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Huddersfield Town F.C.

Huddersfield Town Football Club is an English football club formed in 1908 and based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. They currently play in Coca-Cola League One, and are managed by Stan Ternent.

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.

Early days

Pre-World War II

In 1907, the Huddersfield Association Football Ground Co. was formed and, with capital of £500, set about purchasing the Leeds Road recreation fields. In the summer of 1908, Huddersfield Town AFC was launched and Leeds Road was officially opened on 2 September 1908 with a friendly against Bradford Park Avenue. Their first match in senior competition, on 5 September, was against South Shields Adelaide, wearing salmon pink shirts.

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.

Notable early results were Huddersfield Town beating Manchester United 6–0 away on 10 September 1930, Blackpool 10–1 at home on 13 December 1930 and Liverpool 8–0 at home on 10 November 1934.

The record attendance was officially 67,037 but it was reported that at least 5,000 fans broke in, in a 1–0 FA Cup 6th Round defeat against Arsenal on 27 February 1932.

Post-World War II

In 1952, top-flight Huddersfield Town approached Andy Beattie and asked him to become their manager on a reported salary of around £2,500.

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.

At this point Town appointed the legendary Bill Shankly to assist Beattie, the two men having been former team-mates at Preston North End years earlier, but relegation was again around the corner.

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.

Ian Greaves took over the reins at Huddersfield Town in 1968 and led them to the Football League Second Division championship in 1969–70.

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.

Moving home

Huddersfield Town played their 1,554th and final League game at the Leeds Road ground on 30 April 1994, beating Blackpool 2–1, watched by a near capacity crowd of 16,195. Huddersfield were still in the third tier of the English league when they moved from Leeds Road (now redeveloped into a retail park) into the new Alfred McAlpine Stadium (now called the Galpharm Stadium) for the 1994–95 season. Interest in the club had not been so high for years and it was Warnock's job to keep up the momentum from the triple boost of the Wembley appearance, their move to the new stadium and their excellent late season form and turn this into a promotion push.

Modern times

A new beginning

In the summer of 1994, popular full-back Tom Cowan made his loan move from Sheffield United a permanent one, centre-back Kevin Gray arrived from Mansfield Town in a part exchange with Iffy Onuora, and midfielder Paul Reid made the switch from local rivals Bradford City. Phil Starbuck, despite speculation about a move to Notts County, signed a new deal that stipulated he was made new club captain. In addition to these signings, veteran striker Ronnie Jepson was revitalised and formed a potent strikeforce with the precocious Booth. A first-day 4–1 drubbing of Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, Reid and Jepson scoring twice, signalled that Town meant business.

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.

The Horton era

Huddersfield finished 8th in the 1995–96 season and the closed season saw the departure of the hugely successful strike partnership of Andy Booth and flame-haired veteran 'Rocket' Ronnie Jepson, whose goals had been vital to Huddersfield's success in the previous two seasons. Booth left for Premiership Sheffield Wednesday in a club record £2.7m deal while Jepson left to 2nd Division Bury on a free transfer. Horton invested the money in the prolific Bristol Rovers striker Marcus Stewart (for a club record £1.2m), Barnsley's Andy Payton (£350,000) and Blackpool defender Andy Morrison (£500,000).

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.

'The Great Escape'

After a closed season of little activity in the transfer market, Town started the 1997–98 season disastrously and, after some questionable signings and tactical decisions, Horton was sacked in October 1997 as the club lay at the foot of Division One. 36-year-old former Huddersfield, Bradford City and Newcastle United central defender Peter Jackson was drafted in as Horton's replacement and turned the club's fortunes around drastically. He immediately installed the experienced former Wales manager Terry Yorath as his assistant. Given a generous transfer budget by the Board, Jackson captured experienced pros such as former Welsh internationals Barry Horne and David Phillips in addition to powerful local-born striker Wayne Allison from Division 1 rivals Swindon Town. He also managed to rejuvenate players like Marcus Stewart and, particularly, the previously inconsistent Paul Dalton to the extent that the club finished a respectable 16th in the final table.

