POST MATCH RAMBLE: Wednesday -v- Leeds

POST MATCH RAMBLE: Wednesday -v- Leeds

I was still deep in snoozeland when the phone rang this morning…eye of the tiger ringtone blaring out, tunneling it’s way through my hangover…needless to say, I ignored it.

It rang again…I knew who it was without looking…the Young Un, trying to annoy me again…

I ignored it again…the house phone rang…that merely confirmed my guess at it being the Young Un, she always does that when I don’t answer my phone.

I really didn’t want to wake up…I reached over to my phone, checked the time…


I’ve got hours yet…GO AWAY!

The last weapon in her sneaky attack is to ring Mrs Beastie’s phone…through the haze I could hear them talking away…I say talking…it was like a jackhammer rattling around inside my skull…I Headachereally didn’t feel well at all, in fact, I’m convinced someone had spiked my drink…if not then I must be coming down with some bug or other…I never get hangovers these days…mindstya, it was a good night last night…just let me just snuggle into the bed and enjoy it a bit more, see if I can sleep this banging headache off, it that too much to axe for?

Just as I was entering the warm snuggly comfort of dreamland the jackhammer shouted…



It was over…my recovery from what could possibly be the start of some fatal disease was over, I would simply have to get up, try and shoulder the burden and soldier on…I’ve been called a brave little soldier many times over the years, it’s what I do….

I got up, got meself ready…that haze seemed to be hanging around, it really didn’t want to shift…I’ve no idea where it was coming from but it reminded me of the last time Mrs Beastie cooked something (28 years ago)

I know what you’re thinking…you’re wife hasn’t cooked anything in over a quarter of a century?


Yes, I admit it…trust me, it’s for the best….

That fateful day 25 years ago I came home, as late as possible knowing she was cooking tea, and dragged my weary carcass through the door to a strange hazy aroma emanating from the smellkitchen…it smelled a little on the burnt side but I could get past that…if only it was JUST that…there was something else…mebbe it was just some cleaning product from a days cleaning as well…

Mrs Beastie took great delight in telling me how she’d lovingly put together a shepherd’s pie and incorporated stuff from our own garden…Hmmm…I was already suspicious…what stuff?

A Shepherd pie doesn’t really need ‘stuff’ adding and certainly not anything from the garden but mebbe she’d added a harmless, tasteless herb or two and me being the tactful, loving, understanding human being that I am, said nowt.

When the slightly charred pie was laid before me I dived straight in…ignoring the peculiar smell…BIG mistake.



Why does this shepherd’s pie taste like Parma Violets?

It doesn’t she explains, it‘s a touch of lavender I put in it…we have loads and I decided to use some up….



No matter how many times I said the words I couldn’t get the craziness outa my head…

‘Just thought it would add something’ Mrs Beastie says…

Oh it’s added something alright…it’s added a taste of sh*t…sweet fragranced lovely smelling sh*t…it’s like eating soap, it’s like licking a woman’s bath clean…..



Lavender Shepherd Pie
This is not a good thing…this is what they should serve em in Guantanamo Bay, they’ll talk all day and everyday with this facing em I’m telling ya!

I still wake up to this day in cold sweats thinking about that day and a Shepherd’s pie is always, ALWAYS treated with a little bit of suspicion…I think of it as a silent assassin these days and the same goes for Mrs Beastie and her cooking…she hasn’t done any since that day and our family and marriage has survived on the basis of that one decision…

Anyroad, where was I?

Oh yeah…the haze….the haze wasn’t from that, it was inside my heed and I couldn’t shake it…no amount of water and Nurofen could make it go away…once again, I soldiered on…as we’ve established, it’s what I do.

I got all my stuff together and went to pick the Young Un up before heading off to Hillsborough for the last time…my mind had been made up a long time ago to call it quits at the end of this season and not a decision taken lightly, how could it be?

Hillsborough South

A huge part of our lives

I’ve been going to Hillsborough for almost 40 years and more importantly with the Young Un for the last 20 years…the years before I went with the kids is irrelevant to me, it was always better to go with them…I enjoyed their company, sharing the moments, the highs and lows with them so much more than I did with mates before that and even when my eldest, Stephanie, stopped going, it all continued with Hollie through to her adulthood. If you only go with mates now and you haven’t got kids yet, trust me, there is nothing better than sharing emotional highs and lows with ya kids and I treasure every single moment of them.

