The Beswetherick Eleven goalkeeper and back four have already been selected in my post-2000 worst of the worst.

The XI so far: Tidman, Barry-Murphy, A. Westwood, M. Morrison, Beswetherick…

Now we move into midfield, who will be the wide men?


Wade Small


Wade Small was signed from the Milton Keynes Dons in the summer of 2006 for an undisclosed fee, described as pacy, quick and full of potential by Paul Sturrock.

It’s safe to say he never fulfilled that potential at Hillsborough.

Injuries may have been a part but when he was available, he didn’t raise the roof at all.

Appearances became more sporadic as time went on with Brian Laws preferring to utilise Marcus Tudgay on the wing.

He left S6 in the summer of 2009 and after short spells at Chesterfield and Aldershot he drifted out of the league, his last known club according to Google was Kingstonian.


Etienne Esajas


One of the most exciting players in our post Premier League odyssey was Chris Brunt. When it became clear that he wasn’t going to stick around once his contract expired, it made sense to cash in and he was sold to West Bromwich Albion.

Esajas was signed from Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem and Laws perhaps optimistically stated he was a like for like replacement for Brunt.

Esajas and his lovely, lovely hair

Although he had flashes of brilliance, that’s all they were, flashes: the goals he did score were fairly spectacular but far too often, he was a passenger – incapable of changing a game for the better and the low point came in a dire home defeat against Ipswich where he was nudged out of possession and went down feigning injury.

Since leaving S6 Esajas had brief spells at Swindon Town and Scunthorpe United.


Tom Soares


A loan signing made by a desperate Brian Laws to halt the slide.

Tom Soares had looked a player full of potential when he burst into the Crystal Palace side and impressed enough for Stoke City to splash out the cash to secure his services.

He struggled to break into Tony Pulis’ side and was sent out on loan to Charlton Athletic in 2008/09, they got relegated.

Soares made his debut in a dire 4-0 Hillsborough defeat to West Bromwich Albion and couldn’t dislodge either James O’Connor or Darren Potter so was deployed wide and in all honesty, when he appeared he looked worse than both.

His 25 appearances did see 2 goals but also saw a lack of commitment, a failure to beat his man and pretty much everything you don’t want to see in a winger.


Jermaine Johnson

JJ notching for Wednesday

This is a controversial one and I don’t expect anyone to vote for JJ when push comes to shove and whilst the Jamaican is far from the worst winger to represent the Owls, he pisses the award for the most frustrating.

Signed from Bradford City in January 2007, JJ started his Wednesday career as he meant to go on, serving a suspension.

In his time at Hillsborough, JJ was sent off six times and the frustration factor is purely why I’ve shortlisted him over perhaps more worthy and anonymous players.

JJ was blessed with lightning pace and on his day absolutely terrified the opposition, unfortunately his day happened infrequently. It was always the hope that killed you with Johnson, any time he did get into a decent run of form, an injury or a needless red card was just around the corner.

At the end of his time here I accepted JJ for who he was but part of me always wonders what he could have been.


Chris Sedgwick


Sedgwick, trying to make a run

2010/11 is a year to forget for Owls fans. Although Wednesday had hardly been Barcelona in Laws’ time at S6, there was the odd moment of excitement. Following Laws, Alan Irvine’s football beliefs and tactical principles made Howard Wilkinson look like Marcelo Bielsa.

A stoic 4-4-2 with two wide men and whilst it occasionally worked, it was dire to watch.

Perhaps it’s a tad harsh to include Sedgwick as he was just a cog in a rotten side but then again he was one of the regulars in the third worst Wednesday side of all time and his struggle to beat players, protect his full back and general minimal impact on games means he fits the criteria.

Sedgwick is still plying his trade in the lower leagues where he’s player-coach at Bury.


Gary Teale


Teale was the other winger in the much maligned 2010/11 season and whilst he started brightly, he faded fast and had the same problems as Sedgwick on the other flank, namely his struggle to beat players and the ease of which he got dispossessed.

Perhaps what was worse is Teale also lacked work rate and with that being a trait Gary Megson always looked for, it meant his time at S6 was borrowed and he was out of the club in the summer of 2011.


Paul Smith


Paul Smith

Chris Turner had a love of signing his former Hartlepool players and one of those guys was Paul Smith who arrived in the summer of 2003.

Smith got off to a promising start, netting twice in the opening month of the season but afterwards his form, like the team, dropped.

Smith struggled and by the time he dropped out of the side, Chris Brunt had been signed on loan, Smith never really challenged Brunt or Matt Hamshaw for a spot on the wing and was occasionally deployed as a left back before his professional career was ruined by injury.


Jacques Maghoma


Jacques Maghoma arrived at Sheffield Wednesday in 2013 after a stellar League Two campaign with Burton Albion and things got off to a promising start as he impressed when the Owls were unfortunate to be defeated at Loftus Road.

He always struggled to maintain consistency however and rarely impressed when given the opportunity, flashes of potential were often overshadowed by long periods of anonymity, his personal highlight being a stellar performance (although everyone who played that day was stellar) in a 6-0 shellacking of Leeds United.

He was released prior to the Carvalhal era and signed for Birmingham where he’s impressed to date.



As ever, vote on Twitter to make your voice heard and decide who joins Tidmanand the back four in The Beswetherick XI.




Owls Alive
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Images: SWFC

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