Retro: Middlesbrough old boy Fjørtoft signed in at Sheffield United 22 years ago this week – and became a Blades favourite

On January 31 1997, Jan Åge Fjørtoft signed for Sheffield United  after the arrival of Italian striker Fabrizio Ravanelli pushed him down the pecking order at Middlesbrough.

Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 12:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 12:46 pm
Goal-scorer Jan Aage Fjortoft celebrates with team-mate David White

Fjørtoft cost the Blades £700,000 and became well known for his aeroplane celebration.

“There was a time when I was doing all silly celebrations,” he explained to Planet Football. “But it took me ages to score at Swindon. So, when I finally did, I just did the aeroplane.

Goal-scorer Jan Aage Fjortoft celebrates with team-mate David White

“That was the first half, and as I was walking off the pitch at half-time at the County Ground, I looked into the crowd. There was this old lady. She was shouting, screaming to me and doing the aeroplane celebration.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I thought well if it’s good enough for an 80-year-old, then it’s good enough for me.”

Fjortoft was a crowd favourite at Bramall Lane, but was sold – on the same day as fellow striker Brian Deane – to Barnsley.