Sheffield United: 'I thought it was a wind-up' - Blades legend Brian Deane remembers when Trevor Francis tried to sign him for city rivals Sheffield Wednesday
He is an undisputed modern-day Sheffield United legend, scoring goals galore over three successful spells at Bramall Lane.
But it could have all been so different for Brian Deane, the man who made history with the Premier League’s first ever goal back in 1992, had an audacious bid to lure him across the Steel City, to Wednesday, proved successful a year later.
Signed from Doncaster Rovers, Deane headed home from close range against Manchester United to score the first goal of the new top-flight era 27 years ago.
And when his first spell at Bramall Lane came to an end, in 1993, Leeds offered £2.9million – but Wednesday, then managed by Trevor Francis, offered even more.
“I had a meeting with the chief executive but I thought it was some kind of wind up,” Deane told the Daily Mail.
“I thought 'you can't be serious. How can I come and play for Sheffield Wednesday?'
“They were offering more money but I'd have lost the respect of everyone at Sheffield United.
“How could I win? I couldn't, and that's the point. Those things are important.”
Deane eventually did move to Leeds, but returned to United twice – first in 1997 and then in 2005.