They may not be the richest or even the most successful at this very moment in time, but there’s one thing you can’t take away from Sheffield Wednesday and that’s their heritage. Founded in 1867 as an offshoot of the Wednesday Cricket Club, Sheffield Wednesday is one of the oldest football clubs in the world. We’re going to explore the history of this centuries-old club, as well as looking at how they’ve become the team that they have today.
As we mentioned before, Sheffield Wednesday Football Club actually started life as an offshoot of a cricket club. It used to be that cricket players gathered on a Wednesday to practice, as they all had a half-day on that day of the week. Whilst they loved cricket, during the offseason they didn’t have anything to keep players in peak fitness, so someone pitched a brilliant idea; a football team. The idea took off and The Wednesday Football Club was born. They played under this name for many years, until 1929 when they finally changed their name to Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, the name they go by today.
Just a year after the team came together, they put themselves to work creating a football tournament, where teams similar to them could practice. In 1868 the first Cromwell Cup was held and Sheffield Wednesday won it. Spurred on by this success, they went on to become founding members of the Football Alliance, which was created in 1889. It was that year that Sheffield Wednesday became the first champions and the year after they made it to the FA Cup Finals, but lost in a battering 6-1 defeat from Blackburn Rovers. Undeterred by their defeat, they continued with both the Football Alliance and were invited to join the Football League. It would be just 6 years later, in 1896 that they’d win the FA Cup for the first time, defeating Wolverhampton Wanderers at Crystal Palace.
The Early 1900s
The first couple of decades of the 1900s would be a difficult time for Sheffield Wednesday. Not only was their ground in disarray, as they claimed land in Owlerton to create a pitch big enough to house fans and games, they also suffered a few huge defeats, leaving them out of the top flight. As well as this, the break out of war created enormous problems for everyone, football teams included, meaning that from 1904 onwards, Wednesday were far from the top of their game for almost two decades. However, after a remarkable turnaround in the 1927-28 season, where they secured 17 points, saving them from relegation, Wednesday looked to be back on form. They stormed the League the next year, winning the title and starting a run of success which wouldn’t see them lower than third place until 1936. The whole saga was capped perfectly, by the team winning the 1936 FA Cup.
Top of the Premier League
Sheffield Wednesday was part of the push to form a Premier League, so it was wonderful news for the team when they were invited to join in the first year, 1992, after a successful previous season. Although they performed well in their first season in the premier league, they never quite made it to the finals. Their midfielder Chris Waddle was named Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers Association and many of their other team members were feared for their skills on the pitch. Indeed, even to this day, the Sheffield Wednesday of the 1990s was, in terms of technique and skill, the best team that Wednesday has ever had. There have been plenty of highs and lows since then of course, but even to this day, there isn’t a Wednesday-ite around who wouldn’t give anything to have Chris Waddle back in his prime.
Modern Day Club
Although the glory days for Sheffield Wednesday might not be quite over, their performance this season hasn’t been great. As anyone who keeps tabs on the League One standings knows, Wednesday finished in fourth place, which when you consider they were only relegated last year, isn’t such good going. Throughout the season, football betting sites regularly priced Wednesday as likely victors, but on no less than 9 occasions, they lost. SBO.net has a rundown of each of the bookmakers offering prices on UK football, including any bonuses that they might have available for people who want to bet on Wednesday’s fortunes next season. With Darren Moore behind them, perhaps Wednesday will scrape back into the Championship if they play strongly again next season, only time will tell. One thing is for sure though, with such a devoted band of supporters behind them, if anyone can make it happen, Wednesday can.