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The Southern Owl

Not from Sheffield but why I'm a fan

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Dear All!

I saw a similar thread here and thought I'd post you my story. I'm not from Sheffield either and have recently started a monthly blog for Wednesdayite.com - since the site has had many problems recently (ie. trying to even view it) here's my first blog. Hope you'll accept a humble Southerner who's madly passionate about Wednesday - to the point of tears. If you're interested read on:-

Here's my first blog from Wednesdayite.com posted in January 2010:-

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Dear Wednesdayites,

Hello - first up I'll let you know who I am. I'm Rory, 31, engaged, mortgaged-up, with a girlfriend of eight years and a Westie called Ruby who's two and a half. I live in Ascot, Berkshire and have been a Wednesday fan for 17 years. It's a long story as to how I started supporting Wednesday, in a strange way I just had a soft spot for them. On the whole, it was mainly to do with Chris Waddle's arrival and the football season of 92-93 - and I'm sure you don't need reminding of that? And yes, I suppose it was the following reasons too - I'm including our 'gift' to Manchester United with the Premiership title - Fergie and Brian Kidd on the pitch falling to their knees, fists clenched. Only a side like Wednesday would be capable of that, right? But that's what makes us unique, I supose. We can do things other clubs can't. Like loosing two cup finals in a row and gifting teams Premiership titles. And pushing over refs placing ourselves on football yesteryear gaff reels for years to come.

Other than that, I don't think we've been that bad a bunch over the years - sure it's been a roller-coaster to cliche it - but I did read somewhere we hold some sort of record for the amount of away fans brought to Cardiff for a play-off match (or any other club match for that matter). That's not bad is it? How many other clubs who haven't won anything significant in 19 years can say that?

So - why - as a 'Southerner' should I stick with a team with whom I have no affiliation with whatsoever? I don't come from Sheffield, neither do my parents, grand-parents or previous pets. My love for Wednesday goes back to being a kid from Berkshire I suppose. Reading were really the only local side worth a punt, but through those times there wasn't a lot to be had supporting The Royals - and I do believe you need some sort of head start when supporting a football team. I suppose my other point is just that at the time (and I still think this way now) there's a difference between a 'follower' and a 'supporter'. There's nothing wrong with either, except that I think that a 'follower' looks out for the result, keeps the odd eye on transfers and league position etc whereas a 'supporter' chucks their money the club's way by attending matches, buying scarfs, shirts and those cushions you can get in the Owls Megastore - and becomes a member of an affiliated site - like Wednesdayite or Owlstalk.

A supporter. That's what I wanted to be. I'd always thrown myself into whatever I was doing with full passion and since crying and feeling like a dumped tramp after the FA Cup replay that Thursday night in May 1993, I knew I was hooked. I'd never got upset over a football match before - not even during/after England's semi-final against West Germany three years prior. Thing was, I knew there was a strong connection to both matches. Chris Waddle. He scored in the replay from his 'wrong side' of the pitch even though he's a left-footer which would make it his 'right side', surely? But do you know, to this day I don't think I've screamed and cheered as loud as I did watching it on the telly. The match, and the club felt important to me. I'd gone to far by this point with other aspects around Wednesday. I'd stuck my neck out at school, said I was a Wednesday fan and was surrounded by Arsenal fans on the playground. But I stood my ground even if they made me feel like a loser. I felt proud to be a Wednesday fan and proud of what they'd achieved. If it was Paul Warhurst's season of defender becomes striker or Waddle's brilliant semi-final Gazza-esque free-kick I don't know? But something had happened.

It felt great to be different. I'd never had a draw toward any of the London teams - even when Waddle was at Spurs (I've always been a Waddle fan). I'd got into football during Mexico '86 and then kept an eye on things but never really got too worked up about it until Italia '90 rolled around - then add to that is the Wednesday story which I've outlined above.

Anyhow - that's my story - albeit briefly. It's been great to meet fellow supporters over the years - more so recently since I've joined Wednesdayite.

I'll hope you'll all accept me as one of your own - you have done so far - and I apologise for having the wrong accent. Although I've never felt conscious cheering for Wednesday either at Hillsborough or away from home against the likes of Reading or QPR - I've also never been asked if I was "in t'wrong end, lad?".

I love being a Wednesday fan - I really do. I've always had a story to tell as fan and I hope to be back on a monthly basis with this new blog for 2010. Thanks to Richard at Wednesdayite for the invite to do it. If ever I get anything wrong, feel free to batter me to a pulp, but go easy - it was never my intention to be inaccurate about anything.

I look forward to meeting some of you and sharing half-time and full-time opinions.

Until next time, when hopefully we'll have put even more points on the board and continue our creep away from the relegation zone, we'll blog again then.

