Huddersfield Giants

Last updated

Huddersfield Giants
Huddersfield Giants 2021 logo.png
Club information
Full nameHuddersfield Giants Rugby League Football Club
Nickname(s)The Giants
The Claret and Golds
Cowbell Army
Short nameHuddersfield Giants
Colours Giantscolours.svg Claret and Gold
Founded1895;127 years ago (1895)
Current details
Chairman Ken Davy
Coach Ian Watson
Captain Luke Yates
Competition Super League
2021 season 9th
Rugby football current event.png Current season
Kit left arm goldborder.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body thingoldhoops.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm goldborder.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts goldsides.png
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks hoops gold.png
Kit socks long.svg
Home colours
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body greencollar.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
Away colours
Championships 7 (1912, 1913, 1915, 1929, 1930, 1949, 1962)
Challenge Cups 6 (1913, 1915, 1920, 1933, 1945, 1953)
Other top-tier honours 24

The Huddersfield Giants are an English professional rugby league club from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, the birthplace of rugby league, who play in the Super League competition. They play their home games at the John Smiths Stadium which is shared with Huddersfield Town F.C. Huddersfield is also one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, making them one of the world's first rugby league teams. The club itself was founded in 1864, making it the oldest rugby league club in the world.


They have won seven Championships and six Challenge Cups, but did not earn another honour between 1962 and 2013 until gaining the 2013 League Leaders Shield after topping the table for the first time in 81 years.[ citation needed ] [1] [2]

The club, particularly amongst older supporters, is sometimes referred to as Fartown, after the area and the ground in Fartown, Huddersfield that was the club's home venue from 1878 to 1992. The club was known as Huddersfield Barracudas from 1984 to 1988 and Huddersfield-Sheffield Giants (after a merger with the original Sheffield Eagles) for the 2000 season.

The team plays in a distinctive strip of a claret shirt with thin gold hoops, claret shorts and claret and gold hooped socks. They have rivalries with Warrington, Leeds, Bradford, Halifax and Wakefield Trinity.


1848–1894: Foundation and early years

The earliest record of a football match being played in the Huddersfield area is in 1848, when a team of men from Hepworth took on a team of men from Holmfirth near Whnuil Bank in Holmfirth. Hepworth won a closely fought game which "exhibited the usual amount of confusions, bloody noses, etc" and took the prize of £5 which had been jointly donated by each side.

There appears to have been no formal structure to sport in the Huddersfield area until the opening of the Apollo Gymnasium on 3 August 1850. At this time the gymnasium was the only venue in the town where young men could take part in physical activities, it offered the opportunity to participate in fencing, swimming, bowling, cricket and many other sports.

In 1864 the Apollo Gymnasium was turned into the Gymnasium Theatre. The athletes of the gymnasium responded by forming a more organised athletics association. In an advertisement headed "Huddersfield Athletic Club" they invited "gentlemen desirous of becoming members" to a public meeting at 8 o'clock on the evening of 16 November 1864 at the Queen Hotel. The meeting went ahead, a hundred names were registered and a committee was formed. Within a month a new gymnasium was in service in a basement on Back John William Street. The club's 1864 foundation (a few months before that of Hull F.C.) means that it is the oldest Rugby League club, both in terms of foundation date and continuous history; it celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2014. [3]

On 27 January 1866, twenty members of the Huddersfield Athletic Club agreed to play a football match against twenty of the Huddersfield Rifle Corps at Rifle Field in Trinity Street. Although the result was a scoreless draw, a large crowd was attracted. In light of this, the Huddersfield Athletic Club agreed to start a football section which was to start at the beginning of December 1866. Initially the Huddersfield Athletic Club made no contribution to the support of the football club and each paying member was forced to pay a subscription of 2s/6d (half a crown/12+12p). As the football club grew, it became a useful recruiting tool for the Huddersfield Athletic Club. In 1869 six matches were played and by 1870 three of the club's players had been selected to represent Yorkshire. By 1872 there were so many players that a second team was formed.

Huddersfield posing with the Yorkshire Cup in 1890 Huddersfield yorkshire cup 1890.jpg
Huddersfield posing with the Yorkshire Cup in 1890

The growth in popularity of the club and the need for better facilities led to the Huddersfield Athletic Club approaching St John's Cricket Club with a proposal to merge the two clubs. St John's Cricket Club had been formed in 1866 at Hillhouse and had moved to Fartown ground. By 1875, when amalgamation talks began, over £800 had been spent on developing the new ground. At a meeting on 27 November 1875, at the Thornhill Arms Inn the two clubs agreed to merge to form the Huddersfield Cricket and Athletics Club. The motion was passed by 55 votes to 37.

