted and Stewart condemned his old side to defeat in their meeting at Portman Road a few weeks later. Stewart's replacement, the capable but injury-prone Martin Smith signed from Sheffield United and, though he proved a more-than-useful replacement, the malaise around the club had set in, his striker partner Wijnhard had become a profligate shadow of his early season self and the Terriers collapsed, missing the Play-Offs altogether after a final-day 0–3 hammering at Fulham. Despite missing out on automatic promotion, Ipswich gained promotion through the Play-Offs with Terriers old boy Stewart playing a critical role with his goals in the Play-Off games.
However, Town's old manager Warnock (now of Sheffield United) snapped Ndlovu up before a permanent deal could be agreed. Despite this major setback, Macari turned the side into a rugged, disciplined outfit and, aided by the best efforts of emerging talent Delroy Facey and the return of fan favourite Andy Booth after an injury-ravaged spell at Sheffield Wednesday, Town put themselves in with an excellent chance of survival with only two games of the season to play. However, a sudden and unexpected last week rally from both Crystal Palace and Portsmouth, and a return of just 1 point from the final two games against Wimbledon and Birmingham City, saw the Terriers relegated to Division 2.
Macari's contract was not renewed that summer. His successor was Mick Wadsworth, a manager whose last notable success was with Carlisle United some eight years earlier. The justification for the appointment was that Wadsworth was a more progressive manager than the defensive-minded Macari and was recommended by highly-respected Bobby Robson. Wadsworth attempted to play a neat passing game with a flexible 4–3–3 formation but his lone striker system failed to offer any real threat to opposition defences and, allied to a leaky defence and a lightweight midfield, Town were again in real trouble. With the club sinking into administration and unable to pay its players, Wadsworth was sacked in March as Huddersfield floundered near the foot of Division Two. Interim manager Mel Machin, despite the best efforts of Martin Smith (17 goals) and a slight improvement from one of the least memorable Huddersfield Town sides of recent years, was unable to save Huddersfield from the drop into Division Three so in 2003, the Club was relegated to the basement division for only the second time in their history and for the first time in more than 20 years.
The Play-off semi-final saw Town escape two bruising encounters with Lincoln City with goals from Danny Schofield and Rob Edwards staving off a spirited Lincoln fightback in the second leg. In the final Town rode their luck against a Mansfield Town side who had hit three in each league meeting of the sides. Just before the end of normal time the Stags netted but the linesman controversially ruled that the initiating cross had gone out over the by-line. A penalty shoot-out saw Town home and out of Division Three at the first attempt, securing their place in the newly-named Coca-Cola League One.
Beckett's goals halted the slide and injected Jackson's young side with the confidence that led them to a formidable late run of form (9 wins and 1 draw from 10 matches) that saw them miss out on the final Play-Off spot by a single point, despite Beckett departing to join local rivals Oldham Athletic before the transfer deadline. During the season, many graduates from Town's own academy started to cement first-team places, such as Andy Holdsworth, David Mirfin, Nathan Clarke, Tom Clarke, Adnan Ahmed and Michael Collins.
Before the start of the season 2005–06, the club launched the controversial 'Young Guns' campaign. The players, manager Peter Jackson, assistant manager Terry Yorath, and coach Martyn Booty posed for the 2006 calendar in cowboy outfits. Six of the younger players featured on the cover of the corporate hospitality brochure. Basing the cover around the 'Young Guns' theme was widely considered to be a mistake and caused the booklet to be adversely linked with the Brokeback Mountain film.
Despite losing to Nottingham Forest on the opening day of the season, Huddersfield started the 2005–06 season brightly and were top of the table by mid-October. During the season they got the chance to show their pedigree by playing at Blackburn Rovers in the Carling Cup, which they lost 3–1.
Then they had a big money-spinning FA Cup match at Chelsea in January. They showed superb spirit to only lose 2–1, but many predicted it could be the turning point in Town's season, as they hadn't won a game since being drawn against them, a month earlier.
With the season heading towards its climax, Town had to prepare for the play-offs after a disappointing April, which saw them lose out on automatic promotion to the Championship. The goals of Paweł Abbott, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Andy Booth, Danny Schofield and Sheffield Wednesday loan signing David Graham helped Town to have the joint-second best scoring record in the division behind Swansea City.
Huddersfield beat Barnsley 1–0 at Barnsley in the play-off semi-final first leg but lost 1–3 (2–3 on aggregate) in the return.
The team made a sound start, with an encouraging home draw with much fancied Nottingham Forest, and they peaked at 5th on 21 October 2006. Some of the results in that period flattered the performances and the wheels came off in the next game with a 3–0 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion.
