Former Owls skipper Nigel Pearson hails unsung heroes of Sheffield Wednesday's 150 years

Former Owls players John Harkes, Nigel Pearson and Mark Bright at the 150th anniversary event at Pond's Forge
Former Owls players John Harkes, Nigel Pearson and Mark Bright at the 150th anniversary event at Pond's Forge
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It was a night when the great and the good came to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Sheffield Wednesday's formation.

But for all the legendary players and managers that were in attendance at Pond's Forge on Monday night for the gala event, it was the hard-working men and women behind the scenes that drew praise from one of the club's most successful captains.

Nigel Pearson led Wednesday to that memorable League Cup final win over Manchester United at Wembley in 1991 and promotion back to the top flight in the same season and it was he who took the time to pay tribute to those who aren't always in the public eye.

Pearson praised the people who work behind the scenes at Hillsborough, for their part in the successes at the club over the years.

"As footballers we are lucky to experience success from time to time but it doesn't happen all the time you've got to understand the people you work with, players, staff, support staff they are part of the fabric. Even to spend time with people I've not seen for a long time here and the turn out for people associated for a long time, speaks volumes for the club."

He later added: "It's great to be a part of the club's history. I'm very privileged to work with some very special people, people who worked for the club over a sustained period of time. What makes football clubs special is how they are run and how they are talked about, eras in which everyone knew everyone. I don't think that's something we should ever turn away from, I think it's still possible now and it's important that, whatever your role is at the football club, to be valued is very important and this club has that in its DNA."

Pearson joined the Owls from Shrewsbury Town and spent seven years there before moving on to Middlesbrough.

"It is a club which I feel very close to, always have done, I spent seven years here which is not the longest period but its been a very important part of my career and to meet up with people today has been unbelievable."

The 54 year-old also paid tribute to the support shown over the years by the club's fans. Speaking from the stage at Pond's Forge, after having it put to him by master of ceremonies, Mark Clemmit that Wednesdayites are 'a tough nut to crack', Pearson suggested that wasn't the case at all. And even went on to compare the supporters of rivals Sheffield United.

"I think they are very (supportive), if you look at both sides of the city, Wednesday fans are very tolerant and very supportive and its important moving forward as well," he said.

"If you look at Carlos, what hes trying to do, the club's been close in the past two seasons hopefully this year they'll go one step further. Ultimately the Championship is a very difficult division to be a success in, as I know myself, but as long as the club's moving forward and trying to do the right things, it's a great football club and hopefully at some point will be back in the Premier League, though there's no divine right to be there."