Sheffield Wednesday's top 30 players - Number 24

HITC Sport's run-down of the Owls' greatest ever player continues with Nigel Worthington.

Only 11 players have ever appeared in more games for Sheffield Wednesday than Nigel Worthington.

Worthington, affectionately - though not especially inventively - known as 'Irish' during his decade at Hillsborough, turned out on 417 occasions for the Owls, tied with Ellis Rimmer.

A £125,000 signing from Notts County in 1984, Worthington was memorable for above all, his reliability, a wand of a left foot and his permanently grey bonce.

He was a mainstay in Owls sides managed by Howard Wilkinson, Ron Atkinson and Trevor Francis, and helped the Yorkshire outfit to six top-half finishes in England's highest echelon, along with three cup finals, one cup win and one promotion.

The former Northern Ireland international also holds the title of most-capped Wednesday player, having made 50 of his 66 Norn Ire appearances at Hillsborough, and went on to manage his country following spells in charge of Blackpool, Norwich and Leicester.

With his 33rd birthday approaching, the Owls decided to trade in Worthington for a younger model - bringing in another Ulsterman in Tranmere's Ian Nolan - allowing him to link up with Wilkinson, David Wetherall and, before long, Carlton Palmer at Leeds United.

Worthington's cousin, Brendan Rodgers, is said to have followed Wednesday from a distance during his pre-coaching years.

Sheffield Wednesday career: 1984-1994

Appearances: 417

Goals: 14

International career: 1984-1997

Caps: 66

Goals: 0

Other clubs: Ballymena United, Notts County, Leeds United, Stoke City, Blackpool.

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