Huddersfield Town Change

Huddersfield Town Mark Lillis

The first man to submit his own footballing memory to the campaign is the perfect fit for this fixture – Town’s Academy Manager Mark Lillis.

Currently the man in charge of guiding Town’s youngsters to their first professional contracts, Mark was a cult hero on the terraces at Leeds Road as a key part of Mick Buxton’s successful side in the early 1980s, netting 63 goals in 242 committed performances in the blue and white stripes.

However, he is also held in high esteem at Derby; not only did he play for the Rams during the 1986/87 campaign, but he also served as a coach for the Club and helped to bring through a golden generation of youngsters including the likes of Tom Huddlestone, Lee Camp, Marcus Tudgay and Lee Grant.

“Building memories is one of the best things about football; we all turn up every week in the hope of seeing an iconic moment. People tell you not to linger in the past, but I tend to use experience as an inspiration,”

“The first thing that springs to mind when I’m asked about my time with Huddersfield is the 1982/83 promotion season. I captained the team against Newport and at only 23 years old I was so proud to have been given the armband. I played centre half that day and I was facing off against John Aldridge and Tommy Tynan.

“We kept a clean sheet and Dave Cowling scored to give us a 1-0 win, which ensured promotion to Division Two.

“I can picture the scene in the dressing room afterwards – I just sat there soaking it all in as the lads celebrated. Nobody can take that away from me.”

Of course memories are not always positive and Mark’s time at Derby started on a sour note – but only got better and better.

“In my first game for Derby, against Crystal Palace, a lad called Micky Droy took me out off the ball and nearly snapped my medial ligament. I was out for a lot of months at Derby, but even though I didn’t play a lot of games I ended up with a Championship medal and I scored a diving header against Plymouth Argyle to get us up.

“I learned a lot of my coaching methods from the Derby Manager, Arthur Cox. He was very meticulous – we used to call him the Sergeant Major! I ended up going back there and coaching at Derby while they were in the Premiership, working with the likes of Fabrizio Ravanelli, Georgi Kinkladze, Rob Lee and Warren Barton. It was a fantastic experience."

Mark Lillis

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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