Pandemic robbed Sheffield Wednesday players such as Atdhe Nuhiu, Tom Lees and Keiren Westwood the chance to get their share of Sergio Aguero’s treatment
The end of a football season can be an emotional time for all involved.
And that was certainly the case at a host of clubs over the weekend.
While some clubs simply mourned the end of a miserable season, many more joined in praise of departing heroes, whether it be the likes of Sergio Aguero at Manchester City, Gini Wijnaldum at Liverpool or Pablo Hernandez at Leeds United.
The lifting of restrictions on crowds in football stadiums earlier this month has meant that the playoff stages in the EFL and the final matches of the Premier League season have been able to be played in front of a reduced number of spectators.
Supporters of those clubs were able to give those on their way through the exit door a heartfelt goodbye, City in particular throwing on a grand post-match ceremony to pay their gratitude to highest-ever scorer Aguero, one disappointed only by technical glitches in their Etihad Stadium.
The Championship season ended eight days before the May 15 restriction lift allowing fans back in, meaning sadly Wednesday supporters have not been able to wish any sort of goodbye to a host of modern players to have given many years service to the club.
It was confirmed that Tom Lees and Keiren Westwood, both surviving members of the club’s back-to-back playoff push under Carlos Carvalhal, would leave the club at the end of their contracts in the summer. Both have posted heartfelt messages on social media.
Adam Reach played 230 times for the Hillsborough club and has also left without the opportunity to say an in-person goodbye to fans.
Alongside a handful of others, the trio join the likes of Fernando Forestieri, Steven Fletcher and Atdhe Nuhiu as long-serving players to have left the club on a goodbye after their summer 2020 departures.
Kieran Lee, another Carvalhal alumnus who left last summer, may well get the chance to reunite with the Hillsborough crowd when his Bolton Wanderers side – promoted from League Two last season – come to South Yorkshire next season.
It was reported that the Government expects to announce restriction-free stadium access from June 21, which would in theory arrive in time for pre-season.