Daring to dream: Here's 25 pictures from Sheffield United’s last top tier campaign as Blades close in on automatic promotion

It’s now so close you can almost taste it: Sheffield United are on the verge of their first return to the Premier League since 2007. The prestige, the chance to face the countries strongest sides and the cash windfall are within the Blades’ grasp, after the club surged their way past Leeds United into the automatic play-off places over the Easter weekend.

By Richie Boon
Tuesday, 23 April, 2019, 13:40
(PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

As Blades fans dare to dream about a long awaited return to the English top tier, here’s 25 classic snaps from the club’s tumultuous 2006/07 Premier League campaign...

United made a highly encouraging start to their season, earning a hard fought point at home to Liverpool. Rob Hulse gave his side an early lead, but Robbie Fowler's equaliser robbed the Blades of a dream start to the season. (Gareth Copley/PA)
Hulse finds himself unmarked to power home a towering header. (Photo credit: Gareth Copley/PA)
The Blades had to wait until late September for their first win, when they defeat Middlesbrough 2-1 at Bramall Lane. Here's goalscorer Rob Hulse jostling with Boro defender Jonathan Woodgate. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Phil Jagielka was the hero of the hour against the Teesiders, scoring an injury time, 30-yard screamer to send Bramall Lane into scenes of chaotic celebration. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Steve Warnock revelling in the last minute goal, as a crestfallen Gareth Southgate watched on in disbelief. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Neil Warnock congratulating the match winner, who would go on to leave the club the following summer, joining Everton in a 4m deal. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
The Blades had to wait until November to score their first away goal of the campaign, when Danny Webber gave the travelling fans something to cheer about by netting the winner in fiercely fought 1-0 victory at St. James' Park. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Another highlight here, as the Keith Gillespie's wonder-strike volley from the edge of the area sealed another dramatic last gasp win for Warnock's warriors. It was a real purple patch for the Blades, who picked up 14 points in eight matches as winter set in. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Catch me if you can! Gillespie bursts past his teammates to celebrate with the supporters as Bramall Lane roared on their victorious side. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
What a moment to be part of! United rounded off a tough 2006 with a galvanising 1-0 win over Arsenal. Christian Nade scored the all-important goal to give the Blades their first league win over the Gunners since 1973. And yes, that is Jagielka wearing Paddy Kenny's shirt - the defender stepped in and saved his side's bacon with a terrific showing between the sticks. (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Absolute scenes as Christian Nade beats Jens Lehmann to score the winner! (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Arsenal were highly frustrated against their disciplined opponents, and it all boiled over when Philippe Senderos had a right old pop at Colin Kazim-Richards (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

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2007 didn't start well, but United continued their dominance over north London opponents with a cracking 2-1 win over Spurs. Jagielka's second half penalty did the job, as Warnock's side rallied after going a goal down early on. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
The full-time celebrations were particularly rampant, as United thought Colin Kazim-Richard's earlier header had crossed the line before being ruled out by the officials. Later replays showed the ref had it spot on, but the perceived injustice certainly managed to spark a response from the Blades. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
United fans were swiftly brought back down to earth with a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Liverpool. Robbie Fowler scored two penalties, on a rather grim afternoon for the Blades. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Sami Hyypia scoring a rare goal with his feet, as a helpless Kenny was beaten on his near post. (ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)
He Who Must Not Be Named (West Ham's Carlos Tevez) here being given some rough treatment by the United defence. The Argentinian ace was, however, unable to prevent his side from getting belted 3-0 at Bramall Lane. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
A young Robert Green sprawls in vain as Jagielka's header put the Blades 2-0 up. The win gave the side hope of staying up heading into the final few matches...(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
With three games to go, United were hanging onto their Premier League status by a thread. Michael Tonge helped them to a 1-0 win over Watford, in an unbearably nerve-wracking encounter. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Warnock was delighted with the massive three points, but things were about to take a turn for the worse...(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Relegation came on the final day of the season, as former Blade David Unsworth slammed the final nail in United's coffin with a firmly struck penalty. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
A Sheffield United fan contemplates his side's fate. Photo credit: (Rui Vieira/PA Wire.)
Another heartbroken Blades fan comes to terms with relegation. (Photo Credit: PA)
Staring down the barrel of second tier football (Photo credit: PA)
Who better to front your campaign to be reinstated to the division than Games of Thrones' Ned Stark? Sean Bean and co were unable to convince the footballing authorities of their case against West Ham United, following their somewhat shady acquisitions of Tevez and Javier Mascherano. (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)