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Sheff Wed 1997: The Second Worst 5-0 Thumping of Our Lives

First place goes to Stoke 5-0. This was almost as bad

Matthew Lewis

The date was 8th November 1997.

The venue was the famous old ground at Hillsborough - home of Sheffield Wednesday, who Bolton Wanderers face today in the penultimate game of this most disappointing of seasons.

Let's hope beleaguered Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman can avoid a repeat....

Wanderers, experiencing their first season back in the Premier League after winning the Football League First Division the previous season under the tutelage of Colin Todd.

Bolton began the game reasonably well, and with little sign of the carnage to come.

However, come it indeed did.

After 20 minutes, Wednesday's former Celtic striker Paolo Di Canio struck beyond Wanderers keeper Branagan to record his fifth goal of the season.

Six minutes later it was 2-0 as Guy Whittingham again fired past a helpless Branagan.

Three minutes later it was 3-0 with a goal from ex-Huddersfield Town striker Andy Booth. The same man made it 4-0 after 33 minutes.

Whites' boss Colin Todd then made two changes, with Per Frandsen and Jimmy Phillips replaced by Franz Carr and the manager's son Andy Todd after 34 minutes.

These changes failed to make a serious impact upon proceedings and the score become 5-0 soon after with Booth completing his hat-trick following another well taken effort beyond past Branagan in the 44th minute.

Wanderers fans were aghast.

Fortunately the second half was fairly uneventful. A spate of yellow cards being the only real talking point as Wednesday failed to add to their lead.

Wanderers could perhaps be pleased that they managed to regain some semblance of pride from a semi-competent second half showing.

Except it was nowt of the sort.

Wanderers would go on to be relegated on goal difference from Everton, whilst Wednesday, managed by David Pleat and then former Manchester United manager Ron Atkinson, managed to get to safety and a relatively comfortable 16th position.

The Teams

Sheffield Wednesday

Kevin Pressman - Peter Atherton (Hyde), Jon Newsome, Ian Nolan, Des Walker - Jim Magilton, Mark Pembridge, Petter Rudi - Andy Booth (Donaldson), Paolo Di Canio (Blondeau), Guy Whittingham

Manager: Peter Shreeves

Bolton Wanderers

Keith Branagan - Gudni Bergsson, Mark Fish, Jimmy Phillips (Carr), Mike Whitlow - Per Frandsen (Todd), Jamie Pollock, Alan Thompson - Nathan Blake, Arnar Gunnlaugsson, Dean Holdsworth

Manager: Colin Todd

The Grim Evidence