The Rubery takeover

Huddersfield did even better in the 1998–99 season. Jackson recruited winger Ben Thornley (a popular loan signing under Horton) from Manchester United and in September, they beat Tranmere Rovers to top the early Division 1 table, thanks chiefly to the goalscoring prowess of Stewart and Allison. The team attracted the attention of local businessman Barry Rubery and, after protracted takeover talks, he took over the running of the club promising significant investment as the club sought Premiership status. The takeover rumours had a negative effect on the side and they fell away from the promotion race despite Jackson investing in the likes of Craig Armstrong and Jamie Vincent and they never looked likely to reach the Play-Offs; finishing 10th in the final table. Jackson was hoping to mount a promotion challenge the following season, but he was suddenly sacked after the end of the season and replaced by former Manchester United captain Steve Bruce, whose first season in management with Sheffield United had brought little success. Peter Jackson declined the role of academy director.

The best Town side in 30 years

Rubery and managing director Ian Ayre talked up the side's chances of promotion the following year pointing to the acquisition of the high-profile Steve Bruce as a clear indication of their ambition. More serious investment brought the likes of Clyde Wijnhard, Chris Lucketti, Giorgos Donis, Scott Sellars, Kenny Irons, Ken Monkou and Dean Gorré to the club. The Terriers tore up the Division for the first few months playing attractive attacking football in the 7–1 annihilation of Crystal Palace, plus notable wins over rivals Ipswich Town, Manchester City and Nottingham Forest. The side even scored a famous 1–0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup and were widely considered to be 'the best Town side in 30 years'.

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.

The rot sets in

The optimism that had surrounded the club just a year earlier had completely dissipated and manager Bruce's ability to turn the tide was seriously in doubt given the side's finish to the previous season. After some less than inspiring signings, among them Kevin Gallen and more feeble displays, Bruce was unsurprisingly sacked in November 2000 after a terrible start to the season had seen Huddersfield slip into the drop zone. Lou Macari, the former Stoke City, Birmingham City, West Ham United and Celtic manager, took the reins and made some shrewd signings on a limited budget. Particularly noteworthy was the loan signing of Zimbabwean striker Peter Ndlovu whose form initiated a revival that brought Macari the Manager of the Month award for December 2000 and helped push the Terriers out of the bottom three.

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 and Wadsworth

Macari remained in charge for the 2001–02 season. At the start of the season he sold Chris Lucketti to Preston North End in a £750,000 deal, after 76 appearances for Town. Macari promoted the then 18-year old Nathan Clarke to the first team, who would go on to be a mainstay at the heart of the Terriers defence. As the top six challenge faded, he made a canny loan signing, gifted young striker Leon Knight (from Chelsea). Knight's combination of pace, trickery and his eye for goal saw him bag 17 goals in only half a season and form an effective partnership with the returning crowd favourite Andy Booth. However, Knight received a red card during a league game with near neighbours Oldham Athletic and ended up missing the Play-Offs he had been largely responsible for getting the team to. Without him, Town battled well but lacked a cutting edge and ended up being defeated by Brentford at the semi-final stage.

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 revival

Peter Jackson began his second spell as Huddersfield manager in the summer of 2003 as the Terriers came out of administration under the new ownership of Ken Davy. He again wasted no time in installing Yorath as his assistant. With only eight players turning up to his first training session, and star player Martin Smith defecting to Northampton Town, many supporters would have been happy to see the side consolidate and not slip any further down the league. But some shrewd signings (including Rob Edwards, Tony Carss, Efe Sodje, Steve Yates and goalkeeper Ian Gray), the emergence of a talented group of youngsters, and the prolific form of the previously ineffective Jon Stead made Town among the early pace-setters for the Division. As winter approached, Jackson's young side became more inconsistent and seemed to be fading but a change of formation tightened up the defence. Goalkeeper Paul Rachubka was brought in as the side found a new resilience and the ability to grind out narrow victories. Stead's form saw an offer from Sunderland, that was rejected, but he was snapped up by Premiership Blackburn Rovers for around £1.2m in January and was replaced by Polish U21 striker Paweł Abbott who had been unable to establish himself at Preston North End. Though Abbott was initially not quite as prolific as Stead, the side kept their good run going and with one game left were on the verge of sealing the third automatic promotion spot. Needing to match Torquay United if they won their final game, Town went to Cheltenham Town, and after leading 1–0, disaster struck when Abbott received the ball just inside his own half and, inexplicably, ran back towards Town's goal and horrendously underhit a backpass that allowed the Robins to equalise with just 15 minutes of the game left. This, together with Torquay's win at Southend United, condemned the Terriers to a Play-Off spot, by virtue of an inferior goal difference.

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.

