Huddersfield Town won’t just be carrying the hopes of the county when the club returns to football’s big time today.
The Terriers – the ultimate underdogs in the Premier League – will be cheered by neutrals across the country who believe the presence of community clubs in the top flight adds to the romance of the sport.
It’s an irony of the fixture list that the side’s first game should be away to Crystal Palace, the venue of Town’s last match in the old Division One 45 years ago. That was then. This is now.
For, while football has changed out of all recognition thanks to the wealth generated by TV rights, all the money in the world could not buy the team spirit created by owner Dean Hoyle and manager David Wagner.
As the club that will always be associated with legends like Herbert Chapman, Denis Law and Bill Shankly kicks off a new season, it should stay true to the principles that have served it so well. If it does, the club won’t be the sole winner. So, too, will be the town of Huddersfield and the wider football family.