SHEFFIELD United and Sheffield Wednesday players will be hit by a wall of noise when the emerge from the tunnel at Hillsborough tomorrow.
Derek Geary, who represented both clubs during his professional career, told The Star that those selected to start the latest Steel City showdown should be under no illusions about the intensity of the of the occasion.
Insisting meetings between South Yorkshire’s two footballing giants compare with the other great rivalries in the British game, Geary revealed: “The sound when you step out onto the pitch is incredible. It washes over you and seems to be coming from absolutely everywhere.
“The adrenaline is pumping in the dressing room because you can hear the buzz and it gets so loud during the games that you can’t even hear what the manager is telling you. I can always remember the first one I ever took part in and that’s when I thought ‘this is what I want to do with the rest of my life’.”
Geary started his professional career with Wednesday before arriving at Bramall Lane - via Stockport - in 2004. Now retired, he claimed tomorrow’s game has few peers on the footballing calendar. “I’ve been teammates with people like (United’s) Gary Speed and (Wednesday’s) Phil O’Donnell and they always said it was on a par with anything else they’d ever been involved in,” he said. “And they’d played in Old Firm and Liverpool derbies so that’s saying something.”