WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Sheffield United’s FA Cup semi-finalists of 1993
KEVIN GAGE believes the Blades would have booked their first FA Cup final appearance since 1936 had their 1993 semifinal against arch rivals Wednesday not been switched to Wembley.
The FA took the decision to move the semi-finals to the Twin Towers for the first time after north London giants Arsenal and Tottenham were drawn together.
The unprecedented demand for tickets was such that they had little option.
Midfielder Gage says the smaller pitch at Elland Road – the original venue – would have suited their side’s style of play a lot more.
Instead United faced an uphill battle when Chris Waddle opened the scoring after two minutes with a magnificent free-kick.
Alan Cork levelled a minute before half-time and after they couldn’t be separated in normal time Mark Bright scored a famous 108th minute winner.
Gage says: “We were initially quite pleased to draw Wednesday, we had the Indian sign over them and they hadn’t beaten us for many, many years.
“The previous season we had done the league double over them, so we were more than confident. We felt that even though they were riding quite high in the Premier League, top six or something, we could beat them.
“What messed us up was that they switched the semi-final to Wembley because of Arsenal-Tottenham.
“(Manager) Dave Bassett was the instigator of our switch as well. He obviously thought there was a chance to make a load of money for the club. Sheffield United were skint at the time.
“We would have had a far better chance of beating Wednesday if it had been played at Leeds.
“Elland Road was a smaller pitch with not quite as good a quality surface. It would have suited our play a bit more.
“Wednesday were a footballing side but we were more direct and robust and a lot of our players hadn’t played at Wembley so it was a completely new experience.”
1. John Pemberton: Former director of the Sheffield United Academy and Nottingham Forest development coach, now assistant manager at Bristol City.
2. Paul Rogers: Former commodities broker in the City is now commercial manager for his last professional club, Brighton.
3. Mike Lake: After his career ended in injury he returned to Denton in Manchester where he has worked as a postman.
4. Jamie Hoyland: The son of Blades legend Tommy has coached at Rochdale, Bolton, Preston and Sheffield United. Is now a pundit on local radio.
5. Brian Gayle: The one time club record signing is now running a Sheffield based landscape gardening business.
6. Mel Rees: He led out the United team at Wembley but shortly afterwards he lost a battle with cancer aged just 26
7. Brian Deane: Now based in Arthington near Leeds, runs a football academy and a consultant for a law firm and manages Sarpsborg in Norway.
8. Glyn Hodges: He has worked at a number of clubs with Mark Hughes and is currently U21 coach at Stoke City.
9. Paul Beesley: Has coached the youth teams at Notts County and Leeds and is now working as a painter and decorator.
10. Alan Cork: The father of Southampton’s Jack, has managed Swansea and Cardiff and held a number of other coaching posts including one with the Blades.
11. Ian Bryson: Has coached at Preston North End’s centre of excellence, worked as a floor manager for Premier League Productions and for Leyland Trucks. A regular on Radio Lancashire.
12. Derek French: After retiring he stayed on at the club as a match day-host.
13. Dane Whitehouse: Living in Sheffield and now in the steel industry after working for a parcel delivery firm.
14. Carl Bradshaw: Living in Sheffield and running a successful building business in the City.
15. David Barnes: He was last known to be working as a PE teacher in the south of England.
16. Simon Tracey: He became goalkeeping coach with Rotherham and Barnsley and is now a freelance coach and scout.
17. Nathan Peel: Living in Clitheroe and works as a PE teacher at Ribblesdale High School. 18. Alan Kelly: Coached goalkeepers in the United States before returning to coach Ireland and Preston’s academy. 19. Charlie Hartfield: Has scouted for the Blades and is now a builder in Chistlehurst, Kent. 20. Kevin Gage: Went into pub and restaurant trade. Owns three high street venues in Dronfield. 21. John Gannon: Has held a number of coaching posts; now scouting for Manchester City. 22. Geoff Taylor: Ex-director of youth at Brentford moved on to coach in Reading’s academy. 23. Brian Marwood: After working for Nike and Sky Sports he is now football administration officer at Manchester City. 24. Tom Cowan: Worked as an electrician, remained in Sheffield with South Yorkshire Fire Service 25. Andy Cale: The FA’s head of player development and research since 2000. 26. John Reed: Never played a first team game, now living and working in Sheffield. 27. Dave Bassett: Working within the media and doing after dinner speaking. 28. Richard Lucas: Believed to be living and working in the North East. 29. John Greaves: He has been director of coaching at Yardley Makefield Soccer Club in the United States since 2003. 30. Mitch Ward: Ran the Black-a-Moor Inn at Troway and then became a plasterer in north Derbyshire and is a parter in a hairdressers. 31. Adrian Littlejohn: Has coached at Sheffield United’s academy and works for Rotherham United within their academy set up.