From bottom of League One to brink of Europe - The many ups and rare downs of Chris Wilder's times at Sheffield United

Chris Wilder's remarkable spell as Sheffield United manager looks to be approaching an end, after almost five years at the helm of his boyhood club.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 3:08 pm

His time in charge at Bramall Lane has seen remarkable ups and few downs, with glorious scenes that will be remembered forever by grateful Blades fans.

Here's a timeline of his tenure as Blades manager...

May 7, 2016 - Wilder's Northampton Town win 2-1 away at Portsmouth. Having already won the League Two title, it sees the Cobblers finish the season on 99 points.

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May 8, 2016 - United, led by Nigel Adkins, lose 2-0 at home to Scunthorpe to cap a miserable season. They finish 11th and are led by Adkins on a post-match lap of appreciation. A few hundred remain inside Bramall Lane, mostly to voice their displeasure.

May 12, 2016 - Adkins is sacked as Blades boss. “Nigel is a gentleman and, as proved by his record, a very good manager," reads a statement on United's official website. "But the overriding aim is promotion from League One and the club feels that this is the correct time to make a change." United approach Northampton for permission to speak to Wilder, who is also interesting Charlton Athletic. Having verbally agreed to join them, Wilder U-turns and becomes the new Sheffield United manager.

May 20, 2016 - United confirm that 10 players from the previous season have been released and seven have been transfer-listed, as Wilder set about reshaping United's squad.

Chris Wilder and Billy Sharp celebrate winning the League One title: Jamie Tyerman/Sportimage

June 1, 2016 - Mark Duffy, who Wilder wanted to take to Charlton with him, signs for Sheffield United as Wilder's first new face as Blades boss.

July 8, 2016 - Wilder signs John Fleck on a free transfer from Coventry City and Jack O'Connell from Brentford for a nominal fee.

August 6, 2016 - Wilder takes charge of his first game as Blades boss, but United lose 1-0 at Bolton.

August 20, 2016 - A run of one point from United's first four games sees them fall to the bottom of League One after losing 2-1 at Millwall. On the way home, Wilder stops United's coach in Bermondsey and buys his players beers from an off-licence.

Wilder at this Blades unveiling alongside Alan Knill and Matt Prestridge: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

August 27, 2016 - A week later, United get their first win of the campaign as James Wilson's header secures a 2-1 victory over Wilder's old club, Oxford United.

September 4, 2016 - A seminal moment in United's recent history. Wilder switched to a back three away at Gillingham, freeing up Duffy into the No.10 role and unleashing overlapping centre-backs O'Connell and Chris Basham. Sharp's late penalty seals another win.

November 29, 2016 - United's 15-match unbeaten run comes to an end as they lose away at Walsall - their bogey club that season.

Chris Wilder (r) pictured early in his United reign in a friendly at Stocksbridge, where he was born: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

December 31, 2016 - Kieron Freeman's 89th-minute winner sends United top of League One for the first time, with three points against Northampton. They don't fall off top spot all season.

April 8, 2017 - Victory away at Northampton officially ends United's six-year spell in League One. Both Blades goals spark jubilant pitch invasions and an emotional Wilder is serenaded by both sets of fans afterwards.

April 15, 2017 - United are crowned League One champions after Bolton lose away at Oldham.

August 5, 2017 - United beat Brentford in their first game back in the Championship, but lose their next two at Middlesbrough and Cardiff.

September 24, 2017 - United beat Wednesday 4-2 at Hillsborough in a remarkable Steel City Derby, the first for some years.

Chris Wilder and Billy Sharp celebrate Sheffield United's promotion to the Premier League: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

October 27, 2017 - The Blades go top of the league after David Brooks' late winner at Leeds.

November 17, 2017 - United win away at Burton to continue their push for a second consecutive promotion, but Paul Coutts has his leg broken and the Blades cannot recover.

December 29, 2017 - The feud between Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah really begins, as the former serves notice to buy the latter out for £5m. The Prince counter-offers, and the pair's relationship deteriorates even further.

April 28, 2018 - Wilder goes public on his frustration over what he calls a lack of “harmony”, “direction” and a “plan”, admitting he may walk away from Bramall Lane.

July 2018 - Wilder sacrifices Brooks, allowing him to join Bournemouth and uses the funds to sign John Egan from Brentford. Goalkeeper Dean Henderson also arrives from Manchester United.

February 8, 2019 - United are 3-0 up and cruising away at Aston Villa, on their way to the top of the Championship table. But they concede three times in the last eight minutes, and draw 3-3. United bounce back to keep seven clean sheets, including a vital win at Leeds to reestablish their promotion credentials.

April 28, 2019 - Wilder leads the Blades into the Premier League after 12 years away.

July 9, 2019 - Wilder signs a new three-year deal to stay at Bramall Lane.

August 10, 2019 - After breaking United's transfer record several times during the summer, Wilder leads his club into their first Premier League game in 12 years as they draw 1-1 at Bournemouth, thanks to Sharp's late equaliser.

September 16, 2019 - A High Court judge rules in favour of Prince Abdullah, ordering McCabe to sell his half of United for £5m.

December 21, 2019 - A 1-0 victory away at Brighton means United go into Christmas fifth in the Premier League table.

January 30, 2020 - Wilder smashes United's transfer record to sign Sander Berge from Genk, in a deal worth £22m.

March 7, 2020 - United beat Norwich City to stay within two points of the top four, but the Premier League is suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

June 17, 2020 - United kick off Project Restart at Aston Villa, and are robbed of a vital goal when the goalline technology failed. They end the season in ninth place, after winning just three of their post-lockdown games.

September 11, 2020 - Wilder says signing a new striker will make the summer transfer window "one of our best – if not the best – window we have had since I have been at the club" after signing a host of young players. He later breaks United's transfer record again to sign Rhian Brewster.

December 13, 2020 - Prince Abdullah conducts a radio interview in which he gives Wilder his full confidence, despite United's poor early-season form, and promises two loan signings in the January transfer window.

January 2021 - No loan signings arrive, and neither does an improved training ground that United themselves boasted would be ready for United to kick off 2021 in.

January 9, 2021 - Wilder insists there are no guarantees that he will remain as United boss.

March 2, 2021 - Wilder is asked directly if he will still be at the helm during the 2021/22 campaign. "I don't know," he replies.

March 12, 2021 - News breaks that United and Wilder are poised to part company.