Patrick Hynes has more reason than most to remember his first Huddersfield Town game.
More than half a century has passed since that fateful day – Tuesday, September 7 1965 – but it wasn’t Town’s performance in beating Bolton Wanderers 1-0 which made it so memorable.
In fact, the 14-year-old Patrick didn’t see any of the game as he was almost killed trying to climb over a wall into the Leeds Road ground.
Now 66, he recalls: “Myself and a few lads from Brackenhall and Sheepridge decided to go to watch Town v Bolton. We didn’t have any money so decided to climb over a wall.
“We were young and fit. I gave a leg up to about 15 lads and then my turn came up. I was the last one.
“A mate caught my hand and I was up – for a split second. One of the stones was loose and I fell back and was impaled on spikes. I managed to pull myself off the spikes which had gone into my left shoulder blade and punctured a lung.
“The other spike went into my right arm.”
Patrick approached a policeman and recalls being taken to a treatment room inside the ground.
“I remember a big lady in a blue uniform. They put a massive plaster on my back and I was taken in an ambulance with the blue lights flashing to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.”
When he woke the following morning Patrick was surrounded by doctors in white coats.
“I had punctured my lung but I was still alive. My first question was ‘What was the score?’ I was delighted to hear Town had beaten Bolton1-0!”
Patrick, now living in Golcar, remembers being given lots of apples and oranges to eat during a week off school, Deighton Secondary Modern.
He doesn’t remember much about the reaction to his fall from parents Barbara and John or his 12 siblings.
“I think a few people said ‘alright mate?’ and that was it. I was as tough as old boots and I still am.”
It may have been an unfortunate start to life as a Town fan but Patrick’s allegiance hasn’t wavered over a working life which included a stint in the British Army and more recently working in construction as a concrete specialist.
He’s currently enjoying watching Town in the Premier League and is working on a book about his life.
A cutting from the Huddersfield Examiner, dated September 8 1965, includes a mention of Patrick’s accident.
The report states that the crowd of 24,532 was the biggest home crowd since October 1963. Many fans weren’t inside the ground when skipper John Coddington missed a third minute penalty.
Traffic jams were reported at junctions around Leeds Road and police later praised motorists for their patience.
The report added: “The Town club doctor and St John Ambulance teams had to deal with a number of casualty cases among spectators.
“The most serious concerned a 14-year-old Sheepridge youth who became impaled on some fencing. It is thought that the youth, Patrick Hynes, of Riddings Rise, Sheepridge, was climbing from one section of the ground to another. One of the fencing spikes pierced his back very severely.
“At Huddersfield Royal Infirmary his condition this morning was said to be ‘fairly comfortable.’”
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