Sheffield Wednesday fan’s column: Family tragedy puts football into perspective

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Hillsborough clock
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I was going to start this week’s column with something pithy about ‘Remember, remember the five shots on target in November,’ but my Nan died on Tuesday, and it’s put everything surrounding Sheffield Wednesday into perspective.

Right up until the end my Nan asked me every time I visited “who are Wednesday playing today?” Her follow up question was always “are we going to win?”

She was a different kind of Sheffield Wednesday fan. Although she never went to the matches, she liked to watch us on television and listen to Radio Sheffield to catch the scores. She was the most comfortable armchair fan you could imagine. It doesn’t matter where your support comes from as long as the club has it.

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My Nan was one of 10 children all of whom were and are Sheffield Wednesday fans, which is why she took everyone by surprise by marrying a Sheffield United fan; Sheffield’s version of a mixed marriage.

All the family loved my Grandad, but on Saturday’s when the match was over my Nan’s brothers and sisters would eat together, and Grandad was banished to the kitchen to eat on his own. My Nan ate with the family. Love and marriage have their boundaries, and that line is blue and white.

She taught all the kids in the family to shout “Wednesday, Wednesday Magic,” as they travelled past Hillsborough on the bus. It’s a tradition that even her great-grandchildren have been taught. I’m going to make sure my tiny human shouts it as loud as he can when he can. Sheffield Wednesday is and always will be something that brings my family together. No matter where we live we still came home to see my Nan and to watch the Owls. I can’t think of a greater reason to continue to support and love our team.

Who are Wednesday playing this week? Hull City. Are they going to win? No pithy answer, I just hope so for you Nannan.

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