Wembley 25: ‘We feared no one’ - Lawrie Madden on an incredible season and the 1991 League Cup final win

Lawrie Madden
Lawrie Madden

Today marks the 25-year anniversary since Sheffield Wednesday famously stunned Manchester United to lift the League Cup.

John Sheridan’s spectacular 37th minute strike proved decisive as the Owls edged the showpiece final at the old Wembley Stadium.

Buoyed by that success, Ron Atkinson’s iconic side went on to secure promotion back to the top-flight at the first time of asking.

Lawrie Madden, a member of that iconic side, has told The Star: “It was a special time for the club.

“It was the first time Wednesday had won a trophy in many, many year.

“We didn’t do it the easy way. We beat Chelsea in the semi-finals and Manchester United in the final so nobody could say we had an easy route.”

Madden rates that as one of the best teams he played in.

“We had good players,” he said. “There were a lot of players who felt we shouldn’t have got relegated in the first place and stood together.

“Nowadays, if a lot of players got relegated from the Premier League, they would move on but everybody decided we shouldn’t have got relegated.

“All the guys wanted to stay and help us get back up. You could see that togetherness that we had at that time.

“We didn’t fear anybody. We felt we could get a result against anyone in that particular season.

“We went to some big clubs who were doing very well at the time and never parked the bus and put 11 men behind the ball.

“We went out and attacked teams. We played without fear and we had some very good footballers.

“We had a lot of guys who were big occasion players. In the big games, it was very rare that that they didn’t deliver.”

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There was a special bond between the players and the fans, according to Madden.

“The support we got, especially away from home, was phenomenal,” he said. “They believed in the team and liked the way we played.

“There was a lot of love between the players and the fans.”

Madden believes Atkinson deserves a lot of credit for turning around the club’s fortunes.

He said: “I wouldn’t say Ron was a particularly great coach. Far from it.

“But his two biggest strengths were his man management skills and his judgement of picking players. He was very good at relaxing players.

“I’ve been in dressing rooms with other managers at different clubs where I have almost seen players head-butting the door ready to get out.”

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A week ago, almost 1,000 Wednesdayites packed in to the MAGNA Science and Adventure Centre in Rotherham to relive the fantastic memories from that season.

Madden, David Hirst, John Sheridan, Viv Anderson, Phil King, Chris Turner and Peter Shirtliff all attended the special annivesary evening, which was organised by the Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme.

Atkinson, his assistant Richie Barker and club physio Alan Smith also attended the sold-out event.

Former Owls defender Madden said: “It was great to meet up with everybody again.

“Some of the lads I see off an on during the season, but that was the first time I had seen Ron in a long time.”

Stay tuned for more on Wednesday’s League Cup triumph throughout the day.

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