Having had his first taste of senior football in the famous blue and white stripes of Huddersfield Town, there was a moment of remember when Ben Chilwell came on as a second-half substitute for England in their 1-0 victory over Switzerland.
Arriving in West Yorkshire with nothing more than a reputation of being an extremely promising prospect, many Town fans weren’t sure what to expect from this 18-year-old left-back.
However, by the time Ben Chilwell left, he had gained the adoration of the Town faithful and confirmed through his performances that he had a very, very bright future ahead of him.
Some even said that he was a future England international. They would be right.
Despite only making eight appearances for Huddersfield Town and never being a fully-fledged Town player, there is undoubtedly a connection between the trifecta: the player, the club and the fan-base.
In fact, there are examples of this connection on show.
When Town’s unlikely feat of promotion was confirmed, Ben Chilwell was one of the first to congratulate the club and welcome them to the Premier League.
Likewise, when Ben Chilwell alongside his Leicester City teammate Demarai Gray was called up to the senior international side, many Town fans congratulated the 21-year-old and reminisced about his trademark lung-bursting runs up and down the left hand flank.
The connection itself is somewhat unique. It’s not one restricted to that of club allegiance. It was something far greater than that.
Following the disappointment of Chilwell’s recall back to Leicester City, myself and countless other Town fans continued to follow the highly-rated starlet to see if he would reach the potential that he so clearly had.
Whilst he is not quite one of our own, he does give off the aura of an academy player that is given a chance and, almost immediately, thrives.
With the changing nature of football and the need for instant gratification and immediate success, it is becoming more and more rare to watch an academy player come through the ranks and develop to the point that he becomes an England international. In Huddersfield Town’s case, Ben Chilwell is the closest we’ve had to that.
Having witnessed the very beginning of his senior professional career, we have watched him grow from being one of the brightest players of the next generation to a player that has – through hard work and perseverance – lived up to the potential that many young players struggle to cope with.
Matured and reassured, we watched as he climbed through the ranks at Leicester to what he has become now – a Premier League regular and an England international.
Whilst I’m sure we will see him bombing up and down the touchline in the royal blue of Leicester City against us at some point this season, for now, we can continue to reminisce and in years to come, we can hark back to the days when we saw England international Ben Chilwell playing for Huddersfield Town.