The Blade whose first game saw Sheffield United put six past Tottenham Hotspur - with Bassett, Deane and Co. upsetting the establishment
As they say, you never forget your first – and Richard Redman has more reason to remember the first time he watched Sheffield United than most.
It was March 2, 1993 – 28 years ago today - and United dismantled Tottenham Hotspur 6-0 at Bramall Lane. Here, he recalls a day when Jock Bryson (2), Franz Carr, Brian Deane, Paul Rogers and an own goal put Spurs to the sword.
‘Stick it in theeyer’
Not for the