Both Sheffield clubs’ history is littered with Irish stars from north and south who have shone in the Steel City. Here, Chris Holt picks a Sheffield Irish XI featuring Wednesday and United players.
Always the toughest because there’s only one position for them, but two stoppers, both Blades went head-to-head for this one and Alan Kelly edged out Paddy Kenny. Kelly, whose father Alan snr was also an international number one, won 34 caps for the Republic and made over 200 appearances for United in the 90s before moving on to Blackburn in 1999. A great, consistent all-round keeper.
The Dubliner played for both Sheffield clubs but excelled at Wednesday where having come through the youth ranks at Hillsborough, he went on to make over 100 appearances, and won player of the year in the 2001–2002 season. Neil Warnock moved to take the defender to Bramall Lane where he played in the Premiership and turned out just shy of 100 times.
A calm, composed central defender, Northern Ireland International Hill played over 80 times for United and won 27 international caps. Was part of the United side which won promotion to the top flight in 1990, edged out of the title on goal difference by Leeds.
Ok, his spell at Bramall Lane was short (he played 12 times), but this is Paul McGrath...
Nailed on for a place in an Irish XI, Worthington was one of Wednesday’s most consistent players during his time at Hillsborough, playing 338 times and making 66 international appearances for Northern Ireland, including playing in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
Another one without question, Sheridan is a legend for the Owls and his adopted country having scored impressive and important goals for Wednesday and the Republic throughout his career, from midfield
Still playing in the top flight for Hull City, Quinn came through United’s Academy and played in the Premiership, Championship and League One for the Blades, making over 200 appearances before moving to east Yorkshire
Danny Wilson (Player manager)
Combative and creative Wilson was in the League Cup winning team of 1991 and featured in both losing cup finals in 1993. Won 24 international caps for Northern Ireland and having managed in both camps in Sheffield he can be player boss in this XI
Still a fans’ favourite at Hillsborough, Brunt’s skill and his goals lit up S6, with one in particular from long range against Leeds in 2007 remaining a talking point amongst Owls.
A legendary figure in the early part of the 1900s, Gillespie’s prominence and pride from ‘home’ is such that having taken over as manager of Derry City they changed their kit to red and white stripes.
Dunne scored goals...and bags of them. He fired in 143 in 173 appearances and still holds the record for the most league goals scored by an Irishman in the one season (41)