Premier League hopefuls Sheffield United pay tribute to deceased former player Ernie Oliver
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Ernie Oliver, of Hackenthorpe, Sheffield, who played for Sheffield United during the 1960s, sadly died aged 73 last month after he suffered a stroke following a courageous battle with terminal cancer.
EFL Championship football club Sheffield United has confirmed plans to honour Ernie during tomorrow’s home match at Bramall Lane, against Cardiff City, on April 15, which kicks off at 12.30pm, with an announcement, and plans are also underway for a tribute feature to be included in a future match-day programme.
Ernie’s widow Diane, who described much-loved Ernie as ‘very strong person and very positive’ said the Blades’ plan for a tribute in his honour was “lovely” and she thanked the club.
The former clerk of works at Yorkshire Metropolitan Housing, was also a scout for Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday before going into non-league management and, more recently, in 2018 he revived Doncaster Boys football with Doncaster Rovers.
Born in Pitsmoor, Ernie also played for played for Sheffield Boys, South Yorkshire Boys, Doncaster Rovers, Matlock Town and Buxton United and he held a variety of roles, including player, manager and talent scout, taking over as Head of Academy recruitment at Doncaster Rovers in 2017.
Diane said: "He loved football. In 2018 he went on a mission to set up Doncaster Boys which had folded in 2000 and it took a long time but he did it.”
Family, friends and football colleagues packed the City Road Crematorium for Ernie’s funeral, on Wednesday, April 5, after he had died on March 2 and there were floral tributes and condolences from Sheffield United and Doncaster Rovers. Ernie leaves a widow Diane, a son, a step son and step-daughter, and six grandchildren.
Mourners included those he had helped through the football ranks and included one parent who said he wanted to pay his respects because his son had been overseen by Ernie and now plays for Birmingham City.
Diane also praised Michael Fogg Family Funeral Directors, of Kilvington Avenue, near Intake, Sheffield, especially after Ernie had become good friends with funeral director Michael Fogg who was proud to have been among the pallbearers.