Initially the football section stayed at Rifle Field, but alterations made in the summer of 1878 meant that rugby could begin at the start of the 1878–79 season with the visit of Manchester Rangers on 2 November. The new ground would become the club's home for 114 years and would provide the club's famous "Fartown" nickname.

After the 1890–91 season, Huddersfield along with other Yorkshire Senior clubs Batley, Bradford, Brighouse, Dewsbury, Halifax, Huddersfield, Hull, Hunslet, Leeds, Liversedge, Manningham and Wakefield decided that they wanted their own county league starting in 1891 along the lines of a similar competition that had been played in Lancashire. The clubs wanted full control of the league but the Yorkshire Rugby Football Union would not sanction the competition as it meant giving up control of rugby football to the senior clubs.

1895-1920s: Northern Union and golden years

In 1895 the club were founder members of the Northern Rugby Football Union, (later the Rugby Football League).

The club has seen many ups and downs in its long history, but for the first 60 years of rugby league it was one of the powerhouses of the game, with only Wigan as rivals in terms of trophies won.

Harold Wagstaff was only fifteen years and one hundred and seventy-five days old when he played his first match for Huddersfield, against Bramley in November 1906. At the time, he was the youngest first-team player the game had seen, he had signed on for a £5 signing-on fee.

Huddersfield beat the touring 1908–09 Kangaroos 5–3. They were impressed enough with stand-off Albert Rosenfeld to sign him up that evening along with Australian Dual Code International Pat Walsh one of the best forwards of the Kangaroos. Rosenfeld played his first game against Broughton Rangers on 11 September 1909.

The club's golden period came around the time of the First World War. The club was able to assemble a team of players from across the British Empire who swept all before them. Known as "The Team of All Talents", they were led by Harold Wagstaff and are still regarded as one of the finest football teams ever to have played. In the five years leading up to the First World War they won 13 trophies.

Two members of the team, centre Harold Wagstaff and wing Albert Rosenfeld were honoured by inclusion in the original Rugby League Hall of Fame. They were later joined by the Cumberland second row Douglas Clark. Of just seventeen players to be elected to the Hall of Fame, no fewer than three were teammates in that famous Huddersfield side. In total, Huddersfield boast five representatives in the Hall of Fame, more than any other club.

Huddersfield in 1915, posing with the "All Four Cups" won in the 1914-15 season: league championship, Challenge Cup, county league and county cup Huddersfield rugby team with cups.jpg
Huddersfield in 1915, posing with the "All Four Cups" won in the 1914–15 season: league championship, Challenge Cup, county league and county cup

The particular fame of "The Team of All Talents" sprung from their extraordinary three quarter play. In 1911–12, Rosenfeld became the first player to score more than 50 tries in a season – a feat previously thought to be impossible. That season he scored 78. His wing partner, Stan Moorhouse scored 52. In 1912–13, Rosenfeld scored 56, and then in 1913–14 he broke his own record with 80 tries, a record which stands to this day.

On 28 February 1914, the club defeated Swinton Park by a record 119–2 (Rosenfeld contributing 7 tries) in a Challenge Cup tie at Fartown. The record would stand until 26 November 1994 when the Huddersfield club broke their own World Record by defeating Blackpool Gladiators 142–4 in a Challenge Cup tie at the McAlpine Stadium – centre Greg Austin scoring 9 tries on his way to 52 tries that season, a world record for a centre. In the 1914–15 season they became only the second team to win "all four cups" when they lifted the Championship, the Challenge Cup, the Yorkshire County Cup, and the Yorkshire League. Huddersfield's dominance prior to the First World War was such that they went unbeaten in 38 consecutive matches before the suspension of the league in 1915.

Huddersfield did not take part in the 1918–19 season. In the 1919–20 season, the first five games were won for a 43 match unbeaten run over six years which still stands as a record today. The unbeaten run consisted of 28 league matches, 8 Yorkshire Cup-ties, 5 Challenge Cup-ties and 2 League Championship play-offs. In addition, Huddersfield were drawing 8–8 in a Yorkshire Cup-tie that was abandoned because of fog and replayed.

