Have you ever really loved Boro’ if you’re yet to spend a Valentine’s Day night watching us win at Sheffield Wednesday? Well, of course you have. Duh! It is, however, one of our big highlights as a League One side; a 1-0 victory at their place in 2012 complementing a 5-1 blitz indoors earlier on in the 2011-2 season. But, for a long time, just the idea that we’d ever play a ‘big’ team like them on equal terms seemed so out there. When we first began knocking the ball around on the King George V playing fields, who knew it was the start of an odyssey that’d take us to Hillsborough?
And you can probably argue that Owls fans wouldn’t have their club down as a future league opponent of little old Boro’ when they were in their top flight pomp.
Now, as we suggested at the top, the Owls probably count as a ‘big’ team in English football. It’s also worth knowing that we’re gonna have to hit the fast forward button a few times. Otherwise, we won’t get to the juicy bits. Fundamentally, their story starts back in 1867 – famously to give a cricket club called The Wednesday something to do during the winter. In Yorkshire, that’s a long time to spend too. To be fair to them, the got into the habit of winning trophies early doors too.
After 1935, the major honours dried up. It was the year that delivered a third FA Cup – and came five years after winning their fourth (and currently final) English league crown. For a little bit of trivia, the Owls were the side who came second to the Double-winning Tottenham Hotspur side of 1961. Anyway, fortunes took a real nosedive during the 1970s as they dropped down as far as Division Three. In the grand scheme of their history, it was blip. But one that’d be repeated.
Why do we know the Owls?
In the 1980s, the club pushed themselves back up the ladder and they were among the glorious 22 clubs to invent football in 1992 with the formation of the FA Carling Premier League Ship. The bigger boys started to swamp them and, by 2000, they were heading out of the top flight. To this day, they’re yet to return. Instead, recent years have seen them spend their time in at lower end of the second tier – if not having to fight back against the tide in the third.
And that’s where we come in.
In 2010, the Owls dropped out of the Championship. Their first season in League One saw them finish a lowly 15th too. We can only guess they found it hard to get used to life back in the third tier. Their continued presence in the division, however, coincided with our first appearance in it; Boro’ promoted at the end of the 2010-1 campaign to take our place among some luminaries of the English game. Well, fallen luminaries. It’d be quite the experience for little old us.
How to get to Sheffield Wednesday – Travel Information – Distance: 148 miles
You have the option of travelling north on the M1 and the A1 for this journey, although we’re going with the M1 because it’s slightly shorter and slightly quicker. Good enough reason, surely? Following the northbound M1, leave the motorway at Junction 34 for the A6178 towards Sheffield Meadowhall and Rotherham. Take the second exit at the roundabout for the centre of Sheffield.
Go straight over one roundabout and continue onto Attercliffe Common. Keep right at the fork and continue across the junction to pass the Etap Hotel on the left. After this, turn right at the next junction onto the A6102 Janson Street, continuing over three roundabouts for 3.5 miles. As you continue through a small area of woodland, the ground will appear directly in front of you.
Street parking is an option if you arrive in advance, while other possibilities include some unofficial car parks along the A61 that will demand a few quid for the pleasure. The A61 is the main road that runs perpendicular to the A6102 that you came in on. Your options are therefore limited to public transport, but taxis will no doubt be able to cover the distance in a matter of minutes.
Services to: DONCASTER (for STEVENAGE)
We’ve had a look, and it’s estimated that covering the distance between the train station and Hillsborough on foot would be a) foolish and b) lengthy. It is the best part of three miles and will be at least an hour to walk.
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