Flashback - How Yorkshire’s clubs fared at the start of 1996 ...

Sheffield Wednesday Wednesday's Darko Kovacevic scores the first goal against Bolton Wanderers on January 1, 1996.
Sheffield Wednesday Wednesday's Darko Kovacevic scores the first goal against Bolton Wanderers on January 1, 1996.
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EXACTLY 20 years ago, Big Ben chimed to usher in 1996 - a year that proved notable for the royal divorces of the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of York, among other things.

It was also the year when boy band Take That split up and broke countless teenage girls’ hearts, Dolly the Sheep was born and the Spice Girls burst onto the scene.

Richard Huxford scored in Bradford City's 2-1 win at Stockport County back in January 1996.

Richard Huxford scored in Bradford City's 2-1 win at Stockport County back in January 1996.

But enough of that, what about the football ...

For Yorkshire’s football contingent, the January 1 action of 1996 was curtailed by the weather, with several having to wait for their first outing of the new year.

But there was a full programme which beat the elements in the Premiership, with New Year’s Day 1996 proving a rare day to savour - perhaps truly the only one in his time at Sheffield Wednesday - for much-maligned striker Darko Kovacevic.

The former Yugoslavia international’s stint at Hillsborough was somewhat inauspicious - the former Red Star Belgrade man went onto join Real Sociedad that summer and later played for Juventus - with his best moment arriving on that curtain-raiser for ‘96.

York City's Paul Barnes scored twice to earn a 2-2 draw with Rotherham United.

York City's Paul Barnes scored twice to earn a 2-2 draw with Rotherham United.

Kovacevic scored twice - half of his league goals output in 1995-96 - in a 4-2 Roses victory over Bolton Wanderers, with David Hirst also tagging on a brace for good measure, including a goal from the spot - Sasa Curcic and former Barnsley defender Gerry Taggart replying for the Trotters.

It helped continue the Owls’ goal spree at S6 after hitting Leeds for six in December 1995 and also notching four against visiting Coventry and scoring twice against Southampton.

Leeds United, facing their fourth game in a gruelling eight-day schedule, had to settle for a point in a 0-0 New Year’s Day draw at home to reigning champions Blackburn Rovers in front of 31,285 at Elland Road.

The game came just two days after United ended 1995 with a 1-0 loss at Everton.

Middlesbrough’s post-Christmas malaise in the top-flight continued with a 2-0 Riverside loss to Aston Villa, whose scorers were Alan Wright, later to join Boro for a short spell, and north-easterner Tommy Johnson.

Boro hit the buffers after the yuletide season in spectacular fashion with their defeat to Villa being the third reverse of a debilitating eight-match losing sequence.

Bryan Robson’s beleagured Teessiders went on to post a torrid 11-match winless league sequence, losing 10 matches and ultimately managing to win just twice in the league in the second half of the season. But a strong first-half ensured they stayed clear of trouble.

Huddersfield Town were also in January 1 action and moved up to fourth in the second tier after a 1-1 draw at Grimsby Town, with Ronnie Jepson’s penalty cancelling out Steve Livingstone’s opener.

Many lower-division sides started league action in 1996 the following week, with Bradford City continuing their upturn under Chris Kamara with a 2-1 win at Stockport County, thanks to goals from Paul Jewell and Richard Huxford.

Also in the third tier, struggling Hull City, whose scorer was Bobby Davison (pen), lost out to a Marcus Stewart double at Bristol Rovers.

Rotherham United and York City played out a 2-2 derby draw at Millmoor, with Paul Barnes’s second-half double earning a point for the Minstermen after first-half goals from Shaun Goater (pen) and Neil ‘Butch’ Richardson put the Millers 2-0 ahead.

In the bottom rung, Doncaster Rovers, whose scorer was Matt Carmichael, collapsed in the second half en route to a 4-1 loss at high-flying Bury, whose marksmen were David Pugh, Lenny Johnrose, Phil Stant and Tony Rigby.

It was Rovers’ first game in 21 days and they probably wished they had stayed at home.

Kevin Magee put Scarborough ahead at Hartlepool, but goal poacher Joe Allon earned a point for Pools.