Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Season 1949-50 - a change of direction

Posted by Tony Hutton

The summer of 1949 - I remember it well. As a twelve year old having completed my first year at grammar school, all seemed well with the world. We spent the first few days of our summer holiday visiting my mother's friend in Hull, where I watched two days of Yorkshire v Hampshire at The Circle. Then we were off to Whitby for a week.

While there my father set off on the train for a job interview in Birmingham, of all places. To his delight, and my displeasure, he got the job, which was quite a big step up in the world of local government.

So I was only to see another half dozen or so games of football in Yorkshire before departing to live in Walsall, near Birmingham. It took me eighteen years to return north, but the chief plus point for me was the number of football clubs within easy reach of my new home. I did the rounds of them all, shared in their triumphs and disasters, as well as playing football myself first in the Walsall Minor League, against such luminaries as the Wolves 'D' side and then in the Birmingham Amateur Football League.

However, back to business. Huddersfield Town, after their narrow escape from relegation started the new season with renewed optimism. They got off to a poor start with a 4-1 defeat at Blackpool, but I decided to break new ground and spent the first Saturday of the season at the Shay, Halifax.

HALIFAX TOWN 1 (Mycock pen) HARTLEPOOL UTD 2 (Burnett, Mycock o.g.)

All that I can remember about this game was the remarks of a neighbouring spectator, with a broad Yorkshire accent, who spent the whole game disparaging not only the players of both sides, but the referee and linesmen too. He was a bit like the well known comedian of the time, Al Read. He kept shouting at the linesman 'Off side, off side'. To which his straight man replied 'He's put his flag up'. Then the classic retort 'Yes, but not till I shouted'. The programme featured a note of encouragement by stating that the last time Hartlepool won at the Shay was in season 1846-47! Not sure whether this was a misprint or not.

Halifax were unlucky to lose to an own goal by the unfortunately named Mycock, who also scored for his own side, and having two goals disallowed to the intense annoyance of our complaining spectator. Two of their players, Massey and Hinsley, were injured and may miss the next match.

WEDNESDAY 24TH AUGUST 1949                      Attendance 21,805
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 2 (Nightingale, Hassall) FULHAM 2 (Rowley, Thomas)

Mills; Boot, Stewart (H); Hunter, Hepplewhite, Whittaker;
McKenna, Hassall, Burke, Nightingale, Metcalfe;

Flack; Freeman, Bacuzzi; Quested, Taylor, Beasley (capt);
Stevans, Thomas (R), Rowley, Jezzard, McDonald;

Referee:- Mr S.E. Law, West Bromwich

Town's new look side included recent signing from Manchester United, Ronnie Burke, who was unable to get a regular place  at Old Trafford. Harold Hassall was promoted from the reserves and veteran Eddie Boot was in the unacustomed position of right back.

After a poor first half, the game was transformed three minutes after the interval with a splendid self made goal by Nightingale, who pounced on a long ball from Boot. Arthur Rowley, who often troubled Hepplewhite, returned the compliment within two minutes. The burly, dashing and enterprising centre forward outwitted two or more defenders  and finished with a powerful drive which left Mills well beaten.

After 65 minutes Thomas put Fulham ahead to rouse Town who hammered away at the Fulham defence for the rest of the game. Finally just six minutes before the final whistle, Hassall scored a brilliant equaliser. When a high ball came over from Burke, he jumped to volley it home, a goal reminiscent of Peter Doherty (now with Doncaster) at his best.

Newly promoted Fulham looked a good team and were full value for a point in an entertaining match, watched by many who had spent the day watching county cricket between Yorkshire and Gloucestershire at Fartown, before walking down to Leeds Road at the close of play.

SATURDAY 27TH AUGUST 1949                              Attendance 22,711
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 2 (Hassall, Burke) MIDDLESBOROUGH 2 (McCrea, McKennan)

Mills; Boot, Stewart (H); Hunter, Hepplewhite, Whittaker;
McKenna, Hassall, Burke, Nightingale, Metcalfe;

Ugolini; Robinson, Hepple; Bell, Blenkinsopp, Gordon;
Dicks, McKennan, MCCrea, Mannion, Walker;

Referee:- Mr H.W. Moore, York

Town ended a busy first week of the season, unchanged from Wednesday night and continued their encouraging start with another 2-2 draw. Hassall again impressed with another brilliant,individual goal.Town were 2-0 up within half an hour when Burke scored his first goal for the club. Mannion had a hard time during the first half with young wing half David Hunter having a good game. In the second half Mannion came into his own and it became a different story. He was able to lay on goals for the two Scotsmen  McCrea and the powerful McKennan.

SATURDAY 3RD SEPTEMBER, 1949                  Attendance 13,000


WALSALL 1 (Devlin) NORTHAMPTON TOWN 3 (Murphy, King, Mitchell)

Steel; Jones, Methley; Walters, Foulkes (capt), Russon;
Medd, Whitehouse, Chapman, Devlin, Betts;

Ansell; Smalley, Southam; Candlin (capt), McCoy, Coley;
King, Smith, McCulloch, Murphy, Mitchell;
Referee:- C.J. Williams, Nottingham

My first visit to Walsall, as my parents were on a house hunting week, from which I was either excused or escaped. However the Saddlers looked a poor team who will struggle on their strange three sided ground, bounded by a laundry wall and chimney behind one goal and behind the laundry was a railway line. Very different from Leeds Road and it may be that my affections may be transferred elsewhere before very long.

WEDNESDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER 1949               Attendance 43,663


W.B.A. 1(Elliott) ARSENAL 2 (Barnes pen, Lewis)

Sanders; Pemberton, Millard; Kennedy, Vernon (capt), Hood;
Elliott, Williams, Walsh, Haines, Smith;

Swindin; Barnes, Smith (L); Forbes, Compton (L), Mercer (capt);
McPherson, Logie, Goring, Lewis, Roper;
Referee: E.S. Vickery, Bristol

It took me longer than expected to make the relatively short journey between Walsall and West Bromwich by a combination of buses, so that I only arrived a few minutes before kick off. The ground was already crammed full, particularly the terrace behind the goal at the Birmingham Road end, where I had great difficulty in finding any sort of vantage point. The newly promoted home side put up a good performance and have some very useful players, notably the two Irishmen Vernon in defence and Walsh in attack, as well as the tricky right winger Billy Elliott who scored their only goal.

Arsenal have a very strong side, particularly in defence with big Leslie Compton a commanding figure at centre half. I had hoped that his brother Dennis might appear on the left wing, but apparently he was still playing cricket. Arsenal's next match was at Huddersfield the following Saturday, a game which I missed, presumably as we were travelling back from the Midlands.

It turned out to be yet another 2-2 draw with Burke and Glazzard scoring the goals, as they had done a few days earlier in the midweek win at home to Charlton 2-1.


Hesford; Howe (G), Stewart (H); Hunter, Percival, Boot (capt);
McKenna, Glazzard, Rodgers, Nightingale, Metcalfe;

Butler; Hindmarsh, Ferrier; Scoular, Flewin, Dickinson;
Harris, Reid, Clarke, Phillips, Froggatt;
Referee:- H. Pearce, Luton

Town, with a much changed side due to injuries did well to hold the League Champions to just one goal. Hesford, after a long absence, re-appeared in goal, George Howe was tried in the problem right back position and Percival made a rare appearance at centre half as deputy for George Hepplewhite. Burke and Hassall were also missing from the forward line. Portsmouth's strength lay in their powerful half back line which dominated proceedings. 'Ike' Clarke, the former W.B.A. player, scored the only goal.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

End of season heroics - 1948-49

Posted by Tony Hutton

SATURDAY 12TH MARCH, 1949                  Attendance 23,136

Burnley - Strong; Loughran, Mather; Atwell, Cummings, Bray (capt);
Chew, Morris, Billingham, Potts, Hays;

This was a poor display by both sides. Town were not helped by an ankle injury to Doherty, which made him move to the left wing, where Metcalfe had seemed to have the measure of the defence with his speed. Fortunately, wing halves Whittaker and Boot stood firm and looked more impressive than Burnley's Attwell, who has been selected to play for the the Football League XI. Two vital points for Town.

SATURDAY 26TH MARCH, 1949               Attendance 25,745

Newcastle - Fairbrother; Cowell, Batty; Harvey (capt), Brennan, Dodgin;
Walker, Taylor, Milburn, Stobbart, Hair;

A Town defence which so often this season has threatened to beat its own goalkeeper did so twice today. This presented Newcastle with two points the donors can ill afford to spare. Under pressure centre half George Hepplewhite and then left back Harry Stewart  tapped the ball past the astonished Wheeler. Which is more than Newcastle's star studded attack could do ! For fifteen minutes it was anybody's game but then came Hepplewhite's blunder. Newcastle provided the arts and graces of the game, so tangling Town's defence that Stewart passed back without looking to see where Wheeler was. Sadly Harry Stewart was to add to the own goal tally the following week at Chelsea.

WEDNESDAY 6TH APRIL, 1949                           Attendance 17,256

Man. Utd. - Crompton; Carey (capt), Aston; McGlen, Chilton, Cockburn;
Deleaney, Downie, Rowley, Pearson, Mitten;

A famous victory for Town against their illustrious rivals. Downie, the big money signing from Bradford Park Avenue replaced Johnny Morris, who has gone to Derby.
It was a tale of two penalties, Doherty scoring for Town, but the usually reliable Charlie Mitten had his kick saved by Harry Mills in the Town goal. This was Mills  third penalty save from the four he has faced this season.

SATURDAY 9TH APRIL, 1949                    Attendance 18,856

Mills; Hayes, Stewart (H); Whittaker, Hepplewhite, Boot;
McKenna, K.A. Hansen, Rodgers, Nightingale, Metcalfe;

Robertson; Green, Jennings; Badham, Duckhouse, Ferris;
Stewart, Jordan, Daily, Harris (capt), Laing;

Huddersfield included Danish international Karl Hansen, who is to play for them as an amateur. Birmingham were without goalkeeper Gilbert Merrick and included Johnny Jordan, the former Spurs player who recently returned from Italy where he assisted Juvenus.
Even without Merrick, the Birmingham defence proved their ability which won promotion last season with the record of only 24 goals against. Town's best chance appeared to be an appeal for a penalty for handball against centre half Ted Duckhouse, but the referee was apparently unsighted. Robertson had an easy debut in the Birmingham goal.

