The All Stars vs The No Marks

You know the subject, it comes up in the pub all the time. Pele or Maradona? Best or Cruyff? Or Lionel Messi or Andy Booth? Ok maybe not so much the last one, but for Town fans the best and worst teams are often a hot topic of debate.

Putting together Town's best ever squad is a difficult task. Why? Well, unless you're 115 years old, the chances are, that you've probably seen Town stuttering around the bottom 2 divisions for the majority of your supporting life. But through all the apathy, negativity, hammerings and doom and gloom, Town have had some gems here n there!

In the period between the first and second world wars, Town had some incredibly talented teams. Sadly, there are very few people still alive to tell the tales, and I don't fancy purchasing a Pathe News style projector and dusting down some old films. So instead, my research will go on 2nd hand stories, folklore, The Huddersfield Town book “A Complete Record 1910-1990", and that thing that irks a lot of football fans - statistics. LIES! DAMNED LIES! I hear you shout!

It is hard to ignore the ‘Thrice Champions’, and indeed the bulk of the squad is made up from Herbert Chapman’s side of the mid 20’s, a side which at the time was described as THE best team in the world. It is always another debatable point as to how players of past eras would perform today, but each player is judged in the era in which they played.

This article aims to produce a World Cup Style squad of 25 players, of which can be considered Huddersfield Town’s greatest of all time.

Let's begin!


Part 1: The All Stars

Firstly, it is only right that we acknowledge some quality players who failed to make the cut from the short list:
Eddie Boot, Andy Booth, Malcolm Brown, John Coddington, Dean Gorre, Bob Hesford, Bob Kelly, Mark Lillis, Dave Mangnall, Les Massie, Kevin McHale, Alex Mutch, Mike O’Grady, David Steele, Sammy Taylor, Nico Vaesen, Billy Watson & Ray Wood.

Some great players here, which goes to underline the strength that Huddersfield Town has enjoyed within our rich history.


Goalkeepers 


Terry Poole

Years Played; 1968-1977

Club Apps; 231

Club Goals; 0

Int Apps (whilst at Huddersfield); 0

Long serving goalkeeper Terry Poole was a huge crowd favourite during his time at the club, and is synonymous with the Ian Greaves side that won promotion to the old First Division in 1970. Poole could possibly have gone on to better things, but in a cup game at Birmingham, suffered a cruel leg break, and the ex Man Utd player was never quite the same again.


Ted Taylor

Years Played; 1922-1927

Club Apps; 129

Club Goals; 0

Int Apps; 8

Signed in the twilight of his career at the age of 35, Ted Taylor proved to be a key component of The Thrice Champions. A short keeper at 5ft 8”, Taylor had great agility and lightning reflexes, which made him one of the best Keepers of his generation. This was backed up by the 8 England caps that he received whilst playing at Leeds Road. After leaving Town, Taylor belied his age, and a career threatening broken leg, to win the title with Everton for a third time (he didn’t receive a medal in Town’s 2nd title win due to missing most of the season with a broken leg), at the age of 41. Ted Taylor holds the no1 jersey in this squad, and in my opinion is the best Huddersfield Town Goalkeeper of all time.


Hughie Turner

Years Played; 1926-1937

Club Apps; 394

Club Goals; 0

Int Apps; 2

Hughie Turner who at just shy of 400 appearances, sits in 7th place in Huddersfield Town’s all time appearance list. Capped twice by England whilst at The Terriers, Turner was a short, yet agile goalkeeper whom was regarded as one of the finest in the top flight for over a decade. Whereas Turner wasn't a 'Thrice Champion' as he joined Town just after the treble winning side, he did play in the 1930 FA Cup final, when Town lost 2-0 to Arsenal.


Defenders


Austen Campbell

Years Played; 1929-1935

Club Apps; 212

Club Goals; 6

Int Apps; 6

A ‘Wing-Half’ by trade, Campbell joined Huddersfield Town the season after his then Blackburn side had defeated Town in the FA Cup final. A late developer, Campbell’s ability to get up and down the pitch and support both defence and attack, lead to him gaining 6 England caps between 1930 and 1931. Campbell helped Town to an FA Cup Final and a 2nd place finish in Division 1.


Trevor Cherry

Years Played; 1966-1972

Club Apps; 208

Club Goals; 14

Int Apps; 0

A Huddersfield native, Cherry joined Town’s ground staff as a 14 year old in 1962, and would go on to captain his boyhood team to the 2nd division title in 1970. A classy centre half, Cherry blotted his copybook somewhat with Town fans, when after Town’s relegation from the top flight in 1972, Cherry joined local rivals Leeds Utd, after rumours of unhappiness re bonus payments. The move would be a good one for Cherry who went on to play for his country 27 times in an excellent career.


