Sheffield Wednesday urged to do more to recognise dedicated employee

Sheffield Wednesday will pay tribute to employee Bob Odams at this weekend's match against Newcastle United at Hillsborough
Sheffield Wednesday will pay tribute to employee Bob Odams at this weekend's match against Newcastle United at Hillsborough
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Friends and family of a Sheffield Wednesday steward who died last month are pushing the club for a bigger tribute to him on game day.

Wednesday has said it will put a message on the big screen recognising the passing of long-time employee Bob Odams.

The club will post a message to his family during the Championship game against Newcastle United on Saturday.

There will also be a piece about him in the match day programme.

His friends are pleased Mr Odams will be honoured, but they want the club to do more.

They are calling for applause in the 68th minute - Mr Odams was 68 - of the match at Hillsborough.

It's worthy, they say, of a man who dedicated his life to the club.

Mr Odams worked for Wednesday for 42 years as a supervisor in the West Stand.

His friends say they have asked the club to do more, but Wednesday representatives deny an official approach has been made.

One friend, who didn't wish to be named, said he didn't wish to be disrespectful in asking for more from the club.

"What they're doing is good, and we appreciate it," he said.

"But all we wanted was the applause in the 68th minute.

"We just wanted it for all the fans to see."

He referred to the fans applauding young Sheffield kickboxer Scott Marsden who died on March 14.

Wednesday and Sheffield United held minute's applause for Scott at their respective matches.

Mr Odam's friends say there's no reason Wednesday can't do the same for him.

"I just find it disrespecful, if I'm honest with you," his friend said.

"The chairman is always saying it's a family, and we're all part of his family.

"If he'd have been just a fan, we could understand, but he worked there for 42 years.

"His whole family are Wednesday fans."

Stewards, his friend said, sometimes get a bad reputation.

"We just wanted the fans to see they are human," he said.

Wednesday spokesman Trevor Braithwait said the club was inundated with requests of applause at matches, and they simply couldn't all be fulfilled.

Mr Braithwait said a minute's applause was traditionally undertaken at the first game of every calendar year in honour of fans and members who had died during the previous 12 months.

He looked forward to recognising Mr Odams' contribution to the club.

"Obviously, he'll be in the thoughts of everyone come the next time we do the minute's applause," Mr Braithwait said.

Mr Odams died after a battle with liver cancer.

He is survived by wife Julie and son Darren.