His hands clasped in silent prayer, he could barely bring himself to watch the unfolding penalty drama as the Terriers, the team he’s supported since childhood, won the most valuable game in football. Nor could many of the fans present for the most significant match in their club’s history.
With victory worth a reputed £200m to the winners, this was a fitting reward for Mr Hoyle who has transformed the fortunes of Huddersfield Town since he became the club’s owner in 2009 and his appointment of German-born manager David Wagner last summer could not have been more inspired. Here is a manager whose ambitions match those of the owner – and the club’s loyal fans.
Though the players will receive the plaudits, and deservedly so, the owner knew just what was at stake as a seemingly nerveless Christopher Schindler scored the winning penalty.
A chairman whose community values are epitomised by the fact that he cycled to Wembley with his wife Janet to raise money for the More In Common charity set up in honour of murdered MP Jo Cox, this victory is a game-changer for the Terriers – and the town.
More than four decades after they last competed in football’s top flight, they now have the privilege of playing host to many of the world’s best players – and managers – at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Off the pitch, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Huddersfield, and the surrounding area, to be marketed to an international audience because of the Premier League’s global reach.
Having come this far, let’s hope Mr Hoyle’s nerves hold out so that he can savour the occasion – he deserves to.