UP THE OWLS!

- Rory

(Extract from Wednesdayite.com - The Southern Owl Monthly blog)

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Nice read mate.

How often do you get to the games? Seems a few around your way that travel up fairly regularly.

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Games? Have done Reading home and away this season. Also Leicester away in December - also going to Coventry, QPR and Cardiff over the next few weeks...

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I have no idea why I support Sheffield Wednesday TBH, was born on a Wednesday, favourite colour is blue, spent a few summers of the early 80's at my Aunties who lived in Sheffield (well Rotherham but who'd ever want to admit living there? Is Swallow nest Rotherham?) anyways, from the early 80s on I supported Sheffield Wednesday.

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Re post to a new thread!! Only really got in to football when I was around 9 or 10, I never really followed a club but I enjoyed playing. I was born and brought up in Bedford and most kids supported the london clubs or of course Man "un" UTD. My dad is from Palo Alto near San Francisco USA he got posted over here ( US AIR FORCE) married my mum had me and they stay in Bedford to this very day.When my dad got out of the Air Force he started a job in Bedford and met a guy from Sheffield, now my dad being a septic tank had never seen a football or ummm soccer match before so this kind guy from Sheffield offered to take him along to a game(not sure what game)and after that he was hooked. I started getting Wednesday Shirts for birthdays and Christmas and started going to the games with my dad we would mainly go to the away games around London but I would always pester him to get up to Hillsbourgh. It was always funny to me as I am used to being the only Wednesday supporter and going to Hillsbourgh and seeing all them Wednesday Fans would take my breath away!!Now all grown up and in the Marines I get asked this question so many time's " Why do you support Sheffield Wednesday"?Ill Tell you why Your Team Picks you not the other way around, its not about where your from its about what the club means to you and Wednesday is my life, I may not get to many games any more but they are the first thing on my mind when i wake up and the last thing on my mind when i go to sleep i feel sick when we lose and overjoyed when we win. I have to say one last thing it was the fans that really made me proud to be a Wednesday Fan Iv taken my mates who support Millwall. Spurs,Gunners,Luton and they all have said that we were the best fans they have seen.Long live the Owls

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hiya , just av to say that im not really a "poster" on here, usually a "reader" only , but i av to say all previous posts were cracking reads. great to see how others away from sheffield somehow find that urge to follow a team thru thick and thin. great stories those. hope ur faith keeps on cos we will return a force soon. i hope.!! in the meantime well done and Up The Owls.

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i was born into it, as was my brother. i went to games, he didn't. now he supports man u. keeping it all in the family isn't as easy as it used to be considering where we are now, but i've done a reight job of converting my girlfriend and younger brother. guessing their reasons would be "because aussie does".

give me wednesday over any other team any day of the week. one of my mates [man u fan] was on facebook whinging that they didn't make the champions league final. football's no fun to support when winning's an expectation rather than a bonus.

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told this story a few times but one more won't hurt

Me and mum where over in england visiting family and friends. We were staying with mum's friend in sheffield who had a son who has a mad wednesday supporter, as a leaving present they gave me a wednesday shirt(95-97home shirt) so i thought oh yeah i'll follow them but being aussie wasn't really a big football fan. Then in 2005 the new australian professional league started an i was in love with the game. After a season of following melbourne i wanted an english team to follow (like all my mates did) i tried to follow a premiership team so i could watch them each week with people but i never felt anything for them and everytime i looked at scores i just wanted to know how wednesday were doing.So i just didn't fight it and just supported wednesday

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I live virtually on the doorstep, but I'm always proud to read any stories about anyone else's journey in becoming a Wednesdayite. UTO

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Chris Waddle is also the reason I support Wednesday. I was born in Bradford and my dad(lifelong city supporter) took me to city games as a young kid. Then I saw my first non Bradford City game on TV & was blown away by Waddle. I nagged my dad for weeks to take me to Hillsborough, eventually he took me and I have been a supporter ever since. My dad took a liking to Wednesday during all the times he took me during my teenage years, but he won't admit it lol

Edited by WaddleTheLegend
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My Dads family are from Manchester and support United, growing up I never really liked football but said I supported Man Utd to keep him and the school yard happy. My Grandad was in a shop with my brother and picked up a Wimbledon video so they became my brothers second team so he got a shirt, Monkey see monkey do I wanted a second team. In a play ground my best friend at the time asked if I had a second team, I said no and asked him to which he replied "Manchester City and Sheffield Wednesday" so I decided on Wednesday as i liked the name. A few weeks after this chat my Gran died just before my 10th birthday. To ease the blow to four young children we were allowed an expensive present for our birthday. I asked for a Sheffield Wednesday shirt, after much "now is that what you really want?" I finally got it (I didnt know the colour of the club untill I got the shirt) which was the first puma kit in 1993. I then became hooked got the black away shirt the next season and was taken to my first game (the 0-0 home draw with Everton in the 1994/95 season) My dad hid tickets in a map book and asked me to check for directions when we were driving up to the game. I had no idea but imagine how happy I was. I will never EVER forget the first time I saw Hillsborough that day either. We were truely lost in Sheffield and I just happened to be looking out out the window going down Herries road and seeing the Kop appear with a huge owl and "SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY - HILLSBOROUGH" written proudly over it, even my brother who had become a blackburn fan got that excited too. I am now a season ticket holder and go to most away games, I dont have the accent but I'm just as passionate.

