"Ohhh what a goal, Danny Wilson!" Sheffield Wednesday hero looks back on his 91 semi-final heroics 30 years on
Many supporters remember it as the evening that delivered the best atmosphere ever produced at Hillsborough.
And decibels peaked at one moment in particular, in the 42nd minute, when Danny Wilson threw the outside of his right boot through the ball. Into the top corner of the Kop end net it sailed. It was April 27 1991 and Sheffield Wednesday held a seemingly unassailable 4-0 aggregate lead over Chelsea in the Rumbelows Cup semi-final.
The names alone are stuff of legend. Peter Shirtliff’s long ball forward was won by the tireless David Hirst, whose header into the box seemed to take an age to reach Carlton Palmer. Holding off Chelsea pair Ken Monkou and Tony Dorigo like a dad breaking apart fighting siblings, he nodded the ball to the oncoming Wilson.
"Ohhhh, what a goal, Danny Wilson,” Alan Parry screamed on iconic commentary. “And that’s that. Sheffield Wednesday are Wembley-bound.”
The goal made it 2-0 on the night and sparked pandemonium on the terraces. The Owls would go on to win 3-1, 5-1 on aggregate. Less than a month later, of course, they were Rumbelows Cup champions.
“The atmosphere was electric, absolutely amazing,” remembered the goalscorer, who would of course go on to help seal promotion that season and years later would manage the club. Wilson recalls the atmosphere at S6 that night as the best he was ever involved in.
“I was in the team to be energetic, I wanted to get forward all the time and while we appreciated that I didn’t always get there, I was always a threat to defenders, finding those little spaces, running box to box.
“When we went on those forward surges I had the license to get up with the front men. It fell perfectly for me. I just lashed at it and fortunately it went where I wanted it to go. I’d seen plenty of those go over the stand before but it was destiny really, the way we were all going and the way we were playing.
“It is special to me that that was the goal that finished it.”
Chelsea were a good side and a big club, at the very start of a rapid 1990s ascent that would see them grow exponentially through the early days of the Premier League revolution and on towards life under Roman Abramovich.
Though they were the division above Wednesday, with a side that had been tipped to challenge the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal that year, Wilson and his teammates had no doubt of their ability to qualify for the final.
“We were a good side and we knew that,” Wilson said. “We weren’t scared of anyone, whether that be home or away and we knew we weren’t that really underdogs.
“I remember hearing on the radio on the way down to London that week, people tipping us not only to get to the final, but that we would go on and win it.
“We were a team in the second division, but you look at the likes of Sheridan and Hirst, they were as good as anything in the First Division, so we were expected to turn up and give the top division teams a run for their money.”