Richard Wood explains why he stopped supporting Leeds United in favour of Sheffield Wednesday

Leeds United East Stand

The Rotherham United defender was a Leeds fan in his younger days.

Rotherham United's Richard Wood says having a Sheffield Wednesday season ticket was better than watching Leeds United as a kid.

Osset-born Wood grew up supporting the Whites, but changed allegiances upon joining the Owls' academy aged 10.

The 30-year-old progressed into the first-team set-up at Hillsborough and made 189 appearances for Wednesday before leaving for Coventry City in controversial circumstances in 2009.

He returned to South Yorkshire two summers ago, signing for current Leeds manager Steve Evans at the New York Stadium, but only recently has he enjoyed a consistent run in the starting eleven, following the arrival of another boss with Elland Road connections - Neil Warnock.

Wood returned to Hillsborough a fortnight ago and kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win. But despite a fractured relationship between himself and some Owls supporters, the centre-back retains fond memories of his days as a season-ticket holder.

"I supported Leeds because it was my local team," Wood explained to Alan Biggs on Sheffield Live TV. "All my friends at school supported Leeds, we all went to the games - I had a season ticket.

"But then when I got picked up by Wednesday, we got free season tickets as academy players, and from there it was better than going to watch Leeds!

"We had (Paolo) Di Canio and (Benito) Carbone playing every week - I was there when Di Canio pushed the ref over (against Arsenal in 1999) - things like that stand out. It was good times.

"I've always benefitted then from the decline, because that gave me my chance of playing."

Wood had earlier admitted that winning promotion with Wednesday at the Millennium Stadium 11 years ago was 'one of the greatest moments' of his life - barring the birth of his children.

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