The Huddersfield Town crowd this season has been the best in my 47 years of attendance; best in terms of noise generated and in terms of sticking with the team when things are not going well.
I’m not alone in thinking this. After every match, pundits mention it. The opponent’s supporters mention it.
At the Chelsea game, I sat behind a man who was being paid to compile the stats available to clubs, and so goes to many grounds, and he mentioned it.
WHY is the support so good?
I mean, it hasn’t always been so. I’ve been in Town crowds who have turned on the team and, until the Cowshed was recreated last season, I’ve always considered the new stadium quiet compare to the old one.
So what’s changed? Is it simply because the team’s successful? I don’t think so. For what it is worth, here’s my opinion.
We don’t believe we are a Premier League club. We don’t believe we belong here. We still think we’re a small club. So the adventure we’ve been on, last season and this, feels like some fantastic cup run.
Last season was like supporting a non-league club through to the third round and getting a big club in the draw. This season is like we won that third round match, and now we keep winning, beating better clubs every round, and we’ve gone far enough to imagine getting to Wembley.
Substitute staying in the Premier League for Wembley and that’s how it feels to me - not intellectually, where I’ve no problem seeing Town in the top division, but emotionally, in my heart, where I’ve wanted this season for so long it doesn’t feel real.
Of course, in the cup, when you’re a small club playing a big one and your team performs, you will forgive them just about anything and applaud the performance as much as the result.
I think that’s what’s going on.
It helps that we haven’t had wholesale changes to the team so it still contains the core of the Championship team that started last season, meaning we’re not supporting a new, bought team.
If we stay up, and begin to believe we belong, will the support die down? I hope not because it’s such fun and so, so satisfying to actually influence results.
Bill has supported Huddersfield Town since August 1970, travelling up and down the country and visiting around 50 away grounds in the process.
Having retired from his job with Pennine Housing in Halifax two years ago at the age of 56, the lifelong Town supporter is currently pursuing his dream of becoming a published author.