Saturday 20 April 2019

John Smiths Stadium - Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town - John Smith's Stadium

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Huddersfield Town Football Club
John Smith's Stadium
Stadium Way
West Yorkshire


  • Huddersfield Town Football Club were formed in August 1908. The club were formed in the Albert Pub. With a total of £500, they set their target of purchasing the Leeds Road Recreation fields which of course was a success. The stadium just started as a pitch but was still ready for their first game, which was a local semi-final. On 15 August 1908, Huddersfield Town Association Football Club was registered as a limited company. Fred Walker was appointed as the club's first manager.
  • The stadium at Leeds Road was 1st opened on the 2nd September, a match against Bradford Park Avenue. Huddersfield won 2-1 in front of a crowd of 1,000.
  • In 1910, Huddersfield tried to gain entry to The Football League. The club had invited the ubiquitous Archibald Leitch to completely reconstruct Leeds Road at an estimated cost of £6,000. The pitch was to be turned by 90 degrees and a 4000-seat stand was to be constructed, with a design which was similar to those of Chelsea, Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur. Terracing was also planned, to provide an overall capacity of 34,000. After the plans went through Huddersfield directors applied successfully to become members of the Football League and development of Leeds Road began immediately.
  • The club's first trophy success was winning the FA Cup in 1922, beating Preston North End 1-0 at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge. The winning goal came from Billy Smith's penalty in the 67th minute. 2 years prior to that, they had reached the FA Cup Final in 1920, losing to Aston Villa in extra time.
  • After winning the FA Cup, Huddersfield also went on to win the following Charity Shield for the first and thus far only time, beating Liverpool 1–0. The following season, title contenders Huddersfield fought off Cardiff City and Sunderland to be crowned champions of England for the first time, although it was by the narrowest of margins. Goal average proved to be decisive as Town and Cardiff both finished on 57 points.
  • Huddersfield Town, stayed in the top division until 1950 when disaster struck. A fire burnt down the schoolboy enclosure and the club were forced to move to Leeds United's Elland Road for two games. In the 1951–52 season, Huddersfield struggled in the top division and in April 1952, Andy Beattie was appointed manager, but failed to keep the Terriers up in the top division and they were relegated for the first time in their history. Beattie was one of the youngest managers in the Football League, and had two horseshoes nailed to his office wall for luck. During the summer he made four crucial signings, full-back Ron Staniforth, utility player Tommy Cavanagh and inside forward Jimmy Watson. At the end of the season, Huddersfield finished runners-up in Division Two sealing an immediate return.
  • Floodlights were installed at Leeds Road in 1961, this was 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.
  • It wasn't until 1970, that Huddersfield returned to the first division, under the guidance of Ian Greaves, who was appointed on 11 June 1968. The team struggled on their return to the top flight of English football, and finished the season in 15th place.
  • The second season in Division One, led to relegation in 1972 and saw three of their best players leaving at the end of the season. Trevor Cherry and Roy Ellam signed for Leeds United and Frank Worthington went to Leicester City. Alan Gowling and Phil Summerill signed in the close season but that wasn't enough to stop a second consecutive relegation to Division Three. This was the first time Town had played in the third tier of English football and only managed a 10th-place finish which led to Ian Greaves resigning at the end of the season. Former Leeds United player Bobby Collins came in to replace him but he led the club to relegation and Huddersfield became the first league champions to slip into the Division Four in 1975.
  • The 198788 season is statistically Town's worst-ever season and it included a 10–1 defeat at Manchester City on 7 November 1987. Town only managed six wins all season and was relegated back to the Division Three after conceding 100 goals. Macdonald was sacked and replaced by his assistant, former Republic of Ireland manager Eoin Hand. He was given 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 Hand departed the club in 1992.
  • Neil Warnock took over for the 1993–94 season, replacing Ian Ross after the Terriers had made a remarkable escape from relegation to the basement division. He immediately secured the services of Reading's goalkeeper 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.
  • Huddersfield moved to the brand new Alfred McAlpine Stadium in 1994, with the 1st match being against Wycombe Wanderers which ended a 1-0 win for the visitors. 13,334 were in attendance which saw Simon Garner get the winner for Wycombe.
  • On 5 June 1995, Warnock left Huddersfield and Brian Horton was appointed as manager and an instant push to the Premier League was put on where the Terriers finished 8th in Division One.
  • A good start in 1999–2000 saw Town top the division at Christmas and results included a 7–1 hammering of Crystal Palace and went on a run of winning 9 games out of 10. However, Town went again on a poor form at Christmas this carried on into the Year 2000. Steve Bruce came under fire from the fans for travelling to Brazil to commentate on Manchester United games in the Intercontinental Cup when Town were going through a bad period. The sale of star-striker Marcus Stewart was met with outrage from supporters and were not impressed with his replacement Martin Smith. Town only finished in a disappointing eighth place at the end of the season. Town only won one game until December in the 2000–01 season. Bruce was sacked in October after a defeat against Grimsby Town which saw a bust-up between chairman Barry Rubery and Bruce in the tunnel after the game.
  • The 2002–03 season was a total disaster. The club had no transfer budget, had debts of 20 million pounds and the players and staff went months without being paid. Crowds were at a record low and demonstrations against Wadsworth were common ground. He was finally sacked in January 2003, only to be reinstated because the club didn't have any money for his pay-off. A further agreement saw Mel Machin being brought in as an Advisor. Wadsworth was eventually sacked in March 2003 and replaced by Machin who oversaw relegation to the Third Division, whose weekly contract was not renewed at the end of the season.
  • The 2010–11 season followed and saw a change in philosophy with Lee Clark completely doing away with the fast attractive football from the previous season and bringing in a 4–5–1 formation which saw loanee Benik Afobe playing as a lone striker in the away matches. At one point Town looked certain for automatic promotion but dropped away near the end of the season and finished third in the table. However, this was followed by another play-off failure losing to Peterborough United at Old Trafford in the final.
  • At the beginning of the 2016–17 season, Town were tipped to get relegated by many pundits. However, they pulled off a shock as they got promoted into the Premier League for the 2017–18 season through the EFL Championship play-offs after finishing fifth in the table. This meant a return to the top-flight for the first time since 1971–72. Being the favourites to be relegated at the start of the season, The Terriers defied the odds again, after they finished 16th and thus to stay up to play consecutive seasons in the Premier League. Steve MouniĆ© was Town's top scorer with 7 league goals.


