Sheffield United

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Posted by motoman 04/16/2009 @ 11:13

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News headlines
Wembley mix-up hits Burnley fans - BBC Sport
Burnley have requested a section of their fans to swap their tickets for the Championship play-off final against Sheffield United at Wembley on Monday. The Clarets were mistakenly sent tickets for seats in Block 123 which is supposed to be a segregated...
Eagles soaring towards the top flight thanks to words of wisdom ... - Daily Mail
So the old sage of management will afford himself a wry smile when Burnley's £1million signing lines up against Sheffield United in the play-off final next week as he bids to crown a superb breakthrough campaign. Eagles said: 'When I left United Sir...
Greg Halford header sends Sheffield United to Wembley -
Greg Halford, left, celebrates scoring the goal that took Sheffield United to the play-off final. Photograph: Michael Regan/Action Images Standing 6ft 5in tall and decidedly right- footed, Greg Halford is hardly the conventional left-winger....
Blades duo unlikely to make final - BBC Sport
Sheffield United strikers Jamie Ward and Darius Henderson are both unlikely to play in the Championship play-off final against Burnley next Monday. Northern Ireland international Ward has a hamstring problem and Henderson is suffering from an Achilles...
Everton in contract talks with Phil Jagielka -
He has three years remaining on the contract he signed when he joined Everton from Sheffield United for £4m in 2007. Everton, however, are keen to secure the 26-year-old's services for the long term and with an improved financial deal that recognises...
Unlike during the Liverpool era, there were more clubs that were capable of winning it, including Nottingham Forest, Manchester, Arsenal, Newcastle United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspurs, Everton, Leeds United, Coventry, Sheffield Wednesday and...
Bramall Lane bid for world cup - The Star
By Les Payne SHEFFIELD United aim to position themselves at the front of the Steel City's bid to host World Cup matches should England win the race to stage the tournament in 2018 by ensuring FIFA guidelines are included in their redevelopment package...
Sheffield United boss shields rising stars - The Star
SHEFFIELD United manager Kevin Blackwell will continue to protect Kyle Naughton and Kyle Walker, two of the most exciting young talents to emerge from the club's youth academy in recent seasons, from the glare of the media spotlight ahead of the...
Burnley advances to promotion playoff final against Sheffield United - The Canadian Press
LONDON — Burnley advanced to the promotion playoff against Sheffield United, defeating Reading 2-0 Tuesday night on second-half goals by Martin Paterson and Steven Thompson. Burnley, which finished fifth in the League Championship,...
Irvine dismisses United keeper bid - Clubcall
Preston North End boss Alan Irvine has denied recent speculation that keeper Andy Lonergan is set to join Sheffield United this summer. The Lilywhites chief has hit out at reports suggesting the Blades are looking to snap up the 25-year-old if they...

Sheffield United F.C.

Sheffield United logo

Sheffield United Football Club 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. They have the nickname The Blades due to Sheffield's worldwide reputation of steel production. 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, 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.

Sheffield United formed on 22 March 1889 at the Adelphi Hotel, Sheffield (now the site of the Crucible Theatre) as a way of keeping the Sheffield United Cricket Club together during the winter close season, and generating income revenues from Bramall Lane over the winter. 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 Blades play at Bramall Lane, in a suburb near the centre of Sheffield. Bramall Lane is the oldest major ground anywhere in the world, having hosted its first game in 1862, a match between Hallam and Sheffield Club. Bramall Lane also hosted the worlds first ever floodlit football match on 14 October 1878 with 2 teams picked from the Sheffield Football Association. The power for the lights was provided by 2 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, was an all-seater stadium holding 32,609. In March 2009 the club received were officially granted permission to expland the stadium once again, over two phases. The first phase would see the Kop being extended to increase the grounds capacty 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 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. The first ever floodlit football match took place at Bramall Lane on the 15 October 1878. The Blades latest addition to the stadium is a 4-star hotel, joint biggest in Sheffield. This is located on Bramall Lane.

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. 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.

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.

The kit manufacturer is Le Coq Sportif, they have been the kit supplier since 2002 and also in 1997–2000. The 2008–09 season home shirt was designed by a season ticket holder, and the all black away kit was chosen by the players and will be made by Le Coq Sportif. 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.

Their other sponsor is Australian property company Valad, who have their logo on the back of the shirts and shorts.

United's long standing association with Le Coq Sportif will come to an end after the 2008/2009 season. Macron, an Italian sportswear company will be supplying 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.

