Why I Love Huddersfield, sponsored by Wild PR, is a monthly feature where we ask a well-known Huddersfield personality what the town means to them. Here we chat to Rugby League legend and Huddersfield gentle Giant EORL CRABTREE, who’s now living his best life in Slaithwaite.
Tell us something we don’t know about you?
Lots of people know a lot about me. One thing they know is that my uncle was the late Shirley Crabtree, better known as the wrestler Big Daddy from the 1970s and 1980s. Something less well known is that his father was also called Shirley and he won the Challenge Cup with Halifax in 1930-31 so Rugby League has always been in my family.
I have his winner’s medal, it’s the only medal I have because I never won one!
What does Huddersfield mean to you?
I think lots of people know that Huddersfield means a lot to me. I played my whole career at the Giants and never wanted to leave.
As well as the town itself I live in one of the most beautiful parts in the country in Slaithwaite. I love looking over the canal with the rolling hills and seeing the local villages thriving. It really is the true heartbeat of our countryside and for me to have this as my back garden I’m very lucky.
How would you describe Huddersfield to a stranger?
I would again go for the countryside and tell them how Huddersfield is made up of so many different parts. It’s an amazing town.
The centre itself needs some work and it’s a hard sell sometimes but there are some truly magical places on the outskirts.
The villages are full of little cafes, bakeries and crafts shops. They are full of country walks and full of fresh air – that’s why I love it here.
We’ll take you out for a meal in Huddersfield. Where would you like to go and why?
I am going to have to give a local plug here, I am from Slaithwaite now, I love it here and just up the road from me is the Rose and Crown pub.
Take me there for a meal and give me a bottle of something and I am sorted. I don’t like fancy restaurants. I love my good old fashioned pub grub.
The Huddersfield Blueprint is going to change the face of the town centre over the next five to 10 years. What one thing would you like to see in the town centre?
For me I would like to see St George’s Square become more of a cultural hub. We have some fabulous old buildings like the train station.
It’d be great to centre that around some modern glass fronted buildings with bars and restaurants and create a real vibe in the town. I think that’s what people want to see when they walk off the train.
It would be brilliant to see the market stalls utilised more too.
What venue, nightclub or attraction from Huddersfield’s past would you like to see return?
Live music venues are great, and I’d like to see more of those old-style venues in the town.
We all love Jodie Whittaker, of course, but who’s your favourite Doctor Who?
Sorry, but I have never watched Doctor Who.
How did you spend your time in lockdown and has the Covid-19 pandemic changed you?
I think Covid-19 has been life-changing for many people and it’s changed my perspective on life.
Me and my partner have been able to set up a few businesses which have gone well. We have a property development company as well as other things.
One of the biggest things to come through this is people’s mental health. I now take more time for myself and do the things I really enjoy and that’s not just going out drinking. It could be going on a walk or creating something. One thing I am enjoying at the moment is golf.
We’re packing you off to a desert island for a month. What one item would you take with you and why?
I think something practical that would help me survive.
1. Dixon’s Milk Ices or Marstons Chicken Shop?
That’s a horrible question! Both are just as good. If you push me I’ll go with the ice cream.
2. Greenhead Park or Beaumont Park?
3. Castle Hill or Emley Moor TV mast?
4. Strictly Come Dancing or I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here?
I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.