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Sheffield Wednesday F.C.

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Sheffield Wednesday
Badge of Sheffield Wednesday
Full name Sheffield Wednesday Football Club
Nickname(s) The Owls
Founded 1867; 149 years ago (1867) as The Wednesday
Ground Hillsborough, Owlerton, Sheffield
Ground Capacity 39,812 (all seated)
Owner Dejphon Chansiri
Head Coach Carlos Carvalhal
League Championship
2015–16 Championship, 6th
Website Club home page
Current season

Sheffield Wednesday Football Club is a professional association football club based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The team compete in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. Following their formation in 1867 as the football section of The Wednesday Cricket Club, they were initially known as The Wednesday Football Club, changing to their current name in 1929.

Wednesday are one of the oldest football clubs in the world, and the third oldest in the Football League. In 1868 they won the Cromwell Cup, only the second tournament of its kind. They were founding members of the Football Alliance in 1889 and its first champions. They joined The Football League three years later. Since joining the club has spent most of its history in the English football top flight and in 1992 became one of the founding members of the Premier League. They have not played at that level since being relegated in 2000, coming closest to a return in May 2016 when they lost the Championship play-off final to Hull City. The Owls have won four League titles, three FA Cups and one League Cup. Wednesday have also competed at European level on four occasions, most recently in the UEFA Cup in 1992–93 and UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1995.

Since 1899 Sheffield Wednesday have played home matches at Hillsborough Stadium in the north-western suburb of Owlerton, hence their nickname The Owls.[1][2] Hillsborough is currently an all-seater ground with a capacity of 39,732.[3]


A cricket match at Darnall in the 1820s, a ground laid out for The Wednesday Cricket Club.
The Wednesday squad shot from 1878, in their original hooped shirts.
Leaflet advertising a Blackburn Rovers match on 12 September 1887 against 'The Wednesday' at Olive Grove.

Early years[edit]

The club was a cricket club when it formed in 1820 as "The Wednesday Cricket Club" (named after the day of the week when they played their matches). A meeting on the evening of Wednesday 4 September 1867 at the Adelphi Hotel established a footballing side to keep the team together and fit during the winter months. They played their first match against The Mechanics on 19 October the same year.[4]

It soon became apparent that football would come to eclipse the cricketing side of the club. On 1 February 1868, Wednesday played their first competitive football match as they entered the Cromwell Cup, a four-team competition for newly formed clubs. They went on to win the cup, beating the Garrick Club 1–0 after extra time in the final at Bramall Lane.[5]

Charles Clegg joined the Wednesday in 1867, starting a relationship that would last the rest of his life and eventually lead to his becoming the club's chairman. He also became president and chairman of the Football Association and known as the "Napoleon of Football".[6] Clegg played for England in the first-ever international match, against Scotland in November 1872, thereby becoming Wednesday's first international player. In 1876 they 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.[7]

The 1880s saw two major events that radically changed the face of the club. In 1882 the cricket and football clubs parted company;[8] the cricket club ceased to exist in 1925. The football club turned professional in 1887 after pressure from players threatening to defect to other clubs.

Professional football[edit]

The move to professionalism took the club from Bramall Lane, which had taken a share of the ticket revenue, to the new Olive Grove.[9] In 1889 the club became founder members of the Football Alliance, of which they were the first champions in a season where they also reached the 1890 FA Cup Final, losing 6–1 to Blackburn Rovers at Kennington Oval, London. Despite finishing the following season bottom of the Alliance, they were eventually elected to the expanded Football League in 1892. They won the FA Cup for the first time in 1896, beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 2–1 at Crystal Palace.

Due to an expansion of the local railway lines, the club was told that they would have to find a new ground for the 1899–1900 season.[8] After a difficult search the club finally bought some land in the village of Owlerton, which at the time was several miles outside the Sheffield city boundaries. Construction of a new stadium (now known as Hillsborough Stadium) was completed within months and the club was secured for the next century. In a strong decade, Wednesday won the League in the 1902–03 and 1903–04 seasons and the FA Cup again in 1907, beating Everton 2–1, again at Crystal Palace. After this the team lacked accomplishment for another two decades.

The club was almost relegated in the 1927–28 season, but with 17 points in the last 10 matches they achieved a great escape, rising from bottom to 14th. Wednesday went on to win the League title the following season (1928–29), which started a run that saw the team finishing lower than third only once until 1936.[9] The period was topped off with the team winning the FA Cup for the third time in the club's history in 1935.

