SHEFFIELD United fans desperate for tickets for the play-off final next weekend queued overnight at Bramall Lane to guarantee a seat at Wembley.
The first die-hard fans arrived 15 hours before Sheffield United’s ticket office opened - with supporters sleeping the night in tents and on deckchairs, loungers and blow-up mattresses.
By the time the first tickets went on general sale, the queue of fans stretched across the South Stand car park on to Cherry Street, and turned the corner into Shoreham Street.
Ryan Higgins, aged 23, of Pitsmoor, was at the front of the queue - and took a barbecue with him to cook food as he waited to buy a ticket to see his beloved Blades play Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
Armed with a flag and a few cans of beer he said there had been a party atmosphere at The Lane.
“I have been a Blade all my life and I was determined not to miss out on a ticket,” he said. “So I got here with a tent, a barbecue, sleeping bags and chairs at 6pm and I was set up for the night.
“I have queued before - it’s what you have to do if you want to walk up Wembley Way and support your team.
“I was upset that we didn’t win automatic promotion but we have got over that. Now it’s time for the players to show their character.”
Luke Burgess, also 23, originally from Stocksbridge but now living in Scunthorpe, travelled to Bramall Lane to start queuing at 10pm with his younger brothers aged 10 and 15.
“There were only a few here when I first came but it gradually built up until they were queuing out of the car park,” he said. “It was a long night for us but worth it to get our hands on those tickets.”
He said fans kept their spirits up by singing songs from the terraces.
Fan Anita Bradshaw, from Norfolk Park, had been unable to queue for her ticket until she finished her shift at work at 6am, so her 21-year-old niece Jade Murray offered to stand in the queue for her until she arrived.
“My niece didn’t even want one for herself but she knew how much I want to go so she offered to stand in the queue on my behalf all night until I could get there,” she said.
Dan Hill, 25, of Upperthorpe, started queuing at 10.30pm.
“I had to do it or I would have missed out,” he said. “I have queued before and as long as you get your ticket it is worth it.”
Geoff Wright, 45, from Rotherham, arrived at The Lane at 10.15pm.
“It was a brilliant atmosphere with all the fans in it together,” he said. “It was sickening not to get automatic promotion but I am confident we will do it in the play-off this time and come away with a 2-1 win. I queued because I wasn’t going to risk it and miss out.”
Shaun Marshall, 28, of Killamarsh, said: “I got here at 3.30am and there was a brilliant atmosphere.
“This has been the best season I have known in terms of how close it has been between United and Wednesday so I am hoping for more of that next season if we go up.”