Little Sheffield Wednesday superfan spent birthday in hospital – but was boosted by Owls heroes

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
One of Sheffield Wednesday’s most prominent super fans spent part of his ninth birthday listening to the Owls’ Carabao Cup clash at Southampton from a hospital bed – with messages from his heroes fresh in his mind.

Owen Haslam goes home and away to matches with his dad Mark but had to miss the south coast clash having undertaken corrective surgery on his legs.

The Owls-mad youngster has cerebral palsy and though hugely painful has responded well to an eight-hour operation that it is hoped will make life easier for him in future years.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Read More
Bullish Josh Windass on Sheffield Wednesday playing from the back and why Southa...
Liam Palmer was among the Sheffield Wednesday players to send their best wishes to Owls superfan Owen Haslam.Liam Palmer was among the Sheffield Wednesday players to send their best wishes to Owls superfan Owen Haslam.
Liam Palmer was among the Sheffield Wednesday players to send their best wishes to Owls superfan Owen Haslam.

Disappointed though he was to have to cancel his birthday trip to St Mary’s, he has received boosts in the form of video messages from Wednesday players Liam Palmer and Fisayo Dele-Bashiru as well as his hero from another sport – Sheffield boxing champ Dalton Smith.

Owen had one of his hips relocated and both legs pinned in what was described as a ‘window of opportunity’ to realign his legs to his hips before he grows into adolescence. All being well, it will save him a great deal of discomfort in years to come.

His doting dad Mark told The Star: “We’ve been waiting a year or 18 months and it was a big decision to make even before you factor the recovery period – the surgery itself was eight hours.

“It’s not without risk, he was on an epidural for four days because of the pain and the scale of what he had done. But the reward does outweigh the risk and we hope it’ll all be worth it in the years to come.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We didn’t really want him in the hospital on his birthday and his movement will be limited for Christmas, but we had to do it.

“He’s a bit up and down. We had originally hoped he’d be home this week but we’ve had one or two little setbacks and it’s difficult to manage pain with him. It’s difficult to gauge where we’re going to be.

“When we do get him home it’s a case of intense physio for six to eight weeks to get his legs back and get that confidence back into him.”

Having heard of Owen’s hospital stint, Wednesday got in touch with the player messages to reflect their support back to one of their biggest fans.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And they’ve made a difference to a nine-year-old who watches them with adoring eyes.

Mark said: “He was gutted not to be able to go to Southampton, then we had tickets to go to the boxing on Saturday. That’s hit him, he’s disappointed.

“But the messages have given him a big boost. Dele-Bashiru is his favourite player at the moment. He’s quite heavily dosed-up but he’s in good spirits.

“Interaction with the fans now is the best it’s been for a long, long time. The club do what they can to make people feel welcome, they do what they can and it’s appreciated.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The messages picked him up no end. He’s quite heavily dosed, he’s not all that with it, then you show him one of the messages and his face just lights up. He’s a determined kid and he just wants to get home.”