Autobiography reveals why Huddersfield Town’s old Leeds Road had to go, the battle to build a new stadium and how it shocked the football world

Serial entrepreneur and philanthropist Graham Leslie - who was the driving force behind building the John Smith’s Stadium – has written a revealing autobiography.

Graham was Huddersfield Town chairman in the early 1990s and had the vision and determination for Huddersfield to have the first all-seater football and rugby stadium in Europe - one which would be a trailblazer for the rest to follow.

He founded one of the UK’s most successful pharmaceutical companies, Galpharm - which went on to sponsor the stadium - and Graham later sold his business for $86m and has since dedicated his life to helping other businesses and charities.

Graham’s book, which marks 30 years since the first match at the ‘new’ stadium, is called Ahead Of The Curve and will, fittingly, be launched at the stadium on Friday, July26.

The stadium’s famous blueprint with its innovative banana-shaped trusses literally threw a curved ball into stadium design. It was so striking and different it set the standard for all other UK sports grounds to follow and, ultimately, inspired the new Wembley stadium.

In his book Graham reveals the perilous state of Huddersfield Town’s finances at the time, how close the club came to plunging into administration, why Leeds Road had to be demolished and how he managed to get a new stadium project up and running even though most people thought it would never happen.

Graham, who received the CBE in 2017 for services to entrepreneurship, has constantly been a disruptor, often thinking and doing things differently to everyone else.

He changed the way medicines such as ibuprofen could be sold in the UK, massively bringing down the cost and saving the NHS between an estimated £400m to £500m a year.

He’s still disrupting today and in his autobiography reveals how he now intends to change the way the music industry works and also gives vital business tips such as how companies can double their profits in a year.

Graham, who is dyslexic and left school with no recognised qualifications, tells his amazing life story with frankness and humour. It’s packed with great anecdotes and reveals how Graham has sometimes been lucky to survive both physically and financially, often against all odds.

Graham is a natural philanthropist so all proceeds from the book are going to the charity Making Waves in Slaithwaite which supports the Waves day care centre for people aged 18 and over with learning and/or physical difficulties from across Huddersfield and beyond. It’s one of the most innovative day care centres in the UK.

Members at the Waves day care centre in Slaithwaite

Graham chose to support this charity because the autobiography has been co-written with Huddersfield journalist Andy Hirst whose son, George, was a member at Waves and loved being there before sadly passing away in July 2021, aged just 27.

The book costs £10.99 and people can get them on the launch day when Graham will be signing copies.

It will also be on sale in the Huddersfield Town shop and online.

Anyone is welcome to attend the launch which will feature presentations from Graham, Huddersfield Town legend Andy Booth and the charity Making Waves.

The event will also reveal how people who buy the book will be able to enter a competition with a prize worth many thousands of pounds.

For more information email Andy Hirst at