The Yorkshire Cup and Yorkshire League trophies were already won when Huddersfield met Wigan in the Challenge Cup final which resulted in a 21–10 victory. Widnes were defeated in the Championship semi-final and Hull F.C. waited at Headingley as Huddersfield strove for a clean sweep of silverware. Huddersfield were missing five players who were touring Australasia with Great Britain and Hull won 3–2.

Albert Rosenfeld's last game for the club was on 2 April 1921, a cup-tie against Leeds.

Post-war era

In the first full season after the war, a new record transfer fee of £1,650 was set when Dewsbury bought fullback Bill Davies from Huddersfield. [4]

Huddersfield won the League Championship in 1949, beating Warrington 13–12 in the final at Maine Road, Manchester in front of what was at the time a world record crowd of 75,194. This capitalised on a season which also brought home the Yorkshire League title.

The highest attendance at Fartown to watch a Huddersfield game was 32,912 against Wigan on 4 March 1950. More success followed in the 1950 season as Huddersfield retained the Yorkshire League title and reached another Championship final at Maine Road. However, on this occasion Wigan proved too strong, winning 20 points to 12. Huddersfield did, however, win the Yorkshire cup with a 16–3 victory over Castleford at Headingley.

On Saturday 17 November 1951, in an ordinary league game, Australian Lionel Cooper scored a club record ten tries, as Huddersfield defeated Keighley 48–3 at Fartown.

By the end of the 1950s, Huddersfield had won 3 Yorkshire cup finals, in 1950–51, 1952–53 and 1957–58, and the Challenge Cup final, in 1952–53. Huddersfield beat St. Helens 15 – 10 in the 1953 Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.

Wakefield Trinity beat Huddersfield 16–10 in the 1960 Yorkshire County Cup Final at Headingley, Leeds on 29 October 1960. [5]

In the 1961–62 season Huddersfield were beaten by Wakefield Trinity in the Challenge Cup final but then the following week fortunes were reversed and Huddersfield won the Championship play off final at Odsal. This is the last major trophy the club collected.

In 1962, the league was split into East and West of the Pennines; Huddersfield and Hull Kingston Rovers met at Headingley, Leeds in the first final of the Eastern Division Championship on Saturday 10 November 1962.

Reigning Champions Huddersfield were favourites to lift the Eastern Division title, especially as Rovers were missing five first choice players with injuries. The Robins, however, set the early pace and were 10–0 up after 30 minutes. Despite a rally by Huddersfield, Rovers hung on to win 13–10.

1970–1995: Decline and revival

By the 1970s, the club had become a shadow of its former self; the old Fartown ground had fallen into disrepair and the club frequently finished in the lower reaches of the league. Local businessman, John Bailey, took a controlling interest in the stadium, the club and the pavilion. In 1984, in an attempt to revive the club, Huddersfield adopted the name 'Barracudas' and Fartown was renamed Arena 84. As the crowds continued to stay away, it became clear that Bailey could not stem the decline.

Huddersfield Rugby League Club was on the point of collapse. A new board of directors took over in 1989 and injected some much needed financial resources into the club. The 'Barracudas' and 'Arena 84' names were dropped for the 1988–89 season. Nigel Stephenson was appointed as coach and Huddersfield were helped by several clubs, in particular Featherstone Rovers, to put a reasonable squad together. As well as beginning to improve the playing staff, the new owners also carried out a considerable amount of work on the Fartown stadium and by the end of the 1989–90 season significant progress was being made. Average crowds topped 1,500 for the first time since the 1970s.

Shortly after the 1991–92 season had begun, Alex Murphy took over as coach in 1991. Huddersfield were the first-ever champions of the newly formed third division in 1991–92. Promotion to the Second Division had been achieved, and there was pride once again in the famous claret and gold jersey. The expense of this achievement cost the club dearly and a new financial crisis arrived. However, along came a bright new consortium who began to shape the future of the club once again. The club left Fartown and moved to Huddersfield Town's home ground at Leeds Road in 1992. [6]

In 1993 six teams were invited to take part in an inaugural European Clubs Championship, the six teams consisted of two from the USSR; Tiraspol and Moscow Magicians, two from France; AS Carcassonne and XIII Catalan and Batley and Huddersfield. Only weeks before departure the plans collapsed as both Soviet clubs pulled out due to financial difficulties, closely followed by Batley, Carcassonne who had just five players available due to a players’ strike. This left just Huddersfield and XIII Catalan to meet in the "final" in Barcelona. The lead changed hands three times before Huddersfield held on for a 23–22 victory. [6]

Huddersfield were promoted as 3rd Division Champions in April 1993 but the receiver was called in, in May 1994. Huddersfield took a share in the new McAlpine Stadium (now known as John Smith's Stadium) in 1994. In March 1994, Huddersfield went into administration and the receivers sacked Murphy as coach.