The Young Guns start to shine

At the start of the 2004–05 season, the stadium was renamed the Galpharm Stadium, to reflect the sponsorship of this local healthcare company. The 2004–05 season proved a rollercoaster for Jackson's young side with impressive early season victories away at eventual champions Luton Town and at home over runners-up Hull City but also included two derby defeats against Bradford City. However, a disastrous mid-season spell of form (including seven successive away league defeats and having Efe Sodje stripped of the captaincy after his red card against Blackpool in the LDV Vans Trophy) saw the side slump and in real danger of a relegation battle before the shrewd loan signing of striker Luke Beckett.

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.

Further progress

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.

Gerry Murphy won the Football League's Contribution to Football award on 5 March 2006 selected by listeners of BBC Radio Five Live's Sport on Five.

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.

A backward step

Following the narrow play-off defeat in May 2006 to neighbours Barnsley, the 2006–07 season started with high hopes that this would be the year that Huddersfield Town would make the step up to the Championship. Peter Jackson showed his confidence by extending his contract until May 2009. Notwithstanding the arrival of Luke Beckett departures, including Junior Mendes, exceeded arrivals.

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.

Also on April 17, Gerry Murphy, was promoted to a new position as Director of Football Development where he would be in overall control of scouting as well as his existing duties as Academy Director.

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.

Another mixed season

The end of a disappointing season again saw the departure of more players than new arrivals. Senior players who left included Mark Hudson, Martin McIntosh, John McAliskey, Paul Rachubka, and Gary Taylor-Fletcher. Jamaican international defender Frank Sinclair was signed on a 12-month contract, after joining on loan last season, and other close-season signings were ex-Leicester City striker Danny Cadamarteri and midfielder Malvin Kamara, who was released by fellow League One side Port Vale, both on free transfers. Manager Andy Ritchie made ex-Barnsley defender Robbie Williams his fourth signing, on August 24. Huddersfield Town fan Adam Pearson, former Hull City chairman, tabled a takeover bid for the Club during October, worth more than £3 million, but it was rejected. On 10 January 2008, after a successful loan period, Phil Jevons signed from Championship side Bristol City for an undisclosed fee, although it is believed to be in the region of £100,000. On January 21, Welsh international Robert Page signed from Championship side Coventry City on a deal to the end of the season.

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.

Season 2008-09

On 6 May 2008, following the mixed season, new manager Stan Ternent released nine players from the club. They were Chris Brandon, Danny Schofield (who had already announced his plans to leave), Frank Sinclair, Matty Young, Aaron Hardy, Danny Racchi, Lucas Akins, Mitchell Bailey and Luke Malcher. Matt Glennon, Joe Skarz and James Berrett were offered new deals, while captain Robert Page had signed a pre-contract agreement with League 2 side Chesterfield, much to the disappointment of Ternent, who hadn't had chance to offer him a new contract at the Galpharm Stadium. The following day, Danny Schofield agreed a pre-contract agreement with fellow League 1 side Yeovil Town. On that same day, Matt Glennon signed a two-year contract with an optional third year and then Joe Skarz put pen to paper on his new three-year contract, the day after that. Recently called-up Ireland U-21 international James Berrett signed his new two-year deal on 13 May. On 30 May, Chris Brandon completed a move to his hometown club Bradford City. On 1 July, Frank Sinclair re-joined ex-Town manager Peter Jackson at Lincoln City. On July 7, Matty Young joined Conference North side Harrogate Town. Aaron Hardy joined him there on July 26. On July 22, Lucas Akins made a surprise move to newly-promoted Scottish Premier League side Hamilton Academical. 6 days later, Danny Racchi joined Bury. Mitchell Bailey joined Conference North side Hyde United on August 7. On August 11, central defender David Mirfin joined fellow League 1 side Scunthorpe United in a deal worth £150,000. Young defender Shane Killock joined Conference North side Harrogate Town on a month's loan on September 1. He returned to Town on October 7. Sierra Leonean international Malvin Kamara joined Football League Two side Grimsby Town on a month's loan on September 24.

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.

2008 Centenary

The summer of 2008 sees the centenary of the formation of Huddersfield Town. A number of events, to mark this occasion, have been launched or are planned.

Season ticket offer

Chairman Ken Davy and newly appointed chairman-elect Dean Hoyle agreed a special offer for season tickets for the new season. Adult tickets in the Antich Stand and Fantastic Media Stand were just £100 and tickets in the Direct Golf Stand were no higher than £175 for adults. Town sold 16,123 tickets during the offer, more than twice the amount sold during the previous season. It also beat the previous record of 14,170 set during the 1970–71 season, which was Town's first season back in the old First Division.

