The legendary Huddersfield Town team that made club chairman Dean Hoyle fall in love with the Terriers are the subject of a new book.
The 101 Club is billed as the inside story of one of most exciting seasons in Town’s history, when the Leeds Road outfit won the old Fourth Division title in swashbuckling style after emerging from the club’s darkest ever period.
The book tells the tale of how Town manager Mick Buxton wrote his name into local folklore by transforming a side flirting with non-league football into an unstoppable attacking force, before dramatically clinching silverware on an unforgettable, nerve-jangling day at old Leeds Road ground in May 1980.
No-nonsense Buxton galvanised the club with working-class heroes, misfits and discards who would become Town heroes thanks to scoring a club-record 101 league goals that campaign – and indirectly paving the way for Premier League to come to Huddersfield almost 40 years later.
The 101 Club will be released next month and Town fans will be able to re-live that epic season and get an insight into the ups and downs of life as a footballer in those days, before the riches of Sky Sports changed the face of the game
Author is Huddersfield-born sports writer Rob Stewart, who has conducted in-depth interviews with Buxton and every single member of the 16-man squad who won the title in such exhilarating fashion.
Hoyle has paid homage to Buxton’s heroes – such as Steve Kindon and Ian Robins – in a moving foreword in which he explains why he called Buxton straight after the play-off final win against Reading to thank him for “the greatest day of my life”.
As well as a very personal piece by Hoyle, 101 Club, which is published by Great Northern Books, also includes revealing interviews, never-before-seen pictures, stories from those who worked behind the scenes, a contribution by MP Barry Sheerman, views from supporters, interviews with the players wives and girlfriends from that time and the story of the move to the John Smith’s.
A life-long Town fan, author Stewart is a former Moor End High School pupil and ex-Greenhead College head boy who was brought up on the Walpole Road estate.
He learned the ropes as a journalist as a cub reporter with the Huddersfield Examiner’s sister paper, the Holmfirth Express, and the Hull Daily Mail before spending a decade as a national newspaper football writer with The Daily Telegraph.
“I’ve been lucky enough to see a lot of top-class football in my time but nothing means as much to me as Buxton’s Town team – apart from David Wagner’s promotion winners,” said the 51-year-old Stewart.
“Thanks to Buxton and his band of brothers it was a very special time for me personally, my football club and my hometown, so tracking down the players and piecing together The 101 Club has been the ultimate labour of love.
“They say you should never meet your heroes, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth for me – they’ve exceeded my highest expectations and I can now understand why they hit it off together and were so successful, because they are our ‘Special Ones’.
“They had a camaraderie that meant they enjoyed themselves as much as us fans did as we lapped it all up while they ripped teams apart, and the tales they have told have veered from heartbreaking to hilarious.”
Stewart, who now lives in Bristol, set about writing The 101 Club after Town were promoted to the Premier League at Wembley last May.
A series of events are being planned in Huddersfield to promote the book and signed copies are already available on Bradford-based publishers Great Northern Books’ website: gnbooks.co.uk.
“I reckon Dean Hoyle proves it’s fair to say that if it hadn’t been for Mick Buxton’s team then the wildest dreams of Town fans like us would not have come true,” added Stewart.
They set the ball rolling because that Town side captured Dean’s heart thanks to the likes of Steve Kindon, Peter Fletcher and Ian Robins, who are still viewed with enormous affection by everyone who saw them pull the club out of the doldrums.
“The book also shows what it was like to be a professional footballer in the 1970s and 1980s, in an era when they all had to work hard for every penny they were paid.
“The 101 Club will be a permanent reminder that Town fans owe Mick Buxton and his players a massive debt, because they not only gave us something to shout about when Leeds were riding high but, together, they vitalised the club.”
Limited Edition Offer – Advance orders only: Order a copy in advance from Great Northern before October 20, 2017, and receive a hardback limited edition, with the name of your choice printed in the list of Terriers fans at the back of the book. Signed by Mick Buxton, members of the team and the author, have the name of your choice printed in the fans list back of the book (£17.99 or buy two for £30.98. UK delivery included).
Visit www.gnbooks.co.uk or call 01274 735056
Link: https:// www.gnbooks.co.uk/product/101/
The 101 Club by Rob Stewart, is published by Great Northern Books, November 31, 2017, RRP £14.99, 288 pages.