Vital Football

Latest Sheffield Wednesday News

Blast From The Past - 1997

Blast From The Past - 1997

Ten years ago, Owls fans had a season much like the one we've just witnessed, although at Premiership level.

Off the back of a creditable performance the previous season, 1997/8 (like 2007/8) began with a terrible start. Losses to Newcastle and (oh, the embarrassment) at home to Leeds instantly put David Pleat's side on the back foot. A point rescued by Paolo Di Canio away at Wimbledon gave travelling Owls fans (including myself) some relief that day.. but a greater shock was to come.

Next up, a tough test for any Premiership team: a Bank Holiday Monday evening game at Blackburn. I lived in Brighton at the time, had to be in London bright and early the following day but hey, it's a Bank Holiday: what's a guy to do but have a few jars in the afternoon with his mates?

The particular pub we'd settled into had great beer.. but no Sky. Kick off time approached, and no one else cared about the football but me. I hadn't set the video: earlier in the day I was convinced I'd watch the game somewhere in town. I racked my beer-fuddled brain but there was no Sky screen nearer than my house and as I'd left it far too late, that's where I had to go, and quickly. Extricating myself from the good company and ales round about the time the teams were coming out, and ignoring calls to stay, I legged it up the hill and home. I knew I'd be late, but I wouldn't miss much. Six, maybe eight, minutes tops. No problem.

Into the house, on with the TV.

We're two down.

As I found out during the half time re-run, Kevin Gallacher headed home a Stuart Ripley corner for the first and finished off a cool Jason Wilcox pass for the second. Shattered. My heart in my boots already, another pressing need took over.. get rid of the beer. Quickly upstairs for a pish.

I'm out of the room. Benito Carbone pulls one back (Paolo Di Canio crossed for Guy Whittingham to provide the assist). I missed it.

Three goals have gone in and I've not seen any of them.

Well, never mind. 2-1: I settled into my armchair. Come on, we can do this, we're back in the..

Graham Hyde heads into his own net. Ten minutes gone. 3-1 down.

Ewood Park is rocking and further misery was piled on. 19 minutes: Gallacher crosses from the right to Chris Sutton who lays the ball on for Wilcox to score. Five minutes later Sutton gets in on the act himself for his fourth of the season, and Blackburn had been totally rampant for half an hour.

At which time, Andy Booth takes a knock and David Pleat brings on.. Steve Nicol. Oh that's going to work fine, Pleat, what are you trying to do, defend a lead we don't have? I'm sure there was a reason for it, but it was lost on me at the time. Too subtle for me, maybe.

Paolo did miss a golden opportunity shortly after though, played in by Beni. And that gave me hope. Half time, 5-1 down and I still think we can rescue it. You do, don't you? Sometimes it just happens: call it blind faith but you still think your team can do it.

Whistle blows, second half, game on. Wayne Collins and David Hirst come on for Des Walker and Guy Whittingham. I am now totally tactically baffled by our manager. Let's face it though, look on the bright side, it can't get any worse. But what's this? Oh my lord! Beni blasts in a 30 yard screamer, I'm out of my seat and the revival is definitely on. We're looking lively, at least. We're 5-2 down but showing promise. We can do it.

And then, if it hadn't gone pear-shaped enough, the match becomes a giant inflatable 40 foot high pear with the words 'you should have stayed in the pub' printed on it.

Gallacher finds Lars Bohinen at the back post for him to score the sixth. Beni gets sent off on the hour for butting Gallacher. Ripley crosses for Sutton to complete the rout, 7-2. There's still 15 minutes to go. Glassy eyed and immobile, I watch the rest of the game. I physically can't move. I've done ten rounds with Mike Tyson and I don't want to get up. I've had worse Wednesday experiences, but..

Ten years ago, we finished just above the relegation spots, much like this season. The years to come were hard ones, but we got through them. Time is a healer, and I'd discover many moments of joy along the way in later years to lessen the pain of nights like the Blackburn game. If there is a lesson, it's this: make sure you enjoy the good times, and have faith. Take the hard knocks, and come back stronger than ever. It's what being a fan is all about, isn't it?

I'm glad I didn't stay in the pub that night.

Blackburn: Filan (Flowers 64), Kenna, Hendry, Ripley, Gallacher, Sutton, Wilcox (Dahlin 57), Flitcroft, McKinlay (Bohinen 44), Pearce, Valery. Subs not used: Andersson, Broomes

Booked: Pearce

Sheffield Wednesday: Pressman, Atherton, Nolan, Newsome, Walker (Collins 46), Whittingham (Hirst 46), Carbone, Booth (Nicol 32), Di Canio, Hyde, Blondeau. Subs not used: Oakes, Clarke

Booked: Hyde, Carbone, Hirst

Sent off: Carbone

Attendance: 19,618

Referee: Jeff Winter

Read more about classic Wednesday matches and memories in our Archive here.

