Sheffield United F.C: Wikis


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Sheffield United
Sheffield United logo
Full name Sheffield United Football Club
Nickname(s) The Blades
Red & White Wizards
Founded 1889
Ground Bramall Lane
(Capacity: 32,702)
Chairman Kevin McCabe
Manager Kevin Blackwell
League The Championship
2008–09 The Championship, 3rd
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours
Current season

Sheffield United Football Club (pronounced /ˈʃɛfiːld juːˈnaɪtɪd/) is a professional English football club based in the city of Sheffield, South Yorkshire. They currently play in the English Football League Championship. They play at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, and play in red and white striped shirts.

Their nickname is 'The Blades'. The club emblem is said to have been designed by former player Jimmy Hagan.[1] They have the nickname The Blades due to Sheffield's worldwide reputation of steel production.[2] The emblem was first used for the 1977–78 season, replacing the city's coat of arms that had been used since 1966. Like all clubs, Sheffield United have a range of songs and chants sung by their fans, including the most notable: their unofficial anthem, The Greasy Chip Butty Song, which is sung before each half,[3] and often after the game if the team has performed well. Sheffield United won the League in 1898 and the FA Cup in 1899, 1902, 1915 and 1925. They were beaten finalists in the FA Cup in 1901 and 1936. Their best performance in the League Cup was reaching the semi finals in 2003.



United conceding the third goal in the 1901 FA Cup Final against Tottenham Hotspur in Bolton

Sheffield United formed on 22 March 1889 as a football and bandy club[4] at the Adelphi Hotel, Sheffield (now the site of the Crucible Theatre) by the President of the Cricket Club Sir Charles Clegg, as a way of keeping the Sheffield United Cricket Club together during the winter close season, following the departure of Sheffield Wednesday to their new ground at Olive Grove and generating income revenues from Bramall Lane over the winter. Sir Charles Clegg was incidentally also the president of Sheffield Wednesday FC. Gradually, as football took off, the football team supplanted the cricket team, such that in 1975, cricket was no longer played at Bramall Lane.

Undoubtedly United's heyday was the 30-year period from 1895–1925, when they were champions of England in 1897–98 and runners up in 1896–97 and 1899–1900, and FA Cup winners in 1899, 1902, 1915 and 1925, finishing runners up in 1901, and also eleven years after their cup final win in 1936. United have not won a trophy since 1925, bar those associated with promotion from lower-leagues, though they did reach both domestic cup semi-finals and the First Division play-off final in the 2002–03 season, ultimately losing all three matches.

Their darkest days were the 1975–76 to 1981–82 seasons, where three relegations in six seasons saw The Blades drop from the top-flight to the fourth division, but this was soon followed by United's best period until Neil Warnock took the managerial helm, with Dave Bassett as manager masterminding successive promotions in the 1988–89 and 1989–90 seasons, to put United back in the top flight in time for the beginning of the Premiership's inception in 1992..


the John Street Stand at Bramall Lane

Sheffield United play at Bramall Lane, near the centre of Sheffield. Bramall Lane is the oldest major ground anywhere in the world, having hosted its first game in 1862,[5] a match between Hallam and Sheffield Club. Bramall Lane also hosted the worlds first ever floodlit football match on 14 October 1878 with two teams picked from the Sheffield Football Association. The power for the lights was provided by two generators. The crowd was 20,000 and the score 2-0. It was originally a cricket ground and the first important match played here was between Yorkshire and Sussex in 1855. A cricket club was formed in 1854 named Sheffield United Cricket Club and Bramall Lane was leased to the club by the Duke of Norfolk. The ground was opened with a cricket match on 30 April 1855. Yorkshire County Cricket Club also formed here, and played most of their games in Sheffield at Bramall Lane until the last match on 7 August 1973 against their old rivals, Lancashire. The ground has seen expansion in recent years, and by 2006, on completion of a 3,000 seat corner stand,[6] was an all-seater stadium holding 32,609.[7] In March 2009 the club received were officially granted permission to expand the stadium once again, over two phases. The first phase would see the Kop being extended to increase the grounds capacity up to approximately 37,000. It would see the removal of the main supporting pillars and a giant screen installed as part of the stands roof. The second phase will see the Valad Stand (formerly Arnold Laver Stand) also extended, bringing the total capacity to a 40,000 all seater. The expansion also has a secondary focus of being available for selection for World Cup matches in 2018 or 2022, if England's bid is successful. However on the 16th December 2009 the Football Association announced that should England's 2018 / 2022 World Cup bid be successful then any games played in Sheffield would be staged at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough Stadium. Following this Sheffield United's Chief Executive, Trevor Birch, made it known that all planned ground redevelopment had been put on hold untill the club was able to regain and maintain Premiership status.

