ACCORDING to former Huddersfield Town striker Joe Harper, Huddersfield in the 1960s was ‘worse than hell’.
But David Marriott, whose parents rented their spare room to Harper during his stint at Huddersfield, remembers a different story.
Last week in his regular Aberdeen Evening Express column, Harper described his time at Town between 1967 and 1968 as ‘by far the worst time of my entire career’.
The Aberdeen FC legend also lambasted Huddersfield claiming: ‘hell would probably have been a better place to be than that particular part of Yorkshire’.
But wine merchant David Marriott, who shared his Dalton bedroom with Harper before getting married, remembers a happy, young Harper.
Mr Marriott, of Almondbury, was working in a betting shop in Huddersfield town centre when he met Harper, who returned to his home team of Greenock Morton in 1968.
The pair became friends and, unhappy with his digs in Fartown, Harper moved into David’s bedroom in his parents’ house on Long Lane.
When David married and moved away from his parents, Frank and Winnie, Town midfielder and fellow Scot Jimmy McGill moved into his parents’ house and shared his old bedroom with Harper.
McGill went on to make 164 appearances for Town between 1967 and 1971.
Harper was best man at David’s wedding and he attended David’s sister’s wedding while he was playing for Everton.
David, who runs Taste Fine Wines, Almondbury, said: “What Joe said about his time in Huddersfield was quite upsetting for me.
“I don’t feel Joe is telling the full story in his column.
“He didn’t seem miserable when he was living in Huddersfield.
“I can’t understand why he has said Huddersfield was worse than hell unless he wasn’t as happy as he made himself out to be.
“He had a family life here with my parents and we had some good times.”
Harper has since defended his comments but has admitted it had been ‘some time’ since he had last visited Huddersfield.
He said: “I can only go by my own experiences of the time spent there, which was horrendous.
“I stand by what I wrote although I acknowledge that it is some time since I have been there.”
Harper added: “The friendship I formed with David helped make my spell living in Fartown a little more bearable.
“He would remember me as being a bit happier because the time spent with him was more fun than that spent at the club or in my digs.
“I also appreciated the fact his parents agreed to take me in when David got married, they were lovely and like a surrogate mother and father to me.
“Unfortunately that only happened during my last couple of months at Huddersfield, by which time I had already made my mind up about going home to Scotland.
“I’m sorry if what I said upset David but I was only being honest about how I felt for the majority of the time I was in Yorkshire.”