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SHIRT TALES: TOWN’S ICONIC NUMBER 8s

8 June 2021

A look back at notable figures who wore Town’s number 8

- Squad numbers were introduced during the 1999/00 season
- Lewis O’Brien currently wears the number 8 shirt
- Midfielders have predominantly worn the jersey

The number 8 shirt is one that is mainly associated with central midfielders, and since the introduction of permanent squad numbers in 1999, at Huddersfield Town this squad number has definitely kept with that trend.

The shirt is currently held by midfielder Lewis O’Brien, and since making his debut in 2019 after a successful loan spell at Bradford City, the tenacious central midfielder has quickly become a fan favourite at the John Smith’s Stadium. This is evident after he received Huddersfield Town’s Player of the Year award for his outstanding performances in the 2019/20 season. O’Brien wrote his name in Town’s history books by becoming the first Academy graduate to win the Player of the Season Trophy in his first senior season for the Club. Lewis has gone on to make 81 appearances in all competitions for the Terriers, scoring five goals and assisting his teammates on seven occasions so far. O’Brien was handed the number 8 jersey at the beginning of the 2020/21 Sky Bet Championship campaign.

He took the number off Trevoh Chalobah, who arrived in August 2019 on a season-long loan from Chelsea. The youngster operated in the defensive ‘number six’ role as well as possessing the versatility to drop back and play in defence when needed. Trevoh made 38 appearances for the Terriers in all competitions, scoring one goal and providing one assist for his teammates.

Before Chalobah, the number was assigned to Philip Billing, the midfielder first joined Huddersfield Town at the age of 16 and developed through the Terriers’ Academy before making his First Team debut in a 2-0 defeat to Leicester City on 26 April 2014. From there Phil went from strength to strength and worked his way into the First Team squad. Phil was rewarded with the number 8 jersey in the 16/17 season and wore the number up until the 18/19 season. Billing played an important role as the Terriers won promotion to the Premier League for the first time as well as playing a vital part in Town’s Premier League survival season. The 6’ 4” Dane made 91 appearances for Town, scoring six goals and producing two assists along the way.

The shirt was also worn by Jacob Butterfield during the 2014/15 campaign. In his time at the Club, Jacob made 52 appearances for Town, scoring seven goals, and producing seven assists. He was also named Huddersfield Town’s Hargreaves Memorial Trophy Player of the Year at Town’s 2015 Annual Awards ceremony.

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Jamie Paterson wore the jersey during the 15/16 campaign after joining on a season-long loan from Nottingham Forest. Paterson mainly operated in the ‘number 10’ position for the Terriers and went on to make 36 appearances during his loan spell, scoring eight goals and producing five assists for Town.

Adam Clayton wore the number for two seasons starting from the 2012/13 campaign. The midfielder became a real fan’s favourite during his time at Huddersfield Town, which saw him claim the Blue and White Foundation Player of the Season award after inspired performances during the 2013/14 season. The former Manchester City youngster produced some fantastic strikes during his time with the Terriers against the likes of Bournemouth, Wigan and Birmingham. Adam made 94 appearances for the Club, scoring 12 goals and providing 10 assists. Who can also forget the famous blue and white beard he grew for the Huddersfield Town Foundation which raised around £5,000 during the 2013/14 campaign!

The shirt was also worn by Antony Kay for two seasons, starting from the 2009/10 campaign. In his time, Kay scored the extra-time equaliser as well as the winning penalty in the subsequent shoot-out victory over Bournemouth in the second leg of the League 1 Play-Off Semi-Final. He was also at the Club but was not involved in the matchday squad when the Terriers won promotion to the second tier of English football after a very tense penalty shoot-out at Wembley stadium.

The number 8 was also worn by Jon Worthington, Worthy moved up through Huddersfield Town’s Academy and eventually broke into the First Team. the midfielder was a real lynchpin in the Huddersfield midfield during his time at the Club and was made Club Captain in 2004, helping Town win promotion from League 2 via the 2004 Play-Offs. Jon made nearly 250 appearances for the Club and is now heavily involved in the Club’s Academy set-up as Coach of Town’s B Team as well as the Under-19 group.

Tony Carss has also held the number 8 shirt, making 89 appearances for the Club as a midfielder between 2003-2006.
The first player to permanently receive the number 8 jersey was Kenny Irons who was signed by Steve Bruce from Tranmere Rovers in the 1999/00 season. Kenny made 121 League appearances for Town, scoring eleven goals including a stunning long-range winner against Chelsea in the old Worthington Cup.

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