Huddersfield Town legend Billy Smith was born on this day 126 years ago
- Billy Smith was born on 23 May 1895
- Smith made over 500 appearances for Town, scoring 126 goals
- Tantobie-born Smith became the first player to score directly from a corner
On Thursday 23 May 1895 and over 100 miles away from Huddersfield Town, a future club legend was born as phenomenal goalscorer Billy Smith was brought into the world in Tantobie, a small village in County Durham.
The forward began his 21-year spell with Town in 1913 as an 18-year-old, after he joined the Club from Hobson Wanderers.
Smith’s Town career got off to an amazing start as he grabbed his first goal wearing the famous blue and white stripes in just his second appearance for the Club, as he netted against Hull City in the October of 1913.
It then didn’t take long for Smith to cement a place in the starting XI, as he became Town’s key player the following season, whilst also becoming one of the most talented left-sided players in the country.
The Club appointed Herbert Chapman as its Manager in 1921 and it was then that Smith began to flourish into the Town legend he would become.
In Chapman’s first full season with the Club, Smith was an ever present and netted the winning penalty against Preston North End to secure Town’s first ever FA Cup trophy in 1922.
Smith also played a crucial role in Town securing its first ever league title in 1924 as he finished the season as the Club’s second highest goalscorer, contributing 13 goals.
The Club then secured a second successive league title the following season and it was during that campaign that Smith became the first player to score directly from a corner with his stunning goal against Arsenal in the October.
And of course, as written in the history books, Town went on to become the first club in history to be crowned league champions in three consecutive years.
Smith’s consistency and intelligent wing-play continued to inspire the Club’s fans and players alike for the remainder of the decade.
But the formidable career of ‘The Great Billy Smith’ couldn’t last forever and he made the last of his 574 appearances, the record number of appearances ever made by a Huddersfield Town player, in February 1934 against Sheffield United; somewhat unsurprisingly marking his final outing in blue and white with two goals.
Smith retired with an FA Cup winners medal and three runners-up medals to his name, as well as three First Division title and three England caps.
Unfortunately, in April 1951, the Town legend passed away, but his influence is something the Club and the football community will never forget.
His son, Conway Smith, also went on to play for the Club and he continued the Smith legacy as he ensured the pair became the first father and son to score 100 goals each during their careers.
The influence of Billy Smith has lived on at Huddersfield Town for the past 100 hundred years and will continue to do so for centuries to come.