On Wednesday June 17, 1992 three Sheffield Wednesday players lined up at the Rasunda Stadium, Solna all aiming to play a part in their sides’ progression to the knockout stages of the European Championship.
Goalkeeper Chris Woods and midfielder Carlton Palmer were part of Graham Taylor’s England team while Roland Nilsson took his place in the Sweden defence.
In front of Nilsson in the Swedish midfield was Klas Ingesson who would spend two years at Hillsborough from 1994 and who died last year of cancer aged 46.
Many felt Chris Waddle should have been on the pitch that night but Taylor did not select the man who weeks later would join the Owls.
Sweden topped Group A going into the final match with England outside qualification in third but such were the variables that both teams needed a positive result and it was realistically a must-win game for the Three Lions.
England went ahead through David Platt early on with further chances going unconverted by Andy Sinton – later of Wednesday – and Tony Daley, who would become United’s fitness and conditioning coach.
Sweden then levelled through Jan Eriksson who gave Woods no chance after a defence-splitting pass shortly after half-time.
Midway through the half Taylor stunned everyone when he brought on Alan Smith – for Gary Lineker. It was to be the striker’s final international.
Tomas Brolin’s goal then dumped England out of the tournament inspiring The Sun’s headline of ‘Swedes 2 Turnips 1’.
For Nilsson it meant he and his team-mates earned a semi-final against Germany which they lost 3-2.
A classy right-back, Nilsson was then part of the Sweden team that reached the semi-final of the 1994 World Cup shortly after leaving the Owls for Helsingborg in his homeland.
The Swedes narrowly lost to eventual winners Brazil before winning the third place play-off.
While Sweden did not qualify for Euro 96 and France 98, Nilsson represented his country for the final time at Euro 2000 in Holland and Belgium to conclude a 14-year international career.Palmer continued in the side under Taylor although his inclusion was not popular with the majority of England fans.
Next up was attempted qualification for the World Cup in the United States.
Taylor was increasingly a man under pressure with the lows and lows of the doomed campaign recorded on the 1994 documentary ‘The Impossible Job’.
Palmer featured in the infamous ‘can we not knock it?’ sequence during the 2-0 defeat by Norway which featured two future Blades in Jostein Flo and Jan-Aage Fjortoft, a match where Nigel Clough was given a pep talk more confusing than inspiring before coming on as substitute.
Then came the notorious 2-0 loss to Holland - featuring Taylor’s rage as Ronald Koeman escaped a red card - and what turned out to be Palmer’s final international appearance after 18 caps and one goal. A year later he moved to Leeds after five years in S6.
Euro 92 was the only tournament Woods attended as England’s number one choice goalkeeper and his international career was over in the summer of 1993 with David Seaman installed ahead of him.
Woods, who had made 43 appearances for the national side, stayed between the sticks at Hillsborough until 1996 when he moved to Colorado Rapids after a loan spell at Reading.
Other players at Euro 92 with a Sheffield link were defender Des Walker whose international career also ended after the failed 1994 World Cup qualification and who enjoyed an eight-year spell with the Owls.
Keith Curle was in the squad, the defender going on to spend two years with United from 2000 while Clough was sacked as Sheffield United manager weeks ago.
Stuart McCall was in the Scotland squad in Sweden, the midfielder going on to enjoy a three-year spell at Bramall Lane from 2002.