In January 2006, Sheffield United became the first foreign club to take over a Chinese team when they purchased the football club Chengdu Wuniu, based in the city of Chengdu, China. 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.

Along with this, Sheffield United also have friendship links with Brazilian club São Paulo, boosted by the visit of Pelé to Sheffield. Pelé was guest of honour at Sheffield F.C.'s 150th anniversary celebration match v Inter Milan, held at Bramall Lane. 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. 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.

The Blades also have operating/business and exchange of ideas links with Central Coast Mariners of Australia and White Star Woluwé of Belgium. The Australian Valad Property Group are also sponsors of the South Stand at Bramall Lane.

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 many rivals. 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. 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 have not done the league double over Sheffield Wednesday since the 2005–06 season. "Trash Wednesday" is a term used by Sheffield United supporters for the date when Sheffield Wednesday cannot mathematically finish above them in the football league table.

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.

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 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.

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. 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 and 'We took Pelham' by Deadly Avenger. These songs are known to fans as the 'Countdown To Kick-Off'. .

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History of Sheffield United F.C.

The Sheffield United team in 1895.

Sheffield United Football Club was formed at Bramall Lane on March 22, 1889 by the Sheffield United Cricket Club at the suggestion of its president, Sir Charles Clegg. Clegg was a famous local sportsman, Chairman of the Sheffield FA and also of Sheffield Wednesday. He later went on to become Chairman and later President of the English FA.The cricket club itself had been going at Bramall Lane since 1854 and was the first English sports club to use United in its name. The first English football club to be named United was Hanover United, formed in 1873. It has been suggested that some of The Blades original players came from an earlier amateur side called Norfolk F.C., who played in the Youdan Cup.

The team was formed six days after a crowd of 22,688 paid to watch the FA Cup semi-final played at Bramall Lane between Preston North End and West Bromwich Albion, with gate receipts of £574. They were a professional club almost from the start and played their first game against Notts Rangers of the Midland Counties League on September 7 1889 losing 4-1 at Meadow Lane. Their first game at Bramall Lane did not come until September 28 1889 against Birmingham St George's of the Football Alliance which they also lost 4-0.

United's first season was composed of friendlies and local cup matches, but notable for them reaching the second round of the FA Cup at their first attempt by beating Football League side Burnley 2-1 at home. However, the next cup game against Bolton Wanderers gave United their record defeat 13-0 and persuaded the committee that regular competitive league games were required.

They joined the Midland Counties League for the 1890-91 season, finishing fifth. This season was the first time that the club introduced a red stripe to the their shirts, having played their first season in all-white shirts. They then competed the following season in the Northern League finishing third. At the end of the season they applied to join the Football League First Division, which was expanding from 14 to 16 clubs for the 1892 season, but polled only 5 votes and were instead admitted as one of the twelve founder members of the Second Division.

United secured promotion to the First Division in 1892-93, after finishing second to Small Heath and beating Accrington 1-0 in the Test Match.

United enjoyed an unbroken 37-season spell in the top flight (which remains a record for a newly promoted team) winning the League Championship in 1897-98 and were runners up in 1896-97 and 1899-00. After the League Championship, United played and won an unofficial two-legged "Champions of Great Britain" title against Celtic, who had won that year's Scottish League Championship.

They won their first FA Cup Final on April 15, 1899, beating Derby County 4-1 at Crystal Palace, returning to the London venue to play Tottenham Hotspur on April 20, 1901. Despite Spurs being a Southern League club, they took The Blades to a replay with a 1-1 draw. Seven days later, at Burnden Park in Bolton, the London side won 3-1 in the replay.

United returned to Crystal Palace the following year on April 19 1902, and were again taken to a replay. This time Southampton (also from the Southern League) drew 1-1 but the replay exactly a week later, on the same ground was won 2-1 by the Blades.

The next final appearance came on April 24, 1915 at Old Trafford when United beat Chelsea 3-0 to win "The Khaki Cup final", the last game before the Football League and FA Cup competition was suspended until the end of the First World War.

The fourth and final win came with their first Wembley Cup Final, beating Cardiff City 1-0 on April 25 1925. Their last appearance in a final came on April 25 1936, losing 1-0 to Arsenal.

After several close shaves - including 1919-20 when they won just 6 matches, and 1929-30 when a 5-1 win at Old Trafford on the final day pulled them out of the bottom spot - they finished bottom of the First Division in 1934 and were relegated for the first time.

