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Huddersfield Town's 4000th Football League game is in November ... we look at the milestones along the way

Huddersfield Town will play their 4,000th Football League match (excluding play-off games and the three abandoned in the 1939-40 season) when they go to Wigan in November. The Examiner has been a constant throughout the club's history and here we look at the previous landmark encounters

Huddersfield Town crest

 

1,000th game: October 22, 1938

Huddersfield Town belied their lowly league position to mark their 1,000th Football League match by clinching a 2-1 win over high-flying top-flight rivals Bolton at Leeds Road.

And the victory, watched by 18,027, was more impressive because it came without two key players.

Half-backs Alf Young and Ken Willingham, described by Examiner writer Junius as the “sheet anchors” of Clem Stephenson’s side, were on international duty with England, who were beaten 4-2 by Wales in Cardiff.

Alan Brown, who combined football with his job as a policeman, and Bob Gordon were the men called up by Stephenson, a major player in Town’s triple title triumph of the twenties who had become manager in 1929.

Town had reached the previous season’s FA Cup final, going down 1-0 to Preston after extra time at Wembley.

Clem Stephenson's player turned manager. He is second from the right on the front row in the shot from 1925/26 season
Clem Stephenson's player turned manager. He is second from the right on the front row in the shot from 1925/26 season
 

But their early-season form had been a concern, with only two wins, at home to Derby and Everton, collected in the 11 matches going into the visit of Bolton, who were third to Town’s third-bottom.

One big positive was the emergence of young striker Billy Price.

He was to prove one of the most effective in Town’s history, but 192 of his 223 goals for the club were to come in Wartime football.

Price wasn’t on the scoresheet against Bolton, but he was involved in both those scored by Town, who were skippered by Bobby Barclay.

Price and Gordon combined to tee up Northern Ireland international Henry Baird for the first, netted from six yards out after only four minutes.

Examiner report of the game in 1938
Examiner report of the game in 1938
 

Wanderers were level nine minutes later through John Roberts, but Town regained the lead in the 20th minute.

This time Price slipped a pass to Pat Beasley, and while his initial shot was blocked by Bolton’s keeper, the winger followed up to head home the rebound.

Town were to finish the last full season before the War in 19th position out of 22 teams.

Line-up: Hesford; Hayes, Mountford, Gordon, Brown, Boot; Johnson, Barclay, Price, Baird, Beasley.

 

2,000th game: August 23, 1969

TOWN marked their 2,000th Football League match by shutting up shop to frustrate free-scoring Sheffield United at Bramall Lane and remain firmly in the Second Division’s leading pack.

The Yorkshire rivals were joined on the seven-point mark (two for a win) by QPR, who were 3-2 winners in their London derby with Millwall at Loftus Road.

It was the first point dropped in four matches by Town, who had beaten Preston 3-2 at Leeds Road in midweek.

But with the Blades having netted 12 times previously, the consensus was that manager Ian Greaves had displayed impressive tactical nous.

Midfield enforcer Jimmy McGill came through a fitness test on a leg injury picked up against Preston to play a crucial role in a game seen by 22,528.

Trevor Cherry and Roy Ellam (right) in action in Town's 200th Football League game against Sheffield United in 1969
Trevor Cherry and Roy Ellam (right) in action in Town's 200th Football League game against Sheffield United in 1969
 

Greaves, a former Town coach who had replaced Tom Johnston as manager during the 1968 close-

season, flooded the midfield with five men, leaving Frank Worthington as a lone striker, admitting: “We planned for a point and got it.”

McGill was joined by Jimmy Lawson, Jimmy Nicholson, Bobby Hoy and Brian Greenhalgh in the ‘engine room’ while left-back Geoff Hutt had the tough task of dealing with the Sheffield club’s dangerman Alan Woodward.

Dennis Clarke and centre-backs Roy Ellam and Trevor Cherry completed a rigid back four, and on the odd occasions they were pierced, keeper Terry Poole kept the Blades at bay.

Saves from Woodward, Colin Addison and Welsh international Gil Reece were his best, while the closest Town came was a Worthington long-ranger which foxed Alan Hodgkinson but smacked against the bar and back into play.

Questions were being asked about Brian Greenhalgh, Greaves’ £15,000 summer signing from Leicester who had yet to register his first Town goal.

“He must produce more lively penetration,” wrote Examiner reporter Longfellow.

“In my notebook he went through another match without mustering a shot on target and Eddie Colquhoun was very much the master in the air.”

Greenhalgh was to struggle to tie down a regular place, but Town flourished, and this was to become one of the club’s most memorable post-War seasons.

In what is now the Championship, they won the title by seven points by Blackpool to reclaim the top-flight place lost in 1956 (Sheffield United were sixth).

Bramall Lane, incidentally, was still used for Yorkshire cricket as well as football, the current main stand not being built over the old wicket until the mid-seventies.

Line-up: Poole; Clarke, Hutt; Nicholson, Ellam, Cherry; Hoy, Worthington, Greenhalgh, McGill, Lawson. Sub not used: Smith.

 

3000th game: January 25, 1992

Iffy Onuora stepped off the bench to salvage a point for Town in their 3,000th Football League match against Shrewsbury at Gay Meadow.

Manager Eoin Hand’s challenge was to spark a Third Division (now League I) promotion bid.

But his side were faltering after a bright start to the season, and had now gone four games without a win.

It could have been worse, because Neil Lyne had fired the Shrews into a 35th-minute lead in front of 3,688 at the rain-soaked Shropshire ground.

Iffy Onuora
Iffy Onuora
 

Onuora had been left out of the starting XI to allow an outing for Nigel Callaghan, freshly signed on loan from Aston Villa.

With Hand looking for inspiration, and some extra power, he called on the big frontman.

Just two minutes remained when he outjumped his markers to convert Kieran O’Regan’s cross.

It was Onuora’s seventh goal of the season and, according to the Examiner’s Mel Booth, “a precious morale booster in a problematic spell of the season”.

Hand was soon to lose his job, being replaced by Ian Ross, who took Town to that season’s play-offs, in which they were beaten 4-3 on aggregate by Peterborough in the semi-finals.

Line-up: Clarke, Trevitt, Charlton, Kelly, Mitchell, Jackson, O’Regan, Callaghan, Roberts, Starbuck (Onuora, 61mins), Ireland. Sub not used: Wright.

 

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