Blades fans get crafty for Sheffield United project

Hand stitched football by John Hagger
Hand stitched football by John Hagger
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Sheffield United supporters are kicking off an art project to create souvenirs inspired by the city’s steel industry.

Artists and craftspeople will work with Blades fans as part of the Home Ground scheme, which celebrates football clubs with nicknames inspired by the areas’ local craft industries.

The Blades have started off the project by working with artist Chris Knight to create small copper ‘pie plates’ inspired by the ‘Who ate all the pies?’ chant.

It is claimed the chant was first sung in 1894 by supporters and directed at William ‘Fatty’ Foulke, the club’s goalkeeper, who was recorded as the heaviest ever footballer with a height of 6ft 4ins and a weight of 24 stone.

Youngsters from the Girls United supporters group and Lowfield Primary School will also work with Chris to create their own embossed medals on the Sheffield theme.

Mark Todd, head of Sheffield United’s Community Foundation, said: “The Foundation, working together with the Club, is delighted to host the launch of this unique project. The programme offers our supporters, both young and old, the opportunity to be involved in a national arts project and shows how sport can inspire participation in all forms of activities.”

Chris said: “I want to explore what Sheffield means to different generations of football supporters.

“The city has a history of producing metals as well as creating objects from those metals. Sheffield is most famous for its stainless steel but it’s also got a rich history of silversmithing, steel and copper work.

“I’m curious to hear how this is reflected in local people’s ideas about the city today, and excited to see how we can work together to produce new souvenirs.”