The A to Z of Sheffield Wednesday

Moody

Well-known member
#1
A is for the Adelphi Hotel. This is where, on the evening of Wednesday 4th September 1867, a meeting was held by the ‘Wednesday Cricket Club’ to establish whether there was enough interest among the club's members to form a football club to keep the team together and fit during the winter months. There was, and so the Wednesday Football Club was born.

B is for Bramall Lane. Now the home of their fierce city rivals, it was in fact primarily a cricket ground & where Wednesday played all their big matches until the turn of the century. It was a dispute over gate money with the owners that led Wednesday to decide to find their own ground, which in turn led to the foundation of Sheffield United.

C is for Charles Clegg - the man responsible for creating the Steel City derby. He was the President of the cricket club that founded Sheffield United to generate revenue in the winter at Bramall Lane, as well as having been the President of Wednesday.

D is for Dejphon Chansiri, Wednesday’s Thai owner. Chansiri's family controls the Thai Union Group, the world's largest producer of canned tuna. He promised to return the club to the top flight, but the last two seasons Wednesday have been sinking, rather than swimming.

E is for epic. In the 1990-91 season Millwall and two epic games with Wednesday: coming from 2-0 down at The Den to win 4-2 with two late goals in the league; before meeting them at The Den again in the 4th Round of the FA Cup, where a topsy turvy match ended 4-4, with another late Alex Rae goal.

F is for fastest. The fastest sending off in British league football is held by Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Kevin Pressman – who was sent off after just 13 seconds for handling a shot from Wolverhampton's Temuri Ketsbaia outside the area during the opening weekend of 2000. Probably the only fast thing the rotund ex Millwall goalkeeping coach has ever done!

G is for Gregg’s. Sheffield has more Greggs per person than anywhere else in the UK; there is one Gregg’s for every 50 residents, yet there are still queues. It is thought that the average Wednesday fan eats 2.4 sausage rolls per day.

H is for Hillsborough. A grand old stadium, sadly forever tainted by the events of 1989. These days it is a bit like the ‘Theatre of Ghosts’, with (albeit impressive for second tier football) 20,000 odd rattling around its ageing stands.

I is for international. The Charles Clegg from C was a decent footballer & cricketer, playing for England in the first-ever international match against Scotland in November 1872, thereby completing a unique double for the club, who can lay claim to having a player in the first international games of both cricket and football.

J is for Jos Luhukay, current Wednesday manager. He looks more like an Albanian car dealer than a Championship manager. However, he is Dutch and an ex-player- but looks a bit out of his depth in football management.

K is for kit. Like Millwall, Wednesday were very impressed with the Blackburn Rovers side of the 1880s. Whereas we started out as Millwall Rovers in homage to the great cup side from Lancashire, Wednesday changed their kit to blue and white quarters to try and emulate Rovers. Before switching to the stripes that they have worn pretty much ever since in 1890.

L is for lousy. Our record v Wednesday is pretty lousy really, especially considering how well we do against most big northern and midlands clubs like Leeds United, Derby County and Nottingham Forest. Last season’s win at The Den was our first in 9 meetings and only the 4th in 18.

M is for massive. Wednesday fans consider their club as one of the biggest in England, yet they have been outside the top for nearly two decades now and have even spent time in the third tier in that time. The only massive thing about them these days appears to be the weight of expectation on their players.

N is for no goal. I believe Millwall scored a perfectly good goal v Sheffield Wednesday in a big relegation 6-pointer at The Den in 2006, only for Steve Tanner to disallow it. And whilst Millwall players and fans were still celebrating Wednesday raced up the other end to score the goal that did decide the match!

O is for Owls. The ‘Blades’ used to be Sheffield Wednesday’s nickname, until Wednesday moved to Owlerton & became the ‘Owls’. I am sorry, but I think United got the better deal here. Blades reflects Sheffield’s history much better, and let’s be frank, birds always look a bit camp as a badge (see Palace, Spurs and Norwich!).

