"They think it's all over ..."
A pilgrimage to Huddersfield yesterday, to see Town's last home game in the Premier League. This has been a dismal season - we have been rooted to the foot of the table for several months - and Lord knows when we'll be back.
I went by train - a thirteen-hour round trip from north London for an hour-and-a-half of football. But this is big!
In the thirty years before my birth, Huddersfield Town spent just one season out of the top tier of English football. In the past sixty or so years, they have had just four seasons in total in the top tier.
I remember well Jimmy Nicholson's team - Frank Worthington and Trevor Cherry were among that number - which won the old Second Division championship in 1969-70. After two seasons in the First Division, they slipped down - and down - and down.
Town were perhaps fortunate to win the play-off place and get a bunk up two years ago into the Premier League. But last season was glorious - I saw them win 3-0 at Crystal Palace in their first ever Premiership game and, towards the end of the season, I witnessed them secure a hard-earned draw at Stamford Bridge to keep their place. This season, there has been very little to smile about. We've lost our manager and our chairman, both great guys - and just about every game we've played.
I'd seen perhaps half-a-dozen games over the season. And I hadn't seen Town win. Jeez, I hadn't seen Town score ... until yesterday.
What a wonderful way to depart the Premier League - holding the Red Devils to a draw! Our heads held high ...
Two years ago, the Cowshed - the most vocal of Town's fans - were declaring: "we're going up!". Yesterday they were singing, with almost as much pride: "we're going down". It took away some of the sting of saying goodbye to Town as a Premiership team.
We all knew it couldn't last for long. It's been a grand two years. And I really hope to be around to watch Town fight their way back up again.
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