West Yorkshire derby

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West Yorkshire derby
West Yorkshire football.jpg
Map of West Yorkshire showing the proximity of the clubs
LocaleWest Yorkshire, England
TeamsBradford City, Huddersfield Town, Leeds United
First meetingHuddersfield Town 1–0 Bradford City
(Division One, 11 September 1920)
Latest meetingHuddersfield Town 2–1 Leeds United
(Championship, 5 February 2017)
Next meetingHuddersfield Town v Leeds United
(Championship, 7 December 2019)
StadiumsValley Parade
John Smith's Stadium
Elland Road
Meetings total155
Most winsHuddersfield Town (52)
Leeds United (41)
Bradford City (16)
Largest victoryHuddersfield Town 6–1 Leeds United
(Division One, 15 September 1928)
Leeds United 6–1 Bradford City
(Premier League, 13 May 2001)

The West Yorkshire derby is a series of football matches taking place between three English football clubs from West YorkshireBradford City, Huddersfield Town and Leeds United.[1][2]

Leeds United's relegation to League One in 2007 may have reignited this rivalry, although Bradford's relegation to League Two removed the possibility that the three major West Yorkshire football teams (Bradford, Huddersfield and Leeds) might be in the same division for the first time since the 1980s in the 2007–08 season; ultimately only Huddersfield and Leeds met each other in the third tier. In the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons all three teams involved in the West Yorkshire Derby were in different leagues, Bradford City were in League Two, Huddersfield Town were in League One and Leeds United played in the Championship. At the end of the 2011–12 season, Huddersfield were promoted from League One to the Championship, rekindling the rivalry with Leeds. In 2016–17 Huddersfield were promoted to the Premier League, making the rivalry go into hiatus again.

The rivalry goes beyond football with the three areas also having Rugby League teams that consider each other as rivals.

Bradford City and Leeds United[edit]

Valley Parade

Bradford engage in a very fierce competition with local rivals Leeds United: they are considered to be the club's most hated rivals in modern times.

This rivalry is mainly due to the two cities' proximity to one another, which has exacerbated in later years because there has been some football fans within Bradford choosing to travel the short distance to support Leeds rather than the home town's City. Although Leeds fans are unlikely to raise the same level of emotion talking about Bradford that a City fan would in talking about Leeds. There may be other reasons, including the setting alight of a chip van by Leeds fans during a game between the two sides at Odsal perceived by some as a mockery of the Bradford City stadium fire.

The last meeting between these two sides was at Valley Parade on 27 August 2014 in the Football League Cup, Leeds took a 1–0 lead in the 82nd minute, but Bradford won the game with goals from Billy Knott and James Hanson.

Head-to-head record[edit]

Competition Played Bradford City Draw Leeds United
League 20 2 7 11
League Cup 3 1 0 2
Football League Trophy 1 0 0 1
Totals 24 3 7 14

Current as of 27 August 2014. Statistics obtained from Soccerbase.[3]

Bradford City and Huddersfield Town[edit]

The John Smith's Stadium, home of Huddersfield Town

Bradford City and Huddersfield Town have had roughly the same league status for the last couple of decades and so it could be argued that they are closest rivals out of the three West Yorkshire teams.

Matches against these sides have produced both amazing spectacles and some terrible moments—the 1996–97 season providing examples of both. On 1 February 1997, Huddersfield Town defender Kevin Gray broke the leg of Bradford City striker Gordon Watson in two places with a horrific sliding tackle. Watson was, at that time, the most expensive player in Bradford City's history having cost them £575,000, and was playing in only his third match for the club. He required a six-inch plate and seven screws in his leg. It took Gordon almost two years of recovery and five further operations before he was able to return to football, after which he made just a handful of appearances for City before leaving the club. At Leeds High Court in October 1998 he succeeded in becoming only the second player in the history of football to prove negligence by another player and was later awarded in excess of £900,000 in damages,[4][5] making it "the most expensive tackle in British football and legal history".

The return fixture that season was a happier affair. It provided a spectacular display of goals in which City took a 3–0 lead, including one famous goal scored directly from a corner by ex-England star Chris Waddle, before the game swung in Huddersfield's favour as they fought back to the final score of 3–3.

The most recent derby with Huddersfield Town at the John Smith's Stadium ended in a 2–1 victory for the home team in the first round of the Capital One Cup on 6 August 2013.

