Sheffield Star writer Les Payne’s column on the sporting world

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IT’S exciting, got everyone talking and they say there’s never been a season quite like it for the two city clubs.

Well, there has, but a mention of that shortly.

We probably envisaged a promotion battle for them but not how it has unfolded in such enthralling fashion.

Whatever happens over second spot, it will go down in myth and legend how one team won and then the other jumped back above them.

It is remarkable how it’s worked out that Wednesday have played ahead of United on several occasions, gone above them and put pressure on the Blades who have come up trumps in reply.

There’s one more of those to go on what may be a pivotal day - the penultimate Saturday when United entertain Stevenage at 5.20pm.

Twists and turns? Ponder the possibility of United being four points ahead come Saturday night (amidst calls of ‘it’s over’) yet, with a defeat at MK Dons, they could start that last home game two points adrift were the Owls to beat Carlisle and Brentford.

Previous occasions? Try 1949/50 when Wednesday pipped United to promotion on the old goal average, thus avenging season 1938/39, United pipping Wednesday by a point. It’s still either/or.

Last Saturday, a Huddersfield Town pal came up with a ticket so I went. Must say, Wednesday were hugely impressive, so much so they may have inflicted psychological damage on the Terriers if it did come to a play-off.

And as individual performances go, Miguel Llera’s was one of the best of its type I’ve seen this season. Perhaps its the headgear!

n Don’t know what last Saturday night consisted of for you. A night in front of Voice UK or Britain’s Got Talent perhaps.

Forsaking those pleasures, I took myself off to what may be termed in most eyes a more dubious Saturday-night delight.

Last week in this column I noted collectors of football grounds - ie, groundhoppers - were spending the first part of Easter in this region. It included four games throughout last Saturday (starting at 10.30am) culminating in a Northern Counties East League game between Worsbrough Bridge and Rossington Main on Saturday night.

I got there just before 7.45pm to find a bumper crowd of 300 also, obviously, with nowt much else to do on a Saturday night. Except most of these were adding to their football-ground collection.

I’d an idea they were more than just local - and they were. Spoke to a bloke from Gloucester and another from Hampshire.

“From all over the country then?” I ventured. “Further than that,” came the reply.

There were blokes over from Germany, Holland, Norway - there was even a woman from Hanover who comes across every year to groundhop.

Imagine train-spotters and you get my drift. But these are committed football folk, following a hobby. Some may call it an obsession.

Don’t think I’ve ever seen so many cameras going off. Someone was even filming the teams walking out.

A match programme was a priority and the team line-ups too.

Perhaps they feel part of a club; they seemed familiar with each other - but if you’d been to the same nine games over two days and one night, so you would be.

When the game finished about 9.40pm, I set off to catch Match of the Day.

One guy was just saying to a pal: “Come on then, let’s get on us way back to London.”