A contributory factor to relegation was the decision to sell Irish centre forward Jimmy Dunne, who scored over 140 goals for the club in just six seasons, to Arsenal early in the 1933-4 season. Dunne scored over 30 top division goals in each of 3 consecutive seasons between 1930-1 and 1932-3, a feat which was not performed again until Alan Shearer managed it in 1993-96. This included 41 goals in 1930-31, which remains the club record and also the record single season tally by an Irishman.

During the 1920s United equalled their record victory with a 10-0 home win against Burnley in January 1930, and also beat Cardiff City 11-2 in 1926. Their record league defeat, 3-10 at Middlesbrough, occurred in their relegation season.

They fell just short in promotion battles in 1936 and 1938 - finishing third in the Second Division on each occasion - but it was third time lucky when they pipped local rivals Sheffield Wednesday for second spot in 1939, winning their last game 6-1 against Tottenham. They started the 1939-40 season brightly before World War II curtailed the campaign.

The restart of League competition after the war came a year too late for The Blades as they won League North - a regional competition featuring the Northern clubs from the top two Divisions - in 1945-46. This good form carried over into the following year with a 6th place finish, combined with reaching the FA Cup Quarter Finals.

This good form was not to last, as the club were relegated again in 1948-49, and suffered the agony of missing out on an instant promotion the following season when Wednesday gained revenge for 1939 and pipped them for second place and promotion on goal average with a 0-0 draw at home to Tottenham Hotspur when a scoring draw or defeat would have sent The Blades up instead.

After a couple of middling seasons, featuring lots of goals (including 7-3 and 3-1 wins against the Owls in the Steel City Derby 1951-2) but inconsistent results, Teddy Davison ended his 20 year managerial career at the Lane. He was replaced by Reg Freeman, who guided the Blades to the Second Division Championship in 1952-53, scoring 97 goals along the way. Two seasons of struggle, but survival, in the First Division followed before Freeman died in the summer of 1955. His replacement, Joe Mercer, was unable to stave off relegation in 1956.

Mercer left the club in 1958 to join Aston Villa (who were promptly relegated) and was replaced by former Chelsea captain John Harris, who inherited a team with a backbone of good homegrown talent, including Joe Shaw, a centre half who played over 600 games for the club, and Alan Hodgkinson, a young goalkeeper capped five times by England (he remains England's youngest ever goalkeeper) who also went on to play over 600 league games, and half-back Graham Shaw. The team was always in the promotion frame and had some good cup runs, reaching the quarter finals in 1959 and 1960, and finally achieved promotion in 1961 as runners up to Ipswich Town. In the same season, they reached the FA Cup semi finals but went down 0-2 to Leicester City in a second replay after two scoreless draws.

Sheffield United's most memorable post-war run was in 1971. Ending the season with six victories and five draws to win promotion from Division Two. The following season United took the First Division by storm. Led by such players as Tony Currie, Alan Woodward, Eddie Colquhoun, Len Badger, Ted Hemsley, Trevor Hockey, Alan Hodgkinson, Gil Reece and Bill Dearden they played the first ten games without defeat, recording eight victories and two draws. With one League Cup victory during this period, United had had an unbeaten run of 22 matches. They finally lost the top spot in Division One in a memorable encounter with Manchester United at Old Trafford on October 2, 1971, The Blades losing out 2-0 on that occasion. The memorable goal scored by George Best six minutes from the end is still replayed on television to this day.

The remarkable success in the early 1970s brought to a head the long-standing argument about the desirability of playing football and cricket at the same ground and a decision was taken to build a new stand to provide a fourth side to what was essentially a three-sided stadium. This stand (originally known as 'The South Stand') with a seating capacity of 7746 people, was opened in 1975.

Unfortunately the completion of the new stand coincided with a slump in fortunes on the field, despite the team finishing that season sixth in Division One. The failure to qualify for the UEFA Cup by one point after failing to beat Birmingham City at St. Andrews in the final game of the season was followed by relegation to the Second Division in 1976.

Relegation was a financial disaster and the drop in season ticket sales meant limited funds for strengthening the team. The club's bank was reluctant to give additional loans on top of the debt on the new South Stand. Revenue from the transfer of club legend Tony Currie and season ticket sales was quickly swallowed up and the bank declined to make further loans unless they could be underwritten by personal guarantees from Board members.

Jimmy Sirrel left on September 27, 1977, with United next to bottom of the Second Division, and was replaced on a temporary basis by Cec Coldwell who had previously taken control between the reign of John Harris and Ken Furphy. Results picked up but the lack of funds for new players was matched by the lack of reserve players suitable for the step up to the first team.

