Interviews

Fartowns Decline

Despite the many great players and significant games which had been played at Fartown, the 1980’s saw the stadium decline rapidly as the club struggled to pull in spectators. Neil was one member of the team which helped get the ground up to the correct specification in order to keep rugby in Huddersfield. Geoffrey Moorhouse shares his anguish at the decline of Fartown in 1989 in his book ‘At the George’:

There are some grounds, alas, in such a state that one’s first and lasting response to them is dismay, especially if you have known them in much better days. To visit Huddersfield now is to be numbed by the catastrophic decline in the fortunes of a club which used to be such a matter of civic pride that the elders of the town competed strenuously to be seen there in positions of authority. Here Wagstaff, Rosenfeld, Cooper, Hunter, and many more giants played football.

Fartown these days looks as if it has hit rock bottom indeed, with its grandstand – once one of the most commodious in the championship – and its shed both deemed too unsafe to use, with vegetation growing out of the steep terracing opposite the stand, and with a raggle of barbed-wire entanglement at the score-board end; where, if you look hard, you will discover a tablet in memory of the late and great David Valentine, who must be turning in his grave, along with all the other magnificent Huddersfield ghosts.”