Sheffield United FC
Ground Number: 69
Tuesday 1st October 2002
Sheffield United 4-1 Wycombe Wanderers
Worthington Cup 2nd Round
TEN FACTS ABOUT SHEFFIELD UNITED
1: The club was formed on 22nd March 1889 at the Adelphi Hotel, Sheffield. This hotel is now the site of the Crucible Theatre, where the snooker tournament is held. It was established by members of the Sheffield United cricket club.
2: The club has played at Bramall Lane for the entirety of its history. The ground is the oldest major ground to have hosted a football game, having been the venue for a match between Sheffield & Hallam in 1862. It was also the venue for the first-ever floodlit game when in 1878, 20,000 watched a game between two sides picked by the Sheffield FA. It was the home of arch-rivals Sheffield Wednesday from 1881-1888 until they left the ground over a disagreement over rent.
3: United started out by playing friendlies and cup games before short spells in the Midland and Northern leagues. In 1892, they were admitted to the Football League as founder members of the newly-established Division 2. A runners-up spot behind Small Heath (later to be renamed Birmingham City) was good enough for promotion to the top tier in their debut season. Sheffield United were league champions in 1898 for the one and only time. The club spent one season in the 4th Division in 1981-82, though they went straight back up as champions.
4: The FA Cup was won in 1899 (beating Derby County 4-1 at Crystal Palace), 1902 (beating Southampton 2-1 in a replay at Crystal Palace), 1915 (beating Chelsea 3-0 at Old Trafford and 1925 (beating Cardiff City 1-0 at Wembley). In 2019, the club suffered their first-ever defeat to a non-league team (at least in modern times) as they lost 1-0 at home to Barnet.
5: The League Cup semi-final has been reached twice - in 2003 (losing to Liverpool) and in 2015 (losing to Spurs).
6: Notable records are appearances - Joe Shaw making 631 between 1948 and 1966, goals - Harry Johnson with 201 in 313 games between 1919 and 1930 (including 20 hat tricks. The record home attendance was 68,287 for an FA Cup 5th Round tie in 1936 whilst the lowest was 1,827 for an Anglo-Italian Cup game in 1994.
7: United's main rivals are Sheffield Wednesday. They contest the 'Steel City Derby' and United currently hold the upper hand. They have 46 wins to Wednesday's 42 with 43 games ending in a draw. Other rivals include Leeds United, Barnsley, Rotherham United and Doncaster Rovers.
8: A number of players have played for both Sheffield United and Wycombe Wanderers. From a Wycombe point of view, the good include Tommy Mooney, Gus Uhlenbeek, Matt Phillips and Frank Talia. Also on a less successful basis - Gary Ablett, David Tuttle, Scott Marshall and Mark Foran. Both sides have a 100% home record against each other - aside from the games below, Stuart Beavon's strike was enough to settle the September 2011 clash at Adams Park 1-0 in Wycombe's favour.
9: Famous Sheffield United fans include athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill, actor Sean Bean, TV 'chaser' Mark Labbett, cricketer Joe Root, TV presenter Michael Palin and footballer Jean Sebastian-Veron
10: The city of Sheffield has a population of around 600,000 and has a number of brilliant pubs. Its history is in steel. Other famous sporting events in the town include the snooker tournament at the Crucible and Sheffield Steelers, the UK's first-ever professional Ice Hockey team. There are plenty of smaller teams in the city too including non-league Sheffield FC and Hallam FC.
My first visit to Sheffield United came for a League Cup game in 2002. After beating Swindon Town in the first round of the Worthington Cup, Wycombe were rewarded with a trip to first division side, Sheffield United. I made my way up on the supporters' coach, getting to the ground in plenty of time. The night started poorly when after buying a ticket, I found out someone handing out freebies with loads to spare. And the game wasn't much better either. Wycombe were already 2-0 down to goals from Michael Boulding and Michael Brown when keeper Martin Taylor was sent off after 75 minutes for handling outside of the area. Steve Brown took over between the sticks and the Blades added 2 further goals from Nick Montgomery and another for Michael Brown. Wycombe did pull one back through Paul McCarthy, but it was a flat performance and nothing like the epic cup battles we had become accustomed to under Lawrie Sanchez.
My second visit came in February 2012. Wycombe had climbed out of the relegation zone the previous week with a win against Tranmere but generally, the form was mixed under Gary Waddock. Perhaps that's why just 172 made the trip up to Bramall Lane. I forget how I got up there but I do know that I went to a great pub called The Devonshire Cat and tried a couple of new ciders and a cherry beer. In fact, Sheffield was a bit of a haven for pubs as I later discovered and was why I was planning a revisit. However, with the long term lockdown of the UK and especially football, I decided to revisit some old blogs. As for the game, it won't live long in the memory for Wycombe fans. That said, we did hold out for an hour and might even have taken the lead. But on 66 minutes Will Hoskins finished from a Michael Doyle cross and it was all downhill from there. Ched Evans scored seven minutes later and then in the last minute a 25-yard deflected effort from Kevin McDonald made it 3-0 to the Blades.
Bramall Lane was one of the better grounds in League 1 and has an all-seated capacity of 32,000. It was rated as one of the better grounds in the country and having visited I can see why. Away fans get the upper tier of a stand behind the goal, from where views are good. The stadium is all-seater and is a mix of old and new. Now they are in the Premiership, it doesn't look as good up against some of the bigger grounds
The facilities at the ground are fairly standard, so it's better off drinking and eating outside. The city centre is close by and has plenty of takeaways. The main attraction is the pubs though and in my opinion, the best are The Rutland Arms, The Sheffield Tap and The Devonshire Cat.