The final player in the Rawthorpe Secondary football team from 1957 has been named ... by the man himself.
We asked for names for the team and managed to get them all ... apart from the goalkeeper.
Well, it’s a man who has gone on to great success, topped off by an OBE – and he has a tale to tell about former Huddersfield Town star Bob McNab.
He is Carl Gilleard who now lives a few miles out of Stratford upon Avon but still avidly follows the Terriers.
He said: “I think your correspondents have identified all but one of the team – the goalie – and I can confirm that was me. My family moved to Rawthorpe Lane during the summer of 1954 and I was enrolled into the brand new school. Bob McNab, who lived directly opposite, was the first friend I made. We were both football mad and often played in the road – something you would not be able to do today.”
Bob went on to play for Huddersfield Town, Arsenal and England.
Carl, now 72, added: “I played scrum half for the school’s rugby league team before deciding that I wanted to play a less bruising game. It wasn’t easy to get into an established team and I had to settle for the one vacant spot – as goalkeeper. My recollection is that there was only one division and we won the league title. I do recall us missing out on the opportunity to play at Leeds Road in the Huddersfield schools cup final after losing our semi-final match.
“The first game of that successful season was away to Stile Common School. Full of excitement and anticipation, Bob McNab and I travelled into town on the 58 bus. He had been appointed as captain and I asked him what his duties were. He started to tell me that he was responsible for the team’s kit when, to his horror, he realised that he had left it at his home. Oops! Mr Peace was unimpressed but somehow he did manage to get the kit to the ground in time and we went on to win the game 10-1, so all was forgiven.
“I left school at 15 and moved to Huddersfield Technical College to further my studies. I continued playing the game and joined Deighton YMCA Under 18s in the Red Triangle League. Later I played for Huddersfield Polytechnic in the Yorkshire Amateurs League and ended my playing days captaining Brook Motors’ Works League Team. Happy days.
“I look back on my year in the football team at Rawthorpe with pleasure. They were a very good team and, to a man, a great set of lads. That one of us went on to have a hugely successful career as a professional footballer was, I am sure, a matter of great pride to us all.”
Carl went on to work in graduate recruitment and higher education.
He said: “It has taken me all over the world and it is remarkable how often I have bumped into fellow Huddersfield Town fans.”
Carl is married to Vivienne and the couple have three children, two step-children and six grandchildren. Eldest daughter, Ruth, lives in Stocksmoor with her husband and two children, Charlotte and Oliver. The others are spread across the country.
His mother, Rita, is 97 and still lives in Dalton. His brother Dirk Gilleard lives in New Mill with his wife, Lesley and he has two sisters. One, Olwyn Hunt-Brown, lives in Fenay Bridge with her husband, Michael, and his other sister is Geraldine Swales who lives with her husband Allen in Hepworth.
Carl received his OBE for services to higher education and graduate employability in the New Year Honours list in 2014, receiving the honour from the Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace. In 2014 he also received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Exeter.
The two awards marked the end of a 15 year stint as Chief Executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters.
Carl added: “It was a role that provided me with an invaluable opportunity to stengthen the very important bridges between the two worlds of academia and business and influence Government policy.”