STEVE BRUCE has plenty of shared history with Sheffield Wednesday.
Be it the afternoon in 1993 when, as Manchester United captain, he scored two of the more famous goals in Premier League history to rescue what had looked like being a faltering title push at Old Trafford or, two years earlier, when the Owls triumphed in the League Cup final at Wembley.
Watch our pre-match interview with Steve Bruce above
Bruce was even present at the Millennium Stadium in 2005 when Wednesday clinched promotion in front of 40,000 elated fans as Hartlepool United were beaten in the League One play-off final.
So, in many ways, it seems quite fitting that the club from S6 today stand between Bruce and the Premier League.
“I could retire and go on the circuit in Manchester and just talk about those two goals at Old Trafford,” said the Hull manager when reminded about a double that had United assistant Brian Kidd dancing on the pitch.
“But, what people forget, is there were still six games to go that season. We played Coventry on the Monday and were hopeless. Denis Irwin blasted one in and we won 1-0 but it is also those two goals against Sheffield Wednesday that are said to be the turning point.”
John Sheridan scored for the Owls at Old Trafford that day from the penalty spot and it was the Republic of Ireland man who fired in the only goal of the 1991 League Cup final.
“We didn’t really bother about the League Cup in those days,” joked Bruce this week when asked about how Second Division Wednesday triumphed against all the odds.
“No, seriously, I remember it because of that John Sheridan goal. It was a Cup final and no one wants to lose them. But that is what can happen in a one-off.
“The disappointments I really remember are like that day at West Ham (in 1995 when Ferguson’s United drew and Blackburn won the Premier League title) when we had chance after chance. In a Cup final, someone has to lose and you take solace from that. Mind, Sheffield Wednesday got lucky that day.”
Eleven years ago, Bruce’s son Alex was in the Wednesday side that took on Hartlepool and the Hull managers remembers the day vividly.
“It was Sheffield Wednesday’s last big final,” he recalls. “Alex was there at the time so I went to the final. There was a huge expectant crowd down from Sheffield, as there will, no doubt, be at Wembley this time.
“They won that day against Hartlepool and won promotion. They will be hoping to do the same again but it is our job at Wembley to stop them.”