Throughout that journey, throughout those highs and lows we’ve met some new friends that have been with us for the last 10 years and again, it’s been incredible to share it all with them…far more lows than highs but that doesn’t matter, the hard times are what draw you together anyway and I’d like to think that even though we aren’t gonna be at games anymore, those friendships continue and we still meet up to share more good times.

I have to underline, it’s not SWFC that I have fallen out with…I haven’t simply stopped loving or liking Wednesday, it’s football in general…though there could be a case made for there not being any football played at Hillsborough in quite a while…it’s not that.

True enough I’ve not enjoyed this season at all but it all stems from the broader picture…The Ched Evans debacle…thugs and sh*theads like him that infest our game and the footballing authorities that continue to make excuses for them…We’ve had our own mini thug of course in the tosser that is Gary Madine…I don’t have a problem with people making mistakes, even going to prison and learning from their mistakes. We all make mistakes and especially when we’re young but if you don’t learn from them then you are just that…a thug…I can’t bring myself to support that at all…no one should be put in the position that they have to choose that either.

Reclaim the game from the thugs

Reclaim the game from the thugs

I don’t hold with the football club having a duty of care to players like Madine…they have a duty of care to the fans too and a simple ‘This behaviour will not be tolerated’ would go a long way…show some spine and stand up to these scumbags. Football fans need to reclaim their game from the arseholes before it’s too late.

Once this way of thinking had worked itself into my noggin it was like a moment of clarity and the football in front of me became very clear…..very clear indeed.

Let me make something clear…I don’t watch any other football except Wednesday.
No Champions League, no Premiership and no other football league sides…at all…it doesn’t interest me. I stopped doing that a long time ago and I’ve only ever been interested in Wednesday for many years. I don’t cheer on another side just because I don’t like who they’re playing…why would I? I don’t care about either so sod em both!

Having had my epiphany I was able to view this seasons games a little clearer and I think we’ve duped ourselves into settling for something that is average at best…the football we have been served up this season is dull…very dull…the odd moment of respite…but nowhere near enough to stop it from going into the realms of dreariness.

People blaart on about security this…and consolidate that…best league position in blah blah…no money to get decent players blah blah blah…I don’t buy it, for a start we’re not on many more points than when we just stayed up a few years ago and this division is far worse than it was back then…it is an oasis of averageness…a barrage of mediocrity…the football from all barring a couple of teams has been awful…Ipswich, Wolves, Middlesbrough…all awful, awful sides playing awful, awful football but riding high in this awful awful Championship…and how bad does that make us, if we can’t muster enough gumption to make the required standard of ‘awful’

When you set out from the start for a 0-0 draw you’re not gonna be burning up the pitch and laying siege to the goal are you?
When you’re setting up like that at home…something is very wrong.

Bradford Fire


Before the kick off there was a wonderful, immaculate minutes silence for the 56 lost souls at Bradford fire…the SWFC kids had been walking around the pitch taking the applause from everyone, they stopped right in front of us as the referee’s whistle blew…a couple of young lads put their arms around each other and stood motionless, together…for the whole minute….

Without doubt one of the worst events in football history and we should never, ever forget those 56.

I hugged the Young Un a little tighter…


I’m not gonna waste my time or yours chelping on about an insignificant game that meant nothing to anyone other than the traveling Leeds fans.

Why should I?

Our players downed tools very quickly in this game so they don’t deserve anything back…they certainly don’t deserve the support of the home crowd…

I wouldn’t say Leeds deserved to win the game but neither did we…it had draw written all over it from an early stage and it would have been the fair result but football isn’t about fair is it? We’ve had our fair share of unjust results and Leeds can claim this, though they will point to finishing the game the better side. I’d agree with that but they weren’t in the game until they scored that scrappy equaliser of theirs. As bad a goal as we’ve conceded in a long time.

In the first half they were hardly at the races yet despite us dominating the game our age old problem of not troubling the keeper persisted…we flatter to deceive in our attacks and we’ve done so all season.

You know how it'll end

You know how it’ll end

The Wednesday fans tend not to get overexcited these days when we surge forward. Every single Wednesday fan knows how it will end…a poor pass…a bad decision…no support…run into trouble without looking up…repeat to fade. That’s been our season.

I don’t know the stat’s and I’m not inclined to check for them but our actual shots on target could be an all-time low club record and I think it’s that lack of expectation that’s helped to dampen my spirits at games…the spark has gone on the pitch and it’s been taken from my heart too.

