The World Cup winner that played a big part in Carlton Palmer's decision to join Sheffield Wednesday

“It was just fantastic,” Carlton Palmer said looking back on his time at Sheffield Wednesday. “It was a fun team to be part of, both on and off the pitch.”

By Alex Miller
Saturday, 6th June 2020, 7:00 am

In terms of the last three decades in the club’s history, the vast majority of ultimate Owls icon come from the mini-era Palmer played a central role in.

But it’s a role the Midlands-born icon, who was capped 18 times for England during his time at the club, may never have played had it not been for the advice of one of his country’s legends of 1966.

Kicking off a famous playing career at West Brom, the decision was made to sell Palmer in a bid to raise much-needed funds for the cash-strapped Midlands side.

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Carlton Palmer played well over 200 times for Sheffield Wednesday across two spells.

The all-action 23-year-old was quickly developing a reputation as one of the country’s true rough diamond talents and suitors were not at short supply.

Chelsea made the first move and Palmer spoke to then-owner Ken Bates about a move south. But something didn’t feel right.

It was ‘66 hero Nobby Stiles, Palmer’s former youth coach at the Hawthorns, that pushed him into the direction of South Yorkshire and to former Baggies boss Ron Atkinson.

“Nobby came in to see me and said 'what are you thinking of doing?' and I said 'I don't really know, London's not really for me',” Palmer said on the ‘Quickly Kevin’ podcast.

“He said 'well don't even think about it, get yourself up the road, go with Sheffield Wednesday where Ron Atkinson is. I know they're going to get relegated but you know the big man will sort that. And that's what I did.”

One trip north, two chats with Big Ron and £750,000 later, the gangly midfield man became a Wednesday player in February 1989.

A League Cup winners medal followed in 1991, though he was suspended for the final. He made over 200 appearances across two spells.

“I had nine fantastic years there, not only football, in my personal life,” he said. “It was a fantastic time. It was a great team, personalities, everything about the team just gelled.”