Town heroes take their place at PPG Canalside
There have been many legends at Huddersfield Town, but how do you decide who is the ultimate legend?
Answer: Ask the fans!
Last year the Examiner asked Town supporters to vote for their all-time hero – and the top 14 have been immortalised on the Pink Link Walkway of Legends.
The 14 have been captured in iconic poses on banners attached to lampposts around the club’s PPG Canalside training complex.
More than 10,000 votes were cast with club ambassador Andy Booth edging out strikers Frank Worthington and Denis Law for top spot.
England’s World Cup-winning left-back Ray Wilson came fourth with current Academy Manager Mark Lillis and former captain and manager Peter Jackson also in the top seven.
Four of the legends – Booth, Wilson, Lillis and Jackson – met up for the official launch of the walkway.
Hometown boy Booth, who scored 150 goals for the club, said he was surprised and delighted to come out on top.
“It’s a great honour to beat a World Cup winner and various international stars and it’s humbling when you consider all the great players who have played for the club in 106 years,” he said.
So who would be Boothy’s legend? “That’s a good question,” he said. “For me it’s Peter Fletcher.
“I started watching Town in 1979/80 and he was my hero. There were no names on the back of shirts in those days but playing in the park with my mates I was always ‘Fletch’.
“He was a striker who played for Manchester United. He might not have been the greatest but he was my childhood hero.
“Aside from him, the real Town legend has to be Ray Wilson. He’s the real No1.”
Wilson, now 80, attended the launch with wife Pat. Living in Slaithwaite he is a regular at Town home games and recalled how he took a two-thirds pay cut to leave a job on the railways to sign for Town.
“I signed at 15 or 16 for £5 a week,” said Wilson. “But I had been working for British Railways shovelling coal into the engines for £15 a week. That’s what I thought about football.
“The money wasn’t very good. There were five of us in digs and all on £5 a week. We could only afford the bus fare three days a week so on the other day we had to walk home. Times change!”
Former centre-back Jackson, best remembered for leading the club’s Great Escape from relegation in 1997/98 in one of his two spells as manager, attended the launch with his wife Alison, daughter Charlotte and dad Les.
“I’m 54 now and to pick up an award in my 50s is incredible,” he said. “This honour is special because everyone knows how much this club means to me.
“When I come back on a match day the club still treats me as a legend. Sometimes I think I’m still the manager! Huddersfield really do look after me.”
Jackson, who runs a care business with wife Alison, has just spent the last six months travelling to the likes of India, Bali, Singapore and Borneo.
He and Alison are now looking forward to becoming grandparents with daughter Charlotte expecting in June and daughter-in-law Stacey, wife of son Oliver, in May.
Lillis, who hopes to unearth the next Town legend as the Club’s Academy Manager, said: “This club has been a big part of my life.
“I had eight years here as a player, celebrated my 18th and 21st birthdays, got married here and my son was born in Huddersfield.
“I have 120 sons in the Academy now and we have players coming through. There are five or six lads just under the radar and hopefully we can get one or two there.”
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