Post-war turmoil[edit]

The 1950s saw Wednesday unable to consistently hold on to a position in the top flight and this period became known as the yo-yo years.[10] After being promoted in 1950 they were relegated three times, although each time they returned to the top flight by winning the Second Division the following season. The decade ended on a high note with the team finishing in the top half of the First Division for the first time since the Second World War.

This led to a decade of successfully maintaining membership of the First Division, which included reaching the FA Cup Final in 1966 – a notable achievement in that Wednesday played all their ties away from home. A largely ignored highlight in this period was Wednesday's success in the First Division in the 1960–61 season, when Tottenham Hotspur became the first club since Aston Villa in 1897 to complete the 'double' – winning the FA Cup and the league in the same season. Wednesday finished as runners-up to Spurs, having beaten them 2–1 at Hillsborough in November 1960, with Fantham and Griffin scoring for the Owls in front of a crowd of 53,988. Another highlight in this period, which some Owls fans regard as the greatest match ever played by the team, was a 5–4 win over reigning European champions Manchester United at Hillsborough on 31 August 1968. The United team featured Denis Law, Bobby Charlton and George Best in his prime. However, brilliant goalkeeping by Peter Springett and a hat-trick by Jack Whitham saw Wednesday home.

Off the field the club was embroiled in the British betting scandal of 1964 in which three of its 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.[11] The three were reprieved in the early 1970s with Swan and Layne returning to Hillsborough and though their careers were virtually over Swan at least played some league games for The Owls.

Wednesday were relegated at the end of the 1969–70 season; this began the darkest period in the club's history. Their decline continued; they dropped to the Third Division for the first time in their history and were marooned there for five seasons. The club was almost relegated to the Fourth Division in 1976, but a revival under the management of Jack Charlton and–after Charlton resigned in 1983–Howard Wilkinson saw them return to the First Division in 1984.

Modern highs and lows[edit]

The Owls playing in their final Premiership away match at Arsenal, May 2000. A 3–3 draw.

Sheffield Wednesday spent most of the 1980s and 1990s in the top tier of English football, but by contrast have now (2016) spent more consecutive time outside the top tier, 16 years, than at any other time in their history.

On 15 April 1989 the club's stadium was the scene of one of the worst sporting tragedies ever, at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, at which 96 Liverpool fans were fatally crushed in the Leppings Lane end of the stadium.[12] The tragedy resulted in many changes at Hillsborough and all other leading stadiums in England; it was required that all capacity should be of seats rather than of terracing for fans to stand,[13] and that perimeter fencing should be removed.[14]

The 1990–91 season was the only one out of 16 in a row that Wednesday spent in a lower division, but the season is best remembered by fans for Wednesday's swift return to the top flight under the management of Ron Atkinson and their League Cup victory over Manchester United to win their first major trophy for over 50 years. This League Cup triumph was the last domestic cup to be won by a club competing outside the top level of English football. The following season Wednesday finished third in the league. The 1992–93 season established Sheffield Wednesday as a top club as they visited Wembley four times during the season – a League Cup final and an FA Cup semi-final, final and replay. In the FA Cup semi-finals they recorded a historic 2–1 win over their city rivals Sheffield United. However Wednesday failed to win any silverware, losing to Arsenal in both League and FA Cup finals, the latter after Andy Linighan's late extra-time winner in the replay brought The Gunners victory.

Wednesday lift the 2005 League One Playoff Trophy

Wednesday's fortunes took a turn for the worse when a succession of managers failed to maintain this form; first David Pleat and later Danny Wilson spent large sums building squads that were ultimately ineffective, and the club lost control of its debts as a result.[15] Danny Wilson was sacked in March 2000; his assistant Peter Shreeves took temporary charge but was unable to stave off relegation. The club's flirtation with relegation continued in Division One and after yet more managerial changes Chris Turner was hired as boss and made a strong effort to rejuvenate the side. However, a failure to beat Brighton & Hove Albion in the penultimate game of the 2002–03 season condemned them to another relegation.

After narrowly avoiding yet another relegation in 2003–04 and a poor start to the 2004–05 Football League One campaign, Turner was replaced by former Southampton and Plymouth Argyle manager Paul Sturrock. Sturrock revitalised Sheffield Wednesday's fortunes and they finished fifth in League One at the end of the 2004–05 season, qualifying for the promotion playoffs. Over 42,000 Owls fans travelled to Cardiff to watch Wednesday beat Hartlepool United 4–2 after extra time in the playoff final, and return to the Championship.[16] Sturrock guided Sheffield Wednesday to Championship survival in 2005–06 but was sacked after a poor start to the 2006–07 season and replaced by Brian Laws, who led Wednesday to a ninth-place finish in the Championship after having an outside chance of reaching the play-offs until the penultimate game of the season.[17]