I no longer lean forward when we pick the ball up…I no longer lift up a little from my seat as we pass the halfway line…I no longer crouch as we bear down on the opposition box…I no longer stand expectantly, lost in the moment, waiting for the cross to come in and steady myself for the lunge at the ball in an attempt to score…because it just doesn’t happen like that anymore….and what’s more, I’m not alone in that.

By the time our strikers are in the box the ball is usually on its way back towards our goal.

That’s how it was in that first half…we controlled the game pretty well whilst looking dodgy when Leeds countered…Semedo was excellent during the first 45 minutes, he didn’t put a foot wrong and seemed to be everywhere doing everything himself…it’s a pleasure to watch him like this…a great servant to this club in my opinion and worthy of at least a one year extension to his contract…to this old curmudgeon he is the anti-Madine, everything the likes of Gary Madine isn’t, both on and off the pitch.

There was a good bit of entertainment in that first half when 10 minutes from half time we were awarded the penalty…something we need in games these days because without a deadball situation our ‘goals for’ column would be embarrassing. We never seem likely to score in open play but we don’t miss many from the spot…

Despite the Young Un saying ‘he’s going to miss this’ and as much as I dislike Maguire, I was confident he’d score.

She was basing her opinion on the amount of time it took for him to take the penalty…

When it was awarded there was a little bit of a disagreement with one of the Leeds players lashing out at anyone he could lash out at…which curiously seemed to be his own teammates…

It took a while to calm him down. Even taking a swing  at one of his own players didn’t make him feel any better and there was the now customary attempt at putting off and psyching out of the spot kick taker….

Maguire: Cool from the spot

Maguire: Cool from the spot

I said to the Young Un…love him or hate him, Maguire does’t get phased by these situations, he thrives on them and the more they try to bait him, the more convinced I was he’d score…which he did…and of course, followed it with his usual celebration in front of the opposition fans…

Going a goal up against local rivals would galvanise most teams and they’d go on to take the game to the opposition…not us.

We continued the domination but without a deadball situation to get a shot on goal and trouble the keeper we never looked like adding to it and half time came and went….

The second half was a 45 minute portrait of the season…from a position of great promise we let it all go and when the opposition equalised with as scrappy a goal as you’ll ever see our players decided to call it a day…

It was awful…from front to back it was awful…

Not just front to back to be honest, from the sides too because the substitutions made by the manger actually made us play worse, if that was possible…once again we were short on skill, short on spark and totally bereft of ambition and heart.

Leeds got another chance to score and they took it and it was from one of the most average strikers I’ve ever seen that scored it for them…I say that in the full knowledge that we have a set of strikers forged from the anvils of mediocrity.

A full pack of Steve Morisons: Flat and wide

A full pack of Steve Morisons: Flat and wide

Steve Morison looks like a carpenters pencil…if you’ve not seen one, it’s like a normal pencil except it’s flat and wide…that’s him…flat and wide. He looks every inch the uncultured non league striker, yet he found his way very easily past our record equaling defence.

Taking the lead did to Leeds what our goal should have done to us, it galvanised them. Leeds finished the game on top and you could almost feel it amongst the home fans, that expectancy that Leeds would score another…the game couldn’t end soon enough for me and for other Wednesday fans too as loads left before the end…

I can’t remember seeing so many fans leave the last game of the season before the players have come back out to say goodbye and thank you…it spoke volumes.

The Wednesday fans have hung around for the players parade in some awful seasons over the years, including relegation seasons but today they couldn’t wait to leave…I can’t blame them and I was with them.

All good things come to an end

All good things come to an end

As we walked out of the ground we were asked to look at the scoreboard and it seemed appropriate that the scoreboard was bidding farewell to Hillsborough on the same day as me.

It will be replaced by a nice new shiny version next season…all good things come to an end though eh?

An appropriate game for my last ever game, it kinda put a really big full stop at the end of it all…

An awful season, watching mostly average players who think they’re better than they are but have no heart, though it does match their lack of the skill and ambition. Ending by losing a nothing game to local rivals and losing it not only for the reasons that have seen this season become so uninspiring but because they pretty much gave up in the second half…

I doubt there’s many Leeds fans would disagree that their own team are a very poor side indeed but at least they’ve accepted that, we need to do the same because we couldn’t out skill, out play, out battle a team that is on an awful consecutive losing run, a team that has lost most points from a winning position, a club in disarray…with a flat, wide awful non league striker up front that will be forgotten minutes after he leaves the club…it was beyond us, beyond our players who couldn’t give a monkeys chuff.