Kits, colours and crest

Sheffield United may be known for their red and white striped kits, but The Blades began playing in white shirts and blue shorts. They briefly flirted with narrow red stripes for the 1890–91 season, before returning to all white the following year. The stripes returned in the 1892–93 season, with black shorts replacing the blue in 1904. The shirts remained largely unchanged until collars were first removed in 1955, replaced by V-necks until the 1966–67 season (when white socks were also used), and from here on the neck style varied hugely.

The traditional red and white striped remained while the 1974–75 season, when elements of black were added, until the 1979–81 kit. This was essentially white with a red breast, and with thin stripes down either side, and was created to accommodate the Cantor's logo, the club's principal sponsor. This was to be replaced by a striped kit, with the sponsor Bentley's (1981–82) and Renault (1982–83) written vertically down a white stripe over the left-hand side. Stripes continued while the 1995–96 season, albeit with various aids to accommodate the sponsors, including a yellow square for Laver from 1988–92 (the 1990–92 shirt also featured narrow black stripes through each white stripe) and a black hoop, also for Laver in the 1994–95 season. Then came the diamond kit, which was so badly received that the club reverted to stripes rather hastily the following season. Since then, red and white stripes and black socks with varying trim have been the order of the day, with black shorts for all but the 2002–05 seasons, when white and then red were tried.[8] The club also every few seasons opt to put thin black stripes between the red and white stripes. Sheffield United's home colours have been the inspiration for the kit of Irish club, Derry City. In 1934, Derry City adopted the stripes, while Billy Gillespie was manager of the club, in recognition of Gillespie's achievements at Sheffield United.[9]

The first time a crest appeared on the shirt was actually in the 1891–92 season, when a red crest appeared on the white shirt, but this disappeared the following season. United used the city of Sheffield's coat of arms from 1965–77, when a new crest was used, introduced by former manager Jimmy Sirrel, but designed apparently over 20 years previously by former player Jimmy Hagan. This consisted of two white crossed swords, or blades, the club's nickname, with a Yorkshire Rose (white) above, on a black background. This is surrounded by a red ring with "Sheffield United F.C." written around the top and "1889", the year the club was founded, underneath. This had been altered very slightly a few times, with a simple black embroidered crest appearing on shirts from 1987–90, and an all-white crest on a red-edged black shield for the 1992–99 seasons, when shields were in fashion with English football clubs, but from 2000–present it has reverted to its original form.

In August 2008 the club unveiled a new sponsor, the country of Malta to be represented on the shirts by, the tourism board of the Mediterranean country.[10]

Macron, an Italian sportswear company supply Sheffield United's kits and sportswear. The four year deal was signed for a seven-figure sum. The 2009/2010 season is Sheffield United's 120th anniversary, and to mark this Macron has designed a 3rd kit for the Blades for that season. This shirt is black and has the names of every player to have ever played for the club woven into the material.

Sheffield United shirts can be seen in several films most notably in When Saturday Comes starring Sean Bean, but also, The Full Monty and Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins. Also, Def Leppard's Joe Elliott is seen wearing a shirt during his band's 1993 concert at Don Valley Stadium. Joe and bandmate Rick Allen are big Sheffield United fans.