HUDERSFIELD TOWN 0 LIVERPOOL (Balmer 2, Baron, Liddell)

Liverpool - Sidlow; Lambert, Shepherd; Williams (R.R.), Jones, Paisley;
Payne, Baron, Stubbins, Balmer, Liddell;

Town's relegation problems increased with this crushing defeat. Town could make little progress against the very tough Liverpool defence, but the highlight of the game was a brilliant goal by the Scottish international winger, Billy Liddell. It was made possible by a delightful piece of foot jugglery by centre forward Albert Stubbins to prevent the ball going out of play just inside his own half. This put Liddell away down the left wing, running through the Town defence like a steam engine and hitting an unstoppable shot from the edge of the area into the net.
Huddersfield's haphazard defence and pointless attack was the worst seen this season. Apart from Peter Doherty's first minute shot, which went just over the bar, and a close range effort from Glazzard that went close, they never looked like scoring. Town got what they deserved - a hiding, against a very good team.

Back row - Taylor, Spicer, Hughes, Sidlow, Lambert, Paisley, Kay (Manager)
Front row - Payne, Baron, Stubbins, Fagan, Liddell
TUESDAY 19TH APRIL, 1949                Attendance 18,000

Searson; Dunn, Milburn; McCabe, Charles, Burden;
Cochrane, McMorran, Browning, Igglesden, Rudd;

Henderson; McColl, James; McBain, Aird, Sharpe;
McCulloch, Brown (C), Houliston, Brown (J), Johnston;

Referee:- Mr R.A. Mortimore, Huddersfield

Leeds gave 17 year old Welshman John Charles his first senior game and in direct opposition to the youngster was Billy Houliston, currently first choice centre forward for Scotland, who played in the winning team at Wembley ten days ago and scored twice against Ireland. However, young Charles was not overawed by his opponent's reputation and despite the centre forward's robust style, shut him out of the game completelym showing great promise for one so young.
The referee, Mr Mortimore of Huddersfield, is to take control of the FA cup final between Wolves and Leicester on April 30th.
Lacking the bite of a league fixture, the pace was not as fast as usual for many of the players. Charles was not one of those, because of his opponent. Houliston's refreshing vigoour is welcomed by all but opposing goalkeepers and centre halves. Charles came through the ordeal no worse than the England players at Wembley and from his cool assurance, tactical skill and sturdy build it seems certain that Major Buckley has found a player with a great future.
                   John Charles                    



SATURDAY 23RD APRIL, 1949                        Attendance 19,051

Mills; Hayes, Stewart (H); Whittaker, Hepplewhite, Boot;
McKenna, Nightingale, K.A. Hansen, Doherty, Metcalfe;

Sager; Saunders, Dugdale; Farrell, Jones (T.G.), Lello;
Powell, Wainwright, McIntosh, Fielding, Eglington;

Referee:- Mr. H. Holt, Rochdale

Veteran goalkeeper Ted Sagar was in fine form for Everton, who were also well served by the two Irishmen Farrell and Eglington, but it was the little Welshman, Aubrey Powell, signed from Leeds United, who scored the equaliser to rob Town of yet another point.

SATURDAY 30TH APRIL, 1949                    Attendence 42,000
HULL CITY 6 (Moore 3, Carter 2, Jensen) STOCKPORT COUNTY 1 (Herd)

Bly; Taylor, Berry; Greenhalgh, Meens, Durham;
Harrison, Jensen, Moore, Carter, Shepherd;

Bowles; Kenny, Monks; Walker, McCulloch, Paterson;
Barker, Herd, Cocker, Brown, Glaister;

By happy coincidence my mother was visiting her friend in Hull this weekend, which gave me the opportunity to share in a great footballing occasion at Boothferry Park, Hull. A huge crowd turned up to see Hull City crowned champions of the Third Division North and ensure promotion to the Second Division.

After creating a new record by winning the first nine matches of the season, Hull, well led by player-manager Raich Carter, have played consistently throughout. They won this game with ease and were unlucky to concede a goal, when Billy Bly brilliantly saved Herd's penalty kick, only for the former Manchester City veteran to score from the rebound. Even without two of their regulars, left half Mellor and left winger Eddie Burbanks, who played with Carter in the Sunderland cup winning team before the war, it was still very easy for the 'Tigers' who have made Hull a football crazy city.

Carter himself scored twice, but the hero of the day was centre forward Norman Moore, who scored a  hat trick with goals in the 20th, 73rd and 83rd minutes. However, it was a great team performance with the Danish International Vigo Jensen also prominent. Jimmy Greenhalgh at right half looks a great prospect and Billy Bly, the goalkeeper, has become a folk hero in Hull. With such a good team, good reserves and tremendous support and facilities Hull can look forward to second division football with confidence.                            

THURSDAY 5TH MAY, 1949                              Attendance 21,445

Mills; Hayes, Stewart (H); Whittaker, Hepplewhite, Boot;
McKenna, K.A. Hansen, Rodgers, Doherty, Metcalfe;

Williams; Kelly, Springthorpe; Russell, Shorthouse, Chatham;
Smith, Cook, Wilshaw, Smyth, Hancocks;

Referee:- Mr J.H. Parker, Macclesfield

Great excitement before kick-off in this vital penultimate game of the season for Town. Billy Wright captain of England and cup winners Wolves appeared off the team coach with a battered wooden box containing the FA cup. He was mobbed by all the schoolboy autograph hunters, myself included, and was keen for everyone to actually touch the cup.

