To mark the Huddersfield Examiner reaching the 50,000 edition milestone on Wednesday 9 August we are running a series of nostalgia features. Huddersfield Town are at the top of their game today, but back in 1920 the team was no less thrilling
Town fans who were around in the 1920s are no longer with us but those thrilling days are reflected in Examiner cuttings from the era.
On May 5 1924 we reported a nail-biting end to the season beneath the headline ‘Huddersfield Town Win First Division Championship - Success Achieved after Thrilling Struggles.’
After Town beat Notts Forest 3-0, we reported how the Leeds Road crowd had kept an anxious eye out for the Birmingham v Cardiff result.
“It was an unusual sight when the match was over to see a large crowd hanging about the ground instead of rushing for the tram-cars.
“The little room at the end of the paddock, where the scores are received, became for once the centre of attraction. Through its windows we could see an anxious group waiting around the telephone.
“Then suddenly the door was flung open and Mr Chapman dashed out with his face one huge smile and shouting: “We’ve won!”
“There was a tremendous cheer before the words had left his mouth. It was taken up inside the ground and out. The championship had come to Huddersfield for the first time.”
A separate article added: “The winning of the First Division championship, even though it be on goal average alone, marks an epoch in the history of the Huddersfield Town club...Huddersfield Town share with the Villa the honour of being the only two clubs that have appeared in two Cup finals since the war, and, like the Villa, they have won it once in that period.”
The following day the Examiner credited the team’s triumph to Secretary-Manager Herbert Chapman who we called the “master strategist” as well as an expert student of the game.
“Mr Chapman is a master of tact,” the piece added. “He is a good listener, and though he sometimes has to suffer fools, he endeavours at least to give the appearance of doing so gladly.”
“He wants to secure the highest type of player. He believes that the player ought to be a good citizen, and he always insists that he must put first the interests of the team.
“People are sometimes puzzled to account for the fact that with so comparatively small a ‘gate’, Town has done so well. The secret, I believe, lies in Mr Chapman’s ability to get the last ounce out of the players.
“Since he has been manager of the Town Club he has endeavoured not merely to win success in the field, but to put Huddersfield on the social and sporting side higher than it has ever been before. That aim he has certainly achieved. Town is on everyone’s lips today, and for the proud position which it occupies in public esteem it has very largely Mr Chapman to thank.”
Almost a year later, beneath a headline of ‘Bravo, Town!, we reported how Town had performed a “brilliant feat” in securing the League Championship for the second season in succession.
“They thus emulate the feat of Preston North End...Sunderland...Aston Villa...Sheffield Wednesday and of Liverpool...Town are certain to have a great reception when they appear at Leeds Road next Saturday to play Liverpool.”
And on Tuesday April 13 1926 the Examiner’s headline exclaimed: “Hail! Town!! Thrice Champions!!!” “In securing the championship for the third year running Town have accomplished a performance without parallel in the history of the League,” we reported.
“Up to last night no club had done the treble. It was left to Town to make a record which may stand for ever - unless the Leeds Roaders beat it themselves by carrying off honours next season, for the fourth time!”
The article concluded: “To the directors of the club and to Mr Potter, its secretary-manager, as well as to the gallant players who have borne the heat and burden of the day, the congratulations of the whole football world will be extended on a performance to which the League should pay adequate tribute.
“Fuller particulars of the Leeds Roaders’ doings, together with a new photograph of the team which did duty on Monday evening, will be found in next Saturday evening’s ‘Examiner’. Meanwhile, may we add our congratulations to the many which are flowing into the club offices today. Town have truly fulfilled the spirit of Addison’s words: “‘Tis not in mortals to command success, But we’ll do more - we’ll deserve it.”