Classic Old Sports Grounds No3: Fartown, Huddersfield

Now these days since the Shameful ‘merger’ of Huddersfield Giants with Sheffield Eagles (for the Giants to snatch away Sheffield Eagles Super League place) I’m no fan of Shuddersfield but way back when I used to enjoy my Sunday afternoon trips to Huddersfield to watch The Dons or just to watch any game really in the Slalom Lager Rugby League Division Two.

Yorkshire Cup

In the 1980s Huddersfield RLFC had fallen from grace and their lovely Fartown ground could have said to have followed suit but even in the early 1980s it could still be used as a neutral ground for big Rugby League events.

The ground started life in 1868 as a Cricket Gound and when I knew the ground Cricket was still played next door. One thing I am a sucker for are barrel roofed stands or cover for terracing and that’s something the Fartown possesed as well as a lovely gabled Main stand (wooden) and a huge terrace opposite… in short a proper sports ground.

Fartown

Fartown

Fartown

One thing that might not be known about the ground is that it hosted Association football back in when in 1882 10000 turned up to watch The Wednesday play Blackburn Rovers in an FA Cup semi-final. The Wednesday missed out on an early chance of FA Cup glory eventually losing 5-1 at Fallowfield following a 0-0 draw in Huddersfield.

Rugby League is still played at Fartown but Shuddersfield now play at the MacAlpine stadium they share with Huddersfield Town FC.

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11 responses to “Classic Old Sports Grounds No3: Fartown, Huddersfield

  1. Stephen Barraclough

    There you are! At 73 and having been born and bred in Huddersfield (but a Rugby Union fan) there is much here I didn’t know about Fartown. For instance, that Rugby League is still played at Fartown! (So do they retain the name of Huddersfield ‘Fatown’?) Very informative!

  2. thedrunkbirder

    The club use the horrible nickname The Giants but occasionally you still hear Fartown from the stands.

  3. Stephen Barraclough

    I wonder, how good are you on player history?
    I’ll ask anyway. How many Wacabakers have played for Fartown and when?

  4. thedrunkbirder

    Ha! I’m afraid I’ve no idea. I’m no Huddersfield fan, just enjoyed Fartown. I particularly dislike the current Giants club known to many still as Shuddersfield after they took Sheffield Eagles super league place in a ‘merger.’

    I’m a Doncaster RLFC fan and also a big fan of Castleford RLFC. Living in Leicester these days I don’t watch as much RL in the flesh as I’d like.

  5. Stephen Barraclough

    Thanks anyway for replying, I happen to know the daughter of the ‘Whacky-Backy’ who played here probably in the 60’s/70;s and also being an ex ‘Duke’ I knew of another of her family who was in the Regt. some time previously – and wondered if he had played for Fartown too. No problem, and thanks again for your replies. (Happy Exile!)

  6. Andrew Gallon

    Great memories! As a boy, I would accompany my father to Fartown one Sunday and Thrum Hall, Halifax, the next. I particularly liked Fartown: despite the comparatively small crowds Huddersfield attracted in the Seventies and early Eighties, there was always a sense of occasion.

  7. richard codd

    fartown will always be special to me because as a young lad i saw my beloved hull kr beat oldham in that epic 3rd semi final replay which took us to wembly for the first time it poured with rain but who cared at last we were going to wembly on my next trip from australia where i now live i will go there and try to relive that wonderful night

  8. Mike Fuller

    Just seen this page and brings up deep fond memories. I was hit by the Fartown bug when as a youngster I was taken to this ground (1953) and was “hooked” forever and to this day regard the late, great Lional Cooper as my fav. Fartown player ever. Because of work I had to emigrate to Cheshire for 30 odd years adopting Widnes (could not afford to travel to Yorkshire regularly don’t drive) but got over for first match at McAlpine when all the old surviving players attended and I visited and photographed the old Fartown Ground shedding a tear or two. Some considerable time later at my spouses request we have returned to our birth area to spend our final years here near our offspring and visited once more the old Fartown ground and was absolutely devastated by the terrible deterioration………….

  9. Michael Mallinson

    Remember these? Hunter Cracknell Bawden Devery Cooper, Pepperell Banks, Davies Meek Daly, Nicholson Owens Valentine. Later on Henderson,Rylance, Bowden, Sullivan . All in the late 1940’s , early 50’s. What a team.

  10. thedrunkbirder

    I’m more a late 70s/early 80s man!

  11. Mike Fuller

    I started watching Fartown during the 1953 season and was instantly “hooked”. My special favourite was Lionel Cooper and his testimonial programme is my all time special within my collection although this years Championship is special too. And lets not forget the small town of Wigan who hold both the FA Cup and RL Challenge Cup both won in the same season of 2013. Marvellous. A feat unlikely to ever be repeated.

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