THE harsh Winter of 1963 had a lot to answer for in the eyes of Town fans.
For Eddie Boot’s side were going great guns in Division II (now the Championship) until an enforced mid-season break.
Plunging temperatures which hit during the festive period and then hung around decimated the sporting programme, and Town went more than two months without a match.
That broke the rhythm of a side who weren’t beaten in a league fixture until October 27, but finally finished sixth.
Ironically the first to get the better of Boot’s boys were Southampton, the last team to beat the current Town side in league combat back on December 28.
The Saints of 62 came marching into town in the midst of the Cuban missile crisis.
The night before the game, Labour Opposition leader Hugh Gaitskell had visited Huddersfield to address a Young Socialists meeting, saying: “The only way to settle the trouble is by negotiation, not force.”
There were real fears the Soviet Union’s installation in Cuba of nuclear missiles capable of reaching the United States could spark war between the two super-powers.
So the chance to watch a football match must have come as a welcome distraction, and 15,589 turned out to see the Leeds Road clash.
Town had turned in some top performances to beat Middlesbrough 5-0 at Ayresome Park, Swansea 2-1 at Vetch Field and Chelsea 1-0 at Leeds Road.
And full-back Ray Wilson and winger Mike O’Grady were fresh from representing England in their 3-1 victory over Northern Ireland in Belfast (the latter scored twice).
Both were back on duty against Southampton alongside keeper Ray Wood, Denis Atkins, Pat Saward, Ken Taylor, Peter Dinsdale, Kevin McHale, Len White, Derek Stokes and Les Massie in a Town side which sat proudly on top of the table.
Eight-goal Stokes had just received notification of an England Under 23 call-up (to face Belgium at Plymouth), but was shut out by Saints, who won 3-2.
George Kirby, a future manager of Halifax, put the visitors ahead within four minutes.
And while Massie headed a 62nd-minute equaliser, John Sydenham and Dave Burnside provided Saints with a two-goal cushion after incisive counter-attacks.
White shot home to set up a tense finale, but Town couldn’t force another, and their unbeaten run ended.