There have been 39 permanent managers of Huddersfield Town starting with Fred Walker in 1908 through to current boss Carlos Corberan. Town fan and author LEE MORRIS has made a series of remarkable discoveries about the Terriers’ first manager and captain, Fred Walker, rewriting the club’s history in the process.
The contrast between the Fred Walker and Carlos Corberan shows how far football has come in the last century.
Walker was born in Newcastle and moved to play for Leeds City in 1905. He eventually became Huddersfield Town player manager in 1908, leaving the club two years later.
Corberan, meanwhile, was born in Cheste in Spain. He represented Valencia CF at youth level and, at the age of 23, after only representing the team’s reserves and playing no higher than the Tercera División, he decided to retire to pursue his passion for coaching.
After conducting extensive archival research on behalf of the Huddersfield Town Supporters’ Association (HTSA) Heritage Project, Morris revealed much new information.
- Details about Walker’s background, including his birthplace (Longbenton, Newcastle) and date of birth (25th March, 1878). This makes him the club’s second youngest manager ever, behind his successor, Dick Pudan.
- During Walker’s second season in charge (1909-10), he missed two games due to hospitalisation, meaning those games must now be reassigned, most likely to coach Andy Rudge.
- Contrary to popular belief, Dick Pudan did not take charge of Town’s first games in the Football League in the opening months of the 1910-11 season, Walker did. Walker also managed four hitherto uncredited FA Cup games during the same period.
- Following his time at Leeds Road, Walker went on to work abroad, managing 1. F.C. Nürnberg between 1911 and 1913.
- While weighing up his post-Germany options, Walker was caught up in a divorce scandal that made the national press and seemingly put an end to his career in football.
- After two decades or so working as a publican and hotel manager, Walker died on 28th October, 1940. He is buried in an unmarked common grave at Harehills Cemetery in Leeds.
HTSA hope their efforts shed new light on Walker’s role in the club’s history. Officials recently visited his grave, laying flowers and a Town pennant.
They will make sure that his plot is looked after and consider ways to permanently mark it.