Sheffield Wednesday: Why Owls favourite will never forget Steel City derby win

Chris O'Grady celebrates his Steel City derby goal with Jose Semedo
Chris O'Grady celebrates his Steel City derby goal with Jose Semedo
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Playing in and winning a Steel City derby is a special feeling, just ask Jose Semedo.

The combative midfielder regards the last meeting between the two Sheffield clubs as one of his best moments in football.

Wednesday prevailed in Gary Megson’s final match in charge, claiming a 1-0 victory at Hillsborough in February 2012.

Semedo famously celebrated Chris O’Grady’s winner by falling to his knees and raising his arms aloft to the sky. The Portuguese player featured prominently in the build-up, culminating in O’Grady heading in Lewis Buxton’s pinpoint cross.

In his book, ‘Win The Day’, Semedo says: “It is the most beautiful memory of my entire career in football.

“It was the biggest derby I have ever played in and when we scored the winning goal, I went down on my knees and thanked God.

“Thinking back, the moment I got the ball and created an opportunity to score, it feels like I had no control over what I did. It happened so quickly and instinctively, it as if it was written in the stars. It was an extraordinary experience that I can only put down to an intervention of faith.”

Wednesday went on to pip United to the second automatic promotion spot.

Of all the managers he has worked for, Semedo admits he learned the most from Megson, likening him to his childhood friend and former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.

“In some ways, Megson and Ronaldo are similar,” he says. “For both of them, losing is simply unacceptable and not in their vocabulary.”

Megson and his successor Dave Jones were polar opposite characters, according to Semedo. “Jones was at peace and very calm, whilst Megson wore his heart on his sleeve,” he says.

The 30-year-old also enjoyed working under Stuart Gray and given an insight into his man-management skills.

He says: “I learned he was a manager who goes the extra mile to treat everyone in the club exactly the same. It is the first time in my pro career that I have been in a dressing room where no one has a bad word to say about the head coach.

“It is so easy for the players who are not being picked to criticise the manager. With Stuart Gray this does not happen: he always has his reasons and explains exactly why he has made his decision in such a way that you don’t go away feeling too despondent if you are not picked.”

Semedo turned down the opportunity to return to his homeland in the summer of 2014. Primeira Liga Marítimo, then managed by Semedo’s good friend, Leonel Pontes, wanted to sign him.

But Semedo says: “Although this offer was very flattering at the time, again I knew my home was at Sheffield Wednesday. It is like when you find the woman you want to marry and you know she is the one for you: this is how I feel about this club. The club is my soul-mate in the football world.”

*‘Win The Day’ is on sale now, priced £14.99, at the Owls’ Megastore. For more information, log on to http://wintheday.alburybooks.com/home/wintheday

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