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GET WITH THE PROGRAMME - Forest

GET WITH THE PROGRAMME - Forest

After a well-needed break, here we go with another edition of Get With the Programme. So far, each one has gone further back in time, and this is no exception, but I am going to have to revere this at some point or it will end up becoming Get With the Parchment…..

For our upcoming clash with Nottingham Forest, I have delved back to our opening home game of the 1992/93 season, so breath deep, relax and immerse yourself in the memories of better times…. (Unless you're under the age of about 30, in which case it serves you right for being so young).

The cover once again features David Hirst, this time in an aerial battle with Everton’s Dave Watson. The inset picture is of the finial of the South Stand, which had been redeveloped over the summer - more on that later. Now, I must admit I would have struggled to come up with the word ‘finial’ to describe it, but it was of course apt in a season that the Owls were to reach two finials. (Don’t worry, I know how painful that was, I wrote it).

Wednesday had, of course, enjoyed a successful season in 91/92, finishing third and qualifying for Europe. Most of the articles of the programme were therefore full of optimism, although Trevor Francis was quick to play it down : ‘I certainly hope nobody will imagine that just because we did so well last season we shall automatically win the Championship and the UEFA Cup this time round!’. Wednesdayites having unrealistic expectations? Come off it Trev, that’ll never happen….

Now, the younger readers who I mentioned above may be confused at this point. Winning the Championship? That’s what we’re trying to do now isn't it? And what the hell is the ‘UEFA Cup’?

Well, this was the very first season of the new ‘FA Premier League’ so most people had not moved on yet from calling the league title ‘the Championship’. And to whet the fans’ appetites, the hugely popular Rick Parry, Chief Executive of the Premier League, penned a little article titled ‘Curtain Up’. To be honest, reading it has made me feel a bit ill. Amongst the many promises made were:
- “…the pursuit of skills and a spread of eventful and inventive football……not just in the FA Premier League but in pyramid effect throughout the Football League and beyond to the basic roots of the game”
- “Our BSkyB/BBC TV contract…….will ensure an overall democratic coverage of matches for the fan at the fireside”
-“This will be a league of equality”
I’m sure that, after 25 years, we will all applaud the success the Premier League has made in ensuring it has stayed true to its original vision.

Anyway, back to the Owls. The South Stand had been redeveloped over the summer with the roof being raised ready for further development at an estimated cost of £1.8m. Or they could have just waited for a Lloyd Owusu goal.

The look of the South Stand after this stage was a bit odd to say the least as no additional seats had been added. There was therefore a huge chasm of space between the top and back of the stands and the start of the seats. And of course the finial had been incorporated into the new roof - I believe the last few moments before unveiling it were known as ‘the finial countdown’. Sorry, no more finial jokes I promise, that’s definitely the finial one.

There was also much excited talk about the new away kit. Nigel Pearson was keen to mention it in his captain’s notes : ‘…we wore our new away kit, which certainly raised a few eyebrows! Hopefully we’ll get used to it in time!” Er, it was just yellow and black stripes Nige, not see-through.

Supporters keen to get their hands on the new kit were advised in an ‘Owl Shop’ advert that it was ‘expected any day!’. There was of course no social media back in those days, so we can only assume that there were thousands of letters in the Green Un bemoaning the scandal of not having a kit ready for the start of the season.

There was an interview with the club’s new signing, a certain Chris Waddle. He had made his debut in the opening game at Everton (a 1-1 draw) but, unfortunately, had to go off injured in the first half. Chris had decided to sign for Wednesday over Leeds, Newcastle and Monaco. The interview was fairly bland except for the perplexing comment “I think I have been the same player for quite a long time, but I feel I am more consistent”. Nope, me neither.

Thumbing through a programme from this long ago really gets the nostalgia going, just small things like the adverts take your mind back. Who remembers Alfredo’s hair stylist, Freemans catalogue , Pitz Super Soccer, and of course the old David Ford advert below the team line-ups (no massive squad lists in these days, they didn't kick in until the season after). Tickets for the upcoming Arsenal away game were £8.00. Yes, you read that correctly, the decimal point is not a mistake. I think £8 these days might just about get you a cup of tea at the Emirates - I am exaggerating of course….probably just the tea bag.

In opposition

With only two pages on the opposition and the bare eleven listed on the back, there isn't as much info on the opposition as we’re used to ignoring these days. Forest didn't half have some cracking players though : Stuart Pearce, Roy Keane, Teddy Sheringham, er, Terry Wilson and, um, Gary Crosby.

In addition, there were two future Owls loanees in the Forest line-up (Mark Crossley and Nigel Clough - with the former of course scoring more times for us than the latter), and a future Owls manager in Brian Laws at right back.

The game

Despite a good opening result against Liverpool (the first Sky televised game), Forest were really going to struggle in this season, with the great Brian Clough cutting an increasingly sad figure as things went on.

Wednesday took the lead after 15 minutes when Hirsty took a pass from Paul Warhurst and rifled home from the edge of the box. Despite being well on top, it took until the 76th minute for Wednesday to double their lead, Hirsty again with a 30 yard deflected effort.

Hirsty really was on the top of his game at this point, but of course it was only a few weeks until that fateful game at Arsenal, this was probably one of the last games when Wednesdayites really saw him at his best sadly.

Next time

Brentford are up next, not too many to go at and I might even go a bit controversial with my choice….

Discuss this and much more on our forum which you can find HERE...

Unread article 08/09/2017 at 17:41

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