Wright in fact did not play as this was already Wolves' third game since the cup final last Saturday. They had played Preston on Monday and Everton at Goodison Park last night. So a much changed Wolves side faced Town, who with two home games left were bottom of the league with 30 points. Preston with one match to play have 31, Sheffield Utd with two matches to play have 32 and Middlesborough with one match remaining 33. It could not be closer.

The fact that Wolves had played three games, including the cup final, in the last five days, worked in Town's favour. Five members of the cup final side, Pritchard, Wright, Dunn, Pye and Mullen were all missing and Crook and Hancocks were in different positions. One of the reserves included was Dennis Wilshaw who since scoring a hat-trick on debut from outside left on March 12th ,has scored consistently from centre foward. He very nearly kept Jesse Pye out of the cup final.
Fortunately for Town they turned in one of the best displays of the season thanks mainly to the Dane, Hansen, who laid on goals for others as well as scoring himself.

For the first 37 minutes of the game, the much changed Wolves side looked capable of gaining a draw, with some brilliant goalkeeping by Williams. He cut out centres despite the glaring sun, dived at forwards fee and brilliantly celebrated his inclusion in the England party to tour the Continent. But in the 37th minute Town's fortunes changes when the ball struck the referee and gave Boot the chance to whip out a pass to Metcalfe and Town produced the fighting spirit their desperate position demanded and McKenna headed home a fine goal.

Then in the second and third minutes of the second half Hansen and Rodgers put Town three up, both from centres by Metcalfe. The final goal also went to Rodgers, following some brilliant co-operation with Hansen, who beat Chatham, Shorthouse and Russell and as Rodgers, well positioned, called for the ball, he slipped a perfect pass to the centre forward's feet. Not all Town's passing was so well conceived, but there was a welcome bite about their second half display. Whittaker and Boot were again outstanding, but the most welcome feature was the leadership of Rodgers - a great improvement. It would be unfair to criticise Wolves reserves, but their positional play let them down. Williams, brave to the end, saved a penalty from Bill Hayes in the last minute. Smyth who missed an open goal and Wilshaw trying to glide the ball in should have hit it hard, had Wolves best chances.

So it would all go down to the last match of the season in two days time when Town would be at home to Manchester City.

SATURDAY 7TH MAY, 1949                    Attendance 27,507

Mills; Hayes, Stewart (H); Whittaker, Hepplewhite, Boot;
McKenna, K.A. Hansen, Rodgers, Doherty, Metcalfe;

Swift; Sproston, Westwood; Walsh, Fagan, Emptage;
Linacre, Black, Oakes, Smith, Clarke;

Not only the last match, but the last goal of the season, kept Town in the first division by the skin of their teeth. They finished with 34 points, Preston who won today and Sheffield United who drew, both go down with 33 points each. Again it was centre forward Arnold Rodgers, playing only his fifth game of the season, who scored the vital goal. In the last two games Rodgers has scored more goals than the other centre forwards, Glazzard and Whittingham, have scored between them all season. They each scored one goal and Whittingham's was in the first match of the season, when he was playing at right half!

This was England goalkeeper Frank Swift's last match before retirement and a large crowd of supporters had journeyed from Manchester to give him a good send off. The crowd surged onto the field at the end of the game and chaired him off the field. Later on he left in the Manchester City supporters' coach, decorated with flags and a banner which read 'Great Britain, England and Manchester City thanks you'.

Frank Swift has kept goal for Manchester City since 1933 and for the first 76 minutes f this match he alone stood between Town and the threat of relegation. Metcalfe was able to beat the slowing Sproston at will and the Dane, Hansen, passed immaculately and dribbled with delightful precision. Town in fact forced 13 corners in the first half, but Swift and Fagan, who once kicked off the line, kept them out. Hansen headed, Nightingale worried and Rodgers shot, but they could not beat 'Big Swifty'.

Then with Town's glorious twenty years in the First Division looking to have only 13 minutes left, Swift conceeded the 18th Town corner. The little Irishman, McKenna, took it and the vital goal came amid a hubbub unusual from the frequently indifferent Town supporters. Rodgers, the scorer, described the goal as follows:-
'I saw the ball coming and I thought there was room for me to dive to it before Swifty got there. I was scared stiff for there were boots flying all around and I thought my head was going to be kicked off, but the ball spun like an off break away from Westwood and the goalkeeper and I dived to the ground, ramming it home with my head'. Hansen also had a share in the goal, his header glancing it from McKenna's kick in Rodgers direction.


So ended a season in which I had seen every home game played by Huddersfield Town. A season in which for the second year running they had just escaped relegation by a thrilling late rally. For most of the season the football was of a very poor standard. Seven home defeats, including the cup game with Newport, bear witness to that.
The main weakness, until the arrival of Rodgers, was at centre forward where neither Glazzard or Whittingham could find a scoring touch.

