Sheffield WednesdayThe Parliament of Owlerton
On Wednesday 4 September 1867, the Wednesday Cricket Club formed a football branch to keep members together during the winter season. The cricket team played on Wednesday afternoons when members, craftsmen, shopkeepers and clerks had a half day off work. The new club was officially named ‘The Wednesday Cricket & Football Club’.
Although they were frequently referred to as Sheffield Wednesday, the club did not formally adopt this title until 1929. Sheffield Wednesday are the only English League club with a day of the week in their name!
Sheffield has long been associated with steel manufacturing, hence the match between Wednesday and local rivals United being referred to as the Steel City Derby. The Oxford English Dictionary entry for the city says: ‘The name of a manufacturing city of Yorkshire, famous for cutlery’. The term ‘Blades’ or ‘Cutlers’ was formerly used as a nickname for all senior Sheffield football clubs; particularly when teams were playing away.
The nickname of ‘The Blades’ was first adopted by Sheffield Wednesday before they became ‘The Owls’, and ironically, Bramall Lane was the home of Sheffield Wednesday before it became the home of Sheffield United. Now, the two clubs are fierce rivals and have met well over 100 times in all competitions, the first of which was played way back in 1893.
Bramall Lane was effectively Sheffield Wednesday's permanent home between 1880 and the opening of their new stadium at Olive Grove in 1887. During the 1898–99 season Sheffield Wednesday were told that the land rented at Olive Grove would be needed for railway expansion. They were allowed to remain there for the rest of that season, but had to find a new ground for the following season.
They eventually moved to their new stadium in the district of Owlerton, on 2 September 1899. The stadium was eventually renamed Hillsborough in 1914, following ground improvements, but the district of Owlerton not only gave Sheffield Wednesday FC a new and enduring nickname (The Owls), it also provided the inspiration for the design of the club's crest. The owl has become a synonymous motif along with club's Latin motto, 'Consilio et Animis' - ‘By Wisdom and Courage’.
Owls are a group of birds that belong to the order Strigiformes, constituting 200 extant bird of prey species. Though owls are typically solitary, the literary collective noun for a group of owls is a ‘parliament’.