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This article is part of Football League World’s ‘FLW Greats’ series, this content strand is where we look back on a player’s individual season and discuss how impressive they were…
The 2016/17 league campaign is one that will live long in the memory for plenty of Huddersfield Town supporters, as they won promotion into the Premier League.
The Terriers beat Reading in the Play-Off Final at Wembley in dramatic circumstances, as they won on penalties to spark jubilant scenes from the club’s supporters.
One player that played a starring role in their promotion-winning campaign was Liverpool loanee Danny Ward, who couldn’t have asked to have had a much better impact at The John Smith’s Stadium.
Ward made 46 appearances in the 2016/17 season for Huddersfield Town, and kept 11 clean sheets in total with the Terriers, as they marched towards the top-flight.
Not many would have predicted that Huddersfield would challenge for promotion given the financial muscle that some of the teams had in the Championship at the time.
But David Wagner’s side only lost once in 13 games over the festive period, which set them on their way to finish inside the top-six. Even though they stuttered towards the end of the season, they managed to sneak into the play-off positions, and eventually ran out winners after winning both of their games on penalty shoot-outs.
Ward certainly showed that he could step up to the mark when required on the biggest stage of all, as he saved Jordan Obita’s spot-kick, before Christopher Schindler fired home the winning penalty at Wembley.
But this wasn’t the first time that the shot-stopper had performed heroics in a penalty shoot-out, as he saved two penalties from Fernando Forestieri and Sam Hutchinson in Huddersfield Town’s Play-Off semi-final win over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, as they moved to within one game of winning promotion into the Premier League.
Ward had been on loan with the Terriers from Premier League giants Liverpool, but left the club after returning to Anfield after his spell with Huddersfield, and later joined Leicester City after being pushed into fourth spot in the pecking order after the arrival of Alisson.
His performances for Huddersfield would certainly have impressed the Foxes, and although he hasn’t featured on a regular basis for them under the management of Brendan Rodgers, he’s been a reliable option to call upon when required.
Ward is a player that will live long in the memory for creating one of the best and most memorable moments in the club’s history to date.