Edited by devon_owl
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I was born in London, my family are HUGE Fulham fans, we moved to Dronfield Woodhouse (probably the wrong side of town to be an Owls fan!) when i was about 2.

I remeber vividly, as a youngster, my Uncle gave me a xmas present (must have been about 6) - it was a bl**dy Manchester United scarf, which i promply binned. I was taken to my first game at Hillsborough that year by my dad and brother when newly promoted Fulham came to town in 1982/3 season - in a close game the Owls beat them! That was it - hooked. My then home town club, beat my 'family's' club... I wanted to be different, Wednesday were my team.

Players like - Varadi, Sterland, Worthington, Shirtliff, Megson, Shelton - are names I grew up with...

I went to school, makes me laugh hearing your comments on team allegiance in the playground. Even at my school I was an outsider - it was either the Blunts, Man Utd or Liverpool (massive team then)... I bet it must be Chelsea nowadays!!

I came down south in the late 80's, following me dad's work. We'd still see Fulham vs.The Owls with me standing there with a blue and white scarf at Craven Cottage. I'd come home, me Mum would say "You don't live in Sheffield any more - why don't you support a London team?"

That just isn't possible. It wasn't about being different - there was a story attached to 'MY' fooball team.

I may have lost my broad Yorkshire accent fairly quickly, but my club still remains. I remember that Dalian Atkinson goal against Man Utd, 2-1 i think we won... prompting me to give my uncle jip down the the phone!!

I guess those memories seal it, like Waddle for you. Sadly those memories are just that... I hope some good times are round the corner!

Edited by SouthernOwler
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Whover you are, wherever you are YOU ARE ALL WELCOME AS WEDNESDAYITES :biggrin:

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I was born in Middlesbrough, lived there for the first 5 months, and then grew up in Bedford, with no interest in football. I had a cousin who supported Luton, and all the kids at school were the usual Man U, Arsenal, Liverpool, etc. I watched Bedford play rugby, but that was it. I went to Nottingham Uni, then Derby, lived in Sheffield briefly, and have stayed more or less in the Matlock area for the last 30 years. The interest in football developed late, initially through being persuaded to watch the world cup, and getting drawn into it. By the time I got to the stage of wanting to follow a club team, I had no obvious affiliation, so could basically choose, the obvious options being Derby, Forest, or the Sheffield clubs. I picked Wednesday initially because I didn't know anyone else who supported them, so I wasn't favouring any of my mates teams; because I had lived near Hillsborough, and it was the first ground I ever saw; because I am a country person and don't like cities, and I can drive to Hillsborough over the moors, park near the Wadsley Jack and wander down. These are rationalizations though, I basically woke up one morning, decided Wednesday, started going, and fell in love with it. I tried going to Forest too, for a while, to keep my options open, but that felt wrong. I now understand what people mean when they say Wednesday chooses you. It was a process of growing into it, because it was new and I didn't know anybody, but now I'm obsessed. That's my confession!

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I'm just a really bad glory hunter. It was the early 90s I was 6 or 7 and Wednesday were doing well at the time and lets face it, when you are 6 or 7 a team called Sheffield Wednesday is far more interesting than L**ds Utd or Man Utd etc. Then later found out my Sheffield born Uncle was a Wednesday fan (apparently in a family of blunts) so I thought that was pretty cool too and he taught my cousins well as they are Wednesday fans.

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IM FROM SHEFFIELD BORN AND BREAD FROM THE SHEFF UTD END OF THE CITY.IN THE 80S MY MUM AND DAD TOOK ME TO HILLSBOROUGH.SEEING THE KOP AT 10YEARS OLD.THE NEW ROOF HAD JUST BEEN DONE ON THE KOP IN1986.IT WAS OUT OF THIS WORLD.SO MUCH HISTORY.THE FANS ARE GREAT ITS LIKE A PARTY ON THE KOP WHEN IT WAS STANDING THAT PLACE WAS LIKE MY 2ND HOME.IM 35YEARS OLD NOW AND STILL LOVE IT JUST AS MUCH AS I FIRST DID.THANKYOU MUM AND DAD AND R.I.P ALSO THANKS FOR MAKEING ME BLUE AND WHITE,STILL IN LOVE WITH THEM AND ALLWAYS WILL BE.UP THE OWLS, :biggrin::rolleyes::biggrin:photo-thumb-26242.jpeg?_r=1340403867

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The 92-93 season did it for me. As someone else posted above, you don't choose your team. Your team chooses you. I regularly go to see Queens Park, my local team (I have lived in Glasgow all my life and currently live about 10 minutes walk from Hampden Park), and get to watch Milan every week on TV, but SWFC was my first and only true football love.

