Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Longest League game ever


Wednesday and Villa played the longest League match ever during the 1898/99 season. In an era where there were no floodlights the game at Olive Grove on 26 November 1898 started late. Wednesday led 3-1 when referee Aaron Scragg, under pressure from Villa captain John Devey over bad light, abandoned the match after 79.5 minutes. 

The Football League management committee decided that Villa must return and play the remaining 10.5 minutes. This they did on 13 March 1899 and conceded another goal to lose 4-1. The game had started in November and finished in March. 

Villa was to end the season as League Champions. Wednesday was to be relegated just three years after winning the 1896 FA Cup when Fred Spiksley, who played in the longest game, scored both of the Wednesday goals in the final against Wolves. Spiksley scored Wednesday’s first goal at the club’s new ground, Hillsborough, the following season. 

The remarkable life - on and off the pitch - of Spiksley is now in print in a new book due out on 5 September. It will be sold in the club shop but Wednesday fans keen to order it in advance - and get a discount - should use code OWLS 2016 - and go to:-

Sheffield Wednesday v Aston Villa programme for 7 August 2016 

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