JUST as on a famous Spring afternoon almost exactly 22 years ago, Chris Billy showed an exquisite sense of timing this week.
Having been badgered by his eldest son to purchase tickets for Huddersfield’s Town’s date with destiny against Reading, Billy managed to acquire some earlier this week, avoiding a late scramble with tickets selling fast.
Billy also arrived on cue on May 28, 1995 when he fired an 80th-minute winner from Iain Dunn’s cross to down Bristol Rovers 2-1 in the Second Division play-off final – to secure promotion for his home-town club.
Now 44, Billy – the last Town player to score a winner at Wembley – said: “My eldest wanted to go. His schoolmates had bailed out on him, so he asked me to go with him.
“I tried to ring the ticket office as they said there were a few left and were on hold for a while before I eventually got through.
“I know if Huddersfield were to get into the Premier League, I think most of the town would be trying to get tickets, It would be unbelievable.”
I could not tell you what Wagner has done, but whatever it is, he wants to bottle it up and sell itChris Billy
Part of a Huddersfield side whose team ethic proved the cornerstone of their promotion under Neil Warnock in 1994-95, Billy spies similarities with the present day Town line-up and is effusive in his praise of the impact made by head coach David Wagner.
Whatever happens on Monday afternoon, the German is already assured of cult hero status among Town fans, but will join the club’s pantheon of managerial greats if his side prevails against Reading.
A suitably impressed Billy said: “They are flying.
“I have got to be honest, at around Christmas time, I was one of the doubters who thought, ‘Can they maintain it?’ They just went from strength to strength.
“They had a few blips at the end, but the play-offs were pretty much done by then.
“No matter what happens, it has been a brilliant season. Huddersfield Town can make the Premier League, who would have thought that? I could not tell you what Wagner has done, but whatever it is, he wants to bottle it up and sell it as he would make a fortune from it.”