By James A. Chisem
A month or so ago, I was asked by the good folks at the Huddersfield Town Supporters Association (HTSA) to contribute a couple of hundred words on my Town heroes from the past and present to pad out their weekly column in the Examiner.
The fruits of my labour were originally published here in the form of an interview, but I thought that it would be worthwhile repurposing them for a different audience.
To be honest, I did all my thinking and deciding before Michael Hefele sauntered effortlessly into our collective consciousness, his golden locks wafting in the cool Alpine breeze and aviator sunglasses glinting seductively in the sun. His omission is not for want of trying, that’s for certain.
It’s also worth pointing out that players such as Frank Worthington and Steve Kindon are ancient history to me, so if both my picks seem a tad contemporary, I can only apologise in advance!
My first choice is Marcus Stewart. Like a lot of Town fans, Stewart introduced himself to me with that goal he scored — a hip-twister of a volley — for Bristol Rovers in the 1995 Second Division Playoff Final.
I was only six at the time, but I remember thinking that we had to buy this guy, certain in the knowledge that buying players who played well against us was the most sensible transfer policy around (Lee Clark still holds firm to this principle). I ended up being right, of course, and over the next three or four years Stewart couldn’t stop scoring in a blue and white shirt.
I have fond memories of those last few seasons of the 20th century, so much so that it seems almost rude to single out Stewart for extra praise. Nowadays, I have a greater appreciation for the defensive side of the game; back then, though, it was all about the goals, and Stewart was the man who provided them. Well, until someone decided it would be a good idea to sell him to our promotion rivals. I think I must have been ten when he left, and even then I knew that selling your star striker to a competitive rival was the height of stupidity. What can I say? Lightening really does strike twice!
My second choice, which I imagine might raise a few eyebrows, is none other than Alan ‘Alan’ Lee. OK, so he wasn’t a great footballer, but he was a bit of a character, and in this day and age that should at least count for something.
A quick trip to Wikipedia tells me that Lee averaged just under a goal every eight games while he was at Town. Some people might use that as evidence to suggest that he was a waste of space and money; to them, I say that quality is far more important than quantity. I mean, who can forget his header against Arsenal at the Emirates? Or that scrappy goal against Middlesbrough in the thick Pennine fog?
Even better, what about all of those times he threw a cheeky elbow or pile-drove the opposition goalkeeper into the back of the net instead of the ball? If nothing else, being a football fan is about memories, and whatever you think about his footballing acumen and that headband he used to wear, I think it’s fair to say that Alan Lee did his best to leave us with a few.
Who are your heroes in blue and white from past and present? Let us know. You can also follow James on twitter HERE.