OWLS SPECIAL: Golden years of the Francis reign at Sheffield Wednesday

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LOOKING back, Trevor Francis presided over something of a golden, settled age at Sheffield Wednesday.

His four years in charge brought Europe qualification and two cup finals..

But if you include his sacking on FA Cup Final day 1995, the Owls have seen 12 departures in 16 years.

David Pleat, Francis’s successor, lasted two years.

Ron Atkinson was brought in to inspire a revival, but his short-term contract was not renewed, and a fresh start under an up-and-coming manager, Danny Wilson, was preferred. With the club heading for relegation from the Premier League in Wilson’s second season, the reigns were handed to Peter Shreeves until the end of the season.

Paul Jewell came and went in eight months; Shreeves again took over, but quit after eight months and handed over to Terry Yorath.

After Yorath’s resignation in 2002, Chris Turner was chosen to lead a revival, But the club still went down to the third tier of the game.

Paul Sturrock led the Owls to promotion after an unforgettable day in Cardiff in 2005 - the play-off final 4-2 win against Hartlepool at the Millennium stadium.

Sturrock was ditched in 2006 and replaced by Brian Laws who, at three years and two months, was a long server for a Wednesday manager.

He took them to the brink of the play-offs, but also into relegation fights.

Irvine, appointed in January of last year on a three-and-a-half-year contract, took on a survival fight and narrowly failed to save the club from relegation.

After nine new signings last summer, the target this season for him and the club was automatic promotion. It was as this target drifted slowly away that Milan Mandaric pulled the trigger.

Bosses since 1995:

Trevor Francis 1991-95

David Pleat 1995-97

Ron Atkinson 1997-98

Danny Wilson 1998-2000

Peter Shreeves 2000

Paul Jewell 2000-01

Peter Shreeves 2001

Terry Yorath 2001-02

Chris Turner 2002-04

Paul Sturrock 2004-06

Brian Laws 2006-09

Alan Irvine 2010-2011