The club can trace its ancestry to members of Sheffield Cricket Club who were formed in 1854 and began playing football a year later. However, it was not until 1889 that the cricketers decided to form Sheffield United F. C. in an effort to wed their activities and make better use of their Bramall Lane ground. The Blades, as they became known, still play their home games at this venue.
After adopting professionalism the club initially played in the Midland League before being a foundermember of the Football League’s Second Division in 1892. Promotion was secured in their first season and further success was achieved in 1896- 97 when they finished runners- up in Division One. The following season United won the Football League Championship for the only time in their history.
The club also enjoyed success in the FA Cup, first winning the trophy in 1899 after beating Derby County 4- 1. Two years later they lost a replayed final against Tottenham Hotspur, but triumphed again the following year against Southampton. Two Blades legends who played in all these finals were Ernest “Nudger” Needham and giant goalkeeper Willie Foulke. Further FA Cup final victories were achieved in 1915 and 1925.
In 1934 the club’s long run in the topflight came to an end and from then on they gained a reputation as a “Yo- Yo” team between Divisions One and Two. In 1979 worse was to follow with relegation to the Third Division and they even spent one season, 1981, in the fourth tier. However, since that time United’s fortunes have improved with two spells to date, albeit brief, in the Premier League.
Sheffield United ( 1969- 70) Left to Right: Tony Currie, John Tudor, Colin Addison, Gil Reece, Mick Heaton, Alan Hodgkinson, Len Badger, David Powell, Alan Woodward, Geoff Salmons, Frank Barlow. Centre: Eddie Colquhoun.