Sheffield United: Brian Deane remembers historic first Premier League goal against Man United, 30 years on

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By his own admission, the Premier League is the best league in the world; a “monster” that changed the face of football in this country.

And Brian Deane, exactly 30 years ago today, was right in the thick of it, scoring a header against Manchester United that made history as the competition’s first goal.

The clip has been seen millions of times since; Carl Bradshaw’s throw-in, Denis Irwin’s unfortunate flick-on and Deane’s magic moment, nipping in between the Red Devils’ defence to head past Peter Schmeichel in front of a jubilant Kop.

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Deane added a second-half penalty for good measure and while the visitors recovered sufficiently to win the inaugural Premier League title, it was Deane who left Bramall Lane that hot August afternoon in 1992 with his place in football folklore secured.

“I just can’t believe it’s been 30 years,” Deane admitted.

“In the second half, I scored a penalty and also had a goal disallowed. So I could have ended up with the matchball, which would have been nice!

“We had no idea the Premier League would grow into what it has done, it’s a real monster of a league. It’s the best league in the world, it’s the most covered. It’s changed the face of football in this country.

Brian Deane celebrates scoring the first Premiership goal on 15th August 1992 - Sheffield United v Manchester United.Brian Deane celebrates scoring the first Premiership goal on 15th August 1992 - Sheffield United v Manchester United.
Brian Deane celebrates scoring the first Premiership goal on 15th August 1992 - Sheffield United v Manchester United.

“It’s really taken off, so I’m glad it was me rather than Alan Shearer or Gary Lineker or Les Ferdinand or Ian Wright. It's me and something I'll always be remembered for, and so that's fantastic.”

Deane is now frequently prompted to speak about his historic moment, both in public and the media, and admits he has “learned to relax about the whole situation” after initially putting something of a guard up in his younger days.

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“I remember being really rude to someone after they spotted me and said something about the goal,” Deane remembered. “They were trying to be nice, but I was so shy and felt that if someone was trying to be nice to me, they were trying to be nasty.

“I didn't know how to take people. I felt I was always on my guard and I hated that side of it.

Has it changed my life? While I was playing I don't think it did, for me it was just another goal. It was only when I finished playing that I really realised what it was.”

The Premier League has since exploded into a multi-billion-pound industry.

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"There was a lot more media attention," Deane added. “All of a sudden, the players knew that, instead of just a highlight reel on Match of the Day, there was going to be more live games," he said.

"You couldn't get away from the fact that it was a new beginning.

"We knew that, rather than [Man United] getting a head of steam up, this was an opportunity to get at them when they're not necessarily up to speed, when players are still gelling. We went out there without any fear, really.

"It was only at half-time that somebody had said that it was the first goal. But even at that point, it didn't really mean anything - it didn't really mean that much for a long time.

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"But here we are, 30 years later and it's still captured the intrigue of everybody."

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