EXCLUSIVE: Dean Windass has not stopped crying since son Josh's goal

EXCLUSIVE: Dean Windass has not stopped crying since his son Josh’s Play-off final heroics for Sheffield Wednesday as the Hull legend admits he wants the Owls star to follow in his footsteps AGAIN and reach the Premier League

  • Josh Windass’ diving header came in the 123rd minute at Wembley on Monday 
  • His father Dean claimed that Darren Moore needed his son back for the play-offs 
  • Re-live all the action as Sheffield Wednesday see off Barnsley with last gasp goal 

Twenty-four hours on, Dean Windass is still coming to terms with what he witnessed at Wembley. ‘I can’t stop crying, man,’ he tells Mail Sport from his home in Hull.

‘F****** hell. I thought my crying days were over after 2008 and then he’s just gone and done it to me again. It’s just so emotional.’

Windass’ tears first started flowing at 5.38pm on Monday when his son Josh won the League One play-off final for Sheffield Wednesday against Barnsley with a diving header in the last seconds of extra time.

It came 15 years and five days after Windass’ own Wembley winner for Hull against Bristol City in the Championship play-off final, when Josh was a 14-year-old fan celebrating in the stands.

‘To score with his head… I’ve never seen him head a football in his life, so I don’t know what the f*** went on there!’ grins Windass.

Josh Windass’ last minute goal won the League One Play-off final on Monday for Sheffield Wednesday

His father, Dean, scored the winner in the Championship Play-off final for Hull 15 years and five days prior to his son’s strike

The 28-year-old’s strike in injury time ensured Wednesday would return to the Championship having finished the regular season with 96 points

‘But his goal was better than my volley because it was the last kick of the game. He will cause me a heart attack, the b******!’

Windass, though, had a feeling family history was about to repeat itself – and even bet on it. ‘I had £100 on it,’ he reveals. ‘The trouble is it was over 90 minutes, so I don’t win any money!’

Not that he cared. After Josh’s winner, the TV cameras immediately panned to Windass celebrating by the side of the Wednesday dugout with the club’s captain Barry Bannan, who had just come off with cramp.

‘I told Barry when I went to get my tickets in his bedroom on Monday morning that it was written for Josh,’ he says.

‘When the goal went in, he was hugging me and went, “Who scored?”. I said, “Josh”, and he said, “F****** hell, you f****** told me that this morning!”.

‘It’s mad how things works out. Some of the things that happen in my life, man, somebody is up there looking down on me.’

Speaking on the pitch immediately after the match, Josh joked that his dad would probably be ‘five jagerbombs deep’ so might not remember much about the match.

‘I wasn’t actually because I don’t drink jagerbombs, so he obviously doesn’t know his old man, does he?’ smiles Windass.

But the 54-year-old does know his son – and so can say with some certainty that Josh’s post-match celebrations will have been a tad tamer than his were with Hull in 2008.

‘Josh is teetotal so he would have had a pint of water,’ says Windass. ‘He’s been teetotal all his life. He’s not touched a drop.

Windass Snr’s strike came against Bristol City and put Hull into the top-flight after a 1-0 victory

The Sheffield Wesnesday star has been teetotal for his whole professional playing career

‘I was the opposite! In our day, you worked hard and you played hard and we drank after games.

‘But he probably watched me being a k***head over my life and thought, “Why would I be a k***head?”.’

Or as Josh, 29, put it after Monday’s match: ‘We’re completely different people. People just assume you’re the same character, but I don’t drink and he’s an alcoholic.’

Windass Snr’s drinking sadly spiralled following his retirement from professional football at the age of 40 in 2009. His marriage with Josh’s mother, Helen, ended two years later and he battled depression and twice tried to take his own life.

‘I am so proud for his mum because she looked after him when we got divorced when he was 18,’ says Windass. ‘I know I suffered when my mum and dad got divorced, and I know it really, really hurt Josh. He went through a tough time.

‘So for me and his mum to be friends and at the game together with his brother Jordan, it is just absolutely crazy. Jordan is a footballer now so hopefully he can cap it off with a Windass Wembley hat-trick!’

While Jordan, a 23-year-old defender with Oldham in the National League, is in the early stages of his career, midfielder Josh has been playing professionally for a decade.

After being released by Huddersfield aged 18, he signed for League Two Accrington Stanley in 2013. He then moved to Rangers three years later, before returning south of the border to play for Wigan in the Championship in 2018.

He joined Wednesday in 2020 and, after experiencing relegation from the Championship in his first full season there, he has now got them back into the second tier, having returned from a foot injury in time for the play-offs.

‘Josh has played 43 matches for Wednesday this season and only been on the losing side on one occasion, so it has been an amazing season for him,’ says Windass. ‘That’s not me overhyping my son, that’s a fact that’s there for all to see.

Windass has previously been outspoken in his struggles with depression since hanging up his boots

Windass Snr claimed his former team-mate Darren Moore (left) needed his son fit for the Play-offs

The former Hull star also insisted that he wants to see his son reach the top-flight

‘I think they would have got automatic promotion if he hadn’t have been injured. They did miss him in the seven games that he was out and Darren Moore, my old team-mate, knew he needed him back fit for the play-offs. He works so hard and deserves all the success that he gets.’

And Windass hopes Josh can follow in his footsteps again – by going on to play in the top flight.

‘Sheffield Wednesday are a massive club with a great fanbase,’ he adds. ‘Let’s hope they can invest and get to the Premier League.

‘I want Josh to play in the Premier League and I know that’s what he wants. That would be another unbelievable story.’

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