Watch rare dressing room video footage capturing Sheffield United's glorious 1990 promotion

An archive video just released by the BBC looks back at the Sheffield United glory days of 1990 on the day they won promotion.

By Julia Armstrong
Friday, 9th April 2021, 7:00 am
Dave Bassett talks to the players before the kick-off at Leicester City
Dave Bassett talks to the players before the kick-off at Leicester City

The film is one of a series released by the BBC from their archives, showing all sorts of aspects of Yorkshire life in the past. They make fascinating viewing.

This two-minute clip is taken from the documentary series United, when the BBC was given behind-the-scenes access.

It shows the scene in the dressing room on the day of the vital away match at Leicester City, which Blades won 5-2 to secure their move up from Division Two to the top flight. That episode was first broadcast on May 11, 1990.

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A peck on the cheek from Dave Bassett for Tony Agana!

The six half-hour episodes charted United’s promotion chase. Each one looked at different elements of the club, such as the the players, their wives, the board, the fans, the apprentices and the managers.

It will be a bitter-sweet film to watch for any Blades fan at the moment, now the team are facing relegation at the end of their second season back in the Premiership. Recently-departed manager Chris Wilder was of course one of the promotion side at Leicester.

In the clip, manager Dave Bassett says: “The players know what’s required, we know what’s required. We’ve got to go to Leicester and try and go on, win and job done. If we win the game, well it doesn’t really matter what anybody else does at that stage.

"If we lose or draw, we to some extent depend on what the other teams do.”

"And now you're gonna believe us, the Blades are going up"

He tells the players before kick-off: “Let’s go out to win this game. You don’t have to win in the first few minutes – let’s impose our own authority on the game. We’ve done it brilliantly all the season, so there’s no reason why you can’t go out today.

“Irrespective of what happens, if you give me today a performance like you had the other night, with attitude, commitment and character, I’d settle for that because that’s what you’ve given me for most of the season.”

He tells them to keep the standards they set on the opening day of the season against West Bromwich Albion.

The players then head down the tunnel to the roar of the crowd and the clip resumes when Blades are already winning 4-2 at half time. After a team talk adjusting tactics on corners and in defence, there are dressing room scenes of players, including one of Bassett landing a kiss on striker Tony Agana’s cheek!

Dave Bassett brought the player over to United from his old club Watford. It proved a great move, as Agana teamed up with Brian Deane and the pair scored 45 goals between them in the 1989-90 season.

At the end of the clip, the manager and his team are seen celebrating their victory, punching the air and singing jubilantly: “And now you’re gonna believe us, the Blades are going up.”

Ah well, there’s always next season, Blades fans. In the meantime, watching this might cheer you up a bit.

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