In November 1994, Huddersfield set world records for score and winning margin when they beat Blackpool Gladiators 142–4, [7] although Barrow Raiders equalled the winning margin a day later by beating Nottingham City 138–0. [8] These records stood for almost 24 years until York City Knights beat West Wales Raiders by 144–0 in April 2018

In 1995 the first team reached the final of the Second Division premiership competition at Old Trafford.

1996–1998: Summer era and the first appearance of Giants

In 1996, the first tier of British rugby league clubs played the inaugural Super League season and changed from a winter to a summer season. [9] As the sport in Britain entered a new era it would be two years before Huddersfield rose again to the top level of the game. Ken Davy took over as chairman of Huddersfield and "Giants" was added to the team name.

Steve Ferres took over as coach. Garry Schofield joined Huddersfield for a six-figure sum. Ken Davy's first trophy came in 1997 at Old Trafford, where Huddersfield beat Hull 18–0 in the Divisional Championship at Old Trafford. In 1998, due to the collapse of Paris St Germain the club was promoted to Super League despite only finishing second in the second division. After helping the Giants into Super League, Schofield took over the coaching reins replacing Steve Ferres with Huddersfield saying that they needed a full-time coaching staff. [10]

However, dark days continued, the team struggled to compete, winning only a handful of games. Garry Schofield was removed as Huddersfield Giants' coach after 13 games, having picked up two wins. Schofield was replaced by his assistant Phil Veivers as caretaker coach. Schofield later successfully sued the club for unfair dismissal. It took Huddersfield's next three coaches more than 13 games to register two wins, with the club so far off the pace in their early Super League years.

1999–2000: Huddersfield-Sheffield Giants

Mal Reilly then took over with Veivers back as assistant coach. Huddersfield finished bottom of Super League and Reilly was sacked at the end of the season. [11] In late 1999, the club merged with Sheffield Eagles almost purely for financial reasons. Sheffield coach John Kear took over as head coach of the merged side. They were officially known as the Huddersfield-Sheffield Giants, but more popularly as 'Shuddersfield'. The Association of Premiership Clubs blocked proposals for a separate Huddersfield team in the Northern Ford Premiership. [12] They played two home games in Sheffield at Bramall Lane with the others in Huddersfield, the away strip was in the Sheffield Eagles colours. In the 2000 season Huddersfield-Sheffield won only four games, three of them against rivals Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. This arrangement lasted only a season before the Huddersfield name was reverted to, due to rejection from both sets of fans. In the four seasons between 1998 and 2001, they lost 81 times in 99 matches, avoiding relegation for a variety of reasons.

Huddersfield in the 2006 Challenge Cup Final Hudds 2006.jpg
Huddersfield in the 2006 Challenge Cup Final

John Kear was sacked as coach and Veivers had a second spell as interim coach.

2001–2004: Relegation

Australian Tony Smith was appointed as coach for the 2001 season after a rigorous process. This did not seem to have any effect as the club lost the first 14 matches of the season, culminating in a 78-point embarrassment by Bradford. This low point became a pivotal day for the club, however. The club won 6 and drew one of the remaining 14 games, only finishing bottom of the table after Wakefield Trinity's appeal against a 4-point salary cap deduction was successful. Widnes won the NFP competition that year and the club was seen to be fit to play in Super League. Huddersfield were finally relegated after their best season in Super League.

In 2002 Huddersfield remained a full-time professional team despite playing in the Northern Ford Premiership. The club went unbeaten for the entire league season, drawing only one match and winning a record equalling 29 games. Along the way the team accumulated 1,156 points to equal the record for points in a league season achieved in 8 more games by Leigh in 1986. The team won the Buddies Cup, as it was then known, and also the NFP Grand Final against Leigh in October 2002, which secured promotion back to the Super League for the 2003 season.

Huddersfield following their defeat by St. Helens in the 2006 Challenge Cup Final Giants 2006.jpg
Huddersfield following their defeat by St. Helens in the 2006 Challenge Cup Final

In 2003 under Smith, Huddersfield established themselves as a Super League club, finishing 10th, above Wakefield Trinity and Halifax. After guiding Huddersfield back to Super League, Smith and assistant coach Brian McDermott moved onto Headingley to take control of Leeds. St Helens assistant coach and former Hull forward Jon Sharp was appointed head coach for 2004 and the team improved again, finishing 7th in the league and making their first appearance in the Challenge Cup semi-finals since 1971.

