Blades fans were predicting victory this morning as they prepared to cheer on Sheffield United in their bid for glory at the FA Cup semi-final.
Bramall Lane was a sea of red and white as fans sporting wigs, football shirts, face paints and even a tin foil FA Cup lined up for their lift to Wembley.
Dozens of coaches, many decked with flags, set off at 8am, due to arrive in London with plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere before kick-off at 4.07pm.
One dedicated supporter who had a tough call to make was dad-to-be Daniel Fletcher, aged 31, whose wife, Suzanne, aged 28, is days away from giving birth.
Daniel, of Dronfield, said: “I’m hoping for a win today but I’m also hoping that my wife doesn’t go into labour!
“She’s not far from her due date so I had to make a call. That’s dedication to the Blades!
“She is two weeks away from her due date so if we get to the final I’ll be in trouble if I went down again. I’ve been and bought the baby her first football kit though.”
Daniel’s dad, John, aged 59, added: “I hope we’re going to win and we have a nice day. We’re very much behind them - I’m hoping for 2-1 to us.”
Meanwhile, other fans were a little tired after getting up at the crack of dawn - but said it’s worth it for the chance to see their team in action.
“We’re tired because we woke up at 4am for no reason, but I managed to get back to sleep until 5.30am,” said James Daine, aged 21, of Arbourthorne.
“We’ve been dedicated all through the season. We had a bad start and didn’t pick up many points but everything is looking up now and hopefully the lads can bring it home.
“I’m hoping for a good atmosphere and a lot of happy Blades fans. I’m hoping for a 2-1, with Murphy to score first.”
Coach steward Lee Wilks, aged 30, of Swallownest added: “I got out of bed, I’ve had a sandwich and an energy drink and now we’re ready to get on the coach.
“I’m going to say it’ll be a 1-0 victory, I think it’s going to be Brayford that scores first.
“Blades fans are just amazing. We’re taking 32,000 fans with us so it’s really amazing support for the team. I hope we get to play in the final against Arsenal and qualify for Europe.”
Young fan Susan Wilkes, aged ten, of Arbourthorne said: “I’m hoping Sheffield United win so I can go to another game. I’ve been a fan for five years - I was watching Sheffield United with my dad and they were really good so I decided I was a fan. I think Sheffield United are going to win 2-1.”
Dorothy Howe, 68, of Duke Street said: “I first became a Blades fan in 1975 when I met my husband. He helped build the South Stand. We’re hoping for a win. This morning I’ve been up since 4am doing my hair! You can’t beat the atmosphere.”
Mark Pantlin, aged 47, from Rotherham, said: “We got up at the crack of dawn, got dressed, stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast and now we’re here. It’s great to start the day with such a nice atmosphere.
“We’re hoping for a win, obviously. I think we can make it 2-1 easily, but if we don’t then we don’t. After the way we started the season, we were a bit poor but we have pulled it around and this is the icing on the cake.”
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