Supporters' Association

Examiner Reports: March 2017

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Contents

1st
8th
15th
22nd
29th

1st

25 years ago we won the 3rd Division Championship and left Fartown. Why?

Here is an extract from 'Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants':

Just as the club appeared to be turning the corner, another football ground disaster impacted on Fartown.

The deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters at Hillsborough in 1989, coming only four years after the Bradford City and Heysel Stadium disasters, persuaded the Government to commission Lord Taylor of Gosforth to lead an inquiry into ground safety.

Published in January 1990, the Taylor Report had profound repercussions for Fartown and, eventually, for sport in Huddersfield.

The resulting legislation required the club to close Fartown's wooden main stand until essential work was completed. For practical and financial reasons, this could only be done piecemeal, beginning with rewiring the changing rooms, then plaster-boarding the roofs of the changing rooms, the seating above the changing rooms and the Directors' Box.

Next came further repairs to the stand roof.

All the while, the rest of the stand had to remain shut, as did the back half of the West Stand and parts of the main terracing that was crumbling away.

After months of hard work and expense, the local authority allowed seating for about 300 people in a stand that originally held about 4,000.

Eventually, after more hard work, permission was granted to raise the capacity of Fartown - which had once held 35,136 spectators - from 2000 to 6500.

The steady progress at the club continued with new directors Dave Parker and Trevor Park coming on board. Joe Bramley became Chairman and in 1991 Alex Murphy and Terry Flanagan were appointed to the coaching staff for the club's first season in the newly formed Division 3.

They were successful, winning promotion as Champions in 1991-92, running in a remarkable 173 tries, and with Simon Kenworthy and Jason Gilbert kicking 70 goals each, the Fartowners were just 13 points short of 1000 in league and cup matches.

Success, however, had come at a price.

The club's finances were once more in dire straits and, to meet Division 2 standards, Fartown required a further £50,000 in safety improvements that the club did not have.

This figure would rise to between £300,000 and £2 million should Huddersfield win promotion to the top division.

Kirklees MBC had already assisted, buying the Fartown lease for £50,000 in 1992.

The final straw was a fire that partially destroyed the changing rooms later that year.

Fartown, the club's ground since 1878, had become untenable.

If you haven't got a copy of the book [it sold out within 12 months] find someone who has, it is a tremendous read.

Come along and join us on Tuesday 14th March [note change of date] to hear what former Fartown favourite [and GB international] Paul Dixon has to say.

http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk is where you can find out all about the Supporters Association.

8th

In a nutshell, HGSA's aims are to:
• put fans' views across to the club;
• help the club wherever possible;
• raise money for the development of youth rugby;
• socialise and have a good time with fellow supporters.

Daz has recently done an online survey about HGSA. The one over-riding factor as to why people don't join us is, basically, the "what's in it for me factor" – because they can't attend Tuesday meetings why should they part with their hard-earned fiver.

We are attempting to address this challenge and are liaising closely with the club.

Firstly we have secured two tickets for the Directors box and bar for each home game. These will be given to one member whose name will be drawn at our monthly meetings. At least 11 members will benefit from this.

And something which ALL members – and ONLY members - can benefit from. A MEMBERS ONLY bar at the stadium.

Yes, we have negotiated with Richard Thewlis [his idea, actually] for the HD One bar to be open EXCLUSIVELY for members both before games and after. There will be Real Ale on sale – the only place in the entire concourse to serve proper beer!

In addition we shall have guest appearances from non-playing players.

We must stress that this facility will be for MEMBERS ONLY – no friends, no relatives [apart from your children], no non-members.

What an opportunity for ALL members to get together, meet socially, and talk Giants!

"Come on, let my husband in!" Come on, it's only a fiver to join. Isn't that worth some exclusivity?

"My friend's come all the way from Bradford, let her in." Buy her an exclusive birthday present, you don't have to tell her that it's only a fiver! We'll even wrap it in birthday paper for you!!

"But I want to meet with my friends." Get your friends to drink with you – it will only cost them a fiver each for a year's exclusive socialising.

Hundreds of people pay a fiver each match to drink in the Revell Ward Suite. So a fiver a year is tremendous value.

The moan for years has been that there is nowhere for supporters to have a drink at the stadium. Well now there is.

We have been given a 3-match trial to prove that it can work.

And to show that we mean business, your committee's match-day drinkers have pledged that they will support this initiative and attend in droves!

See you in HD One for the Leeds game.

This is no way reflects our relationship with, nor meetings at, Turnbridge WMC.

So why not come along and join us next Tuesday [14th March, note change of date] to hear what former Fartown favourite [and GB international] Paul Dixon has to say.

http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk is where you can find out all about the Supporters Association.


15th

"So, the clique have got their own watering hole!"

Just one comment overheard when we announced that we are to be given the opportunity to meet for pre- and post-match drinks in the HD One bar at the stadium.

If this was meant in the sense that the bar will be open exclusively for HGSA members, then yes, we are a clique.

However, HGSA is a clique which is open to everyone! So long as the annual £5 membership is paid.

In fact, our monthly meetings at Turnbridge are open to everyone – upon a nominal payment of £1.

Neither are we exclusively glass-half-full people – as many seem to think.

Granted, some of us go to matches expecting the Giants to win, as do some non-members.

