The 30-year-old, playing his first match since November, received a rapturous ovation at Bloomfield Road as Blackpool claimed an FA Cup fourth-round replay thanks to Kevin Phillips' last-gasp penalty. The Owls afforded Southern little courtesy and took the lead through Clinton Morrison while he was lying injured with a nasty-looking gash on his ankle.
But Holloway believes it is a measure of the man that he did not even want treatment to the injury. He said: "I gave him the captaincy because he thoroughly deserves it and now he's gone and got another cut - life is a funny thing. He's got somewhere to slip his pyjamas now, I've never seen a gash like it, it's a great big hole."
He added: "Even that bout of cancer he had didn't keep him out for more than five weeks so it's only a little gash.
"We let him have some time off. He's all clear at the moment but the problem is that worry you're going to have to keep checking and when it is the 'c' word it's horrible. I've never known a bloke mentally as strong as him on and off the pitch. We're one big family here.
"It was quite a nasty tackle, I thought, over the top of the ball - stamped on his ankle. He didn't realise how bad it was, he didn't even want treatment."
Both managers made eight changes to their sides and it was one of those for the Owls - Morrison - who broke the deadlock with an exquisite chip on 52 minutes.
Wednesday, pushing for promotion from npower League One, looked good value for the victory until Gary Taylor-Fletcher was hauled down by Danny Batth and Phillips fired home from the spot, leaving Owls boss Gary Megson lamenting a fixture pile-up.
"I'm really disappointed, not surprised but disappointed. I thought that was the only way they were going to score, unless it was something special from distance," he said.
"If it was [a penalty] it looked really soft, I didn't think it was. You saw from both line-ups what the competition is, we both want to go through but obviously there is an importance attached to the league fixtures, but the game was played in a proper competitive spirit."