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THEM AND US: HUDDERSFIELD

PUBLISHED

12:00 14th February 2013

by Kevin Kilbane

We look at a selection of players and staff to have been involved with Latics and the Terriers over the years.

Wigan Athletic’s last brushing with Huddersfield Town brought about happy memories as Latics gained promotion to Division One with a 0-0 draw at the then Alfred McAlpine Stadium and there have also been players creating their own happy memories when wearing the blue and white of both clubs.

MOST RECENT

Kilbane HS Latics 4x3Kevin Kilbane was a favourite with Latics fans during his two and a half year spell at the club, playing 84 times and scoring twice.

He knew just when to score those two goals, as his first earned Latics a 3-3 home draw against Tottenham Hotspur in 2007, with his only other goal proving the difference in a 1-0 home win against West Ham United the following year.

Kilbane left Latics in January 2009 for Hull City but after two years on Humberside he was sent out on loan to Huddersfield, who greeted the veteran midfielder with open arms.

His debut for the Terriers would mark the start of their incredible 43 games unbeaten run in League One, which broke Nottingham Forest’s 33-year-old record to become the longest ever unbeaten sequence in Football League history.

Not only did he enjoy lending his hand to 24 of those unbeaten games, he also provided some golden moments in Huddersfield’s play off campaign that season.

Kilbane scored in the semi-final first leg 1-1 draw with AFC Bournemouth, before netting the third of four successful penalties in the second leg after a 3-3 draw which saw the club through to the final.

HAPPY HUNTING GROUND

Bobby Campbell v Altrincham 4x3Bobby Campbell (pictured), Colin Russell and David Graham all enjoyed their time in Yorkshire and proved goal scoring hits for Huddersfield.

Campbell adopted Yorkshire as his own throughout his career, with his first visit to the White Rose County coming in 1975 when he was loaned to Halifax Town from Aston Villa.

Later that year he made his move to West Yorkshire permanent but swapping the blue of Halifax for the stripes of Huddersfield, carrying out a two year spell which saw him score nine goals in 31 games.

He left Huddersfield in 1977 for Sheffield United but returned briefly a year later scoring three times in seven matches.

His connection with Yorkshire continued throughout his career with two spells at Bradford City and another stint at Halifax, before ending his career in a successful stay at Springfield Park, scoring 27 times in 69 games for Latics.

Colin Russell also ended his Football League career with Wigan Athletic and was another man who played a big part of his early career with Huddersfield.

A Liverpool trainee, Russell joined the Terriers in 1982 and stayed there for two years with an impressive 23 goals in 66 games.

Albeit a brief spell with Latics in 1988 Russell ended his career positively with three goals in eight games.

The third forward of the group is David Graham who, didn’t necessarily have the greatest goal scoring record when with Latics (one in 30 games) but reveled in the Yorkshire air on loan at Huddersfield from Sheffield Wednesday.

His nine goals in 16 appearances for the Terriers played their part in the club’s fourth place finish in League One and it was a remarkable sequence of scoring as he netted in three consecutive games on three occasions at the end of the 2005/06 season.

BEHIND THE SCENES

Steve Bruce as Huddersfield Manager 4x3During his early years of management Steve Bruce had brief spells in charge of both clubs, starting out at Huddersfield (pictured) in the 1999/00 season and just missing out on the play offs before being sacked the following season.

His next job lead him straight to Latics as he took over in April 2001 and led the club into the play offs but lost out in the semi-finals against Reading.

This sparked Bruce’s departure almost immediately as he moved to take over at Crystal Palace.

Six years after leaving he returned with Latics languishing in the bottom three of the Premier League in November 2007 after the sacking of former Huddersfield player Chris Hutchings.

Bruce’s second spell at the club was successful as he steered his side away from the relegation zone and the following season earned an 11th place finish before leaving again in May 2009 for Sunderland.

His predecessor Hutchings enjoyed his playing career at Huddersfield more than his managerial career with Wigan Athletic.

After joining from Brighton and Hove Albion in 1987 Hutchings found himself battling against relegation from the second tier at his new club to which they finally succumbed and finished bottom.

The only way was up from there though, and Hutchings became a hit with two consecutive five goal seasons.

Despite being a defender he found an eye for goal and even scored in three consecutive games in the 1988/89 season, while his highlight in 1989/90 was an impressive brace against Swansea City.

Moving further back into the backroom is former Latics Youth Coach Andy May who played alongside Hutchings from 1987 to 1990 at Huddersfield making over 100 appearances for the club.

SOME OF THE REST

The list of Town-Athletic connections could go on and on, with the likes of Bredan O’Connell, Mark Ward, Jon Whitney and Mark Wright representing both clubs in the 1990s and Lee Ashcroft and Latics penalty hero David Unsworth in the 2000s.

Latics stalwart Kevin Sharp spent the 2002/03 season at Huddersfield, with Mick Kennedy playing for both clubs at the opposite ends of his career.

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