Sheffield United: Pal of Chris Wilder reveals how Blades boss celebrated Arsenal victory after remembering how he sat on a mattress on way to Southend to follow his beloved club

A close pal of Chris Wilder has revealed how the Sheffield United boss celebrated victory over Arsenal on Monday – after remembering how Wilder once sat on a mattress all the way to Southend to follow his beloved club.

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 3:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 4:42 pm
Sheffield United's Lys Mousset celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with manager Chris Wilder: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

Ian Whitehorne has been a friend of Wilder since his days as a player for the Blades, and the two joined forces to run Sheffield Sunday League side Bradway – often picking the team on Saturday night in city centre nightclub Josephine’s.

Wilder was once again the toast of Sheffield on Monday evening when he led his side to a 1-0 win over the Gunners, Lys Mousset repaying his manager’s faith by scoring the winner on his full league debut for the Blades.

Whitehorne revealed that he and Wilder stayed out until 3am celebrating that win, and remembered: “He [Wilder] came to an away match at Southend with us in the back of the van when he sat on a mattress.

Chris Wilder with Ian Whitehorne

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“He was a first-teamer but he wanted to go to the games with the lads. We stayed for the weekend. He’s a working-class Sheffield lad, a Blade born and bred. He’s a dry-witted, friendly and generous man.”

Whitehorne also lived with Wilder and Tony Agana, another former Blades legend.

“We used to phone the Praise or Grumble programme on local radio and pretend to be fans,” he revealed, to the South China Morning Post.

“Chris would ring in, put a strong accent on and say ‘Chris Wilder had a great game today’.”

Ian Whitehorne