SUCCESSFUL businessman Dean Hoyle is stepping straight off the Kilner Bank to shape Huddersfield Town’s future.
The 40-year-old boss of £110m-turnover Card Factory knows exactly what the fans want because he’s been one of them since Mick Buxton’s side lifted the Fourth Division Championship in 1979-80.
Living in the Spen Valley with wife Janet and sons Daniel, 11, and Joshua, six, he’s been a regular at Leeds Road and the Galpharm.
And after 10 years of immense business success he’s now in a position to put his own stamp on a club he’s followed through thick and thin.
“The reason I want to get involved is to make a difference,” said Mr Hoyle, whose second shop in a chain now numbering 400 was in Huddersfield’s Pack Horse Centre.
“I want to play a part in bringing the excitement back to the club – to see a Town team playing aggressive, attacking football – and I firmly believe the Marcus Stewart situation (when the club’s leading scorer was sold to a major rival) should never be repeated.
“It is only right that Ken Davy should lead us into the centenary and, from a personal perspective, it does suit me not to get involved as majority shareholder for another 12 months.
“But that doesn’t mean a lot of work won’t be going on behind the scenes.
“The club is sound financially, we have an infrastructure on which to build and, with a quality manager on board who will husband the extra funding carefully I think we can deliver real benefits to the club and our supporters.”
So does he envisage further investors getting involved down the line?
“No. I have the resource to take the club forward in a year’s time,” said Mr Hoyle, whose company has been in the Sunday Times Top 100 Fastrack businesses (fastest growing) for the last two years.
Mr Hoyle, a former student at Heckmondwike Secondary School, was hooked on Town from the moment Ian Robins’ double against Hartlepool secured the Division IV title under Mick Buxton.
“There have been some real highlights, like Mark Lillis crossing for Dave Cowling to score the winner against Leeds at Elland Road in the Milk Cup in 1982,” he beamed.
“I was on the Lowfields and it was fantastic!
“It was also great to be in the crowd against Barnsley in 80-81 when there were 28,901 in Leeds Road and we were all claiming to be ‘the one.’
“The Dave Cowling goal against Newport is another I’ll never forget and the two Wembley appearances under Neil Warnock back in the 90s were fantastic.
“I couldn’t go to the Millennium Stadium in 2004 for the promotion play-off under Peter Jackson because I was in Majorca. But I watched it in the pub!
“Of course there have been some real lows as well. I was at Maine Road for the 10-1 defeat to Manchester City and it’s a recent one – the home defeat to Southend only last month – which really pushed me to get my involvement completed, after initial talks with Ken Davy had gone well.
“I looked at the fans walking out of that game and there was no passion, no anger, no nothing.
“The reaction to football shouldn’t be like that, and I thought that now I’m in a position to be able to make a difference I should try to do so as quickly as possible.”
Mr Hoyle watched from the terrace at Leeds Road and has been a season-ticket holder in the Antich Stand since the Galpharm (then McAlpine) Stadium opened in 1994.
“My favourite player in the old days was Malcolm Brown, who was a fantastic player. I loved Steve Kindon because he chased lost causes.
“That’s what people want to see from the team now, an attractive mix of aggression and good football with people giving 100%.
“Marcus Stewart was another big favourite of mine, while in the Warnock days I thought the midfield combination of Darren Bullock and Richard Logan was tremendous.
“They may not have been the best players on earth, but they were dynamic, they played for the team and for the shirt and they gave exactly what the fans want to see.”