P is for professional. In 1876 Wednesday acquired Scot James Lang. Although he was not employed by the club, he was given a job by a member of the Sheffield Wednesday board that had no formal duties. He is now acknowledged as the first professional football player in England. This is unusual, because otherwise Wednesday were proudly amateur right into the late 1880s, only turning professional to stop losing their best players.

Q is for quite a long time. Due to Millwall staying loyal to the Southern League and Wednesday’s golden age being the inter-war period, the clubs did not meet in the Football League until Good Friday on the 7th April 1939, when an impressive 37,585 turned up at The Den to witness a 2-0 win for the Lions in the Second Division. Three days later on Easter Monday we lost 3-1 at Hillsborough in front of 34,804.

R is for Rumbelow’s Cup, as the League Cup was known between 1990 and 1992. It is the only major honour Wednesday has won in the modern era, beating Manchester United 1-0 in 1991 as a Second Division team. The broadcast of this League Cup final caused controversy in the Yorkshire region, as instead of showing the post-match celebrations (as London Weekend Television did), Yorkshire Television decided to cut the broadcast short to show a programme titled War of the Monster Trucks. Sheffielders often cite this event as a demonstration of the station's bias towards West Yorkshire, Leeds and above all Leeds United. The incident inspired the name of the Sheffield Wednesday fanzine War of the Monster Trucks.

S is for sepia. To witness any of Wednesday’s over major trophy victories you would have to view them in sepia, as they were all won before colour television was invented. In fact, some pre-date the invention of commercial television and radio altogether. However, they are still a major club – remember that!

T is for trams. It was because of the assault of an innocent tram that Millwall fans are not allowed to travel to Hillsborough on a Saturday afternoon for the foreseeable future. Just the sound of a SE London accent makes the trams of Sheffield tremble and traumatised.

U is for Ulyett, as in George Ulyett. ‘Happy Jack’, as he was known, was a member of the Wednesday Cricket Club who not only represented England at Test match level, but went on to keep goal for the football team between 1882 and 1884. Four thousand people are said to have turned out for his funeral.

V is for Volkswagen. In a landmark deal in England, Wednesday and Sheffield United shared the same sponsors in the form of the local Volkswagen dealership in the 2011-12 season, so as not to put a dent in business! Famously, old Millwall chairman Mickey Purser owned a car showroom on the Old Kent Road that was often targeted by disgruntled fans – clearly, the football fans of Sheffield are more forgiving.

W is for wrong doing, for the British betting scandal of 1964 in which three of Wednesday’s players, Peter Swan, David Layne and Tony Kay, were accused of match fixing and betting against their own team in an away game at Ipswich Town. The three were subsequently convicted and, on release from prison, banned from football for life.

X is for the x-rated language that comes out of my mouth whenever I hear that poxy Wednesday band start up at Hillsborough or England matches.

Y is for yo-yo. Wednesday fans moaned that in the post war years that they became a bit of a First Division yo-yo team. How they would love to return to that happy state of affairs now, as they have threatened to become a Championship yo-yo club in the last 15 years, with two relegations to League One.

Z is for Zzzzz. When I lived in Sheffield in the early 2000s I sometimes attended Hillsborough. It often had all the passion and electricity of a dead rubber county cricket match. If I was being kind I could describe it as continental – but by that, meaning it was huge and half empty and silent but for a drum being banged by a local sadcase.
 

Moody

Well-known member
#5
T or B should be for Tom Brolly, Moody, surely.....!!!
As our best ever signing from Sheffield Wednesday?

Obviously I have to leave something for you to do on this site Whisky, as you cannot expect to be the expert on pure stats or scouting of players given the competition from other posters. This is your chance to shine, as you may, MAY, have a bit more historical knowledge than me ;)
 

whiskylion

Well-known member
#6
As our best ever signing from Sheffield Wednesday?

Obviously I have to leave something for you to do on this site Whisky, as you cannot expect to be the expert on pure stats or scouting of players given the competition from other posters. This is your chance to shine, as you may, MAY, have a bit more historical knowledge than me ;)
Me doing an A-Z on clubs would be like someone writing a James Bond novel while Fleming was still alive....

But always happy to offer the odd plot suggestion!!