Sheffield Wednesday fan column: The power of the game as a force for good

I’ve felt quite emotional about football over the past few weeks.

By laura.jones1
Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 12:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 4:23 pm

There have been some great examples of pride in the way people use football as a force for good.

’m sure you’ll have seen the young Wednesday fan, Shay O’Grady, who raised £10k for Bluebell Wood by walking the 16 miles from the hospice to Hillsborough in time for the Sheffield derby.

Shay’s big sister Caitlin has also been in the newspaper this week for banging on that glass ceiling of female referees. At just 16-years-old Caitlin is now refereeing adult games and will be officiating Sheffield FC women against Hull City on Sunday.

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

I grew up with Shay and Caitlin’s Dad, Jason. It’s been a joy to watch his kids grow into amazing young people whose love of football is being harnessed to bring positivity and change to their local community.

What finished me off was watching a video Victoria Wood from The Wednesday Week Podcast and her mum made for a football magazine. The video is part of series about female football supporters.

The film was a beautiful look at how when there is illness in a family, football can heal wounds. It can bring people together and for a brief moment you can forget about the stresses and strains of life and focus your thoughts on your team.

I’m not ashamed to say there was a tear in my eye when I watched it.

It’s not just Victoria, Shay and Caitlin whose stories are intertwined with Sheffield Wednesday football club. There are thousands of tales that go unsaid and unwritten.

Football has so much power to be positive. I hope we hear more of ours fans stories.

And so to Stoke City following the international break. It’s been a while since we’ve played there in a league match. The last time was in 2007. We won 2-4 with Marcus Tudgay on the score sheet twice, Jermaine Johnson and Deon Burton.

The Owls’ did well to get anything from the first fixture this season. Stoke unnerved our young team but we held out and ground out a point.

Feels like this time around we should do some unnerving of our own.