The 2007–08 season began with Wednesday's worst-ever start to a season, losing six league games in a row. Chairman Dave Allen resigned in November 2007,[18] and Wednesday avoided relegation with a win on the last day of the season.[19] The Owls improved in 2008–09 and finished in 12th place, with the best home defensive record in the division. Halfway through Sheffield Wednesday's 2009–10 season Brian Laws was sacked, and was replaced by Alan Irvine. On the last day of the season, needing a win to stay up, Wednesday drew 2–2 with Crystal Palace and were relegated to League One.[20]

Between July and November 2010, Sheffield Wednesday faced a series of winding up orders for unpaid tax and VAT bills.[21][22][23] On 29 November 2010 Milan Mandarić agreed to purchase the club. The purchase was completed after an extraordinary general meeting of Sheffield Wednesday's shareholders on 14 December 2010, during which 99.7% of shareholders voted to sell the company to Milan Mandarić's UK Football Investments for £1.[24] Mandarić agreed to settle the club's outstanding debts as part of the largely confidential deal.[25] As of 3 February 2011 Alan Irvine stated he had parted company with Wednesday after a crisis meeting following a 5–3 defeat by Peterborough.[26]

Gary Megson replaced Irvine as the club's manager and The Owls went on to finish 15th in League One. The following season, the Owls pushed for promotion from League One, but after falling behind Charlton and Sheffield United at the top of the table, and despite a thrilling 1–0 derby win over their Steel City rivals, Megson was sacked and replaced by Dave Jones. Jones went on to guide the Owls to 10 wins and 2 draws from the last 12 games, securing promotion to the Championship on the final day in a 2–0 home victory over Wycombe Wanderers in front of the largest Football League attendance of the season, 38,082, of which only 487 came from Wycombe.[27]

Under Jones, Wednesday secured survival in their first season back in the Championship with a 2–0 win over Middlesbrough on the final day of the 2012–13 campaign.[28] However, after a dismal start to the 2013–14 season featuring just one win in 16 games, Dave Jones was sacked, with caretaker manager Stuart Gray taking temporary charge.[29][30] Wednesday saw an upturn in fortunes under Gray, and after a good run of results including a record 6–0 win over Yorkshire rivals Leeds United, he was appointed as head coach on a permanent basis, leading the Owls to a 16th-place finish.[31]

The 2014–15 season saw Wednesday welcome a new owner, Thai businessman Dejphon Chansiri, who purchased the club from Milan Mandarić for £37.5m.[32] The Owls also enjoyed their highest league finish since relegation to League One, reaching 13th place in the Championship, matching the club's clean sheet record in the process. Chansiri stated his aim to get Wednesday back in the Premier League by 2017, the year of the club's 150th anniversary. Along with replacing Gray with Portuguese coach Carlos Carvalhal, he invested heavily in the club's facilities and playing squad, with players such as Fernando Forestieri and Marco Matias arriving for seven-figure sums.[33] The club nearly achieved this goal at the end of the 2015–16 season, losing in the final of the 2016 English Football Play-off to Hull; a victory would have resulted in promotion back to the Premiership.

Wednesday supporters celebrating on the pitch, following promotion to The Championship, on 5 May 2012

Name origins and nicknames[edit]

Sheffield Wednesday are the only English League club with a day of the week in their name. The club was initially a cricket club named The Wednesday Cricket Club after the day of the week on which they played their matches. The footballing side of the club was established to keep the team together and fit during the winter months.

The club was formerly known as "The Wednesday Football Club" until 1929, when the club was officially renamed "Sheffield Wednesday Football Club" under the stewardship of manager Robert Brown. The club is sometimes still referred to as simply 'The Wednesday'[34] or more commonly just 'Wednesday'. However the name Sheffield Wednesday dates back as far as 1883: the former ground at Olive Grove had the name Sheffield Wednesday painted on the stand roof.

In the summer of 1912 a Wednesday player, George Robertson, presented the club with an owl mascot. A monkey mascot introduced some years earlier had not brought much luck even though the club stressed that they should keep their original nickname The Blades (now the nickname of arch-rivals, Sheffield United). However, the club somehow failed to get their wish and the club became known as The Owls especially after, having placed the owl under the roof of the North stand in October, Wednesday went on to win the next four games.[35]

In their early days, the club's nickname was The Blades, a term which was used for any sporting team from the city of Sheffield, famous the world over for its cutlery and knives. After rival team Sheffield United was created, both clubs were often called 'The Blades' until The Wednesday moved to Owlerton. The popular view of the origin of the nickname is that Wednesday are known as The Owls because the stadium is technically in Owlerton. However, in the local pronunciation of "Owlerton" (OH-ler-ton), the first syllable rhymes with "pole", not "owl", and the mascot story suggests that this is not entirely the case.