Doherty, although perhaps past his best, worked tirelessly throughout the season and played a great part in the final effort. He was here, there and everywhere, bobbing up to take free-kicks, corner-kicks and throws-in all over the field. As he has now taken up the position of player manager with Doncaster Rovers he will be greatly missed, but let us hope he will have similar success to that of his former Derby County colleague, Raich Carter,with Hull City this season.
The two wingers were both competent, with Metcalfe improving considerably as the season progressed, under Doherty's watchful eye. Nightingale had an annoying tendency to hold onto the ball too long, which is a pity for he has the ability to beat a man cleverly. Whittaker settle down to play some useful games after the misfortune of his first match and George Hepplewhite was a strong man in the middle of defence. Even if he was prone to concede penalties, Mills could be relied upon to save them!

Eddie Boot was a very reliable left half and only missed one game throughout the season. Full back was, with centre forward, the position which gave most concern. Irish international Bill Hayes, who came back out of retirement was well into the veteran stage. He joined Town back in 1932 and was often too slow to match some of the speedy wingers he came up against. The brightest full back prospect must be Harry Stewart, who although still prone to the odd wild clearance, has improved a lot since he first came into the team. In goal there was little to choose between Mills and Wheeler, although probably the former's penalty saving exploits give him the edge.


Played - 21,  Won - 6,  Drawn - 7,  Lost - 8, Goals for 19, Goals against 24, Points 19

Scorers:- Doherty 3, McKenna 3, Rodgers 3, Nightingale 2, Smith 2, Whittingham, Hassall, Boot, Metcalfe and Hansen one each.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Huddersfield Town 1948-49 (Part three)

Posted by Tony Hutton

The next two home games for Town were both rather boring goal less draws, against fellow relegation candidates Middlesborough and the team challenging for the Championship in Portsmouth. Town had slipped to 20th place after a 1-0 defeat away at Birmingham City, the only score being an own goal by George Hepplewhite. Only Everton, on goal average, and Sheffield United by one point, were below them.
Middlesborough were also in trouble partly due to the ongoing Wilf Mannion saga. The England inside forward refused to re-sign at the start of the season and the dispute lingers on with Middlesborough refusing to grant a transfer and Mannion adamant that he will not play for them again. Alex McCrea, until recently a team mate of Town's Whittaker at Charlton, has taken Mannion's place. However, another poor game was served up for the loyal 16,000 fans. The only interest being a few acrobatics from Italian goalkeeper Rolando Ugolini and some polished full back play from the England captain George Hardwick.

Two weeks later, on 4th December, 1948 Town faced Portsmouth, following an unlikely 4-2 away win at Newcastle. All the goals including a Peter Doherty hat trick
came in the first half.

Although 5,000 more than the last home crowd turned up ut was yet another goal less draw. On this occasion it was a good performance by Town to hold a very powerful looking forward line with two good wingers in Harris and Froggatt. The visitors were also well served by a tremendous half back line of Scoular, Flewin and Dickinson. Town never really looked like scoring but even one point was valuable in their present predicament.

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1 (Boot) BLACKPOOL 0            Attendance 41,322

Mills; Hayes, Briggs; Whittaker, Heppelwhite, Boot;
McKenna, Nightingale, Glazzard, Smith, Metcalfe;

Farm; Shimwell, Suart; Johnston (capt), Hayward, Kelly;
Matthews, Munro, Garrett, McCall, Ricketts;

Referee:- E. Plinston, Warrington

After two successive away defeats, Town managed another goal less draw with Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, on Christmas Day morning, but they approached their last match of the year in bottom place in the first division. Only one win in ten home games speaks for itself. Blackpool, also in the bottom half of the table, have been hit by injuries  and were again without international Stan Mortenson and centre forward McIntosh. Munro continued to deputise for Mortenson and reserve full back Tommy Garrett was a surprise selection as deputy centre forward. Town were without Peter Doherty, but a rare goal by left half Eddie Boot gave them a hard fought victory in front of a large Christmas crowd.
It was Boot's first goal for the club since the war and he also continually foraged for his forwards. As well as that he helped Briggs to play the great Stanley Matthews out of the game. Briggs did not commit himself to the tackle and stood off from his noted opponent. As a result Matthews was confined to midfield, with a consequent slow down of the Blackpool attack.
Unlike Blackpool the Town forwards kept the ball down on the frozen turf and inside forwards Nightingale and Smith (deputising for Doherty who was injured on Christmas Day) worked the ball well and kept the wingers moving into open spaces. Blackpool's defence had a gruelling time against a nippy forward line, in which Metcalfe was perhaps the only weak link. Blackpool only attacked in the last few minutes in which time they spared neither themselves or their opponents. In fact some of them were lucky to get away without a caution.
More determined displays like this could see Town move out of danger.

Attendance 20,937

Mills; Hayes, Briggs; Whittaker, Hepplewhite, Boot;
McKenna, Nightingale, Glazzard, Smith, Metcalfe;

Bartram; Campbell, Lock; Johnson, Phipps, Revell;
Hurst, Fenton, Vaughan, O'Linn, Duffy;

Another goal from the improving Conway Smith saw the Town ahead at half time, but in the second half Fenton brought the visitors level, before Vaughan scored the winner to mean that two more vital points were lost. Sam Batram was his usual flamboyant self in goal, with a sound defence in front of him. The two wingers, Gordon Hurst and Chris Duffy, hero of the 1947 cup final, were always dangerous against the struggling Town defence.