I have no problems at all with Leeds winning this game, fair play to em….they can have the game, we will take finishing above em in the league.
Their fans have had as sh*t a season as anyone could have and they’ve limped from one game to the next not knowing what the hell was going on and they are right at the top of what I was talking about earlier, the game being run by crooks. Put aside rivalry for a minute, NO football fan deserves this kind of sh*t….we need to put aside rivalry and make a stand against the people running our game into the ground.

As for us, how many times have we tested a keeper this season? Not many I’ll bet.
How many shots on target that have really caused a keeper any alarm? Even less.

Sure enough we’ve equaled a club record for clean sheets and as fans, players and managers alike love to say ‘ya build from the back’….mebbe ya do but ya don’t galvanise a crowd from the back…ya don’t instil hope and passion from the back…ya don’t excite and tantalise from the back and if the fans are going to get behind the team, get behind the club and the new chairman, they aren’t gonna do that for clean sheets and a solid defence…they need a little more than that….clean sheets don’t increase season ticket sales.

Ya know what?

Kieren Westwood; Outstanding season

Kieren Westwood; Outstanding season

I’m pleased they didn’t break the record set by Jack Charlton’s team…they don’t deserve it…they aren’t a patch on that side and it’s been as much through luck at times than anything else…that and the great good fortune that neither Tom Lees nor Kieran Westwood have been out injured.

I know this isn’t a good Ramble…I know it’s full of doom and gloom and most footy fans hate reading doom and gloom. I know that folk will think I’ve simply got the monk on with football…I haven’t…. just don’t like the game anymore…it’s not for me. It’s not the game I signed up for…it’s run by crooks and played by thugs and I hate that but more than either, I hate the apologists that make excuses for them.

We don’t have to accept it ya know…ANY OF IT…the dicks running the game, the knobs playing the game and we don’t have to put up with uninspiring half-hearted crap on the pitch…ya don’t have to simply go through the motions just because ‘it’s what we do’…ya don’t have to turn a blind eye to rubbish football and make excuses for it.

I can hardly say that to people without acting on it myself and that’s what I intend to do now…call it a day.

It will be strange for me in August when everyone is getting excited about the new season because for the first time in a long time I won’t have any of that. It’s already different as I haven’t renewed my season ticket, that felt strange enough but having missed a few games already this season through work I know I’ll get used to it…the intention is that this is for good but ya never know…come next year I might just find I miss it more than I realised and I’m able to put aside all those things I hate about the game and return. I must admit, I have felt a twinge of regret as I’ve spent time with friends last week at Bournemouth away and this week at Hillsborough…mebbe that will never disappear…at times I was reminded of what I love about football, above and beyond what goes on, on the pitch…it’s always been more than that to me and the Young Un and I guess that’s true for a lot of footy fans, if it was only ever about the football on the pitch we’d all have packed in years ago wouldn’t we? But those moments with friends…that’s the real treasure.


We’ve had some great away days

I’ve loved some of the away days I’ve shared with people, with friends, they’ve been some of the very best memories I have…whether the football has been good, bad or indifferent we’ve always made the best of it and I will always treasure those times.

Thank you everyone for being part of them, for making them what they were, pure gold and hopefully for becoming lifelong friends with a friendship that lasts even without football binding us….most of all, thank to the Young Un for making it more fun than I ever thought it could be.

This is also, obviously, the final ramble from me, there will be more from other people, all of them younger, keener and more full of footy love, so they should be less downbeat and grumpy than I’ve been of late and all of them continue the true ‘Ramble’ tradition of it not being all about the football. Every single thing they produce will be produced with love, honesty and from the heart…something I’ve always tried to do.

I’ve done these things for 10 years now and back when I started them I was doing pretty much every single game so I know what commitment these Owls Alivers are giving. It also means I have quite a collection of them stacked away on the hard drive somewhere.

I’ve loved sharing them all with you. I’ve even made friends simply by people reading them, I find that even more incredible. Thank you for taking an interest in my inane babbling and please continue to support Owls Alive and those doing the Rambles, previews and all the other excellent work…it takes a lot to commit to this sort of thing and the standards from these people is second to none.
That's All Folks
I KNOW it’s going to get even better over the coming seasons.

