Sheffield Wednesday v Plymouth: Trouble brewing but coffee shop fan delights Barry Bannan

A SOUL-ENRICHING moment the other day reminded Barry Bannan of just why he loves being at Sheffield Wednesday so much.

It came when he was doing the sort of everyday thing that most people do in their daily lives. Nipping out for a coffee.

Owls captain Bannan would have been forgiven for fearing the worst when the cafe owner entered into conversation with him – given the fact that he and his team-mates had ended 2021 in depressing fashion at Sunderland and started the new year with another grim loss at Shrewsbury.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sometimes, life is full of pleasant surprises.

Sheffield Wednesday captain Barry Bannan. Picture: Steve Ellis

Bannan told The Yorkshire Post: “The fans are amazing. I know a lot of people see things on Twitter with people commenting... But I had someone come up to me the other day – Josh, who part-owns a coffee shop – after the Shrewsbury game and he said one of the nicest things that a fan has ever said.

“He just thanked us for everything we are doing – bearing in mind we had just lost two games – and my loyalty and stuff.

“Little things like that are why you want to be in this sport and at this club. It touched me as the guy came out of his way to thank us after losing to Sunderland and Shrewsbury and wish us all the best. It was amazing as he did not have to do that.

“You get bad and good fans, but the majority of Sheffield Wednesday fans are amazing and second to none.”

A boyhood Celtic fan growing up in Coatbridge, Bannan’s heartstrings are pulled by the blue and white as much as the green and white these days.

He has been through plenty in his time at S6 and his desire to get the club back to the minimum level where most observers feel they should be in the Championship is fervent and real.

When Wednesday have a bad result, the pain is keenly felt and taken home, with Bannan having had the best part of a fortnight to stew over defeats against Sunderland and Shrewsbury.

He added:“I am a person who, when I am away from the pitch, eats, lives and breathes football. There is no getting away from football for me.

“Me and my missus live in separate rooms at home. She is in the living room and I am in the dining room watching football or any sport. I am a big sports person.

Football is my life and obviously when you lose games, it hurts. For me, I have always hated losing, whether it is playing snooker as a kid growing up with my brothers beating me.

“I take losing badly and I will never change – whether it is a board game or football.

“Probably the worst thing about it is when you have to wait two weeks to get back out and try and correct it.

“Luckily, I’ve a daughter who also takes up most of my time too. But you still don’t get over losing and it’s in the back of your head when you go to sleep at night.”

Having recently turned 32, Bannan is in the autumn of his career, but still has enough time for some warm sunshine yet.

He has achieved a fair bit in his career, yet he readily admits that leading Wednesday back to the second-tier would probably top everything to date.

No-one disputes the fact that they have a lot to do to achieve that – starting with today’s six-pointer with promotion rivals Plymouth, with the Owls owing them one after 3-0 defeats in league and cup in Devon.

Still, it’s far from impossible. Stranger things have happened.

“If we do get over the line, it will be my proudest moment, probably,” the Scot continued.

“Apart from when my daughter was born – or the missus will kill me!

“I have been here a long time; seven or eight years is a long time in football and have a connection. If we can return to the Championship this year, it’ll be an amazing feeling for me and an emotional time for me and my family.”