Writer:Auckland Owl
Date:Tuesday May 13 2008
Time: 9:00AM

Best of Vital Network

Comments

0
we had two great games in the league that year. mirrored results at hillsborough and oakwell! still think di canio should have been sent off at your place!
mattyg
13/05/2008 11:29:00
0
try actually going to the game on a family coach n having to sit in the blackburn end that was a ball ache n i was only about 8 years old, didnt carbone break there keepers leg aswell (im sure sum1 did)
smiggyswfc
13/05/2008 15:17:00
0
I was in Vratza, Bulgaria at this time. The match was on Sky Sports - a rare opportunity to watch a game of my favorite club live. Watched it with two friends of mine - Liverpool fans. Their laughs, the humiliation... I will never forget this day till the rest of my life :)
RatherRandomOwl
13/05/2008 21:02:00
0
very good read aukland - as hard as it is to say credit where credit is due fella
bladesforlife1889
13/05/2008 23:38:00
0
you are so predictable pigforli
Looney Tune
14/05/2008 00:04:00
0
what so i now get hammered for complimenting ppl? verry strange
bladesforlife1889
14/05/2008 00:56:00
0
Thanks bfl.
Auckland Owl
14/05/2008 01:21:00
0
its good to read articles that have been thought about as these do tend to take a long time to put into words. the article above is probably one of the best i have read on any vital site. As a blade it even brought a smile to my face as these acts are often carried out by many of us - nice one auckland.
bladesforlife1889
14/05/2008 01:34:00
0
good read Auckland mate. I remember watching the game on sky that night, crikey it doesnt seem too long ago! How time flies! Which reminds me, what ever happened to Patrick Blondeau??!
johnnywalker69
14/05/2008 09:30:00
0
Wherever it is johnny, hopefully it's far away from S6.
Auckland Owl
14/05/2008 10:03:00
Page 1/2
  1. 1
  2. 2

Login to post a comment

Recent Sheffield Wednesday Articles

How predictions alter as #Euro2016 progresses - K/O Stages

Alex Roberts continues his look at #Euro2016 as it progresses to the last 16

Are Players Set For A Football Exit?

With the country narrowly voting to leave the European Union in Thursday's Referendum, there are certainly plenty of real questions that have to be addressed in terms...

Prices And Allocation for #swfc At Cambridge

Wednesday travel to Cambridge United in the first round of the EFL Cup and details of the tie can now be confirmed

Wednesday Sign Leicester City Defender

Wednesday have signed former Leicester City defender Elliot Percival on a one-year contract

Archived Vital Wednesday Articles

Vital Wednesday articles from

Site Journalists

Ed Jepson
Editor email
Profile
Greg Pursehouse
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Happy or Not if we sign Ryan Gauld from Sporting Lisbon?
Suggested By: Vital Wednesday
Happy!70%
Not!30%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Burnley 46 26 15 5 93 37
P Middlesbrough 46 26 11 9 89 32
3 Brighton 46 24 17 5 89 30
4 Hull City 46 24 11 11 83 34
5 Derby County 46 21 15 10 78 23
6 Sheff Wed 46 19 17 10 74 21
7 Ipswich 46 18 15 13 69 2
8 Cardiff 46 17 17 12 68 5
9 Brentford 46 19 8 19 65 5
10 Birmingham 46 16 15 15 63 4
11 Preston 46 15 17 14 62 0
12 Q.P.R. 46 14 18 14 60 0
13 Leeds Utd 46 14 17 15 59 -8
14 Wolves 46 14 16 16 58 -5
15 Blackburn 46 13 16 17 55 0
16 Forest 46 13 16 17 55 -4
17 Reading 46 13 13 20 52 -7
18 Bristol City 46 13 13 20 52 -17
19 Huddersfield 46 13 12 21 51 -11
20 Fulham 46 12 15 19 51 -13
21 Rotherham 46 13 10 23 49 -18
R Charlton 46 9 13 24 40 -40
R MK Dons 46 9 12 25 39 -30
R Bolton 46 5 15 26 30 -40
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Sheffield Wednesday Results (view all)

Sheffield Wednesday Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.OurMaurice25
2.dooleys left leg16
3.swfcjambo1
4.John Bingham1
5.beverley owl1