Owls’ final farewell to ace McAnearney

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WEDNESDAY today say farewell to one of their all-time greats.

The funeral of Tom McAnearney will be held almost within sight of Hillsborough.

He died last week at the age of 79 and is mourned by men such as Don Megson.

“Tom was fantastic,” said former Owls captain Megson.

“He had brilliant vision, was a good passer and had a really good work ethic; he was a thinking player.”

McAnearney was in the team that won Second Division titles in 1956 and 1959 and then earned the club’s best post-War finish - runners-up to the double-winning Spurs side of 1961; the Owls qualified for Europe and they reached the quarter-finals of the Inter Cities Fairs Cup in 1962.

Megson, who succeeded McAnearney as captain, said: “The only thing that stopped Tom from being really top drawer was a lack of a bit of pace. But he was a very good player and I really rated him.

“He would have the ball off anybody, any time. Even if he was off form he would still want it; in that case I used to say to him ‘ease up, play it easy’, but no, he would always want to play his way! When we finishd I realised he was right, in the end; it took a lot of courage to play that way.

“Today he would have been a midfield player something like Michael Carrick.

“Tom was a really good colleague. He was also a very golfer; he definitely had a handicap of between scratch and four.”

Don, aged 75, will be at today’s funeral and is likely to be joined by other former Wednesday stars.

There is a funeral service at Sacred Heart Church, near Hillsborough Corner, at 10am, followed by cremation at Grenoside North Chapel at 10.45.

The Owls team wore black armbands in the game against Stevenage after McAnearney’s death had been announced that day.