ONE Wednesday fan has more cause than any other to hope that Jose Semedo does not get injured in training this week and miss the game at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
He is Mathew Gornall, aged 25, a Kop season-ticket holder from Doncaster and the man behind Semedo Day.
Thousands of Owls supporters will wear Semedo masks and display flags, shirts, scarves, balloons and inflatables in Portugal’s colours as a tribute to the popular midfield player.
Mathew came up with the idea after watching crowd scenes on the internet of a Borussia Dortmund game and thinking that a fun day would brighten up a Wednesday occasion.
So with a sell-out following of 4,300 going to Forest and Semedo being such a well-liked player, it seemed a “perfect fit,” says Mathew.
He posted the idea on fan forum Owlstalk and it took off, with others getting involved, officials of both clubs taking a helpful stance and supporter organisation Wednesdayite helping out with some funding.
Around 3,000 Semedo masks will be given out on coaches and outside the City Ground; and already more than 200 flags have been donated. Fans have also been asked to bring or wear their own items in Portugal’s colours, which are green and red - but red is not normally the most popular colour with Owls fans and the official invitation mentions green and burgundy!
Organiser Mathew added: “I’ve been humbled by the reaction of fans. Everyone who goes to Forest will enjoy it. It is is being done by fans for fans.”
But would not the party be spoiled if events on the pitch go badly? He responded: “Wednesday fans always laugh in the face of adversity.
“The ones who keep it going are the fans.
“The fact that all 4,300 tickets for an away game have been sold when we’re 20th in the table is not bad!”
He joked: “I’ve been hoping Jose Semedo doesn’t train this week so he can’t get injured!
“He’s one of the players who everyone seems to take to their hearts. He deserves a bit of recognition, and at the end of the day it’s a bit of fun.”
Semedo has been touched by the gesture, saying: “It is incredible that the fans are doing this. They have been amazing since I have been here.”
He won six Player of the Year awards after last season’s promotion campaign and is the subject of an oft-sung song, which goes “Oh, oh he’s magic, you know, you’ll never get past Semedo,” which is certain to ring out repeatedly at the City Ground.
Fans can at least feel pretty confident that a fit Semedo will be in the team.
Except for the home game against Bolton in September when he came on as a sub, he has started every League and Cup match.
He is likely to be in his usual defensive midfield role.