"I was gutted to leave.." Sheffield Wednesday favourite looks back on Hillsborough exit
“You always look back on your old teams and I was gutted to leave Wednesday. I definitely thought I had another year left in there..”
Ross Wallace looks back on his three-year stint with Sheffield Wednesday with nothing but love. Aside from, perhaps, just a tinge of ‘what might have been’.
The now 36-year-old, who insists he has not retired despite holding a youth coaching role with Premier League Burnley, was speaking after playing a starring role in a charity match for a Wednesday legends team last weekend.
Looking back on his Owls departure, he revealed he had a new contract tabled to extend his stay beyond the summer of 2018, but that it was taken away after he suffered a nasty knee injury in the February of that season.
“Jos was the manager at the time and he told me I was getting a contract and then I got injured and they obviously took it away so that was disappointing.
“These things happen in football but I loved my time there. I still look back at the club fondly and with lots of great memories.”
The injury was suffered early on in Luhukay’s reign, in a controversial defeat at Millwall in which the Dutchman played Wallace as a false nine with no striker.
“We had loads of injuries at that time so I was playing loads of different positions,” Wallace remembered.
“I think I played up front against Millwall when we had Atdhe and Lucas on the bench, which bamboozled me. But I am one of those players that tries to do what I can for the team. I ended up front and I picked up a knee injury.
“A couple of weeks later, I got the news that they were not going to renew my contract after telling me that they were but that's football.
“I have been in football long enough to know that these things happen. I was at the other end of 30 but I definitely had another year in me.”
The Scot was a key part of the Owls teams that achieved back-to-back playoff campaigns under Carlos Carvalhal, scoring 13 times in 124 appearances for the club he still keeps a close eye on.
He left at the age of 33 but feels he could’ve given Wednesday another year.
“It bamboozled me why I didn't get at least another year because I was one of the main players,” Wallace continued.
“When I spoke to him [Jos], he seemed really happy with me. He was trying to get people playing in and around me because Baz [Bannan], Forestieri and loads of other players were injured.
“I was doing well but I think the reason why I didn't get another contract is because I did my knee and I was the other side of 30. I thought I had done enough in the years previous for them to at least ask me to come back for pre-season and see how I looked and assess it then but clubs make decisions.
"I still love the club and I still look back. I had a brilliant time.”