A Huddersfield Town fan has published a fascinating and detailed account of how the club escaped what is unthinkable now – a merger with Leeds United.
Bryn Woodworth, of Honley, has just published his third book ‘The Football Miracle’ – ‘How Huddersfield Town escaped extinction to become England’s leading football team – Part 1.’
It’s well documented that in the 1920s Town reigned supreme in English football. As well as their hat-trick of championships the club featured in three FA Cup finals, including their sole win in 1922.
Some fans will be aware that Town were almost transferred to Leeds United before all the trophies were won but few will be familiar with how it all came about – and how disaster was averted.
Bryn said: “I was fascinated by the idea that a club could be moved from one town to another, especially when the other team is your arch enemy.
“The deeper I investigated the more complicated and intriguing the story got. At first it was just a case of finding out why the possibility of a move was considered but that led me to find out how the proposed move was resisted.
“The bare facts weren’t that difficult to uncover but the behaviour and motivation of the key players was much harder to understand.”
The book is set in 1919 after the old Leeds City club was disbanded because of illegal payments to players. With Leeds United about to be formed and Town’s owner Hilton Crowther having had enough of small crowds, a plan was hatched to merge the two.
That was when a local solicitor and former Town director, Amos Brook Hirst, led a campaign to resist the threat of extinction.
Amos Brook Hirst later became chairman of Town, a vice president of the Football League and chairman of the FA. He was knighted in the 1954 New Year’s Honours List.
Bryn added: “It is a modern-day story of David defeating Goliath, a story which I felt had to be told.”
Bryn’s book is available in e-book and paperback at Amazon.co.uk. For a signed copy email Bryn at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bryn hopes to publish Part 2 in a few months and its title will be ‘The Chapman Years.’
Huddersfield-born Bryn, a lifelong Town and Fartown fan, also runs a Facebook page called ‘Huddersfield Sporting History.’