A PIECE of Huddersfield Town’s heritage is back in place.
The specially-made metal plaque, which marks the centre spot of the former Leeds Road ground, has been repaired and restored.
The plaque, set into the tarmac in what is now the B&Q car park on the Leeds Road Retail Park, was damaged in May.
It was rescued by Town and Giants fans Martin Horner and son Christopher and handed into the reception at the John Smith’s Stadium.
After the Examiner reported its disappearance from the car park, urgent inquiries were made to find out who was actually responsible for it.
The plaque was looked after by Phil Armitage, operations manager at Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd, as officials at KSDL, Town, Kirklees Council and Huddersfield Town Supporters’ Association got their heads together.
Eventually, the plaque – originally paid for by a local businessman – was found to be the property of the owners of the retail park, Lascelles Investment Management.
The agents for the site, Capita Symonds, of Manchester, then had the plaque repaired and relaid, without fuss or ceremony.
When Mr Horner rescued the plaque it was thought scrap metal thieves had attempted to dig it up.
But Mr Armitage said close examination revealed that the steel base rods had corroded with rock salt over the years.
The damage had been compounded by cars and other vehicles driving over it.
“The plaque itself was in good condition but the rods underneath had rotted through,” said Mr Armitage.
“Resin has been used to try to insulate the steel so hopefully it will stay put now.”
It is not the first time the plaque has disappeared.
It was stolen in August 2000 and recovered after an appeal in the Examiner.
Town’s most famous fan Sir Patrick Stewart officially relaid it a year later, watched by 200 people.
The plaque is seen as an important link to the past by Town fans and HTSA chairman Steve King said: “I’m glad the plaque is now back where it belongs.
“It means a great deal to the supporters, particularly those who spent many years following Town at Leeds Road.
“We don’t want to see it disappear again.”