Sheffield derby: Steve Bruce the author, goalscorer and plumber? Facts you never knew about the Sheffield Wednesday boss

Defender, manager, plumber, author – Steve Bruce has done it all… except be involved in a Sheffield derby.

Wednesday, 27th February 2019, 11:05 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th February 2019, 11:12 am
Owls boss Steve Bruce. Pic Steve Ellis.

That’s soon to change though as Sheffield Wednesday prepare to host city rivals Sheffield United on Monday night at Hillsborough as the Owls chief looks to preserve his unbeaten record so far.

But there’s more than meets the eye where Bruce is concerned – at least, more than his impressive record of four Championship promotions and 309 Manchester United appearances reveals on paper.

Owls boss Steve Bruce. Pic Steve Ellis.

The Wednesday boss grew up in the north east near Wallsend, where he played for the famous Boys Club who have produced talent such as Peter Beardsley, Michael Carrick, Brian Laws and Alan Shearer over the years. 

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Bruce was turned down by a number of professional clubs including Sunderland, Southport, Derby County and Newcastle United, who he supported as a boy, before eventually joining Gillingham in the Third Division.

He signed for Gerry Summers’ side just as he was about to start work as a plumber’s apprentice and made the switch from midfielder to defender while in Kent.

Moves to Norwich City, Manchester United, Brimingham City and Sheffield United followed as he won three Premier League titles, two Football League cups, a European Cup Winners’ Cup and Super Cup. 

Despite being a central defender, Bruce had an impressive scoring record in his time as a player – he found the net 113 times during his career.

In the 1990/91 season he found the net an impressive 19 times in all competitions for Manchester United, with 13 of those coming in the league.

As a manager, Bruce’s pedigree of four promotions has made him one of the top candidates for any ambitious Championship club if they have a managerial vacancy but he has only ever won the second division title once with Birmingham City in 2002.

His other promotions have come via the play-offs or runner-up spot.

As if all that wasn’t enough for one man’s footballing CV, Bruce has also written four books including his autobiography Heading for Victory and three novels, Sweeper!, Defender! and Striker!.