Sheffield Wednesday in the play-offs: a fan’s view of their triumph in 2005

Sheffield Wednesday go to the Championship final against Hull City with only happy memories of the play-offs. Their only appearance in the play-offs to date ended in a crushing 4-2 win over Hartlepool – and a lucky escape for one fan

By Richard Foster for The Agony and the Ecstasy of the Guardian Sport Network

Sheffield Wednesday have not been blessed with great success in the last 16 years. They have bounced between the Championship and League One since their relegation from the Premier League in 2000, with their defeat of Hartlepool in the League One play-off final in 2005 one of the few highlights of a distinctly fallow period.

That victory in their only play-off final to date was sandwiched between two failures for Sheffield United – after United were hammered 3-0 by Wolves in the 2003 League One final and before their defeat to Burnley in 2009 Championship final. The way Wednesday scored four goals in their first play-offs final – one in each half of normal time and extra time – mocks United’s record of having played in four finals without managing to score a single goal. That is almost 400 minutes of scoreless football in contrast to free-scoring Wednesday – and United have also fallen at the semi-final stage four times.

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