2005–2009: Resurgence

The beginning of the 2005 Super League season saw the club make its highest-profile signing in fifty years when Australian centre Michael De Vere signed from Brisbane Broncos, becoming the club's first Australian international player since Pat Devery in the 1950s.

For the kick off of the 2006 season the club unveiled a host of new signings to strengthen the squad, including the iconic New Zealand international scrum-half Robbie Paul. After a convincing victory over Salford in the quarter final, the Giants faced Leeds (ironically coached by Tony Smith) in the Challenge Cup semi-final at Odsal, Bradford. Against all the odds, massive underdogs Huddersfield pulled out what is regarded as possibly their best performance of modern times, Stuart Donlan and Chris Nero with 2 tries apiece and Michael De Vere with a try and five goals steering them to a 30–12 victory. Huddersfield lost the 2006 Challenge Cup Final to eventual Super League champions St. Helens 42–12, but the performance heralded the best Huddersfield achievement since 1970.

The start of the 2007 season saw Huddersfield make some exciting signings, including Wests Tigers trio, Jamahl Lolesi, John Skandalis and Shane Elford, as well as Ryan Hudson. The season started horrendously for Huddersfield in terms of results. After seven consecutive losses they found themselves marooned at the foot of the table, 5 points adrift, but ironically with the second best defence in the league. Large sections of the fans began to question the coach's ability and as a result crowds began to dwindle and morale was beginning to suffer.

By the end of May, the picture was totally different. Huddersfield had a Challenge Cup quarter-final to look forward to and had been on their longest ever winning streak since joining the Super League, nine games including two wins in the Challenge Cup including a 36–12 victory over Bradford in front of the Sky Television cameras on 18 May, Huddersfield's first victory over Bradford since joining the top flight. [13] In addition, John Sharp was named consecutively as Coach of the Month for April [14] and May [15]

Huddersfield's winning run came to an unexpected end in a shock 14–12 defeat by Salford at the Willows. They had been overwhelming favourites with fans and bookies. Following the 2006 Challenge Cup Final appearance, Giants continued their progress by beating Wakefield Trinity for the 9th consecutive occasion to qualify for the play-offs for the first time and a match against Hull F.C. at the KC Stadium, which was lost 22–16.

The opening 2 matches in 2008 were lost, to Leeds and to Bradford. However the 3rd match saw Sharp's team beat Castleford 64–12. After a 48–0 loss to Catalans Dragons and a run of disappointing results, Sharp's contract was terminated by Huddersfield. Following Sharp's departure from the club in 2008, Kieron Purtill had a brief spell as caretaker coach alongside Paul Anderson.

Club chairman Ken Davy brought in a new head coach, Nathan Brown, and a new set of new players for the 2009 season. New signing Brett Hodgson went on to win the Super League Man of Steel award and Huddersfield also picked up awards for Club of the Year and Coach of the Year. Huddersfield finishing 3rd in the league and managing to reach the final of the Challenge Cup where they lost 25–16 to league rivals Warrington, the team responded to their cup defeat by finishing the season in 3rd place but lost in the play-offs twice. Firstly to St. Helens away from home and then at home to Catalans Dragons.

2010–present: League leaders

Huddersfield supporters at Wigan Wigan semi.jpg
Huddersfield supporters at Wigan

After yet another promising recruitment drive from Huddersfield, they were yet again tipped to make big strides in the Super League in 2012. This season really proved as a roller-coaster ride for the "Fartown Faithful" who saw their team go from 1st in Super League to finishing 7th and yet again failing to make an impact on the play-offs. After a poor dip in form Ken Davy decided it was time for change and terminated the contracts of coach Nathan Brown and captain Kevin Brown. Paul Anderson was given the task of finishing the season as best as possible.