Despite an offer of cash from the Board, Peter Jackson declined to take any players on loan and the team spiralled downwards. Elimination, at home, in the first round of all three cup competitions did nothing to lift the gloom and on 5 January, in the televised encounter at Yeovil Town, the team played perhaps the worst 45 minutes of football in recent seasons to go 3–0 down at half-time (the game finished 3–1).
Around the January transfer window, Paweł Abbott and Danny Adams left, with Jackson indicating that Martin McIntosh and Mark Hudson would not play for the Club again, while Andy Taylor joined from Blackburn Rovers on loan until 5 April 2007, and Frank Sinclair joined from Burnley for the rest of the season. Also signed on a loan deal, on 23 February, was Barnsley striker Paul Hayes who played four games before his return.
A 5–1 thrashing at Nottingham Forest, on 3 March, led directly to the departure of Peter Jackson on 6 March 2007, according to a Board statement, "due to our form and the inability to attract key players".
Academy Director Gerry Murphy was appointed caretaker manager, one of whose first acts was to bring Martin McIntosh and Mark Hudson back into the reckoning, and Huddersfield went unbeaten in the first five games with Murphy in charge until they lost 2–0 at home to Blackpool on 9 April 2007, his last game as manager.
On 4 April 2007, a press conference was scheduled to announce the appointment of Charlton Athletic's assistant manager Phil Parkinson as the new manager. However he telephoned the Club, just over an hour before the press conference was due to begin, to reveal that he was staying with Charlton Athletic. Andy Ritchie was then appointed Huddersfield Town manager on 11 April 2007 on a two year contract.
On April 17, it was announced that Huddersfield Town's sponsors, Yorkshire Building Society and kit suppliers Admiral would be replaced. The new kit supplier was Huddersfield based Mitre and the new sponsors were Gibraltar based gambling outfit CasinoRed.com, who were given a contract for 12 months with an option to extend for a further two years.
On May 5, it was announced that six of Town's second-year scholars were offered professional contracts. They were Joe Skarz (who had already signed his), Luke Malcher, Simon Eastwood, James Berrett, Mitchell Bailey, and Lucas Akins, who had already been offered a new professional contract. Fellow youngster Alex Hallam was released.
Ritchie was in charge for the final four matches of the season with the team collecting seven points out of 12. The team finished the season in 15th position with 49 points, 16 points below the play-off places but 12 points above the relegation positions.
Manager Andy Ritchie departed on 1 April, by 'mutual consent', following the embarrassing 4–1 defeat at Oldham Athletic on 29 March. Academy director Gerry Murphy was put in caretaker charge. First-team coach John Dungworth was the next to go, on 3 April, also announced as by 'mutual consent'. Derby County assistant manager Stan Ternent was appointed as manager at the Galpharm Stadium, on April 24, with his assistant being ex-Town player Ronnie Jepson. However, Murphy remained in charge of the team for the rest of the season and Ternent will take control of the team at the start of next season. It was announced, on 10 April, that Ken Davy was to step down as chairman after completing a deal with local businessman Dean Hoyle, who will take over at the start of the 2009–10 season. Hoyle joined the board immediately.
On 1 August 2007, Huddersfield won a prestigious pre-season friendly, at home to Premier League side Blackburn Rovers, 2–1 with two Luke Beckett strikes. After a promising start which saw them lying 4th at the start of September, Huddersfield had slumped to 17th by 27 October with five consecutive away defeats, where they failed to score. The team's form continued to be inconsistent, though they had eased up to 13th by the end of 2007, helped by the occasional excellent result notably the 1–0 win at Swansea City on 16 November. From then until the middle of April the team were stuck in the narrow range of 13th–15th. The 2–1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion, on 18 March, was watched by just 6,004 spectators, the lowest ever league crowd at the Galpharm Stadium for a league match. However, following Ritchie's departure, Town regained composure and finished with four consecutive victories including beating local rivals Leeds United 1–0, at the Galpharm, on April 15. The attendance for that match was 16,413, the highest for a league match for nearly 4 years, apart from the play-off semi-finals. Huddersfield finished the season in 10th place in League One. Although they were 10 points short of a play-off place, at no stage of the season did they look like serious promotion contenders.
In the cups, a Carling Cup defeat at Blackpool, and an embarrassing 4–1 defeat in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy to Grimsby Town, made it their fourth and fifth consecutive first round cup exits. Huddersfield beat Accrington Stanley away in the first round of the FA Cup, on 10 November. This was followed on 1 December with a second round 3–0 home win over Grimsby Town. Huddersfield caused one of the shocks of the third round when, at home on 5 January 2008, they beat Premier League side Birmingham City 2–1 with goals from Luke Beckett and Chris Brandon. In the fourth round, Town beat fellow League One giant-killers Oldham Athletic (who beat Everton at Goodison Park in Round 3) 1–0 at Boundary Park, thanks to a goal by ex-Oldham striker Luke Beckett. The fifth round draw paired Town with FA Cup holders Chelsea, in a rematch of the third round tie in January 2006. The teams turned round 1–1 after Michael Collins had cancelled out Frank Lampard's 100th Chelsea goal but Lampard and Salomon Kalou sealed Chelsea's 3–1 win.