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 5 (Glazzard 2, Nightingale, McKenna, Bateman)
QUEENS PARK RANGERS 0                                          Attendance 31,076

Wheeler; Hayes, Briggs; Whittaker, Hepplewhite, Boot;
Bateman, Nightingale, Glazzard, Smith, McKenna;

Allen; Powell (G), Jefferson; Parkinson, Smith, Farrow;
Campbell, Stewart, Durrant, Mills, Pattison;

Referee:- Mr H Pearce (Luton)

After drawing 0-0 after extra time in London last week, Town had no difficulty in beating their second division opponents to progress to the fourth round of the cup. There was never any chance of last year's loss to Colchester being repeated.
Both teams changed colours in view of the clash between Town's blue and white stripes and Rangers' blue and white hoops. Town played in white and the visitors in red.
Even without the left wing pair of Doherty and Metcalfe, Town played some of their best football of the season and delighted their supporters, who could not remember when they last scored five goals in a match. It will certainly be a confidence booster for young centre forward, Jimmy Glazzard, who scored two goals. Reg Allen was outstanding in goal for QPR and prevented a much heavier defeat with many fine saves.

Albert Bateman tackled by Jefferson

Jefferson and Glazzard go head to head

LEAGUE DIVISION TWO                                           Attendance 42,000
Searson; Dunn, Milburn; McCabe, Holley (capt), McAdam;
Cochrane, Burden, McMorran, Chisholm, Rudd;
McIntosh; Westlake, Swift (capt); Locerty, Turton, Whitcomb;
Kilshaw, Quigley, Dailey, Froggatt, Woodhead;

Leeds included their new goalkeeper from Mansfield Town, Harold Searson. His only mistake seemed to be his approach to Eddie Quigley's penalty kick. As the kick was about to be taken, he crouched down low and Quigley slammed it easily over his head into the roof of the net. Little Eddie Kilshaw, the recent expensive signing from Bury, was outstanding for Wednesday.

SATURDAY 5TH FEBRUARY 1949                       Attendance 34,183
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1 (Metcalfe) NEWPORT COUNTY 3 (Carr 2, Parker)  

Wheeler; Hayes, Briggs; Whittaker, Hepplewhite, Boot;
McKenna, Nightingale, Glazzard, Doherty, Metcalfe;

Grant; Bradford, Hayward; Roffi, Wilcox, Newall;
Williams, Comley, Parker, Carr, Harper;

Referee:- J.G. Williams, Nottingham

After a 3-3 draw at Newport last week the Third Division South team Newport, who had already beaten Leeds United at Leeds in the third round, showed that they are worthy of the title 'giant-killers' by beating Huddersfield convincingly. They were accompanied by hordes of excited Welsh followers who distributed leeds and good luck charms all over the field and the goal nets. The visitors were never in trouble and inflicted a defeat almost as humiliating as that at Colchester last season.
Outstanding players for Newport were outside right Harold Williams (later to join Leeds United) and inside left Eddie Carr, a former Huddersfield player.

A week later Town slumped to another home defeat 1-0 to Aston Villa, Welsh centre forward Trevor Ford scoring the only goal. The sparse attendance of only 15,401 reflected Town's plight, not only out of the FA Cup but very likely to be relegated.
However, there were to be a few more twists to the story before the end of the season.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Huddersfield Town 1948-49 (Part two)

Posted by Tony Hutton

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 2 (Nightingale, Smith) SUNDERLAND 0      23,035

Wheeler; Hayes, Stewart (H); Hunter, Hepplewhite, Boot;
McKenna, Nightingale, Whittingham, Smith (C), Metcalfe;

Mapson; Stelling, Hudgell; Watson, Hall, Wright (A);
Duns, Robinson, Turnbull, Shackleton, Reynolds;

Huddersfield, following a good draw at Villa Park last week, did very well to inflict on Sunderland only their second defeat of the season. Without skipper Peter Doherty, the two inside forwards both did well, scoring a goal each in the first half. Nightingale's goal was a beauty and young Conway Smith improves with every game. McKenna also impressed at outside right, but there is room for improvement from left back Harry Stewart.

Albert Nightingale scores for Town

For Sunderland Yorkshire cricketer Willie Watson had a good game, but last season's record £20,000 signing, Len Shackleton from Newcastle, had little to offer. This was Watson's first game after a long running dispute with the club. He was the only Sunderland man to play consistently throughout the game.

The next game was my first visit to Elland Road for two years, since moving from Leeds to Huddersfield and it was good to have a change of scene for once.