Shirt sponsors and manufacturers

Year Kit Manufacturer Main Shirt Sponsor Secondary Sponsor
1973–75 Umbro
1975–79 Admiral
1979–81 Hobott Cantor's
1981–82 Bentleys
1982–83 Renault
1983–85 Umbro Simonds
1985–95 Arnold Laver
1995–97 Avec Wards
1997–99 Le Coq Sportif
1999–00 Blades
2000–02 Patrick Midas Games
2002–04 Le Coq Sportif Desun
2004–06 HFS Loans
2006–07 Capital One
2007–08 Valad
2009–Present Macron Capita


As of 17 March 2010.[11]

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 England MF Ryan France
3 Scotland DF Gary Naysmith
4 Scotland MF Nick Montgomery
5 England DF Chris Morgan (captain)
6 Jamaica DF Nyron Nosworthy (on loan from Sunderland)
7 England FW Darius Henderson
9 Wales FW Ched Evans
11 Republic of Ireland MF Mark Yeates
12 Jamaica MF Lee Williamson
13 England GK Ian Bennett
15 England MF James Harper
16 England DF Andy Taylor
17 England FW Richard Cresswell
18 Northern Ireland FW Jamie Ward
19 England DF Jordan Stewart
No. Position Player
20 Netherlands DF Marcel Seip (on loan from Plymouth Argyle)
21 England DF Kyle Bartley (on loan from Arsenal)
25 England MF Glen Little
26 Republic of Ireland DF Derek Geary
28 Republic of Ireland MF Stephen Quinn
30 Estonia GK Mihkel Aksalu
31 England DF Paul Connolly (on loan from Derby County)
32 Finland DF Toni Kallio (on loan from Fulham)
33 England DF Jonathan Fortune
34 England DF Matthew Lowton
37 Senegal FW Henri Camara
39 England FW Jordan Robertson (serving 32 month prison sentence)[12]
Republic of Ireland GK Paddy Kenny (suspended until April 2010)[13]
Wales MF Gary Speed
England MF Sam Wedgbury

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
10 England MF Kyel Reid (at Charlton Athletic)
24 England FW Billy Sharp (at Doncaster Rovers)
No. Position Player
Somalia FW Liban Abdi (at Ferencváros)

Former players

Reserve and Academy teams

International links

In January 2006, Sheffield United became the first foreign club to take over a Chinese team[14] when they purchased the football club Chengdu Wuniu, based in the city of Chengdu, China.[15] The club was re-named the Chengdu Blades, after their new owners. Sheffield United shirts are now sold in China, and Chengdu shirts are now sold in Sheffield, increasing revenue streams for both clubs.

In February 2008, Kevin McCabe, the club's chairman, finalised an agreement with Budapest-based Ferencváros to buy its football team, and also negotiated with the Hungarian government to purchase and develop the ground around Stadion Albert Flórián.[16] The development of a new all-seater football stadium with a capacity of 25,000 has been started. A match was played in Budapest to celebrate the link-up.[17]

The Blades also have operating/business and exchange of ideas links with Central Coast Mariners[18] of Australia and White Star Woluwé[19] of Belgium.

The Australian Valad Property Group were sponsors of the South Stand at Bramall Lane. From the 2009-10 season, the South Stand sponsors are GACWorld


Sheffield United have numerous rivalries. The most outstanding rivalry is with their city neighbours Sheffield Wednesday. Both teams have chants which aim to berate the other, as with lots of other football rivalries. United and Wednesday's meeting has come to be known as the Steel City derby; to date 119 matches have been played in the Steel City derby, with United winning 44, Wednesday 41, and 37 draws.[20] Sheffield United's other rivals are mainly other teams from Yorkshire, such as Leeds United, Barnsley, Rotherham United and Doncaster Rovers. Sheffield Wednesday remain United's main rivals as meetings between United and Wednesday have occurred the most, and most of Sheffield supports one of the two teams. Sheffield United's rivalry with Barnsley is also rated highly by both sets of supporters; both United and Barnsley referring to each other as "Dingles" and "Dee-Dars" respectively.

