Memories that missed the cut!
An article left over from All Wednesday #2

One of the great things about pulling together All Wednesday edition 2 was that we got loads of great articles in, so much so that we found ourselves with more stuff than we could cram into our 64 pages. It seems only fair that if something had to go it should be one of the articles from one of the editorial team (me in this case). But rather than just binning it we're running it on here to give you something to read whilst we all wait for #2 to come back from the printers...

After the All Wednesday film had been available on-line for six days I put out a well-received tweet saying how fantastic it was that there had already been 28k views. However, I have to confess that at least six of those were me. Once we’d reached a point where we didn’t even need to put the DVD in to watch it, spending a bit of time every evening revisiting this brilliant film quickly became irresistible.

What starts to happen is that having seen it a few times you start to think about your own anecdotes from the occasions under discussion. I’m sure if he had a mind to, Matt Exton could easily drum up the material for All Wednesday 2 – The Sequel with loads more tales from people with their memories of The Big Days.

Take the 91 League Cup final for instance. That long-ago day we went down on a coach from The Rose House in Walkley. The chara set off a bit late as we had to wait for one lad who had clearly had a night of unexpected passion rushing to join us whilst still fastening his trousers up. We have always confidently said that such was the enormity of that day out (and indulgent driver) that ours was the last coach back into Sheffield (somewhere around 2.30 a.m. from memory) and coming down the Parkway we crammed on a load more Wednesdayites who were on the second last coach back and which had broken down.

As for the match itself it’s surprising that no-one in the film mentioned the soft toy craze that marked out that season whereby all manner of stuffed animals were thrown around from start to finish of every match. I have a vivid memory of us being in the terraces at Wembley waiting for the game to start and a little lad in front of us saying to my mate Martyn “here’s Bugs Bunny”. Mart had only half a second to give the youth a quizzical look before a huge stuffed replica of said cartoon bunny hit him smack around the back of his head. Another memory was as we headed back towards the coach after the game and some cock-er-nee chap winding down his car window and complimenting us on beating Man U on behalf of the entire nation.

The less said about the 93 FA Cup Final (and Replay) the better, but seeing the Sheffield semi again brought memories flooding back. Pre-match was unreal – eighty thousand Sheffielders wandering around on a Sunday lunchtime and bumping into people you knew like it was a Saturday afternoon on Fargate. The 1 o’clock kick off meant most of the masses were filling up on strong stuff in cans bought from the nearest off-license. The one where we bought ours from had a delighted shop-keeper who just kept repeating over and over the words “It’s my birthday!”.

The match of course was a source of deep joy, but the other weird memory is one of our many stop-offs on the way back being in a fairly miserable pub in High Wycombe. People might remember that a strange anomaly from the semi-day was that the Grand National was abandoned after they couldn’t get the start organised. So, in we go to this pub and this Wycombe type shouts “F---ing Wednesday fans. It’s their f---ing fault the National didn’t start”. Scary popped-up logic which seemed to garner some support from his mates. Beer quickly sunk and exit.

The 2005 Div One play-off in Cardiff was an absolute treasure. We were booked in for an overnight stay in Hereford with train journeys to and from to the stadium. We were away from Sheffield around half four in the morning and drinking cans of fizzy lager on the platform at Hereford station by 9.30 (which sort of felt like lunch time). Once we got to Cardiff we met up with loads of mates in a pub where we put “Singing the blues” on over and over again on the jukebox. As for the match it was the usual unreal Wednesday turnout and noise for what was an up and down game, and a wonderful victory that looked unlikely as we neared the end of normal time.

As we headed off for the train back to Hereford, a vivid memory was of a middle aged man bellowing down a passing traffic cone “who needs Maurinho, we’ve got Paul Sturrock-o” and then we were onto the train and off. Bizarrely that night saw a power cut across a big swathe of Hereford, but the pub we were in simply lit a few candles and carried on serving hand-pulled beer. Then a late curry followed by sleeping the sleep of the victors.

Like for everyone a strong recent memory was the Brighton home play-off semi in 2016, remembered chiefly for the noise and the glorious mobile phone light show. And in my case for having a well refreshed guy next to me who kept singing about Barry Bannan “a wee Scottish man, he’s better than me nan”. Then back to the Barracks for pints of beer and gallons of belief that this really was our year.  I watched the Brighton leg at a friend’s house five minutes away and after his and my family had finished dancing round his living room, by the time I got home someone had already booked the coach for a return visit to Wembley – which would be my first in its spivved-up trim. As for the final itself it was of course the best noise I’ve ever heard – despite some serious other contenders - from the Wednesday faithful (pundits were talking about if for days) but with no getting away from the blue and white wizards having an unlikely day of not turning up. Once the goal went in we knew that was that, and the ride home was a fairly glum one knowing that Carlos had finally woken up from his dream.

So just a few of my memories from all those years of being obsessed with Sheffield Wednesday. I know that everyone else will have their own vivid recollections; if we go again with All Wednesday #3 please do send some in.


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