Sheffield derby: United and Wednesday rivalries will be put aside to pay tribute to war heroes

Supporters of Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday are being asked to put rivalries aside before Friday's derby game and pay tribute to the city's war heroes.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 05 November, 2018, 18:37
Owls players join in a minutes silence at Hillsborough last weekend

United and Wednesday go head-to-head at Bramall Lane on Friday in the first Steel City derby of the season.

Before kick-off, a special Remembrance tribute will take place including a short film which will be shown on the big screen in the stadium that depicts players from both teams who served in the First World War.

This year carries extra significance as it marks 100 years since the November 11 armistice in 1918.

Dave McCarthy, operations director at Sheffield United Football Club, said: "Over 30 local service personnel, including many United and Wednesday fans, from the Royal Marines, Army, Royal Navy and RAF have been invited to attend this week's derby game, as well as 12 local veterans who will form a guard of honour ready for the teams to come enter the field of play; with the remaining member of the Armed Forces taking their place around the full length and width of the pitch.  

"Both Sheffield teams' captains will be carrying special Poppy wreaths as they emerge from the tunnel, which at the end of the tribute will be placed in front of the Shoreham Street Kop and in the Owls' case, in front of the '˜away' end seating, remaining there for the duration of the game." 

Following the teams' handshakes and the captains' coin toss, which has been made with a special silver plated First World War commemorative coin, both teams and match officials will gather around the centre circle.

The Blades' stadium announcer, Gary Sinclair, will invite two standard bearers, one from both clubs, and a representative of each of the Armed Forces present, to walk out onto the pitch to lay a wreath.

The Last Post will then be played and a period of silence will follow, before Glyn Beyington, the bugler, will finish the tribute by playing the Reveille.

Finally, both teams will be wearing special shirts on the evening, with a Poppy design front and central with 'Sheffield Remembers' written in gold underneath. These shirts will be auctioned off by the Royal British Legion following the game, as will the commemorative coin.

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Earlier in the day, two trees will be planted at the Steelphalt Academy in memory of the two Sheffield United players who lost their lives during the First Word War, namely James Revill and Alexander Kay, along with a commemorative plaque and in partnership with the Woodland Trust, with the aim of creating a living legacy.

The three minute tribute video has been created by Sheffield United season ticket holder, Dave Uttley, 48, of Norton, Sheffield. 

It will feature the names of the players from both teams who served with the Sheffield City Battalion and footage from his recent visit with his family to the Somme, where his great uncle died.

The video also includes the Anthem for Doomed Youth poem by Wilfred Owen.

Mr Uttley approached Sheffield United after he heard of the club's intention to run a special Remembrance tribute and asked if he could help.

"I felt very proud when Sheffield United said my video would be played on the big screen inside the stadium. 

"I would like people to remember those who passed away and to pass those memories onto the next generation and for people to come together on Friday."