When I first watched the Town, almost half-a-century ago, the Cowshed - a fairly accurate description of the structure's design - was the rough, tough end of the ground where the hardest and hardiest of fans stood. I was in the main stand, and never ventured near.
When the old Leeds Road ground closed in April 1994, and was demolished to make way for a retail park (there's a plaque, apparently, in the B&Q car park marking the old centre spot), the Cowshed went with it.
Earlier this year, the stand at the new John Smith's Stadium behind one of the goals - the end which is shared with away supporters - was re-designated the Cowshed. Quite by chance, that's where I managed to get a ticket for yesterday's home game against Brighton and Hove Albion. Not just that, I was seven rows from the front - and had a great view of how the Cowshed operates.
Those flags that you see waved - I've always wondered how fans get them in to the ground. But they are already there. Provided by the club. And when the game starts, there are three "choir masters" on the front row - one with a megaphone - and another guy with a large drum, and they orchestrate the chants. They don't see much of the match, but they make sure the fans don't lose voice. And Town's fans are famous for singing their hearts out - with their very own 'Smile a While', and some player specific chants:
"He's here, he's there. he's every fucking where - Johnny Hogg, Johnny Hogg" ... 'He's got no hair, we don't care, Aaron - Aaron Mooy"
And the football? Town won 2-0. We were comfortably the better team, and both goals were scored by the club's Benin international, Steve Mounie. They weren't elegant, but they did the job. At the close, the Town team came to take bow - in front of the Cowshed, of course.
So Huddersfield Town are approaching the mid-point of their first season in the Premier League in mid-table. Bloody brilliant!
And a footnote: much of the match day advertising at the stadium is in Chinese/Japanese/Korean - I guess it must be because of the TV audience in East Asia. But it does look a little out of place ...
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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