Huddersfield Town 1-2 Watford
Saturday 20th April 2019
Premier League

So the start of my 4 game Easter Weekend (Well Tuesday doesn't really count I suppose but I'll add it anyway) started on Good Friday watching Gillingham come back from 1-0 down to beat Plymouth Argyle at home 3-1. I do believe Plymouth have an awful record at Priestfield having not won there since the 80's, I may well be wrong but something like that. Sorry to any Argyle fans who may be reading this! So, a cracking start to the Easter weekend, of course with Gillingham not playing on the Saturday, it gave me a great chance to tick another of the 92 off. It was only a choice of 2, with only being Premier League games, Newcastle v Southampton and of course Huddersfield v Watford. My original plan was Newcastle v Southampton, but I think I must be cursed trying to tick of St James' Park. Last time I was planning to go to Newcastle v Leeds, but that got moved to a Monday night I think it was. This time it was a 5.30pm kick off with the last train being at 7 from Newcastle back to London, so meaning I would have to leave early. In the end I went with my other plan of Huddersfield v Watford.

On the day of the game, I left home shortly after half 8. I arrived into London around 9.15 with a quick tube ride to King's Cross. Plenty of time to kill, so I decided to nip to Ladbrokes to put some bets on and grab a Maccy D's breakfast. The day before proved to be a good day in the bets, £1 on with £32.75 back with the last remaining game of Sunderland v Doncaster needing a Sunderland win which of course proved to be the case with a 2-0 win for the Black Cats. After leaving on the 10.35 train from King's Cross, I arrived into Leeds just before 1 with a short change from there to Huddersfield. I arrived the ground pretty much dead on 2pm. Doing my usual photos outside, I headed into the ground and took to my seat with time to kill.

With the weather being a superb day, the game shortly kicked off and the game was probably fair to say it wasn't the best. Huddersfield already relegated to the Championship for the following season, whilst Watford were comfortably sitting just outside the top 6 places. Watford raced into the lead on 5 minutes which saw Gerard Deulofeu finish off the post to put the visitors in front. Half time came which saw Watford head into the break in the lead. Watford increased the lead with 10 minutes to spare, again from Deulofeu wrapping the 3 points up for the visitors. Huddersfield did pull one back in injury time from former Charlton man Karlon Grant with a header but was too late to salvage anything from the game. Overall a fairly decent day which saw me tick off 83 of 92 and a really nice ground to visit as well. After a good day in Yorkshire (which of course I'll be returning on Monday in fact for Bradford City v Gillingham) I arrived home shortly after 10pm.


The John Smith's Stadium, or as previously known as The Alfred McAlpine Stadium and the Galpharm Stadium, has been the home of Huddersfield Town since 1994. They previously played at Leeds Road which wasn't a million miles away from where The John Smith's Stadium is now. The ground holds just over 24,000 of which away supporters are located in the Chadwick Lawrence (South) stand which is located behind one goal. Away supporters can be allocated up to 4,000 supporters. Huddersfield railway station is no more than a 15 minute walk to the ground.


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