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So far in Get With the Programme, you may have noticed that I have only included games that Wednesday won. Well, not this time. And for the first time in this feature, I am going to demonstrate my Derren Brown abilities……

So, it’s back to the 2004-05 season we go, Saturday 11 December 2004 to be precise, for what was a relatively rare visit of the Bees to Hillsborough. Now hang on a moment, I hear you all say, surely there was a far more memorable home game against Brentford in this season? Sorry, but for this edition I thought I would buck the trend – after all, as we all know only too well, supporting Wednesday is not just about the wins and the glory.

Both teams arrived in this game as play-off contenders, with Brentford one place and one point above the 8th placed Owls. Manager Paul Sturrock was bemoaning the midweek home defeat against Hull, where the visitors ran out 4-2 winners. Whilst admitting that Hull were one of the best teams in the league, Paul was not pleased with his sides defending : “Things were happening that should never occur from professional footballers”. It should be remembered at this stage that Sturrock was relatively early in his Wednesday career, certainly by this stage many Owls fans were more than used to seeing defending that should never occur from professional footballers.

A further sign of the times could be found in ‘Boardroom News’, where the club gleefully announced that, following the recent re-election of Messrs Addy, Grierson, Hulley and Wright to the Board, a certain Dave Allen had “resoundingly defeated” two resolutions at a recently called EGM, a vote of no confidence and a resolution to remove him from the Board.

Now, I know Mr Allen was not popular with all supporters at this time, and some of the names above send a chill through the spine of many of us, but the names put forward by Roy Hattersley as bringing the two motions are absolutely terrifying : Jim Harrison, John Hemmingham, Joe Ashton and Ken Bates’s lawyer Mark Taylor (not the ex Wednesday midfielder I assume). These were dark days indeed off the pitch.

The feature interview in the programme was with goalkeeper David Lucas, somewhat surprisingly described as a ‘good healer’. To be fair, Lucas did well in his time with Wednesday, and he was undisputed number one at this stage. The article promised a teasing insight into how David honed his powers of concentration, which turned out to be reading as often as possible. David was obviously an inspiration to Wayne Rooney in this regard, who has spent the whole of his career on his favourite book and is now very close to finishing The Very Hungry Caterpillar following his recent return to Everton.
Some of you may remember that the programme used to feature a quiz competition between the players, with Lucas going up against captain Chris Marsden in this edition. Marsden actually appears in several places in the programme, including modelling the club’s home kit, alongside Adam Proudlock wearing the silver away kit. I guess the club were keen to highlight the range of sizes available. (£24.99 for a shirt by the way).
I’m sure you’re all itching to know who won the quiz – well, it was Lucas, mainly because Marsden thought there were five members in Queen. For God’s sake Chris, have you never seen the video to Bohemian Rhapsody?

The club were clearly trying to increase their commercial income at this time, particularly in the run up to Christmas, and there were several events advertised. These included a Ladies’ Night with Stallions, who apparently were showing off, amongst other things, their “chiselled cheeks”. I never realised the facial features were of that much interest in such events.
Anyway, this event surely paled into insignificance against the following March’s spectacular ‘Peter Kay Experience’. Peter was a real star even back then so it was a pretty impressive coup for the club to……..hang on a minute…….ah, no it was actually “the UK’s only Peter Kay tribute Mr Lee Lard”. And they were selling tickets three months in advance. Both events featured the promise of a “two-course hot fork buffet” – I don’t actually know what one of these is, but I’m sure it made the Stallions a bit nervous.

In opposition

Brentford had a decent League One side at the time and had a few ‘names’ in their team including future Owls players Deon Burton and Michael Turner. Jay Tabb, Stephen Hunt, Sam Sodje were also handy at that level.
I was also somewhat surprised to see John Salako in the squad, and his mugshot in the visitors section showed him looking no different to his heyday of the early Nineties – or in fact how he looks now for that matter.

The game

Wednesday looked odds on to win the game when Turner was sent off in the first half and Steve Maclean converted the resulting penalty (of course he did).
However, the visitors’ tactics, and the increasingly bizarre behaviour of their manager Martin Allen, were to frustrate the Owls in the second half, and with the last 10 minutes approaching Alex Rhodes burst through to equalise. It was scarcely plausible that Wednesday could draw the game given the circumstances – and they didn’t. Burton twisted and turned to slot home the winner a few minutes later as Brentford ran out 2-1 winners.
The overriding memory for me of this game was ‘Mad Dog’ Allen’s conduct, it was like having a pub team manager on the touchline. Even after being sent to the stands, he insisted on standing in the directors’ box and ranting and raving like a lunatic. Fair play, he did compliment us after the play off semi and I know for that reason he is liked my many Wednesdayites, but I never warmed to the bloke after seeing him in this game to be honest.

Next up

It’s that lot from across the city, which programme have I gone for?
Oh yeah, the Derren Brown bit. I confidently predict that whilst reading the third paragraph of this article you thought about Ashley Westwood. Am I right?

Come discuss this game mentioned in Get with the Programme, OR our upcoming game with Brentford on our forum which you can find... RIGHT HERE...

Unread article 11/09/2017 at 19:56


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