99 UK football grounds and £20,000 later dedicated Owls fan reaches 100th away grounds

Devoted Sheffield Wednesday fan Keith Bridge, 56, has seen his beloved Owls play on 99 UK football grounds, with the milestone 100th ground coming this Saturday (26th March) away against Dagenham & Redbridge.

Keith has been supporting the Owls since he was 11 when his neighbour took him to Hillsborough in 1966, to see Wednesday play European champions Manchester United and he has been hooked ever since. The fascination with visiting away grounds started in the 70s and 80s when Keith was  a season ticket holder for 15 years.

“I’ve always enjoyed away games more, there’s a much better atmosphere when there’s just a few thousand of you crammed into one end, so it makes it worth the money and journey.”

Visiting 99 away grounds has taken Keith the length and breadth of the country from Carlisle to Yeovil and Southend to Hartlepool.

“The best ground I’ve seen Wednesday play at has to be Old Trafford, and the worst is Bramall Lane for obvious reasons.”

However, it has been over a decade since the Owls last played at Old Trafford with relegation from the Premier League in 1999. Their demise has been well noted having been relegated twice in that time to the third tier of English football.

“It’s very difficult being a Wednesday fan because I’ve seen more downs than ups. I’ve seen them win 1 trophy in 45 years; the trophy ‘room’ at Hillsborough is sparse to say the least.

“I’m hoping for brighter things over the next few seasons now Milan Manderic has come in, the last 5 or so has been utterly depressing.”

‘Supporting Sheffield Wednesday is not easy’

League cup winners and FA cup finalists in the early 90s is a distant memory from the lowly depth of 16th in League One where they currently reside. With relegation to League Two a possibility, it’s not all doom and gloom as it would provide Keith with new grounds to visit.

“Every cloud has a silver lining and if they were relegated it would mean I have 7 new grounds to visit; Cheltenham, Stevenage, Burton Albion, Aldershot, Accrington Stanley, Morecombe and Barnet, but let’s not hope it goes that far!”

“I had hundreds of low points, supporting Sheffield Wednesday is not easy, there are a few highs but it’s mainly lows. They have ruined so many weekends for me,” said Keith.

“I dread to think how much I’ve spent on them, it’s impossible to say but it’s in to tens of thousands. Don’t tell my wife!”

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