A hat-trick covered by dust

Huddersfield Town, also known as ‘The Terriers’, is no ordinary English team that was founded in the late years of the XIXth century, because their birth date was in 1908. Despite this, the team broke some important records in UK. Positive or negative, it doesn’t really matter as they won a certain place in England’s football history.

Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, in this order, became champions three times in a row, but they’re not the only teams to do so. Huddersfield was the first, by its performance between 1923 and 1926. The first two, under the management of Herbert Chapman, the future coach of Arsenal, and the third under the command of Cecil Potter. Previously, Town adjudged the only FA Cup that stays in their trophy room, in 1922, when they beat Aston Villa with 1-0.

Starting with a capital of 500 pounds, Huddersfiled was a real legend in the inter-war and the immediate post-war eras, time in which even managed the performance to be the first known team to score direct from a corner in a top league match, in 1924. In the 30s Huddersfield resembled with our days Barcelona if we judge after the shocking scores: 6-0 with Manchester United, on away field, 10-1 at home with Blackpool and 8-0 also on Leeds Road (their venue) with Liverpool. Those were sufficient reasons to bring a record home attendance of 67.037 fans in February 1932, even though their favorites lost 0-1 to Arsenal in the 6th round of the FA Cup. Also, it was reported that other 5.000 fans broke in at that game!

But since 1952, the good records became history. In that year, the team relegated for the first time in its history. It was for a short time, as Huddersfield came back after only one year and finished the 1953-1954 season on a honorable third place, after another few goal galore as where 8-2 against Everton, 6-0 against Barnsley or 5-0 against Lincoln and Southampton.

In the second half of the fifth decade, the legendary Bill Shankly was put in charge and in his first season at the team, in the second division he gained a record that it’s still alive. Huddersfield became the only team to lose a game despite scoring six goals! Four days before the 1957 Christmas, they met Charlton Athletic and they were leading 5-1 with 30 minutes remaining and the opponents even had a man down, because one of their players was injured and at that time no changes were allowed. The unexpected happened and Athletic came in front 6-5! Huddersfield had a pride shot and restore the score level, but not for long time as Charlton would eventually win! 7-6!

Shankly left for Liverpool in 1959 and after that the fall was irreparable and so Huddersfield got in 1975 even into the fourth division, being the first ever former England champion that decreased so much. Town regained for a few years a spot in the second tier, but never managed to rich the top flight again, spending most of the following years in the third league, also known as Division One.

Sad or not, this was a short story of England’s first ‘hat-trick’ champions, a very prestigious distinction if we judge that the only three teams to achieve this performance were only the three giants: Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United. And we also should talk a bit about one of the man who brought most trophies for the club: Herbert Chapman, a man that became successful also with Arsenal. But you must wait a bit for that story.

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