Another international break gives us the chance to recollect about what was happening at Town 10 years ago.

The club’s descent into administration is well documented, as is the rebirth and subsequent play-off success in Cardiff just a year later.

Times have been relatively good for Town in the intervening years, culminating in a Wembley play-off win in 2012 and successfully holding on to that hard-won prize of Championship football last May.

I would just like to reflect on my personal recollections of the work The Survival Trust did during that long spring and summer when all looked lost.

Thrown together by circumstances, this disparate bunch galvanised Town fans to believe we could survive when many people were saying it was pointless trying with a £20m debt.

And without their work and the financial contributions by fans, the club may not have survived.

Undoubtedly the major event was the Wembley Wizards game, raising well over a third of the total achieved.

Looking back, how we got this project off the ground in three weeks is unbelievable.

A committee of six organised it, each with their own areas of responsibility.

My story goes like this:

Armed with only a pay-as-you-go phone and a few players’ numbers gleaned from the diaries or phones of some of the girls in the office, I contacted a few of the players who said ‘I’ll make sure so and so comes’ or passed on more phone numbers.

A call to Peter Jackson and he made sure Taff (Terry Yorath) was in on it – I like to claim that it was me that put them back in the managerial hot seat, certainly they disappeared into the boardroom with Terry Fisher straight after the final whistle and were there all night.

I don’t know if the deal was done that day. What I do know is that the response from former players, Iain Dunn, Darren Bullock, Barry Horne, Lee Sinnott and all the others, too many to mention, was amazing.

All travelled to the game, not one of them claiming expenses and paying for tickets for their families and guests.

These guys deserved the kind of financial rewards that today’s players get.

What is heartening to see is they are still regularly attending matches at the John Smith’s Stadium all these years later.

I got a call on the Tuesday night before the match: “Hello it’s Nico Vaesen.”

He apologised that he couldn’t be there as he had a Premier League fixture the same day (as had Marcus Stewart).

We had a wonderful 90-minute conversation, then two days later the post brought a huge box full of signed goalkeeping kits. That was typical of the reaction of many former players.

It was a shame that the first-team squad were not allowed to participate having been put under a PFA embargo for insurance reasons.

While I accepted that, I had a very depressing phone call with their spokesman, who would not let them get involved even in any off-the-field activity on the day.

He got a pay-out of more than £40,000 as part of the saving of the club. I wonder how he would have felt if the club had gone under and he had got nothing?

The game itself was a blur, the only thing I can remember was that I plonked myself wearily in a directors box seat just in time to see my boyhood hero Frank Worthington miss a penalty.

Wembley Wizards v Town All Stars at McAlpine Stadium. Frank Worthington
Wembley Wizards v Town All Stars at McAlpine Stadium. Frank Worthington
 

Frank had rung me a couple of days before, saying: “What do I need to bring?”

I told him that we had been given strips by the administrator and if he could sign it when he had finished it we would auction them all later, so just bring his boots and shin pads.

“Shin pads, shin pads?” he howled incredulously. “I’ve never worn them in my life and I’m not starting now.”

True to form, Frank arrived about 20 minutes after the match started.

I found out later that he’d nipped into the bar for a quick one, got changed, played his cameo and was back in the bar in next to no time. Well done Frankie.

The day was a resounding success, indeed the gate of 6,500 was higher than either of the League II play-off semi-finals played that day.

This club HAD to survive with support like that.

So how did the money help?

We decided if there was a genuine chance to save the club we would use the money as wisely as possible, and if not we had applied for a provisional place in the Northern Counties East League and would use the money to relaunch at that level.

Wembley Wizards v Town All Stars at McAlpine Stadium. Captains Barry Horne (left) and Darren Bullock
Wembley Wizards v Town All Stars at McAlpine Stadium. Captains Barry Horne (left) and Darren Bullock
 

Thankfully, a series of conversations with the administrator led us to believe that the club could be saved and the money was put to use.

The great advantage was that the club owned no tangible assets, the stadium being an independent company.

The creditors, of which I was one, had a choice: vote FOR saving the club and get nothing or vote AGAINST saving the club and get nothing.

In the end the only creditor to vote against was HMRC.

By the end of May the administrator asked us for help. If he could keep the club running through the summer he was confident one of the consortiums would be able to offer a deal he could accept.

His problem was that he did not have money to pay the staff on May 31 and would have to make them all redundant. Could we help?

We agreed that we would pay those wages, providing the money was used only for this purpose and didn’t disappear into the black hole.

What an investment that has turned out to be, many of those back-office staff still with the club; Sue Beaumont along with her ticket office staff, Tracy Nelson in the commercial department and Ann Hough rising to the boardroom to name a few.

We paid those wages throughout the summer, along with other bills which the administrator asked for. There were a few minor items we refused, but over the summer paid over about £80,000 of your money.

We know the outcome now, Ken Davy bought the club, the deal being sealed when the Football League returned our ‘Golden Share’ on the eve of the new season.

Jacko and Taff returned to only five senior players on the books, several more signing contracts subject to the golden share being returned.

What perhaps is interesting is regarding a call I made to Gerry Murphy a few days before the Wembley Wizards game.

We had two teams of 11 but I needed some substitutes to help out. Could he provide some from the Academy?

Phil Senior, Andy Holdsworth, David Mirfin, Jon Worthington and Jon Stead were among those who played, and all were thrown into the mix the following season and did not disappoint.

Incidentally, it’s wonderful to welcome Steady back to the club after all these years, let’s hope there are many more goals to come in a Town shirt.

So what of the future? Undoubtedly the club is in good hands, building strongly from good foundations.

For those of you impatient for success who get on Deano’s back for not hanging onto Jordan Rhodes or not signing so and so, just remember to be careful what you wish for.

The route to administration always involves not living within your means, so give our chairman your full support.

Of course, constructive criticism is always valid, and if you can offer support to the chairman, do so. He’s a fan himself, he knows how we feel.

Since 2003, sadly, we have lost Will Venters, a man who sparked the whole idea of the Survival Trust.

Several of us have suffered health problems or major lifestyle changes over the years, but would we do it again? Too right we would.

But I feel the social media explosion would make the Survival Trust a completely different animal.

But that’s a discussion for another day.

Finally, there was a touch of deja vu in Huddersfield on Easter Saturday 2003.

A group of us were collecting with buckets. A lady of senior years came and put a pound in mine, then told me the following tale.

Her dad had once told her that in 1919 he had come out of Huddersfield railway station and was asked by someone to give £1 for a share in Huddersfield Town AFC.

He had done so, and had left the white certificate he bought that day to this lady when he passed away, and she still had it.

Which leaves me to consider: 1919 was a mistake, 2003 was carelessness.

A third time would be negligence, it must NEVER happen.

Enjoy the rest of the season and many more after that!