How city’s big two can make promotion history

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NO, they haven’t. In short that’s the answer to a question that cropped up my way again this week and has done so now and again in recent months.

The question was ... have Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday ever been promoted in the same season?

Hence the answer above, which also confirms that they haven’t been promoted from the same division at the same time although I reckon anyone of a red and blue persuasion knew that.

Of course, all may very well change at the end of this season. I hope it does.

I would certainly reckon a big wedge would be safe on one of them doing it this time.

For it not to happen, both would have to go out in the play-off semis or one of them loses in the final.

It certainly is turning into a most fascinating duel up at the top of League One.

Many bemoaned the fact both city clubs would be languishing in football’s third tier this season and few were inclined to rejoice.

But the season is starting to build nicely. The rivalry is going to intensify in this second half of the season as one set of fans watch even more closely the result of the ‘other lot’.

I am of the view that it is four teams battling for those two coveted automatic places (begging MK Dons’ pardon) and don’t yet subscribe to the view that Charlton look nailed on for one of them.

Yes, they are now overwhelming favourites and perhaps many joined me in reckoning that if they did come out on top against Wednesday and then United, you could get the title pennant ready.

Perhaps the fact they have such a good defensive record - only 19 conceded is far and away the division’s best - might indicate that, yes, they are going to stay there. It is difficult to vote against them.

Ideally, one of the city clubs via automatic and the other through the play-offs would, for me, be perfect.

Then everyone would always know the answer to the question at the top.

Rarely do radio’s Test Match Special commentary team fail to produce some humour, not least if it’s at the expense of Geoff Boycott.

Our very own Michael Vaughan, in my view an excellent addition of the team, not least for his insight and dry humour, was at the centre of a moment I caught by chance this week.

It also involved Jonathan Agnew whose on-air jousts with Boycott are becoming legendary.

Agnew asked if they was a film of Boycott’s life who would play the great Yorkshire and England batsman.

Vaughan paused, for effect, and then offered: “Victor Meldrew?” You could hear the chuckles in the background.

Agnew pondered and then came back ... “Don’t think Victor would be too happy about that.” Cue more chuckles.

More’s the pity there was no chance of a reaction from Boycs. In the end they decided that Alfred Hitchcock would have been the perfect director and they’d call it “The Corridor of Uncertainty”. Cue more chuckles.

May as well mention Mario Balotelli whose first football on English soil was at Bramall Lane for Inter Milan in Sheffield FC’s 150th anniversary match. Referee that night? Howard Webb!

For all his talent, trouble and controversy will be constantly in Balotelli’s wake.

For those who impugned Webb’s integrity by saying he saw the ‘stamping’ incident and did nothing, make no mistake, had he done so it would have been a red card.