So this weekend Sheffield Wednesday take on the old nemesis, the filthy nearby neighbours, Leeds United, and excitingly it’s being televised in South Africa.
Not only does this mean that I’ll get to watch my boys in blue and white live for the first time since the Blackpool in February, when we got a spanking, but I’ll also (hopefully) get to witness Leeds being beaten.
Look, Leeds United are hated by a lot of people and a lot of clubs, some folk don’t even really know why they hate Leeds. They have it bred into them at a young age by friends and parents alike, but a lot don’t have an inkling of where it stems from.
The hatred for Leeds, Leeds, Leeds that is so nationalised in the UK comes from the days of Don Revie and the set of thugs that played a beautiful brand of football, yet cheated, fouled and bullied their way to several trophies in the 60’s and 70’s.
It was during Revie’s reign that the Lilywhites picked up the ‘Dirty Leeds’ nickname that has stuck with them ever since the days of Billy Bremner and Peter Lorimer, and it seems that it will remain with them forever more.
The distinct dislike of Leeds has engulfed Britain, especially England, for those outside of West Yorkshire and on many occasions while away with The Three Lions I’ve heard anti-Leeds songs being sung en mass.
Now it’s time for the Wednesday boys to welcome old rival Neil Warnock back to Hillsborough and give his boys a damn good thrashing.
It’s been a fair while since we last played Leeds, about five years actually, and funnily enough I was there. I remember the 3-2 win at Elland Road like it was yesterday and I’ll never forget Chrissy Brunt’s 40-yard chip over the head of Graham Stack.
This time around we don’t have a Chris Brunt in our side, but we do have a Michail Antonio and a Rhys McCabe, and also the pride of a county is once again at stake.
I think I’ve mentioned in this blog before that Wednesday v Leeds is one of my earliest footballing memories. I recall screaming ‘Which one’s Waddle?’ at the top of my lungs and professing that the referee was a ‘whacker’, and for that reason this match up will always mean a lot to me.
Our record against Leeds is pretty even, out of the 83 times that we’ve played each other they’ve won 34 games to our 29, scoring 129 goals while we’ve got 119.
While recent years against Leeds haven’t been too impressive, those of a decent age will remember the 16th of December 1996 fondly, that the day that we really did smash them, 6-2 to be exact.
Look, lets face it, Wednesday and Leeds do have bits in common. We’re both ‘sleeping giants, we both have very good followings despite our falls from grace and we both have a lot of history in the English game.
Although… We all know that we’d be doing the footballing world a favour if we beat them this weekend. Very few people like to see Neil Warnock smile, and even less people like to see Dirty Leeds win a game of football.
Yes, we know that our league performances of late have been less convincing than a pantomime dame and that Leeds are seventh in the table, but come on, if there was ever a way to get back to winning ways then it was against a Leeds United team coached by former Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock.
Wednesday, this one is bigger than you. It’s bigger than us fans. Let’s take the game to those Don Revie reincarnations and win this game for football fans everywhere…
We all hate Leeds and Leeds and Leeds, Leeds and Leeds and Leeds.