In 2013, Huddersfield won the League Leader's Shield, the first time they have finished top of the league in 81 years. 5 of the team were selected for the Super League Dream Team, more than any other club. [16]

In 2014, the club celebrated the 100th anniversary of the "Team of all Talents" who won All Four Cups in 1914, by playing in heritage jerseys to commemorate the feat. [17]

During the 2016 season, after a run of bad form, the club sacked Anderson as head coach, with Andy Kelly taking charge on an interim basis for a few games. It was later announced that the club had agreed Australian Rick Stone to be the replacement. [18]

2017 saw an overall improvement for the Giants as they finished 8th at the end of the regular season. Despite a poor start, plagued by injury, the team saw a more successful finish after the mid-season signings of Jordan Turner and Jordan Rankin. Following the Super8s, they remained in 8th. It was announced in September that Giants' prop Sebastine Ikahihifo had achieved a place in the Super League Dream Team after a highly impressive performance that season. [19]

Following a disappointing start to the 2018 season in which the Giants only won 2 of their opening 7 games, head coach Rick Stone was sacked. [20] On an interim basis, former player and academy coach Chris Thorman was announced as head coach to lead the team over the Easter period. On 29 April 2018, former Canberra Raiders and St. George Illawarra Dragons player Simon Woolford was announced as the Giants new head coach. Despite being popular with the fans, Woolford left the Giants in September 2020 after being unable to agree a new contract, Luke Robinson took over as interim head coach until the end of season.

2017: Women's Side

In December 2017, it was announced that Huddersfield would be fielding an under 19s girls side for the 2018 season, [21] with the overall aim of producing a competitive Women's Super League team in 2019. Trials were held in January 2018.

Only 3 years after forming, the Giants Women won the Super League shield final in October 2021 by beating Featherstone Rovers 24-22 at Headingley [22] and reached the Challenge Cup quarter final in 2022 but lost to reigning champions St Helens

Academy/Youth system

Despite not being one of the bigger or successful clubs in Super League, the Giants have a very good academy system, backed by the Supporters Association, who provide volunteers to run and promote the games and raise vital funds, in 2018, the academy team, under head of youth Andy Kelly and head coach Luke Robinson, and nicknamed "Baby Giants" by the supporters, made it to the top 4 grand final play off semi final for the first time. They were joined by Wigan, St Helens and Leeds, however they lost 50–0 to Wigan. [23] Some of that team have now made the step up to first grade level and as of 2022 Jake Wardle, Oliver Russell, Innes Senior, Louis Senior, Sam Hewitt, Jon Luke Kirby, Matty English, Oliver Wilson, Ronan Michael, Dominic Young have all made the step up to first grade rugby. Other graduates from the Giants academy in the recent past include Huddersfield legends Leroy Cudjoe, Michael Lawrence and Jermaine McGillvary, also, Kruise Leeming, Jake Connor, Darnell McIntosh Sam Wood . As of 2022 there are currently 18 members of the first team squad who have graduated through Huddersfield's own youth system.

2020: New Era

In 2020, the club announced that it had appointed Ian Watson as head coach from Salford starting in the 2021 Super League season. The club had a disappointing year in the 2021 Super League season finishing seventh on the table and missing the finals series. However, Watson repeated his success with Salford when he steered the Giants to the Challenge cup final in May 2022, a comprehensive 25-4 win over Hull Kingston Rovers at Elland Road secured a final place against Wigan Warriors at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium In the 2021 Super League season, the club endured a difficult campaign finishing 9th on the table. [24] On 28 May 2022, Huddersfield played in the 2022 Challenge Cup Final against Wigan. Huddersfield led Wigan for nearly the entire match until Wigan scored a try with two minutes remaining to win the game 16-14 and deny Huddersfield their first major trophy win in 60 years. [25]


1878–1992: Fartown Ground

Main stand at Fartown Fartown1.jpg
Main stand at Fartown

The Fartown Ground was originally a cricket ground before being occupied by Huddersfield rugby club in 1878. It hosted two Challenge Cup finals in 1908 and 1910 and hosted one football match. During the 1980s, the stadium fell into disrepair as Huddersfield struggled to attract crowds. Huddersfield left Fartown in 1992, but still used it as a training ground until 2004 and it still hosts amateur games.

1992–1994: Leeds Road

Leeds Road Htownground029.JPG
Leeds Road

Huddersfield ground shared with Huddersfield Town at Leeds Road from 1992 to 1994.

