Sunday, March 18, 2018

Owls Blog - Steel City Heroes - Where are they now?

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With the Steel City Derby being played at Hillsborough on Sunday first team regular Wednesdayite blogger Ricky Charlesworth looks at the Steel City Heroes who completed a famous double in the 2008-2009 season.

A full 95 years had passed since the Owls last completed a league double over the Blades and Ricky looks at the players on duty over the two games and asks 'Where Are They Now?'

It is just over three years since Wednesday completed a memorable double over the Blades.

Back in February 2009, Brian Laws led the Owls to a historic victory at Bramall Lane, in what was the first time Wednesday had taken six points off their nearest rivals in 95 years. Goals from Tommy Spurr and Marcus Tudgay secured the points for Wednesday, after a 1-0 win earlier in the season at home, thanks to Steve Watson’s terrific lob.

In honour of this occasion and with an impending Steel city derby on the horizon, we look at where those Wednesday players are plying their trade now. In total, over the two games, Wednesday used 18 players.


Grant is now at Burnley, where he was bought by Laws after the Owls relegation to League One. During his time at Hillsborough, he single-handedly kept Wednesday in many a game and is fondly remembered around s6.

McMahon played 15 games for the Owls during a loan spell and put in a solid shift at full-back in the first game against United, at Hillsborough. He returned to parent club Middlesborough and is now a regular in their side.

Still on the books at S6, Beevers has fallen out of favour since Gary Megson’s arrival and was loaned out to Milton Keynes Dons earlier this season. He played both games against the Blades in 08/09.

Spurr made over 200 appearances in total for Wednesday, and was on the score sheet in the second tie at the Lane. The academy product transferred to Doncaster last summer and has made the step up back to the Championship with little trouble.

Wood, now at Coventry, skippered the Owls and was an academy product, leading the side against the Blades in both games. A good servant to the club, Wood made over 150 league appearances for Wednesday before transferring to the Sky Blues in November 2009.

Now at Shrewsbury, McAllister was another to progress through the Wednesday academy before making the step up to the first team. He was caught with a high foot by Matthew Kilgallon in the first game at Hillsborough, leading to the defender’s sending off. He was an unused sub in the second game.

The winger is one of just three players still at the club from that memorable double. He was bizarrely shown a red card in the Hillsborough game after kicking a water bottle into the home crowd after reacting badly to being substituted.

The veteran made his final senior appearance in that game at the Lane, coming on as a late sub. He also scored the only goal when the two sides met at Hillsborough, with a sublime lob over Paddy Kenny. Most recently, Watson was part of the coaching staff at Huddersfield but left when manager Lee Clark was dismissed.

O’Connor was midfield enforcer for both games and was an underrated member of the side. He went on to figure for the Owls majorly until a surprise move to the States last month when he joined outfit Orlando City.

The Jamaican missed a penalty in the Hillsborough game, when he would have made it 2-0. Burton’s hold-up play was rightly praised throughout his S6 stay, before he eventually left for Charlton. Most recently, he was playing for Gabala in Azerbaijan under the stewardship of former Arsenal legend Tony Adams.

Tudgay scored three goals against the Blades during his Wednesday stay, but none will live in the memory more than his cracker against them at the Lane. His effort was to prove the match-winner and ensured he stayed in Owls folklore before moving on to current club Nottingham Forest.

The Dutch winger is now at League Two Swindon Town but he featured in the first game at Hillsborough, as a substitute for O’Connor. He later scored a world-class free-kick against United in the following season in a 3-2 defeat.

Sodje was a fans favourite at Hillsborough and scored against the Blades in his first season before featuring as a sub in the first game of this double. A series of injuries went some way to ending his spell at Wednesday, and after a spell in the SPL with Hibernian, he is now a free agent.

Jeffers signed for big money but ultimately didn’t warrant such a fee whilst playing for the Owls. A substitute appearance against the Blades in the first game was his involvement in the derby, and after Wednesday suffered relegation, he represented Motherwell in Scotland and Newcastle United Jets in Australia.

Buxton is still a first-team regular and he made his Owls debut just two days after that first win against the Blades. He started the game at the Lane, by which time he was fully settled into the side.

The veteran made over 40 appearances in a Wednesday shirt and was to finish his career with the owls. He featured in the second game, where he played a prominent role whilst on the left-wing. Gray is now a radio pundit with BBC 5live.

Potter featured in just the second of these games, playing centre midfield. He was a regular in the Wednesday side and went on to score against United the following season. After relegation, Potter departed to Milton Keynes.

Clarke started the Bramall Lane game and was a handful that day for the Blades backline. In his Owls career, he never really delivered and it was no surprise he departed after relegation. Now at Charlton, Clarke has since represented QPR, Swindon, Preston and Chesterfield.



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