Behind the Club: Huddersfield Town Association Football Club

In this series, we profile one Premier League team each week, looking at some of the History, Records and Trivia associated with each club. This week we profile Huddersfield Town AFC. Join us on a journey from 1908 to 2017 as we go, Behind the Club.

Huddersfield and the Huddersfield Association Football Ground Co. was formed in the Albert Pub, in 1908. Having been registered as a limited company, they purchased local land at Leeds Road to play their home matches.

Huddersfield attempted to join the Football League, but despite a new stadium being built and the club looking on the up, they entered liquidation in 1912 after disputes between the club’s directors and Archibald Leitch, the man trusted with the construction of their stadium and failing pitch.

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Huddersfield Town reformed in 1919 with instant financial difficulty, but managed to survive after local fundraising efforts.

The positivity continued and filtered onto the pitch, Huddersfield won promotion to the First Division at the first attempt back in the Football League and narrowly lost the FA Cup Final to Aston Villa after extra time.

This was to be the start of a golden period in West Yorkshire, only two years later they claimed their first FA Cup and after another two years they won the first hat-trick of League titles, triumphing from 1923/24 to 1925/26.

This success could not be sustained, and although they did not suffer relegation, Huddersfield failed to win another trophy before the league’s suspension for WWII.

Upon the league’s resumption, they remained in the First Division until 1950 when a devastating fire ravaged the club’s facilities and forced them to briefly move to Leeds United’s Elland Road.

The Terriers were relegated in 1952 for the first time in their history, but bounced straight back. They then claimed an impressive third place in their first season back in the top-flight, but were relegated again two seasons later.

They remained in the second division for some time and were involved in an extraordinary match in 1957, becoming the only professional side in history to score six goals in a game and lose, going down 7-6 at Charlton despite leading 5-1 with 27 minutes left.

Huddersfield did eventually return to the first division in 1970, but were relegated again two years later and began a disastrous slide down the League pyramid.

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Despite being a top-flight outfit in 1971/72, the Terriers began 1975/76 in Division Four, becoming the first former League champion to slip into the fourth tier.

Huddersfield’s recovery began after the appointment of former physio Mick Buxton in 1978. Within five years they were back in Division Two, but were relegated again in 1987/88, statistically their worst ever season.

The Terriers left Leeds road in 1994 for the newly built Alfred McAlpine Stadium and were promoted again to the second tier the following season. Inconsistent performances followed in subsequent years, and after promotion challenges and relegation battles they suffered the drop once again in 2001.

Another drop to the fourth tier followed, but Huddersfield returned to the third tier with a vengeance. Consistently finishing in the top half, they slowly rebuilt aiming for the newly named Championship.

Slow improvements culminated in a memorable play-off victory in 2012, overcoming Sheffield United in an epic 8-7 penalty shootout, Blades goalkeeper Steve Simonsen blasting the crucial penalty over.

The Championship proved far harder opposition, the Terriers failing to finish in the top half in their first four attempts. In the fifth however, German manager David Wagner led them to an improbable promotion through the play-offs, once again winning on penalties after the game finished 0-0 after 120 minutes.

The party train has not stopped since. The Terriers began the season as relegation favourites but started brilliantly, winning their opening two games. Form has inevitably dipped since, but the Terriers still managed to shock a previously unbeaten Manchester United and currently sit in 10th place.

Records and Trivia:

The first ever Olympic Goal (straight from a corner kick) in club football was scored by Huddersfield’s Billy Smith (The first ever was nine days earlier in an international match between Uruguay and Argentina)

Huddersfield remain the only professional team to ever score six in a game and lose (7-6 v Charlton in 1924)

Huddersfield’s record signing is recent arrival Steve Mounie. The Terriers shelled out £11.44 million to Montpellier this summer to acquire the French striker’s services.

The player with the most appearances for Huddersfield is club legend Billy Smith, who made 574 appearances for the Terriers between 1913 and 1934.

Huddersfield currently lie 49th and last in the all-time Premier League table, but need only 30 points this season to eclipse Swindon Town and Cardiff City.

Best Performances:

Football League: Champions (Old Division One, 3), 1923/24, 1924/25, 1925/26

FA Cup: Champions, 1921/22

Football League Cup: Semi Final, 1967/68

Champions League/European Competition: N/A

Written by Sam Hanys.

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