Full time blows for Sheffield Wednesday player Ivor Seemley, who dies aged 85

Ivor Seemley in the 1954 FA Cup semi final
Ivor Seemley in the 1954 FA Cup semi final
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He played in an FA Cup semi in front of a 75,000 crowd, took on the job of keeping the great Tom Finney under control, and later played with a young Gordon Banks.

But now the full time whistle has been blown on the long sporting life of Sheffield Wednesday player Ivor Seemley, who has died aged 85.

Ivor Seemley, Owls player from the 50s.

Ivor Seemley, Owls player from the 50s.

Ivor’s spell with his beloved Owls in the mid 1950s coincided with one of the club’s best cup runs of the period.

The left back from Shiregreen played in every game in 1954 as Wednesday went all the way to the FA Cup semi-final - coming unstuck with a 2-0 defeat to Preston North End at Maine Road, Manchester, due in no small part to the efforts of the aforementioned Mr Finney.

Ivor’s son-in-law Alan Hall said he hadn’t had the best preparation for the biggest game of his career.

“Ivor always blamed my wife for keeping him awake the night before the semi - she was three months old and screamed all night!” he said.

“This was long before the days of being taken away to a hotel to prepare for a big game.”

The cup run had begun in the best possible style with a 3-1 win in a third round replay at Bramall Lane against the old enemy United. Chesterfield, Everton and Bolton were also dispatched.

Alan said: “After the replay at Bramall Lane, Ivor waited for the near 41,000 crowd to disperse, then he walked from the ground to Bridge Street where he caught the bus back to Shiregreen.

“He was also a big mate of Derek Dooley. In the early days of his career he used to get the circular bus from Hatfield House Lane to Hillborough with Derek. On match days they would get an early bus and play snooker before the game.”

Ivor went on to play for Stockport County and Chesterfield, where he played with a young keeper just starting his career, Gordon Banks.

A good all round sportsman, he later played for Shiregreen cricket club, Firth Park tennis club and played golf at Concord Park with a 12 handicap.

Ivor was a lifelong Owl, having watched his first game at Hillsborough when he was just six years old in 1935.

He was a big fan to the end with a season ticket on the kop, seeing his last match against Nottingham Forest in August.

Ivor, who lived at Sheffield Lane Top, leaves a widow, Dorothy, a daughter, Gillian, and a son, Martyn.