Arsenal Revisited: FA Cup 2011

The last Huddersfield Town player to score a competitive goal against Arsenal was Alan Lee in 2011. The veteran forward crashed a header past Manuel Almunia in a 2-1 FA Cup fifth round loss.

Lee Clark’s plucky side were unfortunate to lose the game, Arsenal’s first took a telling deflection off Peter Clarke and Fabregas’ winning penalty was the result of a dubious refereeing decision (sound familiar?)

But what happened to the Town players from that game? Where did their careers end up? Read on to find out.

Ian Bennett

During his 4 year stint at Huddersfield Town, Ian Bennett battled it out with Alex Smithies for the number one spot. He was given the nod in this cup clash against Arsenal and performed well.

Bennett’s playing career ended in 2014 when he assumed the role of Town’s academy goalkeeping coach. Bennett left Town a year later to join Nottingham Forest, where he is still employed.

Lee Peltier

"Pelts" as he was known during his time at the club was somewhat of a cult figure. His ferocious tackling and never say die attitude endeared him to Town fans. Peltier later moved to Leicester for a reported £1 million following the 3-0 play-off final loss to Peterborough.

Peltier is currently plying his trade as a bit-part player for Cardiff City following spells at Leeds United and Nottingham Forest as well as a brief return to Huddersfield Town in 2014.

Peter Clarke

Town’s captain on the day played just under 200 games for the club before moving to Blackpool, Bury and latterly Oldham Athletic. During his time with The Terriers Clarke gained the backing of the fans through his determined performances.

In Oldham’s recent FA Cup loss to Doncaster, Clarke’s goal, own goal, goal-line clearance and red card drew national attention.

Tom Clarke

During this period for the club there were a plethora of Clark(e)s which prompted furious spelling debates on social media. Tom, younger brother of Nathan started this game alongside Peter Clarke.

Despite making 97 appearances for Town, Tom never really established himself as a first team regular before moving to Preston North End in 2013 where he still plays.

Jamie McCombe

6 foot 5 centre back “Boom Boom” McCombe made over 50 appearances for Town over a 2 year spell, scoring 8 goals in the process. To put that into perspective, that’s almost the same scoring record as Steve Mounie (8 goals in 45 games.)

McCombe is now a coach at Lincoln City after ending his playing career with The Imps.

Jack Hunt

The man who popularised the word “helmet” has been subject to a bit of vitriol from Town fans since leaving the club in 2013. Hunt left Town for recently promoted Premier League side Crystal Palace but never made an appearance for the Eagles after breaking his ankle in training.

Following a series of loan spells, Hunt made his move to Sheffield Wednesday permanent in 2016 before moving to Bristol City at the beginning of this season.

Joey Gudjonsson

The Icelandic midfielder impressed in his time in West Yorkshire following a successful spell across the Pennines at Burnley. However Gudjonsson left the club in 2012 to return to Iceland, playing for a series of clubs before retiring in 2017.

Gudjonsson is currently manager of Úrvalsdeild karla side Íþróttabandalag Akraness

Kevin Kilbane

“Zinedine Kilbane” was only at Town for 6 months, joining on loan from Hull City. The Irishman was a vital cog in Town’s end of season form and seemed to be an improvement on Damien Johnson.

At the end of the season Kilbane returned to his parent club before finishing up his career with two further loans, to Derby County and Coventry City. Kilbane is now one of the few insightful pundits on the BBC.

Anthony Pilkington

“Pilks” was by far one of the best players to come through during the first part of the Dean Hoyle era. The robust winger scored a series of stunning goals for Town, which ultimately attracted the attention of Premier League Norwich City.

Despite suffering a horrific leg break, Pilkington was signed for £2 million in the summer of 2011 by The Canaries. His crowning moment at his new club came when he scored the winner against Manchester United at Carrow Road.

At the beginning of the most recent transfer window, “Pilks” left Cardiff City to join Championship Wigan Athletic, where he was reunited with the following man…

Gary Roberts

Anthony Pilkington’s current team mate Gary Roberts spent 4 years at Huddersfield Town, scoring 31 goals from the left wing. Roberts lack of a right foot frustrated fans at times, but he was undoubtedly an incredibly talented player.

After leaving Town Roberts moved to Swindon Town, Chesterfield and Portsmouth in the lower leagues. He certainly had the talent to at least play Championship level football, but perhaps he enjoyed being a big fish in a small pond.

Alan Lee

Long before Laurent Depoitre and Steve Mounie, Town had another striker who seemed averse to putting the ball in the back of the net. Lee’s equaliser in this cup clash was his first goal for the club in his 26th appearance.

In spite of his profligacy in front of goal, Lee became a cult hero at Huddersfield Town, possibly because of his comically flailing elbows. He endeared himself to me when he gave me a jovial wave at a testimonial match in Northern Ireland against Crusaders – what a guy!

The Irishman is currently employed as an academy coach at Championship Ipswich Town after taking the role in 2014.

The Gaffer – Lee Clark

Techincally Stan Ternent was the first managerial appointment of the Dean Hoyle era. In truth that decision was mainly taken by Andrew Watson, with Lee Clark being Dean Hoyle’s first real autonomous appointment.

The Geordie did well at Town, narrowly missing out on promotion to the Championship on two separate occasions. He guided the club to a record breaking 43 game unbeaten run but lost his job following a 1-0 home loss to promotion rivals Sheffield United.

Clark split opinion during his time at Town, he was backed well in various transfer windows but still failed to get Town over the promotion line. His managerial career post-Town has been less than impressive. His last managerial job was at Gigg Lane, where he was sacked with his side second-bottom of League One.

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