That was 58 years ago, since when the West Yorkshire club has experienced plenty of highs and lows. From next season, though, it will be flying the flag for Yorkshire after reaching the Premier League – following the dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Reading at Wembley in Monday’s Championship play-off final.
Yesterday, Mr Wilkinson was among more than 20,000 joyous fans that filled St George’s Square for the victory parade to celebrate the club’s promotion – the first time Huddersfield has been in the top tier of English football since 1972.
Mr Wilkinson, 67, said: “I’ve seen plenty of ups and downs, and probably more downs. Which is why something like this is so special – the noise, the colour... it’s just brilliant.
“Days like this don’t happen very often so you have to savour them.”
Mr Wilkinson, a season ticket holder with the club, is already looking forward to next season as the Terriers take on some of the biggest teams in world football.
He said: “It’s exciting. I’m going to try and go down for the Spurs game and go to Wembley, that’s going to be special.”
An open top bus left Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium before making the short trip to St George’s Square in the town centre, where players and staff were greeted by a sea of noise and blue and white colour as fans waved flags and banners and youngsters with horns and vuvuzelas turned the occasion into a party atmosphere.
The team was presented on a stage to the boisterous crowd and lifted the Championship play-off trophy to rapturous applause.
Not even a sudden torrential downpour could dampen the ebullient mood among the supporters, some of whom, like Janet and John Stacey, had only arrived back from Wembley a few minutes earlier.
They were among the 39,000 Huddersfield fans that made the long trip down to London for the play-off final and wanted to see the parade.
Mrs Stacey said: “It means so much to people here. Everybody’s just thrilled to bits, and for us to be playing the teams we’re going to play next season is a dream come true.”
So confident was she that the team would win promotion that she even placed a bet on them going up, which she estimated will bring in £250 in winnings.
The last time Huddersfield Town were in the old First Division – what is now the Premier League – T.Rex were top of the pops, flared trousers were all the rage and Edward Heath was Prime Minister.
Yesterday, though, it was the statue of another former Prime Minister, and one of the West Yorkshire town’s most famous sons, Harold Wilson, that had arguably the best vantage point as Huddersfield’s first team squad soaked up the adulation.
The cacophony of noise was deafening at times and cheers went up as each of the players’ names were read out – with the loudest cheer reserved for the club’s talismanic head coach David Wagner.
“These are not heroes,” the German told the ecstatic crowd, “these are living legends.”
He said: “It does not count how big you are, it does not count how experienced you are, or how nice you are; if you have passion and desire then you have no limits.” Cue more rapturous applause.
Mr Wagner added: “It’s down to the wives, children and the players too because all together they have made this fairytale have a happy end.”
Success in the play-off game will be worth a minimum of £170m to the club and there will be other benefits to the town.
The 2017-18 Premier League season – complete with Huddersfield Town – starts on August 12. It has, as Terriers fans will tell you, been a long time coming.
David Wagner – talk of the town
When David Wagner took over as Huddersfield Town’s head coach in 2015, few football fans in the town had heard of the former Borussia Dortmund II boss.
However, he has transformed the club’s fortunes, taking the team from 19th in the Championship last season to fifth this time around, and now takes Huddersfield into the Premier League.
He is adored by the club’s supporters though he has a long way to go before he gets close to eclipsing the achievements of former manager Herbert Chapman.
Back in the 1920s, Chapman won both the old First Division and the FA Cup with the Terriers.