Huddersfield Town are not the only football team to have played in the Premier League who share their ground with the local rugby team, but the Kirklees ground is just as popular with rugby fans as football fans.
The history of the Kirklees Stadium is a fascinating one for a relatively new grounds, one which has seen considerable success on the pitch.
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The Kirklees Stadium has been home to Huddersfield-Town AFC (and rugby league side Huddersfield Giants) since 1994.
Their previous home, Leeds Road, had become too small for purpose, so the decision was taken in 1992 to build a new grounds a short distance away but with a much-improved capacity.
When the stadium opened in 1994. Only the two side stands were ready.
It was not until December of that year that the South Stand was opened and the North Stand didn’t even begin construction until 1996.
It was finally completed in 1998 at an estimated cost of £40 million.
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The stadium has seen lots of success since it was built. Huddersfield Giants play in the top flight of rugby league, The Super League, and they were promoted to the Premier League in 2017 for the first time in their history.
This success has attracted big sponsorship deals and the stadium has undergone quite a few name changes in its short history.
The Kirklees grounds gets its name from its geographical location of Kirklees, West Yorkshire, but it has also been known as the McAlpine Stadium, the Galpharm Stadium, and currently, the John Smith’s ground.
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John Smith’s Stadium
The John Smith’s Stadium is the current sponsorship name given to the Kirklees Stadium.
Major brewery Heineken bought the naming rights to the stadium in 2012 and chose to use it to market their John Smith’s brand. The 4,054 capacity South Stand is also known as the John Smith’s Stand.
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Because of a number of changes to the stadium’s name due to sponsorship deals, the Kirklees grounds is simply known by the majority of fans as ‘The Huddersfield Stadium’.
The grounds currently has a maximum capacity of 24,121 with a view to possibly expanding this further in the future.
This is nowhere near as large as Old Trafford Stadium with a capacity of around 80,000.
Leeds Road Huddersfield
The history of Kirklees Stadium owes a large debt to the FCs previous home of 86 years; Leeds Road.
Leeds Road was constructed in 1908 and its inaugural game was a friendly against Bradford Park Avenue, which they won 2-1 in front of 12,000 people.
It’s record attendance was 67,037 in 1932, but by the time it closed in 1994 it had a capacity of just 16,200.
Leeds Road saw its final Huddersfield-Town match on April 30th 1994, which they won 2-1. It was the 1,554th Huddersfield-Town game to be played there.
Shortly after, it was demolished and was developed into a retail park. A plaque occupies the spot where the centre spot was lay. For an exhaustive history of Leeds Road, click here:
Huddersfield Town Athletic Football Club were formed on the 15th August 1908 and moved into Leeds Road where they would spend the next 86 years.
Just a few short years after being formed, they entered the Football League in 1910. By 1919 however, the club was showing financial strain and were on the verge of merging with local rivals Leeds United.
A fundraising effort was put in place asking local people to buy shares in the club for £1 each. The strategy worked as a year later the merger fell through, they were promoted to Division One and they also reached the final of the FA Cup .
The prosperity continued, and in 1922 they won the FA Cup. In 1926 they became the first club to win three league titles successively. Only 3 other clubs have managed to do this since but none have surpassed it.
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The Second World War saw a turn in Huddersfield’s fortunes. They were relegated from Division One in 1952 and then spent the next fifty years yo-yoing between the top flight and the third division.
In 1998 the club was sold to a local businessman but he failed to restore Huddersfield to glory. The club slipped into administration before it was bought again in 2003 by Ken Davy.
This would prove to be an historic turning point for the club. In 2010-11, Huddersfield went 43 games unbeaten, a record only beaten by Arsenal.
On 26th May 2012, they took part in the longest play off match ever to win promotion to the Championship. In May of 2017, they were promoted to the Premier League for the first time.
A fantastic video celebrating Huddersfield Town’s centenary year can be seen here:
Huddersfield FC have shown a lot of resilience over the years to achieve their current position. The Premier League new boys have overcome significant adversity including administration, but despite these ups and downs the FC have a loyal fan base.
It was the fans whom decide upon the club’s nickname,‘The Terriers’.
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In 1969, the club held a fan vote as to what their nickname should be. The Terriers became their official nickname and a terrier dog was even incorporated into the club’s badge.
The terrier remains on the badge today, and the nickname has clearly struck a chord as that is also still being used.
Huddersfield Town Tickets and Results
Huddersfield-Town tickets are available in person at the stadium, or by visiting their official website, https://www.eticketing.co.uk/huddersfieldtown/.
This will give you access to home and away tickets, Kirklees Stadium tour tickets and travel options for away games.
If you can’t be at the game in person but still want to know the Huddersfield FC results, simply click here for the latest updates:
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Huddersfield Town Fixtures
Upcoming Huddersfield Town fixtures can be found on the clubs official website or at Sky Sports by clicking here: http://www.skysports.com/huddersfield-town-fixtures