An icon (nearly) returns

By Martin Sykes


I don’t care about kits or badges, I don’t buy or wear them so I should just shut up now, really.

However, the Kongolo/kit launch (a masterpiece of timing and marketing) filled me with joy – not only because we had made a permanent signing of one of the main reasons we survived last season, but also the appearance of the new badge.

Squeezing the image on my iPhone, seconds after Town’s #TerrierIncoming tweet had been followed up, a frisson of excitement mixed with a wave of nostalgia almost subsumed the unreal revelation that my club had spent knocking on for 20 million quid on a Dutch international.

The image wasn’t unfamiliar, having been introduced in to the club’s branding during the first Premier League season, but having it on the shirt immediately took me back to the halcyon days of Nicholson, Lawson, Poole, Worthington, Cherry, Ellam, Hutt, Clarke, McGill, Smith, Dobson, viva Bobby Hoy, Chapman and Kryswicki (I originally put the first three down but then couldn’t allow myself not to finish with the lot of them – those were the days when the team pretty much named itself).

I’ve long advocated that the red terrier badge be brought back – well, I once sent a couple of emails to the htafc mailing list a few years ago – on the grounds that it is flawlessly iconic.

The Terrier nickname was first launched on to an unsuspecting, stereotypically cynical Huddersfield public during the memorable 69/70 season with an announcement in the programme for a game against Bolton Wanderers (27th September 1969), and the badge followed later.

It was gloriously crap. An amateurish, uncluttered and literal representation of the mascot dog, Skippy. In red.

The coup de grace, though, was that it was sewn on to the shirt, presumably by Nellie, Town’s legendary laundry woman.

Despite emerging in the Mad Men era, the marketing was barely consistent and its use was sporadic and arbitrary – my cursory research for this threw up quite a lot of images with both the home and away kits with and without the adornment for no apparent reason. Maybe Nellie refused to become a sweat shop labourer on top of her other duties and held the power over its appearance.

This inconsistency even stretched to team photos – only Poole and Lawson got one in this picture;

Above all, however, the badge achieved iconic status (in my mind at least), because of the players who wore it and, in particular, during the year of our Lord 1970. Promotion, top of the first Division after 2 games and a glorious future hoving in to view (!).

Quietly dropped as disaster upon disaster unfurled in the dark days of the 70s, it became synonymous with a brief, hope filled era of success and its reappearance, all be it as a mere nod, is relevant and welcome.

I’ve now got a year of lobbying to get the original reinstalled, in red and sewn on by Brooky.