Roy Goodall

Years Played; 1921-1937

Club Apps; 440

Club Goals; 21

Int Apps; 25

You will be hard pushed to find a longer club servant than right full back Roy Goodall. He stands proudly as Town’s 5th all-time appearance maker, and is Town’s 2nd most capped England player after Ray Wilson, with 25 England caps, 13 of which were as captain. After retiring as a one club man in 1937 with 3 First Division Winners medals, and 2 FA Cup runners up medals, Goodall returned to Huddersfield in August 1950, as a coach, and by the time he had retired in 1965, he had given 31 years of service to the club. A true Town hero and legend.


Ron Staniforth

Years Played; 1952-1955

Club Apps; 118

Club Goals; 0

Int Apps; 8

When Town manager Andy Beattie arrived at Leeds Road in 1952, he is quoted as telling the forwards that he “wasn’t interested in them”, and was to concentrate solely on Town’s defence for the first 12 months. One of the first things Beattie did, was to bring in Staniforth from Stockport County. Described as a ‘tall and cultured defender’, Staniforth developed into one of the finest fullbacks in the English game and received 8 England caps whilst operating as Town’s right back. Staniforth along with other players such as Don McEvoy and Len Quested, formed a tight defensive unit, which helped Town to achieve their highest post war finish of 3rd in the First Division.


Sam Wadsworth

Years Played; 1921-1930

Club Apps; 312

Club Goals; 4

Int Apps; 9

Completing The Thrice Champions full back double act, is Sammy Wadsworth. A clever and composed defender, Wadsworth joined The Terriers from Nelson in 1921, who then used the money to build a new stand. Capped 9 times by England, Wadsworth would have been the finest left back to have played for the club, and was until 1955.


Ray Wilson

Years Played; 1955-1964

Club Apps; 283

Club Goals; 6

Int Apps; 30

Arguably the finest player that Huddersfield Town has ever produced, yet Wilson’s glittering career could have been a lesser one. Initially a forward or wing half, it was the foresight and persuasion of legendary football manager Bill Shankly who spotted that Wilson would make a better full back. Shankly switched the initially reluctant Wilson to full back, and one of the games all-time greats was on his way. 60 England caps, and a World Cup winners medal later, and Shankly like a lot of things, got this one absolutely spot on. Town’s short sighted board never added to the quality that they had in the team, and on the touchline, and Town’s chance to become a European heavyweight was gone, along with Wilson and Shankly to opposite ends of Merseyside.


Tommy Wilson

Years Played; 1919-1932

Club Apps; 500

Club Goals; 4

Int Apps; 1

The captain of The Thrice Champions, and Towns FA Cup winning side of 1922. It seems like an outrage that Town’s solid and dependable centre back only won just the solitary England cap despite representing The Football League on 3 occasions. After his playing days came to an end, Wilson had a stint as a coach at Leeds Road from 1933-1938, taking him up to 18 years of service to the club, and is Town’s 2nd highest appearance maker.


Alf Young

Years Played; 1929-1939

Club Apps; 309

Club Goals; 6

Int Apps; 9

Alf Young had the unenviable task of following Tommy Wilson, but he did so with distinction. Also from the North East like Wilson, Young was a strapping centre back who developed into one of the finest centre backs that the club has ever seen. Eventually captaining the club in 1935, Young is the unfortunate defender who has the penalty given against him for a foul outside the box in the 1938 FA Cup final.


Midfielders


Peter Doherty

Years Played; 1946-1949

Club Apps; 87

Club Goals; 36

Int Apps; 4

No, not the drug riddled front man of The Libertines, but a man considered in some circles to be Northern Ireland’s greatest player of all time. A very tricky inside forward with genuine guile, Doherty signed for Town at the age of 33, but showed no signs of slowing down as he scored 36 goals in 87 games. Having lost his best years to World War II, Doherty played on until he was 40 years of age, and was still an effective player until his retirement.


Harold Hassall

Years Played; 1948-1952

Club Apps; 74

Club Goals; 26

Int Apps; 4

Joining Town at 19 years of age, Harold Hassall was a box to box midfielder whose excellent link and support play saw him capped 4 times for England in 1951. Sadly his career was cut short by a serious knee injury in 1955 at home town club Bolton. Hassall later went into coaching and was manager of Malaysia from 1969-1970.