LEEDS UNITED 1 (Marsh) WEST BROMWICH ALBION 3 (Williams 2, Walsh)        38, 500

Lomas; Dunn, Milburn; McCabe, Holley (capt), McAdam;
Cochrane, Marsh, Burden, Chisholm, Heaton;

Sanders; Pemberton, Millard; Hood, Vernon (capt), Barlow;
Elliot, Williams, Walsh, Haines, Kinsell;

Leeds were without their goalscoring centre forward, Albert Wakefield, and tried their recent signing from Chester, Tommy Burden - normally a wing half, in that position.
They also gave young goalkeeper Lomas, who is on trial, his first league appearance. Albion also made an experiment , trying Kinsell, normally a full back, on the left wing. This move was hardly a success, but even so the visitors with their two Irish internationals Vernon and Walsh outstanding, won confortably with two goals from inside right Cyril Williams and one from Walsh.
Marsh, normally an outside left signed from the Cheshire League last week, cleverly scored United's goal. Lomas was not at fault with any of the Albion goals which all resulted from bad covering in defence. Jim Sanders was outstanding making good saves from the powerful Chisholm, Cochrane and Burden, who also hit the bar, as well as saving a penalty from Milburn. Young McAdam gave a plucky display playing on with a badly cut forehead for much of the game.

SATURDAY 9TH OCTOBER, 1948                                  Attendance 19,383
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1 (Hassall) STOKE CITY 3 (Bowyer, Mountford (G), Baker)

Wheeler; Hayes, Stewart (H); Hunter, Hepplewhite, Boot;
McKenna, Glazzard, Whittingham, Hassall, Metcalfe;

Herod; Mould, McCue; Mountford (F), Jones, Sellars;
Mountford (G), Bowyer, Steele, Caton, Baker;

After a 7-1 hammering at Wolves last wee, Town were looking desperately for some improvement. However, without both Nightingale and Doherty, they found it difficult against a very solid Stoke side. Even though centre half Neil Franklin was away playing for England. Centre forward Freddie Steele led the line well, laying on chances for his other forwards.
With only a few minutes left young inside forward Harold Hassall scored to put Town level, but two very late goals saw Stoke take the points.


Mills; Hayes, Stewart (H); Hunter, Heppelwhite, Boot;
McKenna, Nightingale, Whittingham, Doherty, Metcalfe;

Newlands; Brown, Scott; Shankly, Corbett, Davie;
Bogan, McLaren, McIntosh, Beattie, Langton;

Town, encouraged by a 2-1 win at Burnley last week, thanks to two second half goals from Vic Metcalfe, were hopeful of picking up two more points against fellow relegation strugglers Preston. In fact, the visitors brought off their first win of the season and scored their first goal at Huddersfield since 1938. The absence of Tom Finney (injured) added to the number of Scots in the Preston side, making a total of eight. Mills returned after injury for Town, but the lack of a goalscoring centre forward is still the main weakness.
According to the Yorkshire Post Town were a well beaten side everyshere except in the League Table, where both teams now have ten points from fourteen games. There was a world of difference between the cool method of North End's experienced Shankly and the two goalscorers, Beattie and McLaren, and the scrambling get rid of it at any price tactics of Town. It must be noted however that both Preston goals were flukes.

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 3 (Doherty 2, Nightingale) CHELSEA 4 (Bentley, Williams, McInnes, Whittaker o.g.)                       Attendance 18,963

Mills; Hayes, Stewart (H); Whittaker, Hepplewhite, Boot;
McKenna, Nightingale, Whittingham, Doherty, Metcalfe;

Pickering; Winter, Hughes; Armstong, Harris (capt), Macauley;
Campbell, Williams, Bentley, Bowie, McInnes;

This exciting game marked the debut of wing half Bill Whittaker, signed for £10,000 from Charlton to bring some experience to the Town half-backs in place of the very promising David Hunter. Whittaker was extremely unfortunate to be credited with an own goal which won the match for Chelsea. In fact he simply touched a ball already on it's way into the net and would not have gone into the record books but for a statement by the refereee.
The goal which should have been prevented was an earlier one, when the goalkeeper lost the ball from a right wing centre and allowed an easy tap in goal. The return of Peter Doherty made a big difference in attack, but Town's problems in defence continue. However, it was a thrilling match and a shame such a poor crowd witnessed the rare feat of three goals from the home side. A draw would perhaps have been a fairer result.

LEEDS UNITED 1 (Browning) FULHAM 1 (Thomas R)                  26,500

Fearnley; Dunn, Milburn; McCabe, Holley (capt), McAdam;
Cochrane, Burden, Browning, Chisholm, Heaton;

Flack; Freeman, Bacuzzi; Quested, Taylor, Beasley (capt);
Thomas (S), Thomas (R), Stevans, Jezzard, McDonald;

The young Leeds centre forward, Len Browning, who is keeping Albert Wakefield in the reserves, was the star of the Leeds forward line. He scored their only goal and went close on several other occasions. After four wins in a row Fulham looked a very useful side and after a goal less first half, they more than held their own in the second half and fully deserved a point. Fulham's captain Pat Beasley had played for Huddersfield Town before the war and his wing half partner, Len Quested, was also to join Town a few years later.
Two of the Leeds team have selected to play for Ireland against Scotland on Wednesday. They are wing half McCabe, who gets his first cap, and outside right Davy Cochrane.

Caption for this picture from the Yorkshire Evening News reads as follows:-

Leeds United nearly took Fulham by surprise with a whirlwind start at Elland Road this afternoon. Chisholm, United's dashing Scot, is harassing Flack, the visiting goal keeper, after Burden had fired in a good shot. The effect of the heavy rain can been seen in the muddy state of the Fulham goalmouth.


