Kirklees Stadium

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John Smith's Stadium
Galpharm Stadium - - 312658.jpg
Full name John Smith's Stadium
Former names McAlpine Stadium
Galpharm Stadium
Location Stadium Way, Huddersfield, HD1 6PG, England
Coordinates 53°39′15″N 1°46′6″W / 53.65417°N 1.76833°W / 53.65417; -1.76833Coordinates: 53°39′15″N 1°46′6″W / 53.65417°N 1.76833°W / 53.65417; -1.76833
Owner Kirklees Metropolitan Council
Huddersfield Town
Huddersfield Giants
Operator KSDL (Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd.)
Capacity 24,500
Record attendance 24,129 (football)[1]
24,126 (rugby league)[2]
Field size 115 x 76 yards
Surface Grass with Under-soil heating
Built 1994
Opened 1994
Huddersfield Town (1994–present)
Huddersfield Giants (1994–present)

Kirklees Stadium (known as the John Smith's Stadium due to sponsorship), is a multi-use sports stadium in Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, England. Since 1994, it has been the home ground of football club Huddersfield Town and rugby league side Huddersfield RLFC.


During planning and construction, the stadium was referred to as the Kirklees Stadium. It was built by Alfred McAlpine,[3] designed by HOK Sport and was awarded the RIBA Building of the Year award for 1995,[4]

The decision to build a new stadium for Huddersfield Town was made in August 1992. Construction began the following year and it was completed in time for the 1994–95 season, enabling the club to move to its new base after 86 years at Leeds Road.

When the stadium opened only the two side stands (the Riverside and Kilner Bank stands) were ready. The South Stand was opened in December 1994. Construction on the North (Panasonic) Stand began in 1996 and it was completed in 1998, bringing the overall capacity of the stadium to approximately 24,500. The estimated cost of construction was £40 million.

The record attendance at the stadium is 24,129 for an FA Cup fifth round match between Huddersfield Town and Manchester City on 18 February 2017.[1] The record for a rugby league match is 24,126 for an Ashes match between Great Britain and Australia on 22 November 2003.[2]


Initially, the stadium was owned by a consortium made up of Kirklees Metropolitan Council, Huddersfield Town A.F.C. and Huddersfield Giants in a 40:40:20 proportion. Following the purchase of Huddersfield Town F.C. from the administrators, Ken Davy became chairman of both sports clubs, which are owned by companies he controls.[5] The present ownership of the stadium is Ken Davy's company, Huddersfield Sporting Pride owns 60% and Kirklees Metropolitan Council 40%. The current Managing director of the stadium company is Gareth Davis[6] who succeeded Ralph Rimmer in 2010. On 24 December 2009, Huddersfield Town announced that 40% of the shares owned by Huddersfield Sporting Pride would be transferred to the football club, owned by current chairman Dean Hoyle, but the deal was delayed due to a rent dispute between Davy and Hoyle. The deal was finally completed on 3 September 2013.[7]


North Stand[edit]

Galpharm Inside.JPG

Capacity – (seating)
The North Stand, known as the Fantastic Media Stand for sponsorship reasons, is located behind the goal post at the north end of the ground. It has two tiers and houses 16 hospitality boxes and is completely seated. The lower tier contains temporary seats that can be removed for concerts or other events.

East Stand[edit]

Capacity- 7,000 (seating)
The East Stand known as the Kilner Bank Stand or the Britannia Rescue Stand for sponsorship reasons is a large single tier stand that runs along the side of the pitch and is completely covered seating. The stand also holds the TV gantry.

South Stand[edit]

Capacity- 4,054 (seating)
The John Smiths South Stand as it is known for sponsorship reasons is an all seated stand built into a bank and is completely covered as well as having the big screen is used by away fans

West Stand[edit]

Capacity- (seating)
The West stand is the main stand and is known as the Revell Ward Stand for sponsorship or Riverside Stand. It has two tiers and 26 hospitality boxes and incorporates the player changing rooms, tunnel, dug out, ticket office and club shop.


From 1994 until 2004 the stadium was known as the McAlpine Stadium. Alfred McAlpine had been the main construction contractor and its name was part of the payment contract for ten years. The company elected not to renew its sponsorship which was taken up by Galpharm Healthcare, leading to the new name. Individual stands are sponsored by local businesses. On 19 July 2012, it was announced that the brewery firm, Heineken had bought the sponsorship rights for the stadium using their domestic John Smith's Brewery as the beneficiary, and as such the stadium was renamed as The John Smith's Stadium on 1 August as part of a 5-year deal.