Centenary game

A match against Arsenal for the Herbert Chapman Trophy was played at the Galpharm Stadium on 6 August 2008. The game was televised by Arsenal TV. The match finished 2–1 to Arsenal. Huddersfield took the lead on 75 minutes through Ireland U-21 international James Berrett. Arsenal equalised on 79 minutes through Sanchez Watt, before scoring the winner on 87 minutes through Nacer Barazite. The match was watched by a crowd of 19,044, the highest attendance for a pre-season match at the Galpharm Stadium and the highest since Argentinian side Independiente played against Town at Leeds Road in 1954, where a crowd of 20,042 saw that match.

Centenary kit

A special gold away kit was commissioned by Mitre. There was a special launch night at the Galpharm Stadium on 19 June 2008 for season ticket holders only. Players Matt Glennon, Malvin Kamara and Michael Collins made an appearance.

Publications

'The Fans' Favourites'

The Fans' Favourites is a book by Alisdair Straughan published, late 2006, to commemorate the centenary. The book lists the 100 Huddersfield Town players voted by the fans as their favourite players.

'99 Years And Counting'

This is a two volume book entitled 99 Years And Counting (Stats and Stories). Volume One was published on 3 November 2007. Illustrated, it contains full statistics for every Town match from 1908 to 2007. The authors were Alan Hodgson, Ian Thomas, Gwen Thomas and John Ward.

Volume Two, a written account of the club's history, is due for publication towards the end of 2008.

Supporter culture

Notable supporters

Huddersfield Town have a relatively large fanbase when taking into account their lack of success in recent decades. As with most football clubs they have celebrity supporters with the late Harold Wilson probably being their most famous fan.

Popular chants

'Smile a While' was originally sung on the terrace in the 1920s when the original version was a popular song. At the time Huddersfield Town were one of the most successful football clubs in England. However, though 'Smile A While' has been sung down the years, it is no longer the main chant/song as in the past. Also a past chant was 'One Man Went To Mow', often sung all the way up to 11 men. However this is rarely, if ever heard in recent times.

In recent years "Those Were The Days My Friend" (to the tune of the song of the same name by Mary Hopkin) has been popular in times of success and is played after each goal that Huddersfield scores.

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.

Sponsors

Main club sponsors

The main club sponsors also have the right to have their identity on the shirts.

1984–1985 Central Mirfield

1985–1987 Daihatsu

1987–1989 Greenall's

1991–1994 Gola

1994–1995 Pulse

1995–2001 Panasonic

2001–2005 Prime Time Recruitment

2005–2007 Yorkshire Building Society

2007-present CasinoRed

Kit suppliers

1975-1984 Bukta

1984-1985 Barralan

1985-1986 Bukta

1987-1990 Matchwinner

1990-1994 Gola

1994-1997 Super League

1997-1999 Pony

1999-2001 Mitre

2001-2002 Bloggs

2002-2003 VOI

2003-2007 Admiral

2007-present Mitre

Managers

Name Period Name Period Name Period
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

Players

Full and u-21 internationals

Players with a * next to their name gained caps while at Huddersfield Town. England

Australia

Scotland

Current squad

Player Of The Year (Hargreaves Memorial Trophy)

Year Winner
1975 Terry Dolan
1976 Terry Gray
1977 Kevin Johnson
1978 Mick Butler
1979 Alan Starling
1980 Malcolm Brown
1981 Mark Lillis
1982 Mick Kennedy
1983 David Burke
1984 Paul Jones
1985 David Burke
1986 Joey Jones
1987 Duncan Shearer
1988 Simon Trevitt
1989 Steve Hardwick
1990 Lee Martin
1991 Graham Mitchell
 
Year Winner
1992 Iwan Roberts
1993 Neil Parsley
1994 Steve Francis
1995 Ronnie Jepson
1996 Tom Cowan
1997 Tom Cowan
1998 Jon Dyson
1999 Nico Vaesen
2000 Jamie Vincent
2001 Craig Armstrong
2002 Leon Knight
2003 Martin Smith
2004 Jon Worthington
2005 Nathan Clarke
2006 Andy Booth
2007 David Mirfin
2008 Andy Holdsworth

League history

Honours

Management team

References

  • "Huddersfield Town - 75 years on - A History of Huddersfield Town" by George S. Binns
  • "Huddersfield Town - A Complete Record 1910-1990" ISBN 090796964X
  • "Huddersfield Town - Champions of England 1923-24, 1924-25, 1925-26" by Jim Brown (published in 2003 by Desert Island Books)

Notes

External links

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