'Respected from the boardroom to the tearoom' - Sheffield United plan tribute during West Brom clash for late club stalwart who served Blades for over 50 years

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Sheffield United have urged supporters to pay tribute to a late club stalwart when the Blades face West Bromwich Albion tonight at Bramall Lane.

A club statement today confirmed the pasisng of Derek Newbould, who served his boyhood club for over 50 years, and asked fans to take part in a minute of applause in the 51st minute to recognise his loyal service.

United's players will also wear black armbands to pay their respects.

"Everyone connected to the club is deeply saddened to hear of the passing to a higher League of club stalwart Derek Newbould," a United spokesman said.

"Derek was a lifelong Blade who went on to serve United in a wide variety of roles spanning over 51 incredible years, latterly assisting in the management of all first-team kit matters alongside Carl Hopwood.

"He finally hung up his boots up at the incredible age of 81 and for many years, the family home was a short kick away from his beloved Bramall Lane on Shoreham Street."

Derek Newbould (sufc.co.uk)

Derek Newbould (sufc.co.uk)

United supporters paid tribute to Derek on social media, with skipper Billy Sharp tweeting: "Love and best wishes to all his family and friends."

The United statement continued: "Derek was loyal, fiercely honest and totally dedicated to his lovely family and, of course, the Blades.

"Hugely liked and respected by everyone at the club from the boardroom to the tea room, Derek epitomised everything about the family of Sheffield United and what makes us so unique and different to the others.

"They genuinely do not make them like Derek anymore. The thoughts of all at the club are with Graham, Julie and all of Derek's family at this sad time.