Colours, crest and traditions[edit]

The Wednesday's home shirt of 1871. It is assumed that these were the original colours used by the team.

Since its founding the club has played their home games in blue and white shirts, traditionally in vertical stripes. However, this has not always been the case and there have been variations upon the theme. A monochrome photograph from 1874–75 shows the Wednesday team in plain dark shirts,[36] while the 1871 "Rules of the Sheffield Football Association" listed the Wednesday club colours as blue and white hoops.[9] A quartered blue and white design was used in 1887 and a blue shirt with white sleeves between 1965 and 1973.[37] This design would have received greater notoriety had Wednesday not worn their away kit for all of their games in the 1966 FA Cup run, when all of their ties were drawn away. Given the option in the final of wearing their first strip, they chose the away strip for luck; but Everton managed to claw back a 2–0 deficit after 54 minutes and eventually won the game 3–2.

There is a superstition among many older Wednesday fans that the team tends to have a poor season when they abandon the traditional evenly spaced blue and white stripe designs in favour of some broad stripe or narrow stripe design. However, in an age of marketing-driven decisions, the team only reverts to the familiar style every so often.

Wednesday have often favoured black shorts or, more recently, blue. There have been times where Wednesday have opted to play in white shorts, sometimes to minimise colour clashes with the opposing team. The socks were invariably blue and white hoops but these too have gone through changes including blue with a white roll-over top, all-blue and all-white.

The away strip has changed regularly over the years although an all-yellow strip has been used for many of the recent seasons in the club's history. Traditionally white was the second choice for many teams, including Wednesday. Other colours used for away kits in previous years include black, silver, green and orange. Wednesday have always avoided red as an alternative colour but for years had the players' numbers in red on the first-choice shirt backs, which was not easy to discern against blue and white stripes.

The current shirt is made by Sondico who signed a three-year kit deal in 2014. The home colours are the traditional shirt of blue and white stripes, coupled with blue shorts, and the away strip is a yellow shirt with blue accents, coupled with yellow shorts. There was both a new home and away kit out in the summer of 2015.

Crest and mascots[edit]

Since their move to Owlerton, the owl has become a theme that has run throughout the club. The original club crest was introduced in 1956[38] and consisted of a shield showing a traditionally drawn owl perched on a branch. The White Rose of York[39] was depicted below the branch alluding to the home county of Yorkshire and the sheaves of Sheffield (Sheaf field) were shown at either side of the owl's head. The club's Latin motto, Consilio et Animis, was displayed beneath the shield.[38] This translates into English as "By Wisdom and Courage".[40]

The crest was changed in 1970 to a minimalist version that shows a stylised owl with a large round head and eyes perched on the letters S.W.F.C. Various different colours were used on this badge, regularly changing with the kit design. The predominant colours however were black and yellow. This version remained in use throughout the 1970s and 1980s before being replaced in 1995.[41]

The new crest reverted to a similar design to the original crest. It again featured a traditionally drawn owl perched on a branch although the design of both had changed. The sheaves were replaced by a stylised SWFC logo that had been in use on club merchandise for several years prior to the introduction of the new crest. The Yorkshire Rose was moved to above the owl's head to make way for the words Sheffield Wednesday. The word Hillsborough was also curved around the top of the design. The club motto was absent on the new design. The crest was encased in a new shape of shield. This crest remained in use for only a few years, during which several versions were used with different colouration including a white crest with blue stripes down either side and the colouring of the detail inverted. Most recently the shield shape has remained but the detailed owl logo has been replaced, yet again, by the minimalist version, echoing the badge's course of history in the 1970s. The most recent change was the addition of a copyright symbol in 2002.[38] The club reverted to its original crest in 2016.

Over the years Sheffield Wednesday have had several Owl themed matchday mascots. Originally it was Ozzie the Owl and later two further Owls, Baz & Ollie were added. All three were replaced in 2006 by Barney Owl, a similar looking owl but with more defined eyes to make it look cuter. Ozzie Owl was reintroduced as Wednesday's main mascot during the home game with Charlton Athletic on 17 January 2009. The current mascots are Ozzie and Barney Owl. In 2012, Ollie Owl also made his return to the scene, as the club announced him Mascot for the Owls work with children in the community.


Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
1974–1977 England Umbro None
1977–1981 England Bukta
1981–1984 Crosby Kitchens
1984–1986 England Umbro MHS Malcolm Stockdale
1986–1988 Finlux TV
1988–1991 VT Plastics
1991 Asda1
1991–1992 Mr. Tom2
1992–1993 Sanderson
1993–2000 Germany Puma
2000–2001 Chupa Chups
2001–2003 Italy Diadora
2003–2005 Napoleon's Casino
2005–2007 PlusNet Broadband
2007–2009 Italy Lotto
2009–2011 Germany Puma Sheffield Children's Hospital
2011–2012 Gilder Group/Volkswagen (Home)

Westfield Health (Away)

2012–2013 Gilder Group/Honda (Home)

Westfield Health (Away)

2013–2014 WANdisco (Home)

Bartercard (Away)

England Sondico Azerbaijan Land of Fire
2014– Chansiri

1 Asda sponsored the club for the 1991 Football League Cup Final only.
2 Mr Tom was the sponsor for the second half of the 1991–92 season only (December 1991 – May 1992).


Past stadiums[edit]

Originally, Wednesday played matches at Highfield, but moved several times before adopting a permanent ground. Other locations included Myrtle Road, Heeley and Hunter's Bar. Major matches were played at Sheaf House or Bramall Lane, before Sheffield United made it their home ground.[8] Sheffield Wednesday's first permanent home ground was at Olive Grove, a site near Queen's Road originally leased from the Duke of Norfolk. The first game at Olive Grove was a 4–4 draw with Blackburn Rovers on 12 September 1887. Extensions to the adjacent railway forced the club to move to their current ground in 1899.

Hillsborough Stadium[edit]

Main article: Hillsborough Stadium

Since 1899 Wednesday have played their home games at Hillsborough Stadium in the Owlerton district of Sheffield. The stadium was originally named Owlerton Stadium but in 1914 Owlerton became part of the parliamentary constituency of Hillsborough and the ground took on its current name.[3] With 39,732 seats, Hillsborough has the highest capacity of stadiums in Championship, and the 12th highest in England. The club intended to increase Hillsborough's capacity to 44,825 by 2012 and 50,000 by 2016 and make several other improvements in the process, but due to England's failed World Cup bid, this is now not the case.[42]

The stadium has hosted FIFA World Cup football (1966), The 1996 European Championships (Euro 96) and 27 FA Cup Semi-finals. The Kop at Hillsborough was re-opened in 1986 by Queen Elizabeth II and was once the largest covered stand of any football stadium in Europe.[43]

The Hillsborough disaster occurred on 15 April 1989 at an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death after the terraces at the Leppings Lane end of the ground became overcrowded. The following report concluded that the root cause of the disaster was the failure of local police to adequately manage the crowds.[44][45] A memorial to the victims of the disaster stands outside Hillsborough's South Stand, near the main entrance on Parkside Road.

Panorama of Hillsborough Stadium in 2009


Wednesdayites at Hillsborough

For many years Sheffield Wednesday has enjoyed a good turnout of supporters despite underachievement on the pitch; however match day attendances dropped slightly for the 2010–11 season. Despite this, attendance was still high compared to other League One clubs, and even surpassed some Championship and Premier League clubs.[46] The Owls draw support from all areas of Sheffield, wider South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, north Derbyshire & north Nottinghamshire. Significant concentrations of support exist in the north of the city, in particular in areas such as Hillsborough, Stannington, Parson Cross, Ecclesfield, Chapeltown, Wisewood, Grenoside and Stocksbridge, but on the whole Sheffield Wednesday are the best supported team in the region. They continued the trend when returning to the Championship with the highest attendances in that division.[47][48][49]

At the 2005 playoff final, Wednesday took over 42,000 fans to the Millennium Stadium.[50] In 2016, Sheffield Wednesday took over 40,000 fans to Wembley for a play-off final defeat by Hull City, selling substantially more seats than their counterparts .

Supporters' groups[edit]

Sheffield Wednesday's large fan-base has led to the creation of several supporters' groups both nationally and internationally with the aim of bringing together Wednesdayites in separate regions and organising match-day travel to Hillsborough, away match transport, and hosting social events among other activities.[51]

  • London Owls – Active group for Wednesday supporters living in the Greater London area and in South East England.
  • East Midlands Owls – Active Group for Wednesday supporters living in the central counties such as Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, and Derbyshire. The EMO also includes supporters from the West Midlands.
  • West Midlands Owls – A group of Wednesday fans based around Birmingham, the Black Country and the wider West Midlands. Founded in 2013.
  • Scottish Owls – Active Group for Owls' fans living north of the border in Scotland, founded in 2012.
  • SWSWSWS (South West South Wales Sheffield Wednesday Supporters) – Also founded recently,[when?] SWSWSWS is an active group bringing together Wednesday supporters in South Wales and South West England.
  • New York Owls – Active group for Wednesday supporters living in the tri-state region of the US, founded by expatriates but has built up a following of born and bred Americans. The members gather for every televised Wednesday match at The Football Factory at Legends, their resident bar located close to the Empire State Building in Manhattan.
  • Pennsylvania Owls – Active group for Sheffield Wednesday fans living in Pennsylvania, USA, founded in 2013.

