Josh Windass’ game-winning goal in the last seconds of extra time gave Sheffield Wednesday a fairytale finale to their remarkable League One playoff run, and on Monday, they beat 10-man Barnsley 1-0 to secure promotion.
Wednesday overcame a 4-0 deficit to Peterborough in the first leg of their semifinal and pulled off the greatest comeback in English Football League playoff history to earn a spot in the Championship for the upcoming season.
Windass imitated his father Dean, whose game-winning goal for Hull City in the 2008 Championship playoff final helped the team secure promotion to the Premier League, in front of 44 000 Wednesday supporters crowded into Wembley.
Michael Smith and Barry Bannan of Wednesday had shots stopped during the action-packed extra time, but Windass’ diving header past goalkeeper Harry Isted in the 123rd minute set off wild celebrations.
“There’s no words, there’s no words. Wow,” Dean Windass told BBC Radio Sheffield. “I knew he’d score, this morning when I woke up at 5.30 I was nervous and even with his head as well – I can’t believe he’s headed it.
“I’m so proud for him. When I scored here I thought my life would change. I’ve got two boys but this boy – it’s unbelievable.”
Wednesday, who in the regular season just missed automatic promotion to the Championship from the third tier, suffered a crushing loss in the first leg of their playoff quarterfinal against Peterborough, therefore ending their chances of automatic promotion.
But in the second leg, they surprised Peterborough 5-1 at Hillsborough before winning on penalties.
“I’ve played for a couple of big clubs but look at this, it’s unbelievable,” Josh Windass told Sky Sports.
“We’ve been good on the pitch this year. The club’s got a lot of work to do to catch up with the other clubs off the pitch, but hopefully we can do that and start being the giant club that we are.”