Head-to-head record[edit]

Competition Played Bradford City Draw Huddersfield Town
League 42 13 14 15
FA Cup 2 0 0 2
League Cup 4 0 1 3
Football League Trophy 1 0 1 0
Totals 49 13 16 20

Current as of 6 August 2013. Statistics obtained from Soccerbase.[6]

Leeds United and Huddersfield Town[edit]

Leeds United's best period of success was in the 1960s, and 1970s under the management of the legendary Don Revie. Between 1963 and 1975, Leeds became feared across the country and in Europe. Revie guided them to two league championships, a FA Cup, one League Cup, two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups and a Charity Shield. Despite the success, Leeds had many disappointments, they were runners-up five times in the league, FA Cup finalists three times and UEFA Cup Winners Cup and European Cup finalists once. In 1992, Howard Wilkinson guided Leeds to their third top flight title, just two years after getting them promoted from the old Second Division, where they had played for eight years. Leeds also had sustained success in the Premier League, between 1997 and 2002 the club never finished outside of the top five and reached the UEFA Cup and Champions League semi-finals. However Leeds' success came at a huge cost with tens of millions of pounds spent gambling on sustained Champions League involvement. When Leeds could only finish 5th in the 2001–02 season the clubs debt were around £80 million and a number of highly paid stars had to be sold to reduce the debt. By the end of the 2003–04 Premier League season, Leeds were relegated after 14 years in the top flight and three years later were relegated to League One and spent three years in the third tier before returning to the Championship at the end of the 2009–10 season. Leeds have yet to return to the top flight since 2004.

Huddersfield Town were the first team in English football to win the First Division title three times in a row back in the 1920s – a feat only matched by Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal – they also claimed the FA Cup, Charity Shield and finished as runners-up in the league three times in this period. Huddersfield spent 45 years outside of the top flight between 1972 and 2017. The Terriers had numerous promotions and relegations between the second, third and fourth tiers of English football. However, under their new manager David Wagner, Huddersfield won promotion to the Premier League for the first time by defeating Reading in the 2017 Championship play-off final.

Head-to-head record[edit]

Competition Played Leeds United Draw Huddersfield Town
League 68 22 17 29
FA Cup 3 1 0 2
League Cup 7 4 2 1
Totals 78 27 19 32

Current as of 5 February 2017. Statistics obtained from Soccerbase.[7]

Other rivalries in West Yorkshire[edit]

Bradford City historically have a fierce rivalry with other Bradfordian team Bradford Park Avenue A.F.C., which can also be considered a "West Yorkshire derby", however this is rivalry is commonly known as the "Bradford derby". Park Avenue were formerly a Football League team until 1970.

F.C. Halifax Town, another West Yorkshire football team playing in the National League, consider Huddersfield Town to be one of their main rivals. They have played against each other when their predecessor, Halifax Town A.F.C., was in the Football League.

Farsley Celtic has a 'one-way' rivalry with Leeds United. They are based in the Leeds Metropolitan district however they have never reached the Football League.

Rugby league is also big in West Yorkshire, the teams who are, or have been, in the Super League are; Bradford Bulls, Castleford Tigers, Halifax, Huddersfield Giants, Leeds Rhinos, and Wakefield Trinity. Other rugby league clubs in West Yorkshire are Batley Bulldogs, Dewsbury Rams, Featherstone Rovers, Hunslet Hawks and Keighley Cougars, and any combination of them teams playing against each other would be called a West Yorkshire derby even if the rivalry is not as great as other rivalries between teams in the area.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Huddersfield's West Yorkshire derby against Leeds United 'biggest in living memory'"
  2. ^ "It’s Derby day in West Yorkshire"
  3. ^ "Head to head: Bradford vs. Leeds | Soccer Base". www.soccerbase.com. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Holmes awarded £250,000". BBC Sport. 23 February 2004. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
  5. ^ "Singer & Friedlander Football Review 1998–99 season". University of Leicester. 7 December 2001. Archived from the original on 20 November 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
  6. ^ "Head to head: Bradford vs. Huddersfield | Soccer Base". www.soccerbase.com. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Head to head: Leeds vs. Huddersfield | Soccer Base". www.soccerbase.com. Retrieved 15 May 2018.