Fans react to Sheffield United’s promotion parade – and give their predictions for next season
Thousands of football fans descended on the city centre this evening to salute their Sheffield United promotion heroes – and many believe the Blades can make a real impact in the Premier League next season.
The city turned red and white for the day as manager Chris Wilder and his players cheered and waved to fans lining the streets as their open top bus weaved its way from Bramall Lane to the Town Hall.
Many supporters chanted Wilder's name – the Blades fan, former ballboy, ex-player and now boss - who has led the team back to the top tier of English football for the first time in over a decade.
The throng who gathered this evening were optimistic the team can not only survive next season, but hold their own against the best teams in the country.
Glynn Staniforth, aged 77, said: “This is the best I’ve seen them since the days of Tony Currie. They play some really attractive football.”
Waterthorpe man Alan Wright, aged 61, chairman of Sheffield United Supporters’ Club headquarters branch, said: “They have been brilliant this season.
“I think we will surprise a few teams next season. I think we’ll stay up.
“It is also great for the city in general to have a club in the Premier League when you think about things like boosting tourism.”
Mel Flower, aged 30, who is from Sheffield but now lives in Leeds, described their promotion season as “fantastic” and added she is “optimistic” about next year.
Mike Winks, aged 37, said: “There has been a lot of ups and downs and to finish second was fantastic.”
Meanwhile, Riley Winks, aged 10, and Louise Winks, aged 35, are looking forward to seeing the Blades taking on the country’s biggest clubs.
Riley said: “I can’t wait to see them play Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool.”
Phil Powell, aged 65, of Hillsborough, who works as a match day host for the commercial department at the club, said: “The crowds have been consistently great all season and I’m sure they will be next year.”
Ecclesfield man Keith Benn, aged 45, who works in the club shop, pointed out that a number of newly promoted teams have done well recently and believes the Blades could emulate them.
He said: “Look at how well teams like Wolves have done this year.
“Who knows, maybe we could do a Leicester!”
Magid Magid, lord mayor of Sheffield, placed his ceremonial chains over the Blades boss and said: “If there was ever a worthy person, worthy of wearing the city's official mayoral chains, it is Chris Wilder.”