A tearful Ross Wallace has described the vocal backing Sheffield Wednesday received in their agonising Championship Play-Off final defeat to Hull City as the best he has ever witnessed in his career.
More than 40,000 Owls fans roared the team on at Wembley as Mohamed Diame’s spectacular 72nd minute ended their hopes of promotion to the Premier League.
Wallace, the hero of the Owls’ semi-final triumph over Brighton, said: “We’re really thankful for the support we got out there.
“That support was like nothing I’ve ever witnessed before and I’ve played at Celtic. I’ve seen Champions League nights at Celtic Park and a lot of big nights. That was definitely the best support I’ve witnessed. It was just incredible. They are a real credit to the club. They should just be so proud of themselves.
“The fans were outstanding and came in their numbers as they have done all season. I just want to thank them on behalf of the players for their unbelievable support. We’re all disappointed for ourselves but we just wanted to do it for them so much.
“We are going to try and come back stronger next year and hopefully deliver something for them.”
Diame’s 10th goal of the campaign ensured Wednesday missed out on a huge cash windfall, estimated to be worth at least £170m.
“It hurts a lot,” said Wallace, who was taken off in the second half due to a dead leg.
“It is a bitter pill to swallow. All the guys are gutted. We’ve put a lot of effort into this season.
“We were disappointing and, at the top end of the pitch, we just didn’t create as many chances as we would have liked.
“We had plenty of guys on the pitch to create chances and score goals but it never quite happened.
“Credit to Hull. They sat in and their game plan was to hit us on the counter attack and they scored a good goal.”