Richard Wood clears up controversial Sheffield Wednesday exit

Sheffield Wednesday

The Rotherham United defender left Hillsborough for Coventry City in 2009.

Richard Wood cites his removal as captain as the reason behind his controversial exit from Sheffield Wednesday.

Wood, who rose through the Owls' academy ranks, led his boyhood club to 12th place in the season preceding his departure from Hillsborough, and had opened talks regarding a new contract.

But the deal remained unsigned and Wood was soon sold to Coventry City, following an initial loan spell.

The 30-year-old, who now plays for Wednesday's local rivals Rotherham United, was rumoured to have demanded more money from the club, in accordance with his role in the team, and as such, was booed on his final Hillsborough appearance at home to Queens Park Rangers.

But in an interview with Alan Biggs on Sheffield Live TV, Wood insists he never had ideas above his station.

"I never thought I was better than I was because I know I’m not a talented player," Wood explained. "I never have been. I’m a good defender and I’m good at what I do. So that was never in question.

"I was captain at the club the season before, everything was going well. Steve Watson was club captain and I was captain on a matchday.

"Brian Laws (wanted) Steve to help me along, which I was very proud to do. Then at the start of the 2009-10 season, he brought Darren Purse in and made him captain and that hurt me that did.

"I know was young at the time, to be a captain, but I didn’t feel it was just and I feel hard-done to with that.

"And then there were a few other things going on behind the scenes, contract issues which I don’t want to go into detail about. It came into a head in October time and there were contracts being offered to me, but then Brian said he was going to put me on the transfer list because 'this has got to stop'.

"So he did that, put me on the transfer list and (said:) you’ll never play for the club again.

"Then when I was fit, because I was injured at the time, he put me on the bench and then brought me on at Hillsborough and I got booed. I got hung out to try really and it was disappointing and sad because I didn’t want to leave on those terms."

Wood, who also admitted in the interview that having a Wednesday season ticket was better than watching Leeds United - the club he'd supported during early childhood, made 189 appearances for the Owls, leaving shortly before their relegation to League One.

The Osset-born centre-back suffered the same fate a year later, though, and spent a season at Charlton Athletic before returning to South Yorkshire with Rotherham two summers ago.

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