Sheffield United: Title triumph was a reward for our loyal fans, says Blades skipper Billy Sharp
Skipper Billy Sharp says that Sheffield United's historic League One title success last season was a reward for the loyalty of the club's supporters.
Sharp led his boyhood club back to the Championship after his 30 goals helped them reach the 100-point barrier and win the league. Sharp also passed the 200-goal mark in his career in a memorable season.
And the 31-year-old, writing in the foreward to ‘Centurions’, a 116-page book detailing the highs and lows of the campaign, admitted: “We have talked about the contribution of the players and the staff, but Unitedites have been a different class.
“When it was tough in the early weeks of the season there was a sense that the gaffer was being backed and after that the numbers were astronomical.
“Both at Bramall Lane and up and down the country, Blades supporters made their presence felt and, I’d like to think, enjoyed themselves immensely watching the team perform. How many times have our numbers been bigger than the home crowd?
“And how many times have we sold out away ends? Late in the season, Northampton, Port Vale and MK Dons were as good as home games and the celebrations had to be seen to be believed.
“It has been well-documented that Blades fans have been starved of success and I don’t want to dwell on previous years, but I hope that the level of achievements in the 2016-17 campaign - including reaching 100 points - goes some way to rewarding the loyalty of Unitedites.”
United, who have signed Ched Evans, Nathan Thomas, Enda Stevens and George Baldock since promotion was confirmed, discover who they will face in their first game back in the Championship on Wednesday when the EFL fixture list is announced.
They will face Walsall in the first-round of the newly-named Carabao Cup.
“From the moment the gaffer walked in and named me as his skipper - a very proud moment - the season just got better and better,” Sharp added.
“There has been a bit of turbulence along the way but, on the whole, we were unstoppable. The gaffer, and his staff, deserve a huge amount of credit.
“As I have said in many interviews, he is ‘old school’, he knows how to motivate and get the best out of what he has got available.”