Spyin' Kop: Liverpool v Sheffield United (Saturday 24 Feb, 2007)

Posted by Terry de Niro on February 22, 2007, 01:59:52 AM

Well, after our disappointing Champions league 2-1 away win against Barca ;), we're back to bread and butter stuff.
Sheffield United at home in the league and we need to get back to winning ways following a 0-0 against Everton and a 2-1 defeat at Newcastle.

Liverpool v Sheffield United

24th Feb, 2007
Anfield Liverpool
Kick off 3pm


Football League Division One
Champions: 1897-98
Runners-up: 1896-97, 1899-1900
The Championship
Runners-up: 2005-06

Football League Division Two
Champions: 1952-53
Runners-up: 1892-93, 1938-39, 1960-61, 1970-71, 1989-90

Football League Division Four
Champions: 1981-82

FA Cup
Winners : 1899, 1902, 1915, 1925
Runners-up: 1901, 1936

Full History

The origins of football

The City of Sheffield has been described as the home of association football. The game was played here as long ago as 1793, when a match was played involving six men on each side.

The first football match at Bramall Lane took place in December 1862. The participating teams were Sheffield Club and Hallam. The match lasted three hours and resulted in a goal-less draw.

Sheffield Club is still in existence and is recognised as the oldest club in membership of the Football Association.

Early football at Bramall lane
The ground was initially used, on important occasions, by Sheffield Wednesday.

On 16 March 1889, the FA Cup Semi-Final between Preston North End and West Bromwich Albion was played at the Lane. The gate receipts were £574 - a large amount of money in those days - and they prompted a Mr Charles Stokes, then a junior member of the ground committee, to suggest to Sir Charles Clegg (who was then President of the FA and President of Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United) that a Sheffield United Football Club should be formed.

The formation of Sheffield United Football Club
On 22 March 1889 a meeting was held and it was decided to run a football team in conjunction with the Sheffield United Cricket Club.

At first it was difficult to find players but as a result of an ad campaign, the Club Secretary was able to announce on 29 May 1889, that they had been able to sign a full complement of players.

The club's first season began in August 1889 with a 3-1 victory over Sheffield Club. That same season also saw United's first appearance in the FA Cup. After winning four preliminary or qualifying ties and then beating Burnley in the First Round proper, they were thrashed 13-0 by Bolton Wanderers - the heaviest defeat in their history.

United in the Football League
In May 1892 the Football League decided to form a Second Division (the First Division had started in 1888) and United were given a place in it.

They won promotion at the first attempt and, in 1893 took up their position in the First Division, via a play-off, where they remained, uninterrupted until 1934.

In these early years, many famous players wore the red-and-white shirt. At one time in 1903, the club had no fewer than twelve international players on its books - Foulke, Thickett, Boyle, Johnson, Wilkinson, Morren, Needham, Bennett, Common, Brown, Priest and Lipsham.

During this period, United won the First Division Championship once (1898) and the FA Cup four times, with Final victories over Derby County (4-1 in 1899); Southampton (2-1 in 1902 after a 1-1 draw); Chelsea (3-0 in 1915); and Cardiff City (1-0 in 1925).

They were also beaten finalists on two occasions - they lost to Tottenham Hotspur 1-3 after a 1-1 draw in 1901; and to Arsenal 0-1 in 1936.

The 1920s were marked by the emergence of United's most capped player, Billy Gillespie, who represented Ireland on 25 occasions. Other international players at this time included Tunstall, Mercer, Matthews, Green, Gough and Dunne.

Having been relegated in 1934, United returned to the First Division in 1939, when the League was suspended because of the war.

The immediate post-war period was marked by the brilliance of Jimmy Hagan, whom many consider to be United's greatest ever player. It was also the start of a series of fairly regular promotions and relegations with United moving into the First Division or back to the Second no fewer than seven times between 1949 and 1976.

Their most memorable post-war run was in 1971. Ending the 1970/71 season with six victories and five draws to win promotion, United took the First Division by storm. Led by such players as Currie, Badger and Woodward, 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.

This remarkable success 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, seating 7746 people, was opened in 1975.

Unfortunately, this coincided with a slump in the team's fortunes.

Relegation to the Second Division in 1976: further relegation to the Fourth Division in 1981. This ultimate disaster resulted from a last minute miss from a penalty kick in the final game of the season. Never can there have been a more dramatic or unhappy climax.

