Huddersfield Town Nostalgia: Gearing up for European action in May, 1971

TOWN manager Ian Greaves was among the first to commiserate with Don Revie after Leeds lost out in the race for the league title.

TOWN manager Ian Greaves was among the first to commiserate with Don Revie after Leeds lost out in the race for the league title.

Forced to play a waiting game after completing their own fixtures with a 2-0 home victory over Nottingham Forest, Leeds were overtaken when Arsenal won their game in hand.

Ray Kennedy’s late goal sealed a 1-0 Monday night triumph over arch-rivals Tottenham at White Hart Lane and took the trophy to Highbury.

That same night both Town (at Macclesfield) and Leeds (at Hull) were involved in testimonial matches.

“We are naturally disappointed, but we have not lost the title, they have won it. They are true champions,” said Revie, whose side had a two-legged Fairs Cup final with Juventus to come.

“It would be all too easy to sit down and weep, but that would not alter anything at all. We have simply got to start again.”

Greaves, a regular golfing partner of Revie’s whose side had held Leeds goalless the previous month, said: “Both of them are great sides and it’s a shame one had to miss out.

“I’m confident Leeds will bounce back and lift the Fairs Cup, which would provide a fitting end to a great season.”

Greaves also had European matters on his mind, with Town due to face Sampdoria and Bologna in the forthcoming Anglo-Italian Cup.

The match at Macclesfield, won 6-0 through Bobby Hoy, Frank Worthington, Terry Dolan, Les Chapman, Trevor Cherry and Brian Mahoney, was the start of the build-up.

The following Monday holders Town were to face Halifax in the West Riding Senior Cup final at Leeds Road.

There was a three-match tour of Sweden to follow before the four Anglo-Italian games, the first two at home before the squad jetted off for the returns.

Greaves, whose side had finished 15th in Division I, was without versatile Steve Smith, above, who had stitches in a gashed shin, and left-back Hutt, who had dislocated a shoulder during the derby against Leeds.

Meanwhile midfielder Jimmy Nicholson, who featured in the match at Northern Premier League side Macclesfield, was set to join up with Northern Ireland for the forthcoming Home Internationals.

Looking back on the league campaign, Greaves, whose side had won the Second Division 12 months previously, said: “The lads are disappointed, but I believe they did well.

“We have found it far more difficult to score goals, but we defended magnificently and the lads have gained invaluable experience at this level.”

 
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