A bad run in January led to the appointment of Harry Haslam, a 'wheeler dealer' who had successfully managed a Luton Town side in similar circumstances for nine years. "Happy Harry" brought in Danny Bergara, a Uruguayan as Assistant Manager.

With a reputation for finding talent, Haslam brought in a number of players, most notably Alex Sabella but was forced to sell promising players such as Keith Edwards, Imre Varadi and Simon Stainrod. Alan Woodward left for the United States as did Bruce Rioch whose short loan spell brought a mini-revival in the club's fortunes.

The 1978-79 season ended with relegation to the Third Division. United's first ever season outside the top two divisions started promisingly, but their early form soon burned out, and the team spent the rest of the season in mid-table, never threatening the promotion places. 1980-81 saw another good start, with the team at the top of the table at Christmas. Haslam's health started to fail at this point though, and he was eventually forced to stand down in mid-January. 1966 World Cup winner Martin Peters succeeded him, but then the team went into free fall, winning only three of the last sixteen games and were relegated to the Fourth Division. The 1981 relegation came as a result of a last minute miss from a penalty kick in the final game of the season against Walsall, who would have been relegated instead had the kick (by Don Givens) been successful.

Having dropped to the lowest level, United appointed Ian Porterfield from neighbours Rotherham United to help them start the recovery, and with investment from a willing boardroom, United went on to become Fourth Division Champions in 1982, with 92 points - a new record due to the change of 3 points being awarded for a win in the 1981-82 season. United's top goalscorer that season was Keith Edwards, re-signed from Hull City, who linked up well with Bob Hatton, and later that season, Colin Morris (signed from Blackpool), who was to become part of a renowned partnership that would delight Bramall Lane crowds well into the mid 1980s. Edwards won an Adidas Golden Boot for his contribution - his 35 goals being a large part of United's success. The Golden Boot is now on show at United's "Legends Of The Lane" exhibition.

United's promotion in 1982 saw them initially struggle in the Third Division, and finish in the lower reaches of the league in the 1982-83 season. By applying themselves to the cause, along with a number of additions to the side, including the signings of Paul Stancliffe and Glenn Cockerill from Lincoln City, the 1983-84 season saw the Blades cruise into the top 3 - which they would not drop out of all season. They were challenged for the promotion spots by Hull City, who by their final match were 3 goals behind them and 3 points behind. Hull's final match of that season was on a weekday at Burnley, and the Tigers went into the game knowing that 3 goals would be enough. A large number of United fans travelled to Turf Moor for the game, and were biting their nails when Hull cruised into a 2 goal lead, but try as they may, City could not find a third and United were up again to Division 2 - their second promotion in 3 seasons. Keith Edwards was top goalscorer again this season.

United seemed content to bide their time in the Second Division, but scared fans initially by finishing 18th in season 1984-85 in a poor first season back. Further financial backing saw Porterfield and the Blades make a push for promotion in season 1985-86, when manager Porterfield went for experience to get the Blades up, signing veterans Ken McNaught, Peter Withe, Phil Thompson and Ray Lewington. This led the Blades to gain the nickname "Dad's Army" because of the combined ages of the 4 players signed (they were all in their 30's). Fans were unhappy that crowd favourite Edwards was dropped to the bench in favour of his "aged" colleagues. United's start was actually very bright that season however, and after a 3-0 win away to early season promotion favourites Portsmouth, were fancied for another climb to the top tier. However, injury and bad results saw the club's fortunes falter, and the crowd's anger turn on Porterfield, who after a 5-2 defeat to Norwich, was sacked after a car-park demonstration.

Although linked with a number of high profile managers, United promoted from within, and made Youth Team manager Billy McEwan first team manager in March 1986. Although he soon restored Edwards to the side, the talented forward became disillusioned, and at the end of the 1985-86 season, left for rivals Leeds United for £125,000, and the club finished in 7th position.

McEwan's first full season in charge saw the Blades finish in a disappointing 9th place, but saw the debut in a red and white shirt of future Manchester City, Everton and Bradford City player, Peter Beagrie, signed from Middlesbrough. The following season saw him trying to mix youth with talent, by giving debuts to future Blackburn star Chris Marsden and to Charlton Athletic and Grimsby Town legend Clive Mendonca, but results saw the club drop into the bottom half of the table, and McEwan tendered his resignation on New Years Day 1988 after an embarrassing 5-0 defeat at home to Oldham Athletic.