We, and the general fan-base, go to games to watch and support our team.

Yes, last Friday we lost and our cutting edge was, quite bluntly, appalling.

But does it help to shout abuse at players? However badly they are performing surely they aren't playing like that on purpose?

It was often said that Scott Grix is a confidence player, so how did shouting at him help his confidence?

It would appear that another player has taken over Scott's mantle of the scapegoat. Will telling him that his play is dreadful help him?

'Supporters' is a word we like to call ourselves – members and non-members alike.

Yes, we pay our money to watch the team so we have every right to moan, complain, and leave early if we want.

Different people see things differently, that's the nature of human beings. But do we have to whinge and rant for a full 80 minutes?

Even if they players can't hear what you are saying, have you ever thought how it affects the enjoyment of people around you – even if we a getting a pasting like last Friday?

And calling each other hurtful names is, to put it bluntly, childish in the extreme.

If what I have written in this little rant upsets anyone then I apologise!

It is still early days, and we are 4points better off than we were last year at this time!

So let gat behind the team and support them – and be sparing when in complaining mode.

So, are you still willing to join us? And take advantage of HD One at the Leeds game?

We have been promised real ale!

http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk is where you can find out all about the Supporters Association.


22nd

A hypothetical question.

To set the scene, consider a match between two teams, let's call them Team W and Team G.

For the sake of completeness, let's put a referee, Referee K, into the scenario and pretend that he came up through the ranks of Team G.

Referee K has, in the past, apparently lent more heavily on Team G than its opponents.

During this particular hypothetical match Team G, despite the forecasts, are so much on top that the referee – hypothetically of course – thinks that Team W needs a helping hand.

An example of how this might occur is that Team G are marginally offside during the match and, quite rightly, get penalised.

Team W, on the other hand, totally flaunt Referee 's requests to stay onside – sometimes almost being in Team G's line – and are not penalised.

Team G are, let's say, 2 points ahead with 15 minutes still to play.

Should Team G drop a goal?

The inevitable happens and Team W are awarded a penalty in front of Team G's posts. 2 points. The scores are level.

However, if Team G had dropped a goal there would have been a 3 point gap.

Would Team W have opted for the shot at goal?

Having said all that, a mighty WELL DONE to the Giants on Sunday's performance.

AND to that Cowbell Army gang who continue to make away match atmospheres so pleasurable.

On the downside, our thoughts are with our former prop, Ian Van Bellen.

Ian is seriously ill in hospital, having had a serous stroke.

Come on, big man, we want to see you in the bars of Huddersfield again in the not too distant future.

Bars? Did someone mention bars?

Well, there's one exclusively for HGSA members at the stadium on Friday.

In case you've missed it, the HD One bar will be open to us for pre- and post match drinks.

We have been promised real ale.

Don't worry if you aren't e member. You can easily become one by paying a mere £5 on the door.

We had another former favourite chatting to us last week. Paul Dixon, who went on to play for Great Britain, spoke about how the disciplinary panel works.

If memory will allow, this will be reported in next week's column.

Advance warning of another change of date.

Not because of Sky, but Huddersfield Town again!

They are playing at home on Tuesday 4th April. Consequently our meeting will move to the second Tuesday, the 11th, when Jonathan Timms, the Community Trust Development Manager, will be joining us explain all about that organisation.

http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk is where you can find out all about the Supporters Association.


29th

It seems to be the year of the apology – there are another two this week.

The first is regarding the date of our next meeting.

Huddersfield Town were due to play a home match on Tuesday 4th of April. This has now been moved to the night after thanks to, yes, you've guessed it, Sky.

Consequently we have decided to meet at Turnbridge on our regular, first Tuesday night. Our committee meeting will be on our usual second Tuesday, the 11th.

Secondly, we have been promoting the HD1 bar at the stadium as the sole preserve of HGSA members.

Wires have got crossed along the way and we have not been telling you the whole truth. Not our fault, I hasten to add.

Starting with the Castleford game on May 4th, the HD1 bar WILL be exclusively for HGSA members.

At the Catalans and Swinton games the bar will be open to one and all. This gives us the opportunity to promote membership to those who want to continue using this excellent facility.

Last Friday got off to a great start with 26 new members coming on board.

Ian, the general manager from Sodexo [the company in charge of the catering at the stadium], is expecting there to be real ale on sale in the very near future. He is also looking into the possibility of having craft beers available.

The lucky people who have won tickets to the directors' seating area and bar at the Leeds and Catalans matches are John Tinker and Eddie Beevers. We shall draw the next month's winners at our April meeting at Turnbridge.

Which nicely puts the spotlight on Turnbridge WMC.

This is an excellent venue and we shall continue to use it as our base for meetings, committee meetings, and other special events such as our ever popular Reindeer Race Night.

Just to reiterate, David, the steward, welcomed us with open arms when we resurrected the Supporters Club/Association, and has continued to be extremely helpful and accommodating ever since.

Remember that 3rd Division winning side?

Well, some of us do!

Over half of it will be joining us at our May meeting – at Turnbridge.

Just think, it is now 25 years since we left Fartown.

http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk is where you can find out all about the Supporters Association.


Reproduced by kind permission of the Huddersfield Examiner
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