Date: 12th December 2011 at 4:09pm
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Sheffield Wednesday supporters attending the match at Oldham’s Boundary Park on Saturday were greeted by an unusual sight. A large flag, draping the entire length of the away end, bore the message ‘This city is ours – ХВАЛА MILAN’.

The first half of the message – a sly nudge to our neighbours across the city – no doubt brought a wry smile to many of the travelling Wednesdayite’s faces. The second half however may have puzzled them.

‘ХВАЛА’, believed to be pronounced ‘Hvalla’*, means thank you in Chairman Milan Mandaric’s native Serbian – a gesture which he found touching.

Mandaric told the official site: ‘I am so incredibly touched by this gesture. It is fantastic to know that I have the appreciation and recognition of the supporters to what we are all working so hard to do at Sheffield Wednesday.

‘This is what gives me the energy and enthusiasm to do as much as I can for our club.

‘Above everything else, I have so much admiration for the loyalty they have for their football club. It’s like I said when I first came here, as long as I am here, I will share their loyalty and do what all good chairmen of their club should do.’

He went on to say, however fond he was of his time at both Portsmouth and Leicester, he had not experienced anything like this before.

From all of us here at Vital Wednesday, ‘ХВАЛА MILAN’. Thank you for giving us our Wednesday back once and for all.

Read more on the official SWFC site.

*Thanks to RatherRandomOwl for the pronunciation tip!