Danny Bergara took charge as Caretaker Manager again for the match against Maidstone United in the FA Cup in January 1988, but at the following away game at Bournemouth in the League, a manager who'd recently resigned from his role at Watford was spotted taking more than a passing interest in the action on the pitch. 3 days later, he became manager. That man was Dave Bassett ...

Dave Bassett took charge on January 21, 1988 shortly before the club's relegation to the Third Division, via a loss in the playoffs against Bristol City. He then masterminded two successive promotions which saw them in the First Division for the 1990-91 season - the first in season 1988-89. Bassett's inspired signings of Tony Agana and Brian Deane were instrumental in getting the Blades finished in 2nd place that year, with the pair weighing in with over 20 goals each. The club also reached round five of the FA Cup, narrowly losing to 1st Division Norwich City and also knocked 2nd Division Newcastle United out of the Littlewoods Cup on aggregate, having beaten them 3-0 at Bramall Lane.

The following season saw United battle with rivals Leeds United for the top spot all season, with Leeds only becoming Champions on the final day. They were the subject of a BBC2 documentary "United", shown over a 6 week period towards the end of the 1989-90 season, with the fortunes of the club being played out in front of an audience of millions. The BBC got their fairytale ending - United gaining promotion on a glorious day at Leicester, winning 5-2 with goals from Paul Wood, Brian Deane, Wilf Rostron, and 2 from Tony Agana. This season also saw the rise of the chant "Ooh Ah Bob Booker" in adulation of 32 year old Bob Booker, signed by Bassett from Brentford in 1989 but soon a hero to fans of the club. This would later be borrowed for Eric Cantona, but Booker maintains in the book "Match of My Life - Sheffield United" by Nick Johnson, that the chant was originally started by fans of the club.

From 1990, Sheffield United were in the top division of English football for four seasons - including the first two Premier League campaigns. Brian Deane scored the first ever Premiership goal on August 15, 1992, 5 minutes into the 2-1 defeat of Manchester United. Having been a certainty for relegation for the first half of the season, they were on Championship form for the second-half with only Arsenal matching them for points won in the New year.

The Blades failed to win any of their first 10 league games in the 1991-92 campaign, before another remarkable turnaround in fortunes saw them climb to ninth place in the final table. Had it not been for their dismal early season form, the Blades could have qualified for the UEFA Cup or even challenged for the league title.

Brian Deane was sold to Leeds United in the summer of 1993, and the Blades were unable to find a suitable replacement. They found it increasingly difficult to score goals in 1993-94, and were relegated on the final day of the season when a last minute goal gave Chelsea a 3-2 win. 1994-95 saw the Blades finish eighth in Division One - not enough for even a playoff place.

Dave Bassett resigned as manager in November 1995 to be replaced by Howard Kendall, who was at the helm for 18 months before being lured back to Everton for his third spell as manager at the end of the 1996-97 season, just a few weeks after Sheffield United blew the chance of a return to the Premiership by losing 1-0 to Crystal Palace in the Division One Play-Off Final.

Over the next two-and-a-half years, Sheffield United had three unsuccessful managers - Nigel Spackman, Steve Bruce and Adrian Heath - although they reached the FA Cup semi final again in 1998. In December 1999 the club turned to Neil Warnock in a bid to re-establish the club as promotion challengers. At this time the club was over £20m in debt and the priority was cutting costs, so Warnock's first three seasons in charge ended in mid-table finishes in Division One.

2002-03 was a promising season for Sheffield United, when they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup and League Cup, losing both ties to Premiership clubs, Arsenal and Liverpool respectively. They also reached the Division One playoff final, but were beaten 3-0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Millennium Stadium.

In both 2003-04 and 2004-05, Sheffield United narrowly missed out on a place in the playoffs for promotion to the Premier League finishing 8th in both seasons.

2005-06 was the team's twelfth straight season at the second level of the English football pyramid - a period longer than any other team currently in the Championship, and their longest spell in any Division since 1934.

After beating Cardiff 1-0 on Good Friday and never being outside of the top two places all season, United required only one point from their final three games to secure their promotion. Results later that evening meant only Leeds United could in theory catch Sheffield United, but the following day, April 15, 2006, they failed to beat Reading at Elland Road. After many disappointments in the previous few seasons, Sheffield United finally won promotion back into the Premiership.

Sheffield United finished 18th in the Premiership, and were relegated to the Championship after just one season back in the top flight.