I wish you all the very best for next season and I genuinely hope it brings you what you want and you have something to cheer about and get behind.

Owls Alive
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive and @hugh_wragg


  1. Even the penalty should have been a free kick to Leeds, watch it carefully without prejudice and I’m sure you will agree. Clever playacting by the Wednesday player who leapt to his feet just after the Referee pointed to the penalty spot. Prior to that he was looking like an extra from Holby City. I rang an ambulance for him, but had to apologise to the Operator, as we had all been cheated. Still, the best team won in the end .I wonder if Maguire was as graceful in defeat as he was vulgar when winning?

    • I don’t need to watch it mate, I’ll happily take your word for it…1-0, 2-1, 2-0…whatever, it would still have been a defeat so the scale of it is neither here nor there.

      You asked me to watch without prejudice but you aren’t doing the same if you thought the best team won…that was two very, very poor teams playing very very poor football….that’s also fine…I hope both sets of fans get what they want next season.

      Maguire isn’t graceful in anything and has never shown class before I doubt he’s gonna start now.

      Whatever happens, enjoy next season.

  2. First half fairly even, neither side anything special.
    Second half Leeds better team and with better finishing could have had 3/4 goals.
    Totally truthful…Without the penalty Wednesday were never ever gonna score. Deep inside, I suspect Wednesday fans are fully aware of this. So, bearing in mind we are on the back of 5 straight defeats, and playing away, against an in form team, you could conclude that in actual fact Leeds did rather well?

    • It depends on what you call really well mate.

      Yeah you were on a poor run and that ended but don’t think you beat a good team or an in form team, especially at home, look at our record, it’s been truly awful and even the stat’s don’t back up how truly awful we’ve been.

      If you actually read the ramble, which I suspect you haven’t going by your comments, you will see that no Wednesday fan actually thinks we are ever going to score….and it’s not deep inside, those feelings are way out in the open.

      Leeds were the better side after they scored which is pretty much what I said….the stat’s online back all this up….the possession, the shots on target…though it doesn’t tell you how many times the keepers were actually tested which is zero other than the 3 goals…

      I really don’t know what more you or other Leeds fans want to hear….you won, you beat us at ours, well done….I have no complaints at all about it…I happen to think a draw would have been a fairer result but that’s by the by…if you think we are an in form team and you did well, you are misguided and ya need to raise your expectations next season because if we play the same, it will be another awful season of dullness for everyone watching and if we are the bar you measure yourselves against, it’s set pretty low.

      I think Leeds fans are under the impression I have an axe to grind against them and the result, I don’t. My axe, if it is being grinded, is against football in general, not the two teams in this game.

  3. Hi Beastie ,
    So sad that this is your last Ramble – really going to miss your wit , humour and honesty .
    Agree with many of the sentiments you’ve expressed here , including the match report , but I’ve also been reminded of when I first became aware of you and the Young Un on a very wet rainy night at Hartlepool [where we lost 3-0 ] . That’s what footy is really all about – for both sets of fans . The massive struggling to keep up with lowly ‘Pool who struggle eternally , yet still have the support of a few thousand fans , in the worst of conditions ,and yes it somehow seems more honest the lower you go. Like you I have little interest in the Premiership where 2/3rds of the players come from foreign parts [ as do the Managers ] and are , like our home grown players , mostly there for the money .
    Despite all that and having watched Wedy since 1957 , I’ll still be there next season with my ‘ Young Uns ‘ hoping to be entertained [ some hope ! ]
    Hope you still have one eye on the Owls next season and hope to see you back some time . In the meantime ,thanks again for providing some amusement in the midst of all this mediocrity .

    • Thanks Alan, that means a lot mate…I know you get it…everything in that post says we feel the same way about it….

      “it somehow seems more honest the lower you go”

      That right there mate, bang on the money

  4. Greatest of fortune with future endeavours. We are, whether we like it or not, in similar boats. Our boat rocks a bit more, and is more prone to public humiliation, whereas your boat may lack the turmoil but is equally just as unsatisfying to those who are like me, unfortunate enough to follow a sleeping giant.

    • Turmoil is fleeting matey but it is a frequent visitor…certainly to SWFC anyway.

  5. I was there and agree with you completely. I’ll miss your rambles but hope you might do a few guest appearances from time to time in the future.

  6. Well ya never know Phil, cheers mate

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