Premier League at 25: How did Sheffield Wednesday get on as they kicked off a new footballing era at Everton?

Nigel Pearson scores against Everton - Sheffield Wednesday's first goal in the opening day of the first ever Premier League season
Nigel Pearson scores against Everton - Sheffield Wednesday's first goal in the opening day of the first ever Premier League season
0
Have your say

It was 25 years ago today that a new era for English football began with the start of the newly-formed Premier League.

Depending on who's talking you'd think this was the point where football began, which of course in an absolute nonsense, however there is no doubt that the game here has changed considerably in the past quarter of a century...for better or for worse.

On Saturday August 15, 1992 Sheffield Wednesday began what would be an eight-season stretch among the elite with a trip to rainy Merseyside to take on Everton.

And it would take just 15 minutes for them to get off the mark.

Despite having stunning attacking talent in the team which included David Hirst and new signing Chris Waddle, who would come close to opening the scoring on a couple of occasions on his debut, it would take a big man at the back to register Sheffield Wednesday's first ever Premier League goal.

Nigel Worthington's corner was uncharacteristically spilled by Toffees' legendary keeper Neville Southall and skipper Nigel Pearson pounced to volley home the opening goal.

Waddle didn't manage to see the half out as he slipped on the greasy surface and after receiving treatment was forced to come off injured on 38 minutes.

Before the teams went in at the break, Everton equalised through Barry Horne, who finished superbly after Roland Nilsson had headed a Peter Beardsley cross into the Welshman's path.

The home side had the better of the second half with Beardsley a constant threat, however the Owls would hang on to gain a point.

From a Wednesday perspective, Monday's edition of The Star would lead on Waddle's injury but boss Trevor Francis said: "He has damaged the medial ligaments in his knee and it appears his studs caught on the ground."

On the back of The Star on Monday, August 17 following the first game of the Premier League for Sheffield Wednesday

On the back of The Star on Monday, August 17 following the first game of the Premier League for Sheffield Wednesday

Waddle himself said: "It was so disappointing to have things cut short in that manner but that's football. The rain made the pitch wet and, as I went to move, my leg slipped away and I went down. I knew I had hurt something. I was disappointed as I walked off but felt I had to acknowledge the fans who had followed us across there for their support."

Football writer at The Star, Les Payne was reporting on the game and he wrote for Monday's paper on Waddle: "It was starting to look interesting and although he may not have moved the earth for Wednesdayites he had given them, in those moments, some tantalising glimpses of his talent before his unfortunate slip on 35 minutes."

Wednesday would finish the season in a commendable 7th position, with Mark Bright, who would join from Crystal Palace in September finishing as top scorer with 18.

Everton v Sheffield Wednesday - August 15, 1992

Everton: Southall, Jackson, Hinchcliffe, Ebrell, Watson, Ablett, Ward, Beardsley, Rideout, Horne (Warzucha 69), Beagrie: Unused: Johnston, Kearton.

Sheffield Wednesday: Woods, Nilsson, King, Palmer, Pearson, Warhurst, Pearson, Waddle (Bart-Williams 38), Worthington. Unused: Pressman.