Sunday, 8 March 2015

Huddersfield Town 1948-49 (Part one)

Posted by Tony Hutton

Town started the new season with the same forward line, but a few changes in defence.
Mills who had taken over from Hesford in goal in the latter part of last season continued, but with two new full backs in front of him. The veteran Irishman, Bill Hayes had retired and Geoff Barker had joined Midland League club Scunthorpe United. The first home match was against league champions Arsenal.

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1 (Whittingham) ARSENAL 1 (Rooke)     30, 620
Mills; Briggs, Stewart (A.V.); Whittingham, Hepplewhite, Boot;
Bateman, Nightingale, Glazzard, Doherty (capt), Metcalfe; 

Swindon; Barnes, Smith (L); Macauley, Fields, Mercer (capt);
Roper, Logie, Rooke, Forbes, McPherson;
Referee:- Major F.C. Green, Wolverhampton

Town did well to take a point from the league champions who were without regular centre half, Les Compton, and inside forward Reg Lewis. Fields did a good job at centre half and Alex Forbes was moved into the forward line from his usual wing half spot. Whittingham played at right half instead of his usual centre forward role, but still managed to put Town ahead during the first half. However Arsenal came back in the second half and Ronnie Rooke, who scored 33 goals last season, got the equaliser.

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1 (Doherty) DERBY COUNTY 1 (Thompson)  24,182
Mills; Briggs, Howe (G); Hunter, Hepplewhite, Boot;
McKenna, Smith (C), Glazzard, Doherty, Metcalfe;

Townsend; Mozley, Howe (J); Ward, Leuty, Musson;
Broome, Carter, Thompson, Steel, Oliver;

Huddersfield obtained their second point of the season, having lost two away matches, at Derby (4-1) and Charlton (3-1) since the game with Arsenal. They have still to find a settled team and full back George Howe and outside right John McKenna recently signed from Irish club Linfield, were making their debuts. Wing half David Hunter and inside right Conway Smith, son of the famous pre-war winger, Billy Smith, were also brought in.
McKenna, small and tricky looks a useful acquisition, but the full back weakness still remains. Peter Doherty, Town's Irish international skipper, scored his first goal of the season after nine minutes of the second half against his former club, following a move started by McKenna. Derby probably have two of the best inside forwards in the game in Raich Carter and Billy Steel, last season's signing from Greenock Morton. Derby led at half-time with a goal from reserve centre forward Thompson after 26 minutes following a defensive blunder, but missed their regular number nine, Jack Stamps.
Town were the better team in the second half, although they did not give Glazzard the ball on the ground enough. He was well beaten by Leuty in the air and full back Mozley played Metcalfe out of the game.
The early evening kick off (6.15) and Town's poor start to the season was perhaps responsible for the reduced attendance.


Wheeler; Hayes, Briggs; Hunter, Hepplewhite, Boot;
Mckenna, Nightingale, Whittingham, Doherty (capt), Metcalfe;

Smith; Furniss, Cox; Jackson, Latham, Shaw;
Jones, Thompson, Whitelum, Brook, Collindridge;

Sheffield United
A much changed Town side with new goalkeeper Jack Wheeler taking over from the injured Harry Mills, veteran Irish full back Bill Hayes coming back out of retirement and Whittingham taking over from Glazzard at centre forward. Having had a surprise victory at Bolton on Monday night, in which centre half Hepplewhite scored, Huddersfield must have felt confident. Particularly as Sheffield United had lost 5-2 to Sunderland on the same night. However it developed into a very poor game, with few scoring chances and Albert Nightingale could not impress against his former teamates.

Apart from Doherty, the only other Town player who tried to use the ball was the lively McKenna, but he was generally unsupported.. Town might have won in the closing minutes had Glazzard looked where he was shooting and if veteran goalkeeper Smith not brought off a miraculous one handed save from Metcalfe. Hayes and Briggs both had a bad second half, mistiming and slicing the ball with yards of room to work in. Neither goalkeeper could be faulted even if the bulk of their work was on keeping out nervous defensive back passes. Collindridge was the most dangerous attacker for United and Latham earned commendation for his reliability at centre half.


Wheeler; Hayes, Stewart (A.V.); Hunter, Hepplewhite, Boot;
McKenna, Smith (C), Whittingham, Doherty (capt), Metcalfe:

Hanson; Roberts, Banks; Howe, Gillies, Barrass;
Woodward, Moir, Lofthouse, Bradley, McShane;

Town must have been confident after their recent 2-1 win at Burnden Park, but after a goalless first half, two goals from Scottish inside right Willie Moir sent the small crowd home unhappy. It was my first sight of the great Nat Lofthouse, a powerful centre forward, who was to spend his entire career at Bolton. His exploits for England in a famous victory in Austria earned him the nickname of  ' The Lion of Vienna'.
Also in the Bolton side was the small Scottish left winger Harry McShane, who had one season at Huddersfield just after the war and later moved on to Manchester United.
He had a bit of a fiery temperament and I recall him going head to head with Town's no nonsense centre half George Heppelwhite who was several inches taller.
To put the attendance figure into perspective, there were seven other first division games on the same evening and the next smallest crowd was at Preston where they had 31,000. With only one win (at Bolton) from eight matches so far it looked like a hard season ahead for Town.