Sheffield United, also have, along with many other sports teams across Yorkshire, a strong rivalry with Nottingham Forest. This can be attributed to the miners strikes of the 1980s, where workers in the pits of Nottinghamshire did not join the strike (known locally as scabbing) whereas miners from Yorkshire were on strike. The rivalry between Sheffield United and Forest intensified due to the Blades beating Forest 2-0 at the City Ground for Brian Clough's last ever game as Forest Manager in 1993, Forest were relegated that season. United also defeated Forest in a hostile 2003 1st Division play off semi final, the highlight for United fans being an own goal by former Sheffield Wednesday captain Des Walker.


Sheffield United derives support from a broad cross-section of the community. The majority of football fans in the S2 postcode of the city (where the ground is located) are Sheffield United fans, particularly the Sharrow, Heeley, Highfield, Manor and Park Hill areas of the city. There is also a lot of support in the S3 areas, close to the city centre, S8 and around the Gleadless area, a strong contingent from the Dearne Valley, with a large supporters club from Swinton[21] in particular. The club usually run two or three special student deals each season, and so also have a small student following, based in the suburbs of Crookes and Broomhall.

Famous supporters

Supporters of note include former manager Neil Warnock,[22] actor Sean Bean,[23] the Sports Minister Richard Caborn, MP,[24] the singer Paul Heaton,[25] musicians Joe Elliott and Antony Genn, television presenter Anna Walker,[26] author G. P. Taylor,[27] Olympic Laser Class Sailing gold medalist Paul Goodison has followed Sheffield United since he was a youngster[28] and Alex Quinn (Sky Sports News presenter). As a boy Argentinian legend Juan Sebastian Veron dreamed of playing for the Blades.[29] Michael Palin is a Blades fan and kept up to date with their results even on his trip aound the world in 80 days.


Like many English clubs, Sheffield United supporters have a wide variety of chants and songs, the most famous of which is The Greasy Chip Butty Song. Many others are intended to berate their local rivals, Sheffield Wednesday, the most famous of which are (to the tune of "Singing the Blues): "Never felt more like Swinging a pig/from Hyde Park Flats to Wadsley Bridge/United! You've got me swinging a pig/As you do, as you do, as you do!" and "No pigs fans in town/No Hillsborough to sadden my eyes/Jack Charlton is dead/and the pig's fans have fled/and the year is 1889!". They can also be heard to sing "Are you Wednesday in disguise" to poorly-playing teams—an attempt to undermine both the opposition and Sheffield Wednesday.[30] A popular chant at the moment is "Oh when the Blades go marching in!" this is usually sung for a long period of time whilst playing away from home. Songs played before kick off at Bramall Lane include 'Meet Her At The Love Parade' by Da Hool, 'We took Pelham' by Deadly Avenger and 'United' by Judas Priest and. These songs are known to fans as the 'Countdown To Kick-Off'. . Another popular chant is (sung to the tune of "I am sailing"): We are Bladesmen, we are Bladesmen, super Bladesmen, from the Lane. We are Bladesmen, super Bladesmen, we are Bladesmen, from the Lane".

League history

Graphical representation of Sheffield United's historical league standings. Coloured bars represent the tiers of English football
  • Seasons spent at Level 1 of the football league system: 60
  • Seasons spent at Level 2 of the football league system: 39
  • Seasons spent at Level 3 of the football league system: 5
  • Seasons spent at Level 4 of the football league system: 1
Sheffield United: League Standings for last 10 Seasons
Season League Pos P W D L F A Pts
1998–99 Division One 8 46 18 13 15 71 66 67
1999–00 Division One 16 46 13 15 18 59 71 54
2000–01 Division One 10 46 19 11 16 52 49 68
2001–02 Division One 13 46 15 15 16 53 54 60
2002–03 Division One 3 46 23 11 12 72 52 80
2003–04 Division One 8 46 20 11 15 65 56 71
2004–05 Championship 8 46 18 13 15 57 56 67
2005–06 Championship 2 46 26 12 8 76 46 90
2006–07 Premier League 18 38 10 8 20 32 55 38
2007–08 Championship 9 46 17 15 14 56 51 66
2008-09 Championship 3 46 22 14 10 64 39 80

