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31 December 1969

Owls Blog - Automatic Promotion?

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    As the season enters the business end firmly now one of our regular Owls Blogger Rory McAllister, The Southern Owl, brings us his April blog.

    Rory, from ‘darn sarf’, follows the Owls the length and breadth of the country and is hoping the season ends on a high note whether that be at the beginning of May or at the end of May.


    "Dear Wednesdayites!

    Could it really happen? Could we really achieve automatic promotion? Well, a few things need to happen. First, we need to beat Huddersfield on Saturday (at time of press!) and The Blades need to slip up somewhere. Having studied The Blades fixture list, and ours, I can’t quite tell where their slip up could happen, on the last day of the season, perhaps? For the final fixture on 5th May The Blades are away to Exeter, a ground we’ve struggled at (5-1 anyone?!) meanwhile, we’re at home to Wycombe. Thing is, the last thing we need is Wycombe scrapping to stay up. We could do with them slumping in, or pulling clear of the relegation zone – both are unlikely though! Ahhhh, the life of a Wednesdayite – constantly living on the verge of a heart attack worrying about your own team’s results as well as hoping other results go in your favour. Why can’t we just ‘do a Charlton’ and pull clear? Well, we wouldn’t be Wednesday then, would we?!

    This week, 3rd April, marked the 19th anniversary of the all-Sheffield Wembley semi-final. I don’t need to bang on about how much I love Chris Waddle, and his free-kick that day, as anyone who’s a regular to this blog with know about the Waddle worship that occurs here. 19 years though. Amazing, huh? 1992-1993, it was a great season if you liked trips to north-west London and cup final losses. And defenders becoming overnight strikers (Warhurst anyone?). And Wednesday having the best midfield they’ve ever had. At least we had a half-decent finish in the first season of the Premier League, mind. The point is, I wonder if this season will become an ‘anniversary’? We’ve only lost twice at Hillsborough this season (at time of press) and our time away from home hasn’t been too bad, which reflects our position in the league I suppose. Dave Jones hasn’t lost as our manager (at time of press) and our recent performances have looked solid. If you were at Leyton Orient, we could’ve won 33-0. We didn’t though. We’re Wednesday, after all. Just a scraping 1-0 will do. 3 points, a win’s a win, cliché cliché etc etc. Reda. What a player! Love him!

    Speaking of Leyton Orient, I met some great Wednesdayites in the Birbeck, a pub we all used on the day. One bloke, Dean, couldn’t believe I’d been a Wednesday far for near-on 20 years even though I’m not from Sheffield. He couldn’t believe my commitment to the team and my support travelling up and down and across the country. I told Dean there were more of ‘me’ than he would perhaps expect (non-Sheffield born supporting Wednesday). “How do you explain our away attendances?”, I asked him. “We’re Wensdee. Big club”, he said. Spot on, fair point. “But do you think they’re all from Sheffield?”. “We no,” he said “I expect fans have moved away for work purposes but still follow and support the club”. Well, yes, they do, but Sheffield Wednesday is a big club because it has idiots like me who are daft enough to follow and support them. People like me who don’t hail from Sheffield, or live in Sheffield, therefore can’t go to Hillsborough week in, week out or buy season tickets. Saying that, I did hear of one bloke who moved to Southend and STILL travels to Hillsborough for Saturday home games – now THAT’S commitment! Dean and I finished our pints and concluded that regardless, it didn’t matter where fans were from, the fact they bleed blue and white and turn up to support Wednesday was enough. Even still, I absolutely admire fans like Dean who are from Sheffield, bleed Sheffield Wednesday and are so proud to be a Wednesday fan and of Yorkshire ilk. It’s great to see. You don’t really get that pride down here in Berkshire.

    Back to fixture lists for now though. I’ve got two Wednesday trips left, Brentford away if I can get a ticket, then Wycombe at home for the last game of the season…or is it?! With the prospect of play-offs looming it could be another trip to Wembley. I know. I don’t want that either, but sure enough, it’d be a laugh. The problem with Wembley is you’re either on cloud 9 or slumped outside the stadium with a half-tipped pint and a scarf around your neck looking like a beggar. The good thing is, if that did happen, there’s bound to be hoards of Wednesdayites to cheer you up. Would that feel familiar? Of course it would! See?! We’re USED to losing – and dealing with it – especially Wembley losses. We pulled it off at Cardiff with (I think I’m right) the biggest away attendance for a football club at the Millennium Stadium, but it was a gamble that worked out for us, thankfully! I’d still have preferred it if we’d gone straight up. Saying that, it was a great day, even though I didn’t make the trip (I know!) and watched it at home on the telly.

    Personally, and I’m sure you’re the same, automatic promotion and a celebration at Hillsborough would be my number one option on Saturday 5th May at around 16.47pm. Wembley may only be 45mins from my house, but I haven’t been to the new stadium and I’ve no intention of going there either. If we make a play-off final, then sure, I’ll be there with bells on. And my Wednesday shirt singing as proud and loud as I can…


    (Gets you right there, doesn’t it? - *thumps fist on heart*)

    See you at Brentford (hopefully) and then at Wycombe, regardless of where we are in the league!"

    Rory The Southern Owl
    Follow me on Twitter @rory_mcallister


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