Sheffield Wednesday: "The city lights up" - former Owls favourite Gerald Sibon on the Steel City Derby

He waved goodbye to the Steel City 16 years ago but for former Sheffield Wednesday forward Gerald Sibon, a little bit of the Steel City Derby lives on.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 11th January 2018, 4:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th January 2018, 4:20 pm
Gerald Sibon
Gerald Sibon

"I am still in touch with my former neighbour in Sheffield but he is a Blade," the Dutchman laughs. "So there is a bit of rivalry between us."

After arriving in South Yorkshire in 1999, Sibon experienced both the elation and devastation that the Steel City Derby against United can bring and, ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides at Bramall Lane tomorrow evening, remembers: "The first time I played in that game was unreal.

"I had played for Ajax against Feyenoord and that is the big game at home here in Holland but it is not a city derby. This was a city derby.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

"It was a cup game and we beat them 2-1 in extra time at Hillsborough with a goal by Efan Ekoku. Wow. The people went mad and everything, it was great.

A year later we played them in the league and I scored a cracker. It was one of my best goals ever actually but we lost that game. It is nice to play those games because the city lights up. It is amazing."

Sibon, speaking to Sky Sports, saw the Owls slip out of the Premier League shortly after his arrival and Wednesday were forced to shift his inflated wages off their books, with the now-43-year-old moving back to his homeland to join Heerenveen.

"The first season [at Wednesday] was especially difficult," he says.

"There was not a good balance in the team. For me, it was hard to adjust. I came there with my style and everyone was expecting a different player to me. It also took me a little while to adapt. After four to five months I was OK and played from then on. Unfortunately, we went down and didn't come back.

"I was very expensive to the club because I was on Premier League wages and we were not in the Premier League. From their point of view I had to leave. From my point of view, I didn't. It was a nice city and I was enjoying Sheffield."