Fans flock to Owls’ clash with leaders

Eager support: Wednesday supporters are snapping up tickets for Saturday's match and are top in the League One attendance table
Eager support: Wednesday supporters are snapping up tickets for Saturday's match and are top in the League One attendance table
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ONE of the biggest League One crowds of the season is set to be attracted to the first v third clash at Hillsborough on Saturday.

Early indications lead the Owls to estimate that around 25,000 will be drawn to their match against leaders Charlton.

Tickets have been selling at the rate of 1,000 a day, and sales for home areas are exceeding those that were taken in the run-up to the recent visit of another one of the Owls’ promotion rivals, Huddersfield.

Wednesday are asking fans to buy early if they want to be sure of getting the best possible seats.

Charlton’s following is expected to be around 1,500, but their fans can also pay on the day so the size of their contigent will depend partly on how many of them do that.

The Addicks will not be as well supported at Hillsborough as Huddersfield or West Ham, who each had around 3,500 at the Leppings Lane End.

The attendance for the Huddersfield match was 28,600, Wednesday’s and the division’s biggest of the season.

The Owls’ next best were crowds of more than 24,000 for the games against Chesterfield and Tranmere.

Wednesday top the League One attendance table with an average of 20,041. Sheffield United are second with 18,374 and Charlton third with 16,949.

The second-best League One attendance this season has been 28,136 for the Sheffield derby at Bramall Lane.

As the Owls get set to commemorate the Hillsborough derby of Boxing Day, 1979, with a dinner and reunion on Saturday, February 25, an appeal has been launched to find Tony Toms, who was the club’s fitness coach at that time.

Players Ray Blackhall and Jeff Johnson have been found after event organiser John Green appealed for information in The Star last week.

“Relatives got in touch,” says Green. “Ray is still in the police force, though in Wimbledon rather than Kensington; Jeff Johnson is in Manchester.

“I’m still trying to get in touch with Tony Toms; I believe he still lives in Sheffield.”

Most of the players from the 1979 side plus manager Jack Charlton will be attending the Hillsborough function and watching the game against United the following day.

The FA Cup fourth-round tie at Blackpool has been confirmed for Saturday, January 28, 3pm.

David Prutton’s stunning volley against Rochdale and solo effort at Oldham came first and second respectively in a poll of Owls fans to find the club’s entry for the Football League’s Mitre Goal of 2012 award. Jermaine Johnson’s spectacular strike against Exeter last season came third.