When was the last time we honoured a Sheffield Wednesday player? I was trying to think when we last had a testimonial to show our appreciation for one of our own. It was harder to establish than I imagined.
Wednesdayites debated about the subject online. Was it Kevin Pressman? Turns out it wasn’t. He declined a testimonial later on in his Owls career because he claimed to Sky Sports he was receiving “hate mail” from fans who said he wasn’t fit to wear the shirt.
Other names were suggested. Nigel Worthington had one against Derby County in 1993 and Lawrie Madden’s was back in 1990 but the last one I can establish was David Hirst in 2000.
Hirst’s testimonial was a sparsely attended event on a Sunday afternoon, where some of the Premier League Allstars didn’t turn up and players like John Pemberton had to fill in.
Prince Naseem Hamed played upfront, Des Walker scored and Hirsty didn’t manage many minutes due to the amount of timber he was carrying.
So it’s been 17 years since we honoured a player for their service to Wednesday. I know testimonials are as rare as hen’s teeth these days but it feels wrong not to pay tribute to someone how has given their best playing years to our club.
Players may not need to the money to set them up for retirement anyone but I still think if a player has made a significant impact at the club he should be celebrated.
The reason I started thinking about this was seeing Jose Semedo getting a few substitute appearances in recent weeks. Each time he has come on the pitch he has been cheered for every pass and his name sung by every fan. You can’t help but think we’re cheering like this because there’s a possibility that this could be the last time you see him play as a first teamer.
And just think of the possibility of Cristiano Ronaldo in a Wednesday shirt. He still wouldn’t make it into Wednesdayites’ hearts like Jose has.