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Wednesday A-Z: 2/26: Band

Love them or hate them, there's no real middle ground, but we simply had to include the Wednesday band in our A-Z series.

Well, that's if they are still simply, the 'Wednesday Band', given their current position as 'England Band' over in South Africa for the World Cup.

I've heard they play a bit for Leeds Rhinos Rugby League side too, and don't mention the fact that a certain Mr. Hemmingham, the guy who started it all, went up to West Yorkshire to work for Leeds United for a while.

Despite all that, the 'Kop Band' made their name at Hillsborough, from their position at the back of the famous Kop Stand, before spreading their wings to follow England around the world.

I believe the tale goes something along the lines of John Hemmingham sneaking a trumpet into an Owls away game at Liverpool one season and it all grew from there.

A novelty to begin with, Wednesdayites loved it, and it slowly grew to become part of the furniture at Hillsborough on matchdays. Wednesday's support slowly but surely became linked with the band - they also used to go away from home when allowed by the home club - and they still remain today.

Those and 'Tango', they both loved the limelight during the glory days of the Premier League.

Like in Italy's Serie A (with the fanatic bloke with the drum at the front of the home support), the band used to orchestrate Wednesdayites in the Kop, and in turn helped to create a number of new songs which are now sung around the country.

It hasn't all been happy days for the band now - and it still isn't today - far from it.

The novelty soon wore off for a lot of Wednesdayites.

One-off songs soon turned into the band 'taking over' the support, drowning out any noise from the Wednesday fans themselves and banging the drum throughout the match, no matter what the score was.

They soon split the fan base 50/50, and even got a 'ban' from Hillsborough, or at least their instruments did, during Dave Allen's time as Wednesday chairman.

Many fans accused the band of killing the atmosphere at Wednesday, and many didn't want them back at S6 to play during the matches.

But on the arrival of Lee Strafford at the club as chairman, he quickly held a vote to see who wanted them back in their place at the back of the Kop during matchdays, and the consensus was that they could return for key games.

Sure enough, the Kop Band, for the time being at least, seem to be a permanent fixture at Hillsborough once again - we'll see how long that lasts.

As mentioned, the band have now become the official England Band, following the Three Lions all over the world - including the current FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

They're ever-present at Wembley for home England internationals and they've also been spotted playing for Leeds Rhinos Rugby League club.

I don't know what the future holds for the Wednesday Band - certainly not at Hillsborough.

But what can be said is that they're all die-hard Owls who would turn at S6 whether they had instruments or not.

I'm sure you've all got your opinions, but they're a a big part of Wednesday's recent history, off-the-pitch.

All together now...der der der deeeer!
The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday June 14 2010

Time: 10:22PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
lets hope they don't bring back some vuvuzela's!!
Report Abuse
15/06/2010 09:23:00

What would be worse - vuvuzelas or the band?
Report Abuse
15/06/2010 09:50:00

Vuvuzela, thought he was a new signing!!
Report Abuse
15/06/2010 17:15:00

They used to get on my nerves personally.
Report Abuse
15/06/2010 19:26:00


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