It may not have been the result he wanted to mark it, but Chris Wilder’s 100th game in charge of his beloved Sheffield United still gave fans the opportunity to look just how far the club has come under his tenure.
Click HERE see SIX defining games from Wilder’s 100-game Blades tenure
Wilder, whose side marked his landmark game with a 1-1 draw at home to top-six rivals Millwall, took over after Nigel Adkins had led United to an 11th-placed finish in League One, their lowest finish for decades.
The boyhood Blade, a former ballboy at Bramall Lane who later became a player in two spells, then saw United fall bottom of League One after four games. But they stormed back to win the title, winning 100 points, and are still in the mix for a second successive promotion.
“I’ve not given it any thought whatsoever,” he said on the eve of the Millwall fixture. “None at all if I’m being honest. It was the same with my 50th birthday, I didn’t think about it until it happened [the day before beating Wednesday 4-2 at Hillsborough]. Fingers crossed it’s the same outcome though, which was an enjoyable weekend.”
It proved not to be, but the job of leading United - his United - remains special.
“I’ve loved it, absolutely loved it,” Wilder added.
“I’m in an unbelievably privileged position, managing and working for my hometown club. Sometimes, at the coal face, you forget what the club means to you. There was a time during the Cardiff game recently when the fans sung a song to me with real passion and that took me back a bit.
“Sometimes, when you do take a step back, and when you walk around the ground at the final whistle after Middlesbrough or even some Sunday mornings when I walk around with my wife and it’s empty, it’s a special place.
“It’s hilarious at times. I’m not trying to be clever but last weekend I got the bus down to the shops and people wish you well. When I dropped my daughter off at the train station this week, people were wishing me all the best. The amount of people who want this club to do well brings a tingle down your spine; knowing what it means to them and to us all.”