Pos = Position; P = Played; W = Won; D = Drawn; L = Lost; F = Goals For; A = Goals Against; Pts = Points


Captain George Utley leads Sheffield United out for the 1915 FA Cup final.
  • Division Three/League One
  • Division Four/League Two

Managerial history

Assistant Managers


  • Matthews, Tony (15 December 2003). The Official Encyclopaedia of Sheffield United Football Club. Britespot Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-904103-19-7. 
  • Clarebrough, Denis (30 September 1997). Sheffield United Football Club. Chalford Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-1059-8. 
  • Armstrong, Gary; Garrett, John (1 December 2007). Sheffield United Football Club - The Biography. Hallamshire Publications Ltd. ISBN 1-8747-1865-2. 


  1. ^ "Sheffield United - The Biography" by Gary Armstrong with John Garrett, ISBN 1-874718-65-2
  2. ^ There are numerous sources showing the international reputation of Sheffield for metallurgy, and in particular steel and cutlery manufacture, However The Blades was first adopted by rivals Sheffield Wednesday. Some examples are: the Oxford English Dictionary, which begins its entry for Sheffield, "The name of a manufacturing city of Yorkshire, famous for cutlery"; and the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which in its entry for Sheffield states that by 1830 Sheffield had earned "recognition as the world centre of high-grade steel manufacture". David Hey in the preface to his 1997 book Mesters to Masters: A History of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. (Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-828997-9) states "It (Sheffield) was known for its cutlery wares long before the incorporation of the Cutlers' Company in 1624, and long before it acquired an international reputation as the steel capital of the world."
  3. ^ "The Greasy Chip Butty Song". YouTube video. Retrieved 2007-10-16. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "A brief history". Sheffied United official website.,,10418~1081166,00.html. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  6. ^ 2000 seat corner stand, completed September 2006. Retrieved on 3 December 2006
  7. ^ BBC webpage. Retrieved on 3 December 2006
  8. ^ Moor, Dave. "Historical Football Kits".  Retrieved 9 April 2007.
  9. ^ "Derry City FC - A Concise History", CityWeb, 2006.
  10. ^ "Blades Direct - home kit". Retrieved 2007-10-16. 
  11. ^ "Player Profiles". Sheffield United F.C..,,10418,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  12. ^ Branagh, Ellen (2 October 2009). "Footballer Jordan Robertson jailed after admitting causing fatal crash". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  13. ^ "Paddy boost". Sheffield United F.C. 6 November 2009.,,10418~1868681,00.html. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  14. ^ "Sheffield United take over Chengdu football club". People's Daily Online. 2006-01-13. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  15. ^ "Chengdu Blades - Sheffield students welcome Chinese Blades". University of Sheffield. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  16. ^ "Blades chief wins Ferencvaros bid". BBC Sport Online. BBC. 13 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  17. ^ "Chairman Celebrates Win". Sheffield United official website. 2008-03-27.,,10418~1275433,00.html. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  18. ^ "Blades expand worldwide links with Mariners agreement". Sheffield United F.C.. 2008-02-26.,,10418~1250361,00.html. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  19. ^ "Royal White Star Woluwe". Sheffield United F.C.. 2007-12-07.,,10418~1185107,00.html. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  20. ^ Steel City derby, head-to-head: website.
  21. ^ "Swinton Blades". 
  22. ^ Neil Warnock, famous supporter: article at The Independent website, via the FindArticles service.
  23. ^ Sean Bean, famous supporter: his biography.
  24. ^ "Interview: Richard Caborn, sports minister". The Guardian. 28 March 2005. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  25. ^ Paul Heaton, famous supporter: from a Guardian Unlimited interview.
  26. ^ "Sheffield's Anna Walker". BBC. March. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  27. ^ G. P. Taylor, famous supporter: website.
  28. ^ Paul Goodison, famous supporter :
  29. ^
  30. ^ Aitken, Sean. "Blades Songs and Chants". Swinton Blades. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 

External links


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