The independent supporters organisation Wednesdayite owned over 10% of the shares in SWFC before the 2010 sale of the club.

Sheffield Wednesday have had a large variety of fanzines over the years; examples include Just Another Wednesday, Out of the Blue, Spitting Feathers, Boddle, A View From The East Bank, Cheat! and War of the Monster Trucks, which acquired its name from the programme that Yorkshire Television elected to show instead of the celebrations after the 1991 League Cup victory over Manchester United.[52] More recently, an on-line fanzine has been set up by fan-site Owlsonline.


Sheffield Wednesday's main rivals are city neighbours Sheffield United. Matches between these two clubs are nicknamed Steel City derbies, so called because of the steel industry the city of Sheffield is famous for. These matches are usually the highlight of the season for both sets of supporters, and always attract large attendances.

Famous Steel City derbies include:

The Boxing Day Massacre; a Football League Third Division match which took place at Hillsborough on 26 December 1979. A record Third Division crowd of 49,309 supporters watched Wednesday beat United 4–0, a match which became part of Sheffield Wednesday folklore, and is still sung about loudly at every game today; 'Hark now hear, The Wednesday sing, United ran away... and we will fight, forever more, because of Boxing day' to the tune of the refrain of the Boney M song "Mary's Boy Child".

The Semi-final Match; an FA Cup semi-final match which took place at Wembley on 3 April 1993. Initially, it was announced that the match was scheduled to take place at Elland Road but this was met with dismay by both sets of fans. After a re-think the Football Association decided to switch venue to Wembley. A crowd of 75,365 supporters made the trip down to London to watch Wednesday beat United 2–1 after extra time in a match which Wednesday dominated heavily and the scoreline belies the reality of the game. However, Wednesday went on to lose against Arsenal in the very late stages of extra time of a replay, after the first game had ended 1–1.

Of the most recent ten encounters, Wednesday have won four matches, whilst United have won three. On 7 February 2009 Wednesday beat United 2–1 at Bramall Lane. This, on the back of a 1–0 victory for Wednesday at Hillsborough earlier in the season, gave Wednesday their first double over United since the 1913–14 season, a 95-year wait.

Other rivals include Leeds United, Barnsley F.C., Rotherham United, Doncaster Rovers and Chesterfield F.C..




League history[edit]

Since being elected to the football League in 1892 Wednesday have spent the majority of their history in the top Level of English football (66 seasons)
35 Seasons have been spent in the second Level and only nine seasons have been spent in the third Level. Wednesday have never played below level three since becoming a Football League club.


 *After formation of the Premier League, 1992–2004, Division 1 was the 2nd Tier league, and Division 2 was the 3rd Tier league

  • Seasons spent at Level 1 of the football league system: 66
  • Seasons spent at Level 2 of the football league system: 35
  • Seasons spent at Level 3 of the football league system: 9
  • Seasons spent at Level 4 of the football league system: 0

European record[edit]

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
1961–62 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup First round France Lyon 5–2 2–4 7–6
Second round Italy Roma 4–0 0–1 4–1
Quarter-final Spain Barcelona 3–2 0–2 3–4
1963–64 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup First round Netherlands DOS 4–1 4–1 8–2
Second round Germany Köln 1–2 2–3 3–5
1992–93 UEFA Cup First round Luxembourg Spora Luxembourg 8–1 2–1 10–2
Second round Germany Kaiserslautern 2–2 1–3 3–5
1995–96 UEFA Intertoto Cup Group stage Switzerland FC Basel N/A 0–1 N/A
Poland Górnik Zabrze 3–2 N/A N/A
Germany Karlsruher SC N/A 1–1 N/A
Denmark AGF Aarhus 3–1 N/A N/A


Historical league position since 1892–93

Wednesday's biggest recorded win was a 12–0 victory over Halliwell in the first round of the FA Cup on 18 January 1891. The biggest league win was against Birmingham City in Division 1 on 13 December 1930; Wednesday won 9–1. Both of these wins occurred at home.

