Sheffield United: ‘Let's get Stearsed!’ – Defender and his Blades’ teammates drink in the moment at Bramall Lane as Premier League promotion is secured after Leeds United fail to beat Aston Villa
In winning promotion with a bottom-eight budget and turning former Conference players into Premier League ones, Chris Wilder has already shown his penchant for working footballing miracles.
But even those exploits could be overshadowed by those of defender Richard Stearman, who squeezed every drop out of Sheffield United’s promotion celebrations on Sunday morning, afternoon and evening to coin a new verb in United fan lexicon.
‘Getting Stearsed’ is now, according to Twitter, shorthand for a proper celebration and absolutely no-one can blame United's players for drinking in the moment. The only surprise to many was the sight of the defender on Twitter the morning after, around 8.45am. “I had a really good time," he said, with probably a hint of understatement.
In scenes that shadowed the celebrations two years ago when United stormed to the League One title, United gathered at Bramall Lane on Sunday to watch Leeds v Aston Villa knowing that anything but a Leeds win would put them in the Premier League.
Sections of the media that had followed United since those days in League One were invited, and the outpouring of joy that greeted the final whistle at Elland Road was something that had to be seen to be truly believed.
George Baldock dodged fixtures and fittings on the roof as he jumped on Gary Madine’s shoulders, serial promotion winners Oliver Norwood and Martin Cranie leapt about as if this was their first.
It didn’t take being close to these players, though, to understand what this means to them. United under Wilder is a truly special, ‘together’ club and few things illustrated that more than an incredible video from that evening’s player of the year night, when David McGoldrick scooped the big prize that any one of ten players could realistically have won and John Egan performed his team song on the microphone as his teammates bounced around behind him.
So many of these players have never experienced Premier League football and even for the few that have, like Billy Sharp and Enda Stevens, this will mean so, so much more.
Attentions, at some point, will turn to Saturday’s game at Stoke. Although they are encouraged to savour every moment, Wilder’s Blades are also a professional bunch and the title, if Norwich lose to in-form Aston Villa, could be at stake.
Then, it’s the Premier League. Stiffer tests await. But all that can wait. For now, just enjoy every drop.