FORMER Wednesdayite Viv Anderson will always have a soft spot for the Owls but he wants both Sheffield clubs to go up this season.
Anderson captained Wednesday back in the early 90s and also played alongside new United boss Danny Wilson at Hillsborough before working with him as part of the management team at Barnsley.
He remains good friends with Wilson and hopes that he will help the Blades bounce back and that his former club, Wednesday, are up there with them.
“It’s a very important season for both clubs,” Anderson told The Star.
“Both clubs in my eyes belong in the higher echelons of the Football League and it’s sad to see them both playing in the third tier.
“They’ve both got great support and the fans deserve to see them playing higher up.”
Anderson proved to be an inspired signing for Wednesday. In the twilight of his career, he added experience and a winning know-how to the Owls backline and helped them to both cup finals in 1993.
After that he moved to Oakwell as player-man
ager and brought in Wilson to coach and play. When Anderson left for Middlesbrough, he ensured that Wilson stayed on and he later took Barnsley to their only ever season in the top flight.
He knows Wilson well and thinks he and Owls boss Gary Megson are the right men to take both clubs up.
“Gary’s got his heart in the club and he’s also a very good manager. If you can get success at Sheffield Wednesday you’ll have around 30,000 supporters coming in week in, week out,” he said.
“I spoke to Danny recently and I think he’s got to get a few players out before he can bring some more in. But he’s seen it all before. I’ve followed him as a manager all over the place, most recently at Hartlepool and Swindon, and he’s always done a good job.”
Anderson now runs an events company as well as working for the TV channel of another of his former clubs, Manchester United. He still keeps an eye out for Wednesday’s results.
“I think Wednesday have strengthened well and I saw that they got a draw with Leeds and they’re a good outfit so that bodes well for them,” he said.
“Obviously pre-season is different to league games but I think they’ll be up there come the end of the season.”
In a career spanning just over 20 years, Anderson became the first ever black player to represent England, winning 30 caps. He also won the European Cup at Nottingham Forest and was awarded an MBE in 2000. He has been inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame and been voted into Forest’s greatest ever 11.