The heaviest defeat was away from home against Aston Villa in a Division 1 match on 5 October 1912 which Wednesday lost 10–0.

The most goals scored by the club in a season was the 106 scored in the 1958–59 season. The club accumulated their highest league points total in the 2011–12 season when they racked up 93 points.

The highest home attendance was in the FA Cup fifth round on 17 February 1934. A total of 72,841 turned up to see a 2–2 draw with Manchester City. Unfortunately for Wednesday, they went on to lose the replay 2–0. (Manchester City won the FA Cup that season)

The most capped Englishman to play for the club was goalkeeper Ron Springett who won 33 caps while at Sheffield Wednesday. Springett also held the overall record for most capped Sheffield Wednesday player until Nigel Worthington broke the record, eventually gaining a total of 50 caps for Northern Ireland whilst at the club.

The fastest sending off in British League football is held by Sheffield Wednesday keeper 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.[53]

The fastest shot ever recorded in the Premier League was hit by David Hirst against Arsenal at Highbury in September 1996 – Hirst hit the bar with a shot clocked at 114 miles per hour (MPH).

Former players and managers[edit]

Former players[edit]

A list of former players can be found at List of Sheffield Wednesday F.C. players.

Player of the Year winners[edit]

Year Winner
1969 England John Ritchie
1970 England Peter Eustace
1971 England Peter Grummitt
1972 England John Sissons
1973 Scotland Tommy Craig
1974 England Mick Prendergast
1975 England Eric Potts
1976 England Eric Potts
1977 England Chris Turner
1978 England Tommy Tynan
1979 Scotland Ian Porterfield
1980 Wales Jeff Johnson
Year Winner
1981 England Mark Smith
1982 England Gary Bannister
1983 England Mel Sterland
1984 England Gary Shelton
1985 England Imre Varadi
1986 England Martin Hodge
1987 England Lee Chapman
1988 England Gary Megson
1989 England Lawrie Madden
1990 England David Hirst
1991 England Nigel Pearson
1992 England Phil King
Year Winner
1993 England Chris Waddle
1994 England Des Walker
1995 England Peter Atherton
1996 Belgium Marc Degryse
1997 Wales Mark Pembridge
1998 Italy Paolo Di Canio
1999 Italy Benito Carbone
2000 Sweden Niclas Alexandersson
2001 Netherlands Gerald Sibon
2002 Republic of Ireland Derek Geary
2003 Republic of Ireland Alan Quinn
2004 Democratic Republic of the Congo Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu
Year Winner
2005 Scotland Steve MacLean
2006 Republic of Ireland Graham Coughlan
2007 Republic of Ireland Glenn Whelan
2008 England Mark Beevers
2009 England Marcus Tudgay
2010 England Lee Grant
2011 England Neil Mellor
2012 Portugal José Semedo
2013 England Lewis Buxton
2014 Scotland Liam Palmer
2015 Republic of Ireland Keiren Westwood
2016 Italy Fernando Forestieri

Notable managers[edit]

As of 15 February 2008.[54]
Only managers with over 200 games in charge are included. For the complete list see List of Sheffield Wednesday F.C. managers.

Name Nat From To Record
P W L D Win%
Arthur Dickinson England 1 August 1891 31 May 1920 919 393 338 188 42.27%
Robert Brown England 1 June 1920 1 December 1933 600 266 199 135 44.33%
Eric Taylor England 1 April 1942 31 July 1958 539 196 215 128 36.36%
Jack Charlton England 8 October 1977 27 May 1983 269 105 77 87 39.03%
Howard Wilkinson England 24 June 1983 10 October 1988 255 114 73 68 44.70%
Trevor Francis England 7 June 1991 20 May 1995 214 88 58 68 41.12%

Dickinson, who was in charge for 29 years, is Wednesday's longest-serving manager, and helped establish the club during the first two decades of the 20th century.

Brown succeeded Dickinson and remained in charge for 13 years; in 1930 he secured their most recent top division league title to date.

Taylor took over during the Second World War and remained in charge until 1958, but failed to win a major trophy, even though Wednesday were in the top flight for most of his reign.

Charlton took Wednesday out of the Third Division in 1980 and in his final season (1982–83) he took them to the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Wilkinson succeeded Charlton in the summer of 1983 and was in charge for more than five years before he moved to Leeds United. His first season saw Wednesday gain promotion to the First Division after a 14-year exile. He guided them to a fifth-place finish in 1986, but Wednesday were unable to compete in the 1986–87 UEFA Cup due to the ban on English teams in European competitions due to the Heysel Disaster of 1985.