On May 27, Stan Ternent made his first signing as Huddersfield Town manager. He signed Scottish striker Keigan Parker on a free transfer from Championship side Blackpool. On June 5, Irish international Jim Goodwin joined Town on a 3-year deal from recently relegated Scunthorpe United. On June 13, Huddersfield were drawn at home to rivals Bradford City in the first round of the Carling Cup. 3 days later, the new Football League fixtures were announced, Town's first game would be a home tie against recently promoted Stockport County. On July 2, Town signed the ex-Scunthorpe United defender Andy Butler on a 3-year deal. Two days later, Chris Lucketti was brought back to Huddersfield from Sheffield United on a two-year contract, 7 years after leaving the Galpharm Stadium. On July 23, Ternent made his fifth signing by bringing in Welshman Michael Flynn from Blackpool. Six days later, Gary Roberts joined from Ipswich Town for £250,000. On August 8, just one day before the new season began, ex-Everton & West Ham United defender David Unsworth signed from Burnley, becoming Stan Ternent's 7th signing since becoming manager at the Galpharm. Also that day, Town were given a bye into the second round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. On August 15, young striker Tom Denton was signed for £60,000 from Wakefield. Stan Ternent signed attacking midfielder Ian Craney for an undisclosed fee from Football League Two side Accrington Stanley on August 18. The following day, striker Liam Dickinson was signed on loan from Championship side Derby County. That loan was extended by another month on September 22. Stan Ternent also revealed on September 5, that Town had failed to capture 3 strikers during the summer. They failed on bid of £850,000 for Town hero Jon Stead, who joined Ipswich Town in September, a £400,000 bid for Colchester United's Clive Platt and a £600,000 bid for Ipswich Town's Alan Lee, who subsequently moved to Championship side Crystal Palace.
After a disappointing opening to the season with a 1–1 draw against Stockport County, Town trounced neighbours Bradford City, on 12 August, 4–0 in the first round of the Carling Cup, with new signing Gary Roberts scoring a brace. Huddersfield were drawn at home to Championship side Sheffield United in the second round. They narrowly lost the tie by 2 goals to 1. Michael Flynn gave Town the lead with a deflected shot after 34 minutes. But, 2 goals in the last 10 minutes from the Blades from Darius Henderson and Kyle Naughton sent Town crashing out in the cruelest of fashions. On September 6, Town were drawn away to League Two side Darlington in the second round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy North-East section. They lost that match 1-0 on October 7.
Volume Two, a written account of the club's history, is due for publication towards the end of 2008.
The south section of the Antich Stand (nearest the away support) is known as the 'Singing Section'. This group of fans provide particularly vociferous support for the team. This section is sometimes 'all ticket' when the rest of the Antich Stand is not.
In the early days of the Galpharm Stadium there was a band occupying the top row of the Panasonic Stand (the stand opposite the away stand (The Pink Link Stand)). They disbanded(!) following a dispute with the club over the concessions they received in return for their services.
1984–1985 Central Mirfield
2001–2005 Prime Time Recruitment
2005–2007 Yorkshire Building Society
1994-1997 Super League
|Fred Walker||1908–1910||Andy Beattie||1952–1956||Eoin Hand||1988–1992|
|Dick Pudan||1910–1912||Bill Shankly||1956–1960||Ian Ross||1992–1993|
|Leslie Knighton+||1912||Eddie Boot||1960–1964||Neil Warnock||1993–1995|
|Arthur Fairclough||1912–1919||Ian Greaves+||1964||Brian Horton||1995–1997|
|Ambrose Langley||1919–1921||Tom Johnston||1964–1968||Peter Jackson||1997–1999|
|Herbert Chapman||1921–1925||Ian Greaves||1968–1974||Steve Bruce||1999–2000|
|Cecil Potter||1925–1926||Bobby Collins||1974–1975||Lou Macari||2000–2002|
|Jack Chaplin||1926–1929||Tom Johnston||1975–1977||Mick Wadsworth||2002–2003|
|Clem Stephenson||1929–1942||John Haselden||1977||Mel Machin+||2003|
|Ted Magner+||1942–1943||Tom Johnston||1977–1978||Peter Jackson||2003–2007|
|David Steele||1943–1947||Mick Buxton||1978–1986||Gerry Murphy+||2007|
|George Stephenson||1947–1952||Steve Smith||1986–1987||Andy Ritchie||2007–2008|
|Board of Directors+||1952||Coaching Staff+||1987||Gerry Murphy+||2008|
|Malcolm Macdonald||1987–1988||Stan Ternent||2008–|
+ Caretaker manager