1994–Present: Kirklees Stadium

In 1994 Huddersfield took a share in the then named McAlpine Stadium with Huddersfield Town after they both moved from Leeds Road. The stadium has hosted Challenge Cup semi finals on multiple occasions. The venue has a capacity of 24,500 with the Giants attendance record being 15,629 set on 10 February 2008 for match against rivals Leeds. [26]


Despite not having the largest fanbase in super league they have a dedicated and loyal fanbase and a consistent following of around 100–200 dedicated away fans and average 4000+ at a majority of the home games, the fans have been nicknamed "the Cowbell Army" due to the presence of Cowbells amongst the crowd. [27] [28]

There is also a Supporters Association (HGSA) which aims to raise funds for the academy and scholarship teams, they hosts regular guest speakers evenings, fundraising events and also collect donations for a local food bank charity [29] They also help organise and promote the club's reserves, under 18's Academy and Under 16's Scholarship games and raise valuable funds towards junior development. [30] [31] In 2019 the group were nominated for an award in the prestigious Huddersfield Community Awards evening for their work in junior and community development. [31]

Kit sponsors and manufacturers

YearKit ManufacturerSponsor
2000StagFriends Provident
2003OutwearLongly Park Kia
2004Microworld Computers
2005–2007University of Huddersfield
2013–2016Bond It
2017–2019 O'Neills

Past coaches

2022 squad

First team squadCoaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coach

  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)

Updated: 21 July 2022
Source(s): 2022 Squad Numbers

2022 transfers


Flag of England.svg Chris Hill Warrington Wolves 2 YearsSeptember 2021 [32]
Flag of England.svg Nathan Mason Leigh Centurions 1 yearSeptember 2021 [33]
Flag of Tonga.svg Tui Lolohea Salford Red Devils 2 YearsSeptember 2021 [34]
Flag of Samoa.svg Danny Levi Brisbane Broncos 2 YearsSeptember 2021 [35]
Flag of France.svg Theo Fages St Helens 3 yearsOctober 2021 [36]


Flag of England.svg Lee Gaskell Wakefield Trinity 2 YearsJune 2021 [37]
Flag of Turkey.svg Aiden Sezer Leeds Rhinos 2 YearsJuly 2021 [38]
Flag of England.svg Sam Wood Hull KR 1 YearsJuly 2021 [39]
Flag of England.svg Darnell McIntosh Hull FC 3 YearsAugust 2021 [40]
Flag of New Zealand.svg Kenny Edwards Castleford Tigers 1 year LoanSeptember 2021 [41]
Flag of England.svg James Cunningham Toulouse Olympique 2 YearsOctober 2021 [42]
Flag of England.svg Joe Wardle Leigh Centurions 1 YearOctober 2021 [43]
Flag of England.svg Jacob Beer Hunslet 1 YearOctober 2021 [44]
Flag of England.svg Olly Ashall-Bott Toulouse Olympique 3 YearsFebruary 2022 [45]
Flag of England.svg Chester Butler Bradford Bulls Season LoanFebruary 2022[ citation needed ]


Hall of Fame inductees

Six Huddersfield rugby league players have been inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame: [ citation needed ]

In 2006, Rosenfeld became only the second rugby league player to be inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame


Men's Honours

The 3rd Division title winning squad in front of the main stand at Fartown Huddesrfield 3.jpg
The 3rd Division title winning squad in front of the main stand at Fartown


Winners (7): 1911–12, 1912–13, 1914–15, 1928–29, 1929–30, 1948–49, 1961–62
Winners (1): 2013
Winners (1): 1964–65
Winners (2): 1974–75, 2002
Winners (1): 1991–92
Winners (11): 1911–12, 1912–13, 1913–14, 1914–15, 1919–20, 1921–22, 1928–29, 1929–30, 1948–49, 1949–50, 1951–52


Winners (6): 1912–13, 1914–15, 1919–20, 1932–33, 1944–45, 1952–53
Winners (12): 1909–10, 1911–12, 1913–14, 1914–15, 1918–19, 1919–20, 1926–27, 1931–32, 1938–39, 1950–51. 1952–53, 1957–58
Winners (1): 1890
Winners (1): 2002


Women's Honours

Winners (1): 2021 [47]

Records (Men)

Player records

Team records

All-time records

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Hull F.C. English professional rugby league club

Hull Football Club, commonly referred to as Hull or Hull F.C., is a professional rugby league football club established in 1865 and based in West Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. The club plays in the Super League competition and were known as Hull Sharks from 1996–99.

Wakefield Trinity English professional rugby league football club

Wakefield Trinity is a professional rugby league club in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England, that plays in the Super League. One of the original twenty-two clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, between 1999 and 2016 the club was known as Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. The club has played at Belle Vue Stadium in Wakefield since 1895 and has rivalries with Castleford Tigers and Featherstone Rovers. Wakefield have been league champions twice in their history when they went back to back in 1967 and 1968. As of 2021, it has been 53 years since Wakefield last won the league.