Ever since those games at Wembley there's been no getting away from the Owls, even if I might have wanted to. I had just turned 10 a couple of months before the League Cup final. The next 5 seasons or so were some of the best for the Owls in the professional era, so I consider myself a little bit spoiled in my early teens. I was still only about 16 when we started to slide and I remember being less inclined to tell people who I supported. I would probably have ditched them if I could.

But it just doesn't work like that for everyone. Not everyone can just shrug their shoulders, say "well they're crap now so I can't be arsed" and move on to following Man United or Arsenal. I'm glad I'm not one of those people. I'm proud to be a supporter, not a follower. I'm proud to be an Owl.

Edited by CarefulFM
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Gary Bannister touched me where my swimming trunks went, and told me that I was his wife now.

Been an Owl ever since.

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Seen as though this thread has been resurrected I thought I'd add my two penneth, not that it's all that interesting.

I first really became aware of football (that I can remember) while my dad was watching the 'hand of God' game on the tele (Mexico '86). Being too young to really understand the importance of the game to us as a nation I was fascinated by this little bloke who did things with a ball that seemed like pure magic and it promptly insisted that from that moment on my middle name was Maradona, and I made sure that people knew about it, I wrote it on each and every school book I had.

Around that time my dad realised I was getting into the game in a big way and bought me my first football kit, being just after the miners strike of '84 and being from a mining family we were pretty skint though so my dad took us to a little shop near us called Jack Greens (which subsequently was inherited by and run by Russ Green who was once linked to us in the Turner takeover). My eldest brother was a typical 'glory hunter' and plumped for the Liverpool away kit, my other elder brother doted on my uncle and was fascinated by the whole Clough story (more than the club) so chose a Derby kit because my uncle was a Derby fan (until he was a year or so older and realised it was Clough not Derby that he loved and he turned into a die hard Forest fan aged about 7). Now me, being a fresh faced kid aged about 4-5, didn't really have a specific club. My dad is a Barnsley STH and took us all to games now and then but to give him his dues he let us all pick our own club and our own kit with no pressure aside from that we mustn't pick Leeds or Man United! It was around this time my dad and his mates happened to have taken me to a game just after David Hirst had left for Wednesday, being a local lad to us in the Pontefract area my dad and hi mates were miffed, to say the least, and I was fascinated by him and began to notice him more, naturally I followed him to Wedesday without even realising it! I seriously didn't understand my dad's perplexed state about it all, I just knew he was my hero and he played in the magical (albeit different tone) blue and white stripes that I had witnessed that little Maradona bloke wearing and for me that was it, I needed those blue and white stripes.

So, back in that little sports shop, I pointed to a blue an white striped kit. Nobody understood why, but bless my dad's heart he stumped up the cash and I was the proud owner of, erm, a QPR kit. For a few months I insisted that i was Hirsty, regardless of what anyone said, until I started to get Wednesday posters for my room and realised what I'd done haha! My dad, bless him, shelled out for me a replacement Wednesday shirt soon after because he felt bad. He took me to various Wednesday games too, but insisted that I went to Barnsley games too (I think it was his way of hoping I would switch because he was a STH and it meant he had to fork out to take me to S6 when they were away on top.

From 86/87 that was it, the Owls were my love. I was offered the chance to train with Barnsley with a view to a YTS deal (or whatever the 'eck they were called back then) when I was a young lad and my dad was over the moon, I had been in and around the Donny youth setup for a few years (Donny were then in the wilderness) and he not only saw it as a big step up but had dreams of his lad pulling on his team's shirt in front of his mates. At the time my best mate was playing for us in our youth setup and his dad had been taking us to games home and away for years and was always trying to get me a foot in the door at S6 so I turned Barnsley down. My dad was distraught. Utterly. To this day he keeps all the paperwork in an envelope in his bedside table and for years he would bring a framed letter offering me a youth player position at Barnsley down whenever I brought a lass home, which confused the feck out of them all.

So yeah, that is my little account of how I became a lifelong Wednesday fan and, erm, proud owner of a tiny QPR kit. All because of Diego's blue and white stripes and a bloke from Cudworth.

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