Sheffield Wednesday's top 30 players - Number 16

HITC Sport's run-down of the Owls' greatest ever players continues with John Sheridan.

Despite being born in the shadow of Old Trafford in Stretford, John Sheridan grew up a Manchester City fan.

The midfielder began his career at Maine Road, but was unable to live out his dream of playing for the Blues in a competitive fixture.

However, nine years after leaving his boyhood club for Leeds United, Sheridan achieved the next best thing - inflicting pain on Manchester United.

The Red Devils, who'd won their first trophy of the Alex Ferguson era a year earlier, were expected to make a habit of it when paired against Second Division Sheffield Wednesday in the final of the Rumbelows Cup in 1991.

Sheridan had other ideas, though, and crashed in the game's only goal via Les Sealey's far post in the 37th minute. It was typical of the Irishman.

Sheridan's Hillsborough career didn't get off to the greatest of starts, with Wednesday relegated from the top flight six months after his arrival from Nottingham Forest, for whom he'd signed only six months before that but never made an appearance, following a fall-out with former Owls boss Howard Wilkinson at Leeds.

But the 1990-91 campaign was where it all kicked off for the current Oldham Athletic manager. As well as winning the cup, Wednesday were promoted at the first attempt.

The following season, Sheridan remained an integral part of the side which, then managed by Trevor Francis, finished third in the First Division, and he featured in all four of the Owls' Wembley appearances in 1992-93 - beating Sheffield United, but losing to Arsenal in the finals of both domestic cup competitions, one of which was replayed.

The arrival of David Pleat as Francis' replacement saw Sheridan's first-team opportunities diminish, and he was eventually sold to Bolton Wanderers in 1996 following a loan spell.

Sheridan is widely regarded as one of Wednesday's greatest ever playmakers, and is the last player to appear at a World Cup finals while contracted to the club - 22 years ago.

Sheffield Wednesday career: 1989-1996

Appearances: 248

Goals: 33

Republic of Ireland career: 1988-1995

Caps: 34

Goals: 5

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