Gavin Wood

June 30, 2018

Another day, another dollar, another TerrierBlog fan story. Today's edition is from Gavin Wood, a Huddersfield Town fan with a great pedigree. Enjoy!

 

("Me and Harold waiting for everyone else to turn up to help us celebrate promotion to the Premier League")

 

So, when did you first start supporting Huddersfield Town?

 

"I don't remember a time before I supported Town. My Dad was a fan and told me stories of their history and gave me match reports when he came home from before I was five years old. He told a good story my Dad, so I would hang on his every word. I remember him taking me for my first pair of boots and him buying me a blue and white striped shirt long before club merchandise became a thing."

 

Are you Huddersfield born and bred?

 

"Me, my Dad and my Grandad are all Huddersfield born and bred. My Grandad was over twenty when Town formed so he had no interest but my Dad was 8 or 9 at the time of 'thrice champions' so he grew up not just believing Town were the best team in the country, but knowing it for an absolute irrefutable fact"

 

What made you become a Town fan? Pushy parents? Or was it just a love the club?

 

"I became a Town fan thanks to my Dad. No pushing required. It would probably have been easier for him to leave me at home but I was desperate to go.

 

"So I had to sit in the car with a bottle of pop and a packet of crisps while he had his pre-match pint or two. My mum and two sisters knew all about Town even though they had no interest in going to the games.

 

"'Oh dear. Town have lost again' was a regular saying in my house as I grew up. So by the time I was say 10, the club was part of the family. I didn't always like them but I had no option but to love them. And that has stayed with me the rest of my life."

 

Do you remember your first game? The result, the atmosphere or the overall experience?

 

"I'll need to look up the date but it was Leeds United before their rise to thuggery and fame in the sixties. I have an impression, rather than a memory of crowds, emotion, excitement, shouting and the singing of rude songs. I loved it and wanted more."

 

Apart from the obviously amazing last two years, what would you say has been your highlight of your time supporting Town?

 

"Many highlights. Hard to choose just one. Almost certainly 69/70 season as I was 16. A very impressionable age. I will plump for the pitch invasion at Blackburn. Our last away game of the season and a win saw us champions.

 

"I was one of those, after the match, hoisting Geoff Hutt up in the air on the pitch. I was on his left leg. I found out ten or more years later that a lad who was to become a really good friend was on Hutt's right leg at the time. We both remembered Hutt's words at the time '(expletive deleted)'.

 

"And then the Watford game when we received the Championship trophy and put them to the sword. Heady stuff."

 

Let’s just accept that David Wagner is the best manager Town have ever had (since Chapman), and I doubt you remember him! Who would you say has been the second best manager during your years supporting Huddersfield?

 

"Herbert Chapman was a presence in my house as I grew up because my Dad talked constantly about him and his team - even though now I'm pretty sure my Dad never actually saw Town until Herbert was long gone.

 

"I'm going for Peter Jackson even though he won less than the likes of Greaves, Buxton (both of whom I still Idolise) and Warnock (who I don't).

 

How many times has Jacko rescued Town as a player, but mainly as a manager? How many times have Town done the dirty on him in the end and cast him aside? And how many times has he come back and dug us out of the mite yet again?

 

"I remain convinced that some time in future we will find ourselves on one of our cyclical slides and Jacko will return to rescue us. A bit like Jesus!

 

Give us your favourite starting 11 made up of all the players you’ve seen in blue & white.

 

"Do you just want a list of names? That's a bit dull because it's the memories and emotions that go into the choice that's vital. But I'd be here all month telling you that. Here is a précis:

 

"1. Danny Ward. For an inspired and perfect season where he did nothing wrong and an amazing amount superbly and incredibly right. Unfair on some goalies over the last years who were actually employed by us. But there you go.

2. Mally Brown. The fastest thing on two legs at his peak. And absolutely uninjurable . For Town anyway.

3. Ray Wilson. World Cup winner? No argument.

4. Kevin Johnson. Bizarre choice perhaps but I thought he was the most skilful player to play for Town. And a reminder for any who need it of those soulless years rattling around at the bottom of the fourth division.

5. Paul Jones. Plenty of other candidates but alongside Allardyce that was a frightening partnership.

6. Schindler. Better than Cherry even. As I was too young to remember how good Wilson was for Town, Schindler is possibly the Town Defender I have most appreciated.

7. Leon Knight. An. Unstoppable bundle of skill and energy and the heart of a lion. Seeing him face up to giant defenders and never backing down was a sight to behold. Shame he took a wrong turning in life.

8. Barry Horne. Came as a favour to Jacko and Yorath in our great escape season. Consummate midfielder, never stopped running or thinking, could pass a ball and was a crunching tackler.

9. Boothy. We all dream of a team of Andy Booths. Mr Huddersfield Town.

10. Frank Worthington. The most skilful of them all. And while he was at Town anyway, the coolest of them all.

11. Mike O'Grady. Only just remember him as a flying winger. The player I most wanted to be for the rest of my life when I was on the pitch. And an unsurpassed international record for England. Two games, two wins, four goals. Beat that if you can. Also declined a bribe from Don Revie. Allegedly."

 

What would you say makes Huddersfield’s fans and the club unique?

 

"Town fans are unique because of our club history. When we sing we are the greatest team the world has ever seen its not really possible to convincingly argue against it.

 

"We may well have been for all we know. That history has been absorbed by and has inspired every generation of Town fans. Town fans are formed as much by the hard times as the good. We have seen it all. Relegation, receivership, drubbings.

 

"We've been knocked down so many times. We always bounce back. We love grafters and genuine people. We have no time for posers and prima-donnas. We soon spot them and send them packing. And Dean Hoyle has taken all of that and built a team around it. One of our own."

 

Can you tell us your worst memory supporting Town?

 

"Worst memory is full time, play-off semi final second leg at home versus Peterborough when Eoin Hand was in charge. Despite losing the best midfield this club has had in my time (Marsden and Butler) we had played our opponents off the park for three consecutive halves of football. We were discussing where to stand at Wembley in the final.

 

"And 45 minutes later we were out, there were hooligans, riot police and dogs on the pitch and my 12 year old was sobbing on a crash barrier in disappointment. I was hard on myself that night for inflicting Huddersfield Town on him from an early age. As if life is not already hard enough."

 

What one thing are you afraid of for the future of Huddersfield?

 

"My fear for the future is more about football and sport than about Town. Money has always ruled I am sure but each year makes money more important and ethics, integrity and supporters interests less so.

 

"When Dean Hoyle goes who takes over? Do we become a faceless global brand as part of some corporate sporting franchise with headquarters registered in the Cayman Islands. Or what? It is a concern and I have to face the possibility that one day I walk away from both Town and professional football."

 

What would your dream season be? 

 

"Dream season. 69/70, 79/80, 2016/17. Can't imagine topping any of those somehow. But, the thing with Town is - you never know what is round the corner."

 

 

If you'd like to be involved in future fan stories, get in touch with us by email: terrierblog@gmail.com and we'll get you featured on the blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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