In total, they won 9 games during this season, 6 at home and 3 away. Their 2-1 home victory against Middlesbrough on September 30, was their first Premiership victory since April 1994. The first away win of the season came against Newcastle United on 4 November. The remaining victories came against Charlton Athletic (home), Watford (home and away), Wigan Athletic (away), Arsenal (home), Fulham (home) and Tottenham Hotspur (home).

They lost just four home games, to Reading, Chelsea, and both Manchester clubs.

United's Premiership top scorer was Rob Hulse with 8 goals. Danny Webber, Phil Jagielka and Jon Stead each scored 4 goals. Keith Gillespie, Stephen Quinn, Christian Nadé scored 2 goals apiece. Colin Kâzım-Richards, Chris Morgan and Michael Tonge each score once.

During the game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on 17 March 2008, United top scorer Rob Hulse suffered a horrific broken leg in a collision with Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech and was ruled out for the rest of the season. This coincided with a poor run of form that saw United slide down the table and into relegation trouble.

On 24 October 2007, a second string side was knocked out of the Carling Cup at the 3rd Round stage by Championship side Birmingham City, suffering a 4-2 defeat at Bramall Lane. A similarly understrength team had narrowly beaten Bury of League Two in the previous round.

In the FA Cup Third Round, United were given a home tie against League One side Swansea City, which they surprisingly lost 3-0.

On 14 April 2007, after losing three games in succession, United climbed out of the relegation zone by beating fellow relegation battlers West Ham 3-0 at Bramall Lane. A week later the club drew 1-1 away to 18th place rivals Charlton Athletic and were well-placed to retain their status.

On 13 May 2007, Sheffield United played Wigan Athletic at home in the last game of the season, needing to avoid defeat to ensure Premiership status. United lost 2-1, meaning both clubs finished on 38 points. By virtue of Wigan's goal difference being one better than United's, it was they who stayed up at the Blades' expense. Even with this result, a defeat for West Ham against Manchester United at Old Trafford would have seen the Blades safe and the Hammers relegated. West Ham recorded a 1-0 victory to guarantee their survival.

After being relegated, Sheffield United mounted a legal challenge against their relegation on the basis that West Ham should have been docked points over irregularities with the transfers of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano. West Ham were fined £5.5 million instead of having points deducted. However, they failed in their appeal and started the 2007-2008 season in the Championship. A claim for compensation has yet to be heard, with a verdict due at some point this summer.

Neil Warnock resigned shortly after the relegation, ending his reign as manager after nearly eight years.

Bryan Robson was named as his successor, but was sacked on 14 February 2008 following a goalless draw at previous club West Bromwich Albion, with the Blades languishing in the bottom half of the Championship. Having turned down the chance to become Director of Football at Bramall Lane, Robson left the club altogether.

Kevin Blackwell, who had been assistant manager to Warnock in the first four seasons of his reign, was named as Robson's successor until the end of the season. In the final stages of the season a marked improvement in form was achieved and the Blades finished ninth. Indeed, the play-offs were not mathematically out of reach until the end of the last match of the season. He was confirmed as the permanent successor to Robson with two games of the season remaining, signing a 3 year contract. From Blackwell's initial appointment until the end of the season, only Hull City gained more points than the Blades.

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Sheffield United L.F.C

Sheffield United Ladies F.C. initially began through Andy Keenan running training sessions for girls in 1998. The girls sides became known as Sheffield United Community Girls and as interest grew a Ladies team was added to the setup. By the 2005/06 season they had an under-10s side, two under-12s sides, two under-14s sides, an under-16s side and two ladies teams.

The first team are currently managed by Mark Oxley, who is assisted by Gary Sharp.

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Sheffield United (Hong Kong)

Sheffield United HK crest.png

Sheffield United (simplified Chinese: 谢菲联; traditional Chinese: 謝菲聯) is a football club based in Chengdu, Mainland China, but playing in Hong Kong, founded in 2008. It is the youth team of Chengdu Blades. The team plays in the Hong Kong First Division League so that the young players can gain match experience.

The forerunner of the team is Dongguan Lanwa. A rumour said the reason of forming Sheffield United is Dongguan Lanwa will participate in Chinese Yi League in 2009.

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Sheffield United F.C. seasons

This is a list of seasons played by Sheffield United Football Club in English and European football, from 1889 (when they were first formed) to the present day. It details the club's achievements in major competitions, the top scorers in league games, and the average home league attendance for each season.

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Source : Wikipedia