An astonishing thing has happened! My local hometown football team, Huddersfield Town have been promoted to the Premiership, England’s top flight football league, and next season will be playing with the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and (our number one team in this household) Manchester Utd!!
This is a rare occurrence in these here parts. Town haven’t been up there since 1972 when I was still far too young to say ‘Huddersfield Town’, and a year before my little brother was born.
On Bank holiday Monday I listened to the match on the radio as Town played Reading in the play-offs. Town were the better of the two overall, but it was tight and tense, was nil nil at full time, nil nil after extra time, and was finally won on penalties, an excruciating way to have to wait for victory. But victory nonetheless.
So the saving up for tickets for when the mighty Man Utd come to the John Smith’s stadium, (which I’ve suddenly learnt might now be called the Kirklees Stadium) next season is now in order. Finally might get to see my two teams play each other, so please excuse my excitement.
Lowly and humble Huddersfield have been the butt of many jokes and insults over the years, never quite recreating the glorious days way back in the 1920’s when they were in the then First Division and won it three times on the trot, and also the esteemed FA Cup. They’ve had very mixed fortunes since then, and have not been able to hold onto their best players, who have gone on to bigger clubs for bigger wages and bigger glory, but this season, it all seems to have come right for the team and their manager David Wagner.
During the week, the parade was due to take place through the town. I hadn’t planned to go, due to one reason and another, but saw people start to gather as I left work. I somehow don’t think the party will be confined to just one night.
It will be tough for the Terriers in the Premier League, and a huge challenge. I’m hoping they may just manage to stay up. If not, at least they’ll have had the experience of playing there, and may be more prepared for challenging again.
Up the Town!
Vendors gather, ready to sell all the usual tat before the match with Reading at Wembley, and afterwards before the parade.
People start to gather…
…and even Harold Wilson is dressed appropriately.