Liam Palmer is a rare exception to the rule. The 21-year-old supported Sheffield Wednesday as a boy and after a successful year on loan at Tranmere Rovers, is now back in the Owls squad and hoping to make a name for himself.
Palmer was born in Worksop, and still lives in a town that while regarded as North Nottinghamshire, provides a lot of fans for Wednesday and their hosts tonight, Rotherham United.
He even went to see the Millers in pre-season with a group of his friends, and knows full-well how much tonight’s game means to both sets of supporters.
“I went down with some friends to check out the New York Stadium,” he said. “It’s a great stadium, and morale is high there.
“There’s a lot of people from Worksop who support Wednesday, a lot of my friends I went to school with, they all stop me and ask me how I’m getting on.
“I was at a cash machine on Sunday night in the town and a woman came out of a nearby pub to ask me about the game the day before.”
That game was a 2-1 defeat at Queens Park Rangers, one that provided Palmer with the knowledge that he can cut it at Championship level.
He shone at Tranmere last year, but that was in League One, and there was an element of trepidation about stepping up. But after matching Junior Hoilett in the QPR side on Saturday, Palmer has made a confident start.
Palmer said: “He’s one of the best players in the division in that position certainly, and I thought I did all right. At times he skipped past me but you’re going to get that with a player of his quality.”
For Palmer, his 43 games at Tranmere proved invaluable.
“When you’re a young kid like I was, getting thrust into a game off the bench at Hillsborough is really nerve-wracking and I was a bit overawed by it,” he said.
“Going away to Tranmere and getting that experience has been massive. I’ve developed as a player and as a person.”