John Kear English professional rugby league coach & former rugby league player

John Kear is an English rugby league coach who is the head coach of Widnes Vikings and the Wales national rugby league team and also works as a pundit for BBC Sport. He is a former professional rugby league footballer. He is best known as a coach for his Challenge Cup successes with Sheffield Eagles in 1998 and Hull in 2005, as well as his time coaching Wakefield Trinity in the late 2000s. As a player, he played on the Wing or in the Centre position for Castleford.

David J. Ward is an English former rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s and 1980s, and coached in the 1980s and 1990s. He played at representative level for Great Britain and England, and at club level for Leeds, as a hooker, and coached at club level for Hunslet, Leeds, Batley, and Featherstone Rovers. He won a total of 12 Great Britain caps.

Ken Traill English RL coach and former GB & England international rugby league footballer

Kenneth Traill was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1940s and 1950s, and coached in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, England and Yorkshire, and at club level for Hunslet, Bradford Northern, Halifax and Wakefield Trinity, as a loose forward, and coached at club level for Wakefield Trinity.

Neil Fox MBE is an English former professional rugby league footballer and player-coach who played in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and coached in the 1970s and 1980s.

Douglas Clark (rugby league) English rugby league footballer and heavyweight wrestling World champion

Douglas "Duggy" Clark MM was an English rugby league footballer, wrestler and World War I veteran. A Rugby Football League Hall of Fame inductee, he played for Huddersfield, Cumberland, England and the Great Britain national side, as a forward, during the era of contested scrums. Clarke helped Huddersfield to three Challenge Cups and seven Yorkshire County Cups, and is in the club's Hall of Fame.

Josh Griffin English professional rugby league & union footballer

Josh Griffin is an English rugby league footballer who plays as a centre or winger for Hull F.C. in the Betfred Super League.

Eric Batten English RL coach and former GB & England international rugby league footballer

Frederick "Eric" E. Batten was an English rugby union and professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, and coached rugby league in the 1950s. He played club level rugby league (RU) for Sandal RUFC, and representative level rugby league (RL) for Great Britain and England, and at club level for Wakefield Trinity, Hunslet, Featherstone Rovers (captain), Leeds, Castleford and Bradford Northern, as a wing, i.e. number 2 or 5, and coached at club level for Featherstone Rovers, and Batley. Eric Batten appeared in eight Challenge Cup Finals; two for Leeds, five for Bradford Northern, and one for Featherstone Rovers, winning three, and losing five, he scored a total of 443 tries during his career, he his third on the all-time try scorers list behind Brian Bevan, and Billy Boston,

The 1909–10 Northern Rugby Football Union season was the 15th season of rugby league football.

The 1912–13 Northern Rugby Football Union season was the 18th season of rugby league football.

The 2011 Huddersfield Giants season was their 148th in the Rugby Football League, and its 13th in Super League. This season saw the Fartowners finish in fourth place and lose both of their playoff matches, which The Guardian and Love Rugby League described as disappointing given their strong start to the season. The Claret and Gold were at top spot three times in the year, before a mid-season slump caused them to drop down the table, and finish fourth; the significant achievement was finishing above every other Yorkshire team.

The 1932–33 Yorkshire Cup was the fifteenth occasion on which the Yorkshire Cup competition had been held.

The 1934–35 Yorkshire Cup was the 27th occasion on which the Yorkshire Cup competition had been held. For the first and only time, the Yorkshire Cup final required two replays to sort the teams and decide the winners, Leeds eventually winning the trophy by beating Wakefield Trinity by the score of '13-0-(HT unknown) in a second replay.

The 1947–48 Yorkshire Cup was the fortieth occasion on which the Yorkshire Cup competition had been held.

The 1951–52 Yorkshire Cup was the forty-fourth occasion on which rugby league's Yorkshire Cup competition was held. Wakefield Trinity won the trophy by beating Keighley in the final.

The 1964–65 Yorkshire Cup was the fifty-seventh occasion on which the Yorkshire Cup competition had been held.

This was the second season of the League Cup, which was known as the Players No.6 Trophy for sponsorship reasons.

Whilst the sport of rugby league is played across Great Britain, it is most popular in its heartlands, the traditional counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire with the majority of professional and semi-professional clubs coming from this area of the country. Many fixtures are considered to be local derbies, where both teams come from the same town or city, or two that are very close to each other.


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