TOWN stalwart Steve Smith finally cut loose from Leeds Road with a move which had a double significance.
For not only had Town lost their longest-serving player - his links with the club went back to 1961 - but also their last playing link with the two seasons of top-flight football which had ended five years earlier.
Smith's switch to Town's Fourth Division rivals Halifax finally ended a summer of comings and goings for the 31-year-old former captain.
Having been offered a one-year contract or a free transfer by Town, with whom he had slid all the way down the divisions during an alarming three-year spell, he chose the latter, explaining: "I have to think of my family and I need the security of a two-year deal.
"Town have done me a favour by offering me a free."
Huddersfield-born Smith, who had joined the groundstaff from school in October 1961 and signed as a full professional two years later, soon had approaches from both Halifax and Bury.
But the player who had appeared in 81 of Town's 84 First Division games in 1970-71 and 1971-72, wanted to bide his time.
He finally accepted a trial spell at Sheffield Wednesday who like Bury, were in Division III.
But a permament deal failed to materialise for the man who had made his debut in September 1964 (in a 1-0 Second Division home defeat by Newcastle) and been awarded a testimonial in 1974.
At that point Town made him another offer, and Smith, who had made 380 Town appearances and scored 33 goals, agreed to have talks with manager John Haselden.
At that stage, Halifax boss Alan Ball (Snr) came in with an improved offer, and Smith finally signed on at The Shay, agreeing a two-year contract to link up with his old Town teammate Jimmy Lawson, who had left Town the summer before.
He played out that deal, before returning to Town as chief scout and youth coach in September 1979.
Smith even made one further first-team appearance, in an FA Cup first-round tie at Workington in November 1971, because Town were beset by injuries.
That call-up came from Mick Buxton, the man Smith was to replace as Town manager in December 1986 before he himself gave way to Malcolm Macdonald in October 1987.