Then things took a turn for the better. In 1982, United were promoted to the Third Division and in 1984, to the Second but dropped back into the Third Division in 1988. One year later they again won promotion to the Second Division and this run of success, under the leadership of Manager, Dave Bassett, continued when promotion to the First Division was achieved at the end of the following season. With the formation of the Premier League in 1992, United became a founder member and finished that inaugural season in 14th place.

Following 12 years in the division below, United returned to the Premiership for the 2006-2007 campaign.

I'd like to thank LiverpoolBlade, ROIBlade and Scouseblade all from http://www.sheffieldunited-mad.co.uk/

SK: What do you think of your season so far?

LiverpoolBlade: About as expected. Think we have been slightly unlucky on balance (should have at least drawn with Blackburn, man City and West ham when we lost)

ROIBlade: Way above my expectations. Thought we would be in a mire for the whole season.

Scouseblade: Slightly more satisfied with where we are and how we have competed in our games than i expected.

SK: Which team has given you your toughest game so far in the Premiership/other?

LiverpoolBlade: Swansea - bit humiliating

ROIBlade: Reading at home. Embarrassing comedy of errors.

Scouseblade: Arsenal away.

SK: Who has been your best player/players?

LiverpoolBlade: The team rather than individuals

ROIBlade: For consistency Geary, Kenny, Gillespie and S.Quinn.

Scouseblade: Keith Gillespie,Rob Hulse and Del Geary

SK: Who has been your worst player/players?

LiverpoolBlade: We dont give enough credit to the popular targets for criticism

ROIBlade: Webber has disappointed and hasn't made the step up. Kozluk is out of his depth and error prone.

Scouseblade: Rob Kozluk,Danny Webber

SK: Do you have any promising youngsters coming through the ranks?

LiverpoolBlade: Jamie Annerson (U19 keeper for England

ROIBlade: Keith Quinn and Jordan Robertson.

Scouseblade: obvious one is Steven Quinn and others already mentioned.

SK: Your manager Colin Wanker is an interesting character,
how do you as Sheffield United supporters see him?

LiverpoolBlade: Like Shankly - completely committed, single minded, self-confident (big head), passionate motivator

ROIBlade: 50/50 split. Some love him, some hate him. Think all would agree that he's done a cracking job so far this season.

Scouseblade: Some, the messiah others ****in dire

SK: Can you recall any good or bad memories of our previous meetings?

LiverpoolBlade: Good - Tonge's goal at the end of the FA cup victory
Bad - sitting in a Liverpool supporters stand with 4 Blades relatives and 3 Liverpool supporting friends/family when we lost the second leg

ROIBlade: 2-1 at Bramall Lane in the League Cup semi. Last minute penalty this season is still a bit sore.

Scouseblade: 1-0 to us at Bramall Lane, Gary Hamson scoring winner in Cup. Great atmosphere on Kop. Simon Tracey's wonder save in game at Anfield in front of your Kop which i was on with some rednose mates.

SK: Have any of you been to Anfield before, if so what are your memories of that occasion?

LiverpoolBlade: Once in 2003 in the away leg of the league cup. A great day out despite the result.

ROIBlade: Never been. Always wanted to though.

Scouseblade: You'll never walk alone always brings a tear to my eye and a shiver down my spine.The ovation Simon Tracey got from the Kop.The number of your fans wishing you good luck on final whistle if you watch from your seats.Was on with Liverpool fans on side terrace in recent Semi-final and shouted for Blades through game was with our young un a rednose.Number of people shaking my hand after game saying unlucky lost count.

SK: Which Liverpool players do you fear most?

LiverpoolBlade: Grobbelar - He and Hans Segers got away with taking bungs to throw games, in particullar the one where Segers dove over the ball against Everton last game of the season to relegate us. I'm scared, he must have influential friends.

ROIBlade: Bellamy and Gerrard.

Scouseblade: Steven Gerrard and Dirk Kuyt.

SK: Where do you expect the two clubs to finish in the league?

LiverpoolBlade: 4th and 5th (not sure of the order)

ROIBlade: Liverpool 3rd. Blades anywhere above 18th would great, the higher the better as it will help to attract top quality during the summer.

Scouseblade: We will escape relegation on the last game of the season at Bramall Lane v Wigan

SK: And finally care to give a prediction on the score.

LiverpoolBlade: Liverpool 1 Blades 2 

ROIBlade: 2-0 Liverpool.

Scouseblade: 2-2.

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