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31 December 1969

Owls Blog - Wednesday 'till I Die

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    Now the Owls are safely promoted to the Championship Owls blogger, Ann Barker, blogs about the conclusion to the season. Ann works in Bradford and has always supported the mighty Owls. She has a commercial pilots licence, two Springer Spaniels who go wild if you say 'Sheffield Wednesday' and she loves Chris Waddle with all her heart.

    "One match I will always remember was at Hillsborough in April 2004. I had been living in Japan for the 2 years previously and was really excited to be going back to see the mighty Owls, even though we had dropped into League One.

    I remember really looking forward to it, seeing the fans and feeling the atmosphere at Hillsborough again. I felt pretty much the same sort of excitement that I did on Saturday.

    It wasnt until I was sat in a half empty stadium that reality set in. The Attendance was 20,464, it was still possible for us to get relegated into oblivion and there were angry chants toward Dave Allen and the board. It was horrible, and that was before we lost 0-1 to Colchester. I walked away from that match bitterly disappointed, and wondering what had happened to my club.

    One thing that really haunted me that day was the chant 'Wednesday 'till I die', it was pretty much the only chant that the fans could seem to be able to muster up in such depressing circumstances.

    It wasn't a song that day, it was more of an angry statement about an affliction we all had, a cross to bear for the rest of our lives but one that we were used to, and had come to terms with. Like parents of a delinquent child we wanted to show that no matter what, no matter how much heartache it would cause, we would love Sheffield Wednesday forever.

    Its amazing to think that just 8 years ago everything was so different.

    When I got into the ground on Saturday I was ecstatic; seeing the inflatables and the full stadium, feeling the atmosphere, hearing the singing - everything was just magical.

    Just before kick off my eyes filled up as the enormity of it all set in. I'm an optimistic (you know that because you know I'm a Wednedayite) but for a minute the realist in me came out - we still had to win a game.

    In that moment I just wanted to cry; for everyone celebrating before they had reason to, for the players who would walk out and realise the pressure they were under, and for the 2 young lads in front of me, knowing that they already had inherited the Sheffield Wednesday gene. Of course I didn't allow myself cry, I was fully in control of my emotions, and instead I sang, cheered, clapped and bounced.

    Like everyone, I was really caught up I the euphoria of the day and there's no way I could try to describe what happened or how. I remember doing my individual uncontrollable thing we all do when a goal like that goes in. I then remember screaming as I saw the 'shhhhhhhhh' on the scoreboard. The tears were just streaming down my face at this point, and the rest is pretty much an ecstatic haze.

    Our players weren't just footballers on Saturday, they were heros who played their hearts out for the fans. They soaked up the atmosphere when they could have let nerves taken over, they showed us they knew exactly what it meant to us when they could have just played for their wages, and they celebrated with us, as if they were the biggest fans in the stadium.

    The day was perfect in every way and I know how much it meant to every single Wednesdayite around the world. I think we were all touched by the Wycombe supporters ("this city is yours"), and the supporters from around the UK who have since congratulated us on our promotion. That sort of thing just won't happen in the battle for the Premiership.

    So now we are in the Championship, we have a brilliant manager, we have learnt to trust Milan, and he has declared willingness to spend over the summer. Things are so much better now and I love the positive feel around the club at the moment - it genuinely makes me believe we could be back where we belong in the not too distant future.

    We have all had some pretty miserable times at Hillsborough, and even though Cardiff in 2005 was amazing, it was so good to have a party like that in our very own fortress. Personally, my favorite part of the day was hearing the fans singing 'Wednesday 'till I die'. The singing on Saturday seemed like a million years away from that miserable day in 2004. This time it was sang, not chanted, and with a completely different meaning. This time we sang it whilst positively beaming with pride.


    Follow Ann on Twitter @knightswfc  


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