Year Sponsor Name
1994-2004 Alfred McAlpine McAlpine Stadium
2004-2012 Galpharm Healthcare Galpharm Stadium
2012-2017 Heineken John Smiths Stadium

Sporting venue[edit]

Players warming up at the John Smith's Stadium

The stadium is home to Huddersfield Giants RLFC and Huddersfield Town Football Club.

It hosted its first match in August 1994 when Huddersfield Town lost 1–0 to Wycombe Wanderers in Football League Division 2. Former Blackburn Rovers player Simon Garner scored the goal for the visitors.

On 4 June 1999, it hosted England’s under-21’s 2000 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification Group 5 match against Sweden’s under-21’s. The hosts thrashed the visitors 3 - 0 with a brace from Carl Cort and a goal from Richard Cresswell.

Other important matches in Rugby League have been held here. Rugby League World Cup matches were held at the stadium in 1995, 2000 and 2013.

Australia's rugby league world cup matches

Date Opponents Result Attendance Part of
14 October 1995  Fiji 66 - 0 7,127 1995 Rugby League World Cup, Group 1
22 October 1995  New Zealand 30 - 20 (OT) 16,608 1995 Rugby League World Cup, semi-final
19 November 2000  Wales 46 - 22 8,114 2000 Rugby League World Cup, semi-final

The stadium has held semi-finals of the Challenge Cup and the finals of the now defunct Regal Trophy competition were held there in 1995 and 1996. Wigan Warriors won on both occasions.

Other International Rugby League matches

It hosted seven Great Britain rugby league internationals. The results were as follows;[8]

Date Opponents Result Attendance Part of
31 October 1998  New Zealand 16 - 22 18,500 1998 NZ tour of Britain
11 November 2001  Australia 20 - 12 21,758 2001 Ashes series
16 November 2002 New Zealand New Zealand 14 - 14 23,604 2002 NZ tour of Britain
22 November 2003 Australia Australia 12 - 18 24,126 2003 Ashes series
6 November 2004 New Zealand New Zealand 22 - 12 20,372 2004 Tri-Nations
12 November 2005 38 - 12 19,232 2005 Tri-Nations
27 October 2007 20 - 14 16,522 2007 All Golds Tour

When the Great Britain national rugby league team were split, it has hosted two England rugby league internationals. The results were as follows;

Date Opponents Result Attendance Part of
7 November 2009  New Zealand 20 - 12 19,390 2009 Four Nations
2 November 2013  Ireland 42 - 0 24,375 2013 World Cup
29 October 2016  New Zealand 16 - 17 24,070 2016 Four Nations

The stadium has also hosted three of Bradford Bulls World Club Challenge matches. The results were as follows;

Date Opponents Result Attendance
1 February 2002 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 41 - 26 21,113
13 February 2004 Panthers colours.svg Penrith Panthers 22 - 4 18,962
3 February 2006 Wests Tigers colours.svg Wests Tigers 30 - 10 19,207

Despite Huddersfield not being a strong rugby union area, the stadium has been used for four full cap international rugby union matches. It hosted three qualifying matches for the 1999 Rugby World Cup and one pool match in the pool. Half the matches have seen century scores; by England against Netherlands (110–0) and by the All Blacks versus Italy (101–3).[9]

Final Standings
Place Nation Games Points Table
played won drawn lost for against diff.
1  England 2 2 0 0 133 15 +118 6
2  Italy 2 1 0 1 82 30 +52 4
3  Netherlands 2 0 0 2 7 177 -170 2
Match Schedule
14 November 1998
England  110 - 0  Netherlands

18 November 1998
Netherlands  7 - 67  Italy

22 November 1998
England  23 - 15  Italy

It also hosted a 1999 Rugby World Cup Pool 2 match between Italy and New Zealand on 14 October 1999. New Zealand annihilated Italy 101 - 3.


Artists that have performed at the stadium include Bryan Adams, The Beautiful South, Blue, Bon Jovi, The Eagles, Elton John and R.E.M., among others.


External links[edit]