WHENEVER Town and Arsenal meet there’s one name never far from the lips of both sets of fans – Herbert Chapman.
Acknowledged as a manager years ahead of his time, he set up the teams which recorded Championship hat tricks at both clubs and will forever be hailed as one of the greats of the game.
When Town held their Centenary Match in 2008, the prize on offer was the Herbert Chapman Memorial Trophy – a splendid cut-glass design – which was taken back to the capital by Arsene Wenger’s side after a 2-1 win at the Galpharm.
It is not up for grabs tomorrow in the FA Cup fourth-round clash at the Emirates Stadium, which will be watched by a sell-out contingent of 5,188 travelling Town fans and millions more watching live on the satellite TV station ESPN.
But Arsenal did present Town with a replica of the famous Herbert Chapman bust to mark their 100 years, and that is housed in the entrance to the Galpharm as a permanent reminder of the link.
Chapman’s nephew Kenneth, who is based in Sheffield and a Wednesday supporter, presented the cut-glass trophy at the Centenary Match and he has since become a regular at Town matches and is a member of the White Rose Club of executive fans.
Town’s communications manager David Sykes explained why the Chapman legend is still so big in the game as a whole, not just in West Yorkshire and North London.
“Herbert Chapman was one of football’s great innovators,” he said.
“He kind of set the benchmark for managers generally, not just at Town and Arsenal, with the successes he had over a period of years and he will never be forgotten.
“There’s no doubt he is a very proud part of our history, he is thought of with just as much pride by Arsenal and their fans and that’s the reason there will always be this bond between the clubs.”
Sykes added: “While Herbert Chapman achieved many things, not too many people will realise that the reason the two teams walk out together in the FA Cup final is because of him.
“After leaving Town following two of our hat trick of Championships to take over at Highbury in the summer of 1925, he very quickly started to exert an influence down there.
“They reached the FA Cup final in 1927, famously losing to Cardiff on the only occasion the trophy has gone out of England, but when Arsenal faced Town in the final at Wembley three years later, it was Herbert Chapman who suggested the teams walk out together because of his strong links with us – and that’s why it still happens to this day.”
Chapman also introduced the colours of red shirts and white sleeves which Arsenal have worn since the 1930s.
Go to the next page for a factfile on Herbert Chapman's achievements - plus an interview with his nephew, who is backing Huddersfield Town on Sunday.
Herbert Chapman factfile
Born January 19, 1878, Kiveton Park, South Yorkshire, the son of a coal miner and one of eight siblings.
Played amateur football while studying mining engineering.
Turned pro with Northampton Town in 1901 then Notts County, Northampton and Tottenham.
Became manager in April 1907 at Northampton, guiding them to Southern League title and retiring from playing in 1909.
Joined Leeds City as secretary-manager in May 1912. Returned after World War I to win the Midland Section title in 1917 and 1918.
After an ‘illegal payments’ scandal at Elland Road which Chapman successfully appealed against as an individual, he left City in December 1919, joining Town as secretary 10 months later.
Became manager of Town on March 31, 1921, and the following year guided them to their only FA Cup success, 1-0 against Preston at Stamford Bridge.
Won the Championship for the first time in 1923-24 and followed up with the title in 1924-25.
On June 10, 1925, joined Arsenal as manager ( Town completed their hat trick of titles under Cecil Potter in 1925-26)
In his first Highbury season finished second in Division I, the club’s highest ever placing, and reached last eight of FA Cup.
In 1930-31 landed Arsenal’s first ever League title with a record 66 points (only two for a win in those days).
Finished second the following season but won title again in 1932-33 (the first of the Highbury hat trick).
On January 6, 1934, Chapman died of pneumonia, after contracting a cold watching a third-team match against Guildford City. He was 55.
Arsenal went on to win the title that season and the following campaign to equal Town’s achievement of the previous decade.
KEN CHAPMAN is praying for a big upset and a Town win at Arsenal tomorrow.
The nephew of legendary manager Herbert Chapman can’t be at the Emirates Stadium because of a long -booked holiday to St Lucia in the West Indies.
“Huddersfield Town have always been close to my heart, along with Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday,” said Mr Chapman, who is chair of Kiveton Park and Wales History Society, a retired architect and currently writing a family history.
“No-one will ever be able to appreciate the pride I had in presenting the trophy on Centenary night at the Galpharm Stadium.
“Town have treated me royally over the past few years. While my uncle Herbert was manager of both Town and Arsenal and my other uncle, Harry, played for Sheffield Wednesday, gaining both League Championship and FA Cup winning honours.”
Mr Chapman was intending to fly home for the fourth-round tie but decided against it because he has been ill while in the Caribbean.
“I have season tickets at Huddersfield and at Hillsborough and I suppose if I could make a wish it would be for a Town win tomorrow, an Owls win (today) and for them to eventually to meet in the final with Arsenal winning the Premiership and the Champions League. Dream on!” he joked.
“I have already sent my best wishes to the Town chairman (Dean Hoyle), the board, manager and team and, rest assured, I will be sitting here with my fingers crossed for a Town win.
“I would also say to the supporters have a great weekend, enjoy a great stadium and make Yorkshire proud.”