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PARALLEL LINES: SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY

1 October 2016

The similarities between Albion and Sheffield Wednesday


The kit
In 1964, Brighton and Hove Albion dispensed with their trademark blue and white stripes in favour of blue shirts with white sleeves. A year later, Sheffield Wednesday followed the same trend. For the Yorkshire side, the new design lasted until 1972. Both the Seagulls and the Owls also wore blue and white stripes, blue shorts and white socks in kits manufactured by Bukta in the second half of the 1970s, with many similarities in use of design elements such as winged open collars and white buks running down the shorts.


The promotion decider
We do not need much of a reminder that Sheffield Wednesday beat Brighton in the Play-Off semi-finals last season. However, in May 1977, there was promotion glory for the Sussex club, and it came in an exciting encounter with the Owls. Before a crowd of 30,756, Brighton won 3-2 at the Goldstone to ensure that the team would go up in Alan Mullery’s first campaign. Coming from a goal down at the interval, Peter Ward made amends for a missed penalty by striking the equaliser. He also won another penalty which Brian Horton converted. Steve Piper gave the Albion a two goal cushion before Wednesday got a late second.


The giants
Both Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday have played some of the most legendary clubs in the world. Brazilian side Santos, featuring the incomparable Pele, toured England in 1962 and 1972. On both occasions, they beat Sheffield Wednesday, 4-2 and 2-0 respectively, in a blaze of publicity. In the first round of the City of Palma Tournament in August 1983, Brighton took on Real Madrid who had recently lost in the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final to Aberdeen. The Spanish giants edged out the Seagulls 1-0, despite an excellent performance from Simon Steele, the Seagulls’ rookie goalkeeper.

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The boss
Howard Wilkinson is the only ex-Brighton & Hove Albion player to manage the England national football team, which he fulfilled on a caretaker basis in two spells, in 1999 and 2000. In his playing career, he was an ex-England youth international who joined Sheffield Wednesday in June 1962, making his First Division debut in the 1964/65 season. After 22 league games and three goals, he arrived at the Goldstone Ground in July 1966. In his book ‘Managing To Succeed’ in 1992, he wrote: "When I was a player at Brighton, under manager Archie Macaulay’s guidance, we had some remarkable preparations for important matches and cup-ties. There were liberal doses of sherry and raw eggs, calves foot jelly, fillet steak, and plenty of walks on the seafront where we were taken to fill our lungs with the ozone." Wilkinson later returned to Hillsborough as manager. Whether he implemented the same diet regime there is unclear.


The FA Cup Semi-Final
Both clubs have won their most recent FA Cup semi-final. In 1993, the Owls edged out local rivals Sheffield United in a 2-1 victory at Wembley. Ten years earlier, the Seagulls won by the same margin against Wednesday at Highbury. In the brilliant sunshine in North London, a Jimmy Case thunderbolt and a shot on the turn by Michael Robinson booked the Albion’s trip to Wembley.

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