Huddersfield Town Change

Huddersfield Town Karen Gill

I wasn’t around when my granddad, Bill Shankly, lived and worked in Huddersfield, but my mum spent some happy childhood years in the town, I know my Nanny Ness, was quite settled there and I’ve seen the family photographs of their house and garden.

I know that he took up the offer of assistant manager at the bequest of Andy Beattie, the manager and my granddad’s former Preston team mate. At first, he was given the task of developing the club’s youth policy and what a fine crop of youngsters Huddersfield produced at this time. None more so than Denis Law: one of the game’s greatest players. My granddad’s own words to describe Denis show that he was a player after his own heart!

“Right from the start Denis stood out with his enthusiasm and will to win….He would have died to have won.”

When my granddad became manager in 1956, I know he was absolutely delighted to see Denis Law score his first league goal for the club against Notts County on Boxing Day. The best Christmas present you could have given him!

Although a few years later he was to leave Huddersfield Town for Liverpool without having achieved as much as he’d have wished, I know he considered one of his greatest achievements was managing to keep the teenage sensation that was Denis Law at Huddersfield.

One of his few regrets about joining Liverpool at this time was that he would have to leave such an amazing player behind and forever after he would talk about Denis Law with pure pride and enthusiasm.

Karen Gill

This memory was shared as part of the Huddersfield Town v Derby County npower Championship match on 15th September. The Football Memories match raising awareness of dementia.

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