4,500 miles from Hillsborough - meet the Sheffield Wednesday fans who cheer on the Owls from other side of world

If you're a Sheffield Wednesday fan who thinks its a bit of a trek across the city to Hillsborough, then spare a thought for these Owls supporters.

Tuesday, 31st October 2017, 10:40 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 11:36 am
Sheffield Wednesday fans in America.

For the New Orleans Owls are a group of Wednesday exiles on the other side of the globe, cheering on Carlos Carvalhal's team from the deep south of Louisiana in the United States.

And they aren't the only Wednesday fans donning the blue and white stripes in both North and South America.

The New Orleans Owls are just one of several groups of fans on the other side of the Atlantic officially recognised by the club after a string of Wednesday fans in far flung countries were brought together under one banner.

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Members of the New Orleans Owls.

Owls Americas sees weekly meet ups in several cities across both North and South America plus a podcast to keep fans in touch with all the latest from Hillsborough.

The group merges pre-existing supporters clubs, including the New York Owls, Brazil Owls, Sheffield Wednesday Argentina, Toronto Owls, New Orleans Owls and Portland Wednesday, to create one huge community of fans on the continent.

Lifelong Owl Paddy Jones, 36, who formed the New York Owls in 2012, helped to create the new organisation and aims to grow its fan base even further.

He said: “Owls Americas was created to bring together the supporter groups across the American continent and forge a community inspired by Sheffield Wednesday.

Members of the New Orleans Owls.

“We want to attract new fans here and help existing ones find fans in their area and start their own supporter groups.

“The main aim is to grow the fan base in the Americas and create fun experiences for fans here watching games together.

“Now that we can watch every game on iFollow, fans will have more exposure than ever to Sheffield Wednesday and we wanted them to see that there's plenty more Wednesdayites around and they have a voice through Owls Americas.”

He continued: “We're the largest group of English fans outside the Premier League. The New York Owls have had around 60 fans down at The Football Factory bar for some of our biggest games.

“We've had loads of fun with tourists in New York who often spend the whole day with us.”

After forming earlier this year, Paddy says the aim is not just to reunite Wednesdayites living in the Americas, but also to recruit new local members.

He added: “The biggest note here is potential, there's a massive passion for soccer here in the US and fans are looking for English clubs to support all the time.

“Rafa, who runs the Brazil Owls, is gaining new supporters in Sao Paolo and has had a few meet-ups.

“Portland had their very first meeting recently and we have fans in Toronto, San Diego, Indianapolis, New England and Florida all looking to start something soon.”

The Owls Americas meet up regularly to support Wednesday from afar and Paddy says the groups from Argentina, New Orleans and New York have only missed a couple of games all season between them!