Francis took over as player-manager in June 1991 after Ron Atkinson (who had just guided them to Football League Cup glory and promotion to the First Division) departed to Aston Villa. He guided them to third place in the league in 1992, and earned them a UEFA Cup place. They finished seventh in the inaugural Premier League and were runners-up of the FA Cup and League Cup that year. He was sacked in 1995 after Wednesday finished 13th – their lowest standing in four years since winning promotion.


First team[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Republic of Ireland GK Keiren Westwood
2 England GK Joe Wildsmith
3 England MF David Jones
5 England MF Kieran Lee
6 Scotland FW Steven Fletcher
7 Switzerland MF Almen Abdi
8 Senegal MF Modou Sougou
12 Netherlands DF Glenn Loovens (captain)
14 England FW Gary Hooper
15 England DF Tom Lees (vice-captain)
16 Scotland DF Liam Palmer
17 France MF Jérémy Hélan
19 Portugal FW Lucas João
21 Portugal MF Marco Matias
No. Position Player
22 Portugal MF Filipe Melo
23 England DF Sam Hutchinson
24 Portugal MF José Semedo
32 England DF Jack Hunt
33 Scotland MF Ross Wallace
34 England GK Jake Kean
36 Czech Republic DF Daniel Pudil
38 England MF Will Buckley (on loan from Sunderland)
39 France DF Vincent Sasso
41 Scotland MF Barry Bannan
42 Belgium DF Marnick Vermijl
44 Austria FW Atdhe Nuhiu
45 Italy FW Fernando Forestieri

Transfer listed[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
France DF Claude Dielna
England MF Lewis McGugan
No. Position Player
Romania FW Sergiu Buș


Coaching staff[edit]

Role Name
Head coach Portugal Carlos Carvalhal
Coach Portugal João Mário Oliveira
Coach Portugal Bruno Lage
Coach Portugal Jhony Conceição
Coach Scotland Lee Bullen
Head of goalkeeping England Andy Rhodes

Support staff[edit]

Role Name
Head physiotherapist England Paul Smith
Assistant physiotherapist England Kevin Mulholland
Assistant physiotherapist England Stephen Gilpin
Performance director England Andy Kalinins
Sports scientist England Jeremy Poulson
Club doctor England Dr Richard Higgins
Sports physician England Dr Alastair Park
Club osteopath England Sam Morris

Chairman and directors[edit]

Role Name
Chairman Thailand Dejphon Chansiri
Finance director England John Redgate
Chief operating officer England Joe Palmer


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Further reading[edit]

  • Allen, Paul; Naylor, Douglas (2005). Flying with the Owls Crime Squad. London: John Blake. ISBN 1-84454-093-6. 
  • Brodie, Eric; Troilett, Allan. Jackie Robinson Story, The. ISBN 0-9547264-2-1. 
  • Dickinson, Jason (1999). One Hundred Years at Hillsborough, 2nd September 1899–1999. Sheffield: Hallamshire Press in association with Sheffield Wednesday Football Club. ISBN 1-874718-29-6. 
  • Dooley, Derek; Farnsworth, Keith (2000). Dooley!: The Autobiography of a Soccer Legend. Sheffield: Hallamshire. ISBN 1-874718-59-8. 
  • Farnsworth, Keith (1987). Sheffield Wednesday Football Club: A Complete Record, 1867–1987. Derby: Breedon. ISBN 0-907969-25-9. 
  • Farnsworth, Keith (1998). Wednesday: Every Day of the Week – An Oral History of the Owls. Derby: Breedon Books. ISBN 1-85983-131-1. 
  • Firth, John (2009). I Hate Football – A Sheffield Wednesday Fan's Memoir. Derbyshire: Peakpublish. ISBN 978-1-907219-02-3. 
  • Gordon, Daniel (2002). Blue-and-white-wizards: The Sheffield Wednesday Dream Team. Edinburgh: Mainstream. ISBN 1-84018-680-1. 
  • Hayes, Dean (1997). Hillsborough Encyclopaedia, The: A-Z of Sheffield Wednesday. Edinburgh: Mainstream Pub. ISBN 1-85158-960-0. 
  • Johnson, Nick. Sheffield Wednesday 1867–1967. ISBN 0-7524-2720-2. 
  • Liversidge, Michael; Mackender, Gary. Sheffield Wednesday, Illustrating the Greats. ISBN 0-9547264-5-6. 
  • Waring, Peter (2004). Sheffield Wednesday Head to Head. Derby: Breedon. ISBN 1-85983-417-5. 

External links[edit]