Former Huddersfield Town striker on his memories at the Club
- Iwan Roberts reflects on his Town career
- Former striker looks back at his first goals for the Club
- The Welshman also re-visits his prolific 1991/92 campaign
Former Huddersfield Town striker Iwan Roberts has recently taken some time out to look back at his best memories in a Huddersfield Town shirt!
Roberts made over 150 appearances for the Terriers between 1990 and 1993, having originally began his career at Watford.
The former Town talisman looked back on the process that saw him make the move from the Hornets, along with his first few months in West Yorkshire.
“I had got to an age where I was told I wouldn’t play for Watford’s First Team and that I needed to go to another club and to kick-start my career really.
“The first few months [at Town] were tough if I’m honest. I think it was a Club record fee at the time, I was replacing Craig Maskell, a Club legend, who scored a bag full of goals for Town.
“I was a young boy, still learning the trade. I think the price tag and the pressure got to me. As a centre-forward, you have to hit the ground running and I struggled.”
After taking some time to adjust to his new club, Roberts had an afternoon to remember at Bradford City’s Valley Parade. An afternoon that he believes got his Town career up-and-running.
“Up until November, it was tough, but then we played Bradford away at Valley Parade and we were 2-0 down at half-time.
“In the second half we came out, we put in a great performance and I scored both goals that earned us a point. I think that day kick-started my Town career.”
At the time, Town had both Manager Eoin Hand and First Team Coach Peter Withe in the dugout. Roberts pinpointed the pair as influences on him in his time with the Club.
“Eoin was great. I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He took a chance, took a gamble on someone who had only played a handful of games for Watford.
“I hope that second year kind of re-paid the faith he’d shown in me.
“We had Peter as first team coach too, he was a magnificent centre-forward, scored the winning goal in the 1982 European Cup Final for Aston Villa, and he used to join in, in training.
“You’d just pick up little runs he’d make into the box, his technique of winning the ball in the air too. Both of them helped me massively.”
Working under the pair appeared to have its benefits for the striker, who enjoyed the best goal-scoring season of his playing career in his second year at Town, scoring 35 in all competitions for the Terriers in 1991/92.
“That was my best season as a player by a country mile. We had a good side; I had a good partner up-front in Phil Starbuck.
“We also had good wingers, the likes of big Iffy Onoura who was a flying machine.
“We had creativity with Chris Marsden and Kieran [O’Regan] next to him. We had bombing full-backs too, so a centre-forward is the final piece of the jigsaw really.
“There was a lot of good and hard work leading up to the goals. I remember we got Frank Stapleton on loan for two or three months and he was great with me, he would take me aside and tell me how to steal goals really.
“I must have got five or six that season by just being a yard or so from the goal-line!
“It was a great season and just a shame that we missed out in the play-offs against Peterborough.”
In 1993, Roberts played his final games for Town, leaving the Club for Leicester City with nearly 70 goals to his name. The striker looked back on his departure from the Club, managed by Neil Warnock at the time.
“I was out of contract; I’d gone down to Bournemouth and agreed terms with them where Tony Pulis was the manager.
“But I wanted the weekend to think things over, so I travelled back up to Huddersfield, went in on the Monday morning to tell Neil I was leaving and that I wanted a fresh challenge at Bournemouth.
“I remember he sat me in his office and wouldn’t let me leave until I signed a new contract!
“I signed a three-year deal and then around November-time he wanted to bring players in, and he needed to sell before he could buy.
“Leicester was a club who put a bid in for me and I went down, spotted Brian Little, and within a minute of speaking to him I thought that he was the man I wanted to play for.
“It’s not as if I wanted to leave, I was more than happy at Huddersfield. I love the town and the people were great towards me, but I guess that’s football.”