‘I wasn’t too fussed’ - How Portsmouth, Leicester and ex-Rotherham striker George Hirst dealt with abuse from fellow Sheffield Wednesday fans

Sheffield Wednesday fan George Hirst shrugged off becoming a target of abuse among the Owls faithful – and insisted Pompey remains his priority.

By Sam Cox
Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 12:30 pm

The 22-year-old was in the firing line from Owls fans for large portions of Tuesday night’s goalless draw, as he felt the brunt of a number of colourful chants.

Hirst emerged through the Hillsborough ranks to make two first-team appearances and establish himself as a youth international.

However, he courted controversy by quitting his boyhood club to join Belgium side OH Leuven in June 2018, before later returning to England with Leicester City.

Tuesday night’s meeting with the Yorkshire side was his first against his former employers, but he couldn’t find the elusive goal he craved as he was thwarted by an inspired Bailey Peacock-Farrell in the Wednesday net.

And Hirst described how he was unaffected by the uncomfortable reaction generated by the 1,549 travelling fans.

He told The News: ‘I could make out what they were saying a few times! On the whole, you can’t really hear what they’re saying because you’re too focused on the game and don’t get time to rest on that to listen to it.

‘It was the first time I’ve faced them and it was a strange feeling because I played there for may years and I’m a boyhood Sheffield Wednesday fan.

Pompey's goalless draw with Sheffield Wednesday was George Hirst's first meeting with his former employers. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

‘But I’m at Pompey now and I’ve got a job to do and that’s all I was thinking about on Tuesday night. I’m pretty annoyed at myself that I could have come away with a couple of goals.

‘On another day they go in and we win the game comfortably. So, for me, it was less about who we were playing and more about me going out there and doing my job.’

The former Rotherham loanee is the son of Wednesday legend David Hirst, who played more than 300 times for the Hillsborough club and netted 182 goals.

And the bloodline of the Leicester loanee was subject of a few chants last night despite featuring in blue and white only twice.

He continued: ‘It was to be expected, that’s part and parcel of football and you can’t please everybody.

‘I was just going out there to put a smile on the Pompey fans’ faces, I wasn’t too fussed on the away fans.’

A message from the Editor, Mark WaldronYou can support our local team of expert Pompey writers by subscribing here for all the latest news from Fratton Park for 14p a day.