Why Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday are called the Blades and Owls

It has been a summer of celebrations for Sheffield United and Wednesday fans after both clubs won promotions.
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Sheffield United will start the new season in the Premier League again and Sheffield Wednesday will move up from League One into the Championship.

Here we take a look at how both clubs got their nicknames – the Blades and Owls.

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Sheffield United FC supporters carry one of the city’s proudest industrial heritages with such pride that they adopted a renowned Steel City nickname which they have undoubtedly made their own.

Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday fans had plenty to celebrate after both city teams got promoted this summerSheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday fans had plenty to celebrate after both city teams got promoted this summer
Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday fans had plenty to celebrate after both city teams got promoted this summer

‘The Blades’ was historically a name used by many sporting teams across Sheffield because of the city’s worldwide fame for cutlery and knives.

But it was Sheffield United fans who made ‘the Blades’ tag their own after the club was formally founded in 1889 –and Sheffield United’s badge proudly boasts two cutlass swords in keeping with club nickname.

Sheffield Wednesday originates from a cricket team called The Wednesday Cricket Club, which was formed in 1820 and was named after the day of the week that the team played matches.

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However, in an effort to keep their cricket players in trim during the winter, the football side of the club developed and they also played on Wednesdays because the players were mainly traders and preferred to play in the middle of the week.

Subsequently, The Wednesday Football Club was formed in 1867, turning professional in April 1887 and eventually becoming more commonly known as Sheffield Wednesday Football Club into the middle of the 20th century.

Wednesday adopted the nickname ‘Owls’ after the club’s move to its location in Owlerton, Sheffield, where the ground was also originally called Owlerton, in 1907.