Alex Jackson

Years Played; 1925-1931

Club Apps; 203

Club Goals; 89

Int Apps; 14

Born in the small Scottish village of Renton, Jackson is one of The Scotland national team’s most iconic players. Despite only gaining 14 caps whilst at Huddersfield, it is the 31st of March 1928 which marks him down as a tartan legend. Jackson, whilst playing for Scotland at Wembley, would score a hat trick of headers as The Jocks defeated England 5-1. Scotland would be crowned as “The Wembley Wizards” in the aftermath. Town also had 4 other representatives in the same game; Tommy Wilson, Bob Kelly (who scored), Billy Smith and Roy Goodall who was captain. Jackson after scoring 7 goals in the first 4 games of the 1930-1931 season left Town for Chelsea for a then British record fee of £8,750.


Bill McGarry

Years Played; 1950-1961

Club Apps; 381

Club Goals; 26

Int Apps; 4

Not many Town players can claim to have played in a World Cup, but Bill McGarry is one of them. The wing half was called up to the England squad for the 1954 tournament in Switzerland by Walter Winterbottom and played in the opening 2 group games. Having been signed from Port Vale in 1950, McGarry proved to be an excellent find for The Terriers and made 381 appearances, which puts him in 9th on the all-time record list. In the 1952-53 season, McGarry along with fellow defenders Don McEvoy, Len Quested, Laurie Kelly, Ron Staniforth and keeper Jack Wheeler, would play every minute of every league game, whilst setting a seasonal football league defensive record with just 33 goals conceded in 42 games. Town were not so surprisingly promoted.


Vic Metcalfe

Years Played; 1945-1958

Club Apps; 459

Club Goals; 90

Int Apps; 2

Back in the day, if you had a good player it was so much easier to keep them thanks to the maximum wage ruling. Vic Metcalfe was one of the finest left wingers of his era, and stayed at his home town club to make 459 appearances, which puts him 3rd in the all-time appearance records. Metcalfe formed a formidable combination with centre forward Jimmy Glazzard (Town fans would call this The Auld Firm) who would look to get his head on a number of quality balls that Metcalfe would deliver. In terms of his International career, Metcalfe was desperately unlucky to be around at the same time as Sir Tom Finney who was voted as England’s greatest ever left winger. Metcalfe despite enormous quality would only achieve 2 England caps. After retiring in 1960, Metcalfe returned to Huddersfield as a coach for 3 years.


Jimmy Nicholson

Years Played; 1964-1974

Club Apps; 310

Club Goals; 28

Int Apps; 31

A former ‘Busby Babe’, Jimmy Nicholson is Huddersfield Town’s most capped player of all time with 31 caps for Northern Ireland. After losing his way at Manchester Utd, ex Huddersfield manager and renowned bargain hunter Tom Johnston signed Nicholson for only £7500. Nicholson would go on to add a touch of gloss (and at one point a dodgy comb over) and quality to a Town midfield which is the last to have graced the top flight.


Clem Stephenson

Years Played; 1920-1929

Club Apps; 275

Club Goals; 50

Int Apps; 1

Clem Stephenson was often hailed as the fulcrum of The Thrice Champions, and one of the most significant figures in our history. Deemed to be over the hill when joining Town as a 30 year old in 1920, the signing was instigated by Herbert Chapman – one of the greatest managers of all time. His signing was a masterstroke. Providing experience, poise and deft cunning, Stephenson would help orchestrate the much vaunted ‘Halcyon days’ where Town won the league 3 times in a row, The FA Cup and would reach the final and finish 2nd in 1928. After The Chapman era, Clem Stephenson succeeded Chapman’s old trainer John Chaplin as manager in 1929, and would stay there until his retirement after 22 years’ service in 1942. A true Huddersfield Town legend.


Billy Smith

Years Played; 1913-1934

Club Apps; 574

Club Goals; 126

Int Apps; 3

Billy Smith is the original Huddersfield Town legend. A quality winger with a look of Ryan Giggs, Smith sits proudly at the top of the Huddersfield Town appearance charts and in 4th place in the goal scoring charts. A talisman who helped Town to 4 FA Cup finals, scoring the winner in 1922, a Charity Shield win, a Division 2 promotion, 3 Division 1 titles and 3 Division 1 runners up medals. On the 11th October 1924, Smith broke a record to become the first player to score direct from a corner following a change to the rules. Retiring in 1934, Billy Smith left a further legacy for HTFC in the form of his son Conway, who had a promising career at Huddersfield cut short due to a broken leg that he struggled to recover from. Hail Billy Smith, the most decorated player in our history.


Ken Willingham

Years Played; 1932-1939

Club Apps; 270

Club Goals; 5

Int Apps; 18 (7 Wartime caps)

A busy and tenacious player, Ken Willingham was very unfortunate that he lost his peak years to World War II. Up until then, the energetic and busy midfielder had become the best player of his position in England, which was supplemented by numerous England and football league call ups. A talented middle and long distance runner at school, Willingham’s energy and ability on the ball made him one of the best half backs of his generation, and Huddersfield Town’s history.


Forwards


George Brown

Years Played; 1921-1929

Club Apps; 229

Club Goals; 159

Int Apps; 8

In 1921, an 18 year old pit worker from Mickley, approached Town manager Herbert Chapman for a trial. Little perhaps did Chapman know at the time, that this impish pit worker would go on to be Huddersfield Town’s greatest ever striker. Brown would spear head The Thrice Champions front line with on average, a goal every 1.44 games. In 1926 Brown equalled a HTFC league goals record with 35 in 41 appearances. A record that stood for 86 years, surpassed by Jordan Rhodes in 2012.

George ‘Bomber’ Brown is Huddersfield Town’s all time goal scorer with 159 goals in 229 appearances.


Jimmy Glazzard

Years Played; 1945-1956

Club Apps; 321

Club Goals; 153

Int Apps; 12

Similar to George Brown, Glazzard started life as a miner, and was playing for Altofts Colliery when spotted by a Town scout. Glazzard signed amateur forms in 1943, and would stay at the club for 13 years. Known as ‘Gentleman Jim’ to the Leeds Road faithful, Glazzard was a big ‘Centre Forrad’ who excelled in the aerial part of the game. One game in particular is always mentioned by those who remember Glazzard; on the 7th April 1953, Glazzard scored 4 headers from pinpoint left wing crosses from Vic Metclafe in an enthralling 8-2 win over Everton.

Jimmy Glazzard is Town’s joint all-time leading league goal scorer with 142 league goals.


Denis Law

Years Played; 1956-1960

Club Apps; 91

Club Goals; 19

Int Apps; 6

The mid 50's should have ushered in a new era for Huddersfield Town, akin to the one in the 1920's. With one of the greatest manager's of all time at the helm in Bill Shankly, Town boasted players such as Bill McGarry, Ray Wilson, Harold Hassall, Vic Metcalfe and Jimmy Glazzard. Then in 1956, a skinny boy by the name of Denis Law came down from Aberdeen. Shankly felt that Town just needed a goalscoring replacement for the ageing Jimmy Glazzard, and a centre back to help out John Coddington to push the team on to the next level. Ian St John and Ron Yeats were earmarked, but the board said no, and Shankly later left to create a dynasty at Liverpool. Shankly was later quoted as saying that "If we had got Yeats and St. John, as we might have done, with the others in the team, we'd have won the league five successive seasons". Town's chance to cement themselves as a top club was gone. In truth, Denis Law became a global superstar after leaving Huddersfield, but the talented Scotsman still made his mark at Leeds Road, and at just 20 years old, was sold for a British Record fee of £55,000. Town in typical fashion didn't replace a wonderfully talented forward with another wonderfully talented forward. They instead chose to purchase some floodlights, which fell down 2 weeks later. The chance of the 'Halcyon Days II' was gone...


Marcus Stewart

Years Played; 1996-2000

Club Apps; 160

Club Goals; 68

Int Apps; 0

The only player on this list that has played for Town in this millennium. Stewart’s hunger for goals was matched, only by his libido. Signed for a then club record 1.2m from Bristol Rovers, Stewart’s clever play, aligned with his hard work and knack of knocking one in, made him a huge crowd favourite. The man born as Billy Tubbs, left Town in the year 2000 for a club record fee of 3m, apparently leaving legions of lady admirers in tears, but also leaving many Town fans in tears as well. This transfer is often cited as the main catalyst behind Town’s great decline from top of the Championship in 2000 to Town’s administration and relegation to the bottom division in 2004.


Frank Worthington

Years Played; 1966-1972

Club Apps; 192

Club Goals; 48

Int Apps; 0

Hey! Says Frank, have I ever told you about the time that I met two Swedish girls on the train over to sign for Liverpool? Yes Frank, we've heard that story a million times. Yet it is a rather poignant one, whereby our playful Lothario missed out on a chance to sign for Bill Shankly's Liverpool, and thus make himself one of the greats of that generation. Indeed it was Frank's colourful, Elvis loving nature that the cowshed and terrace fell in love with, a real character of the game who should have added more than 8 caps to his England career.


Part 2 - The No Marks coming soon. Follow us on Twitter to keep updated.


By The Red Terrier - With special thanks to Roger Pashby for permission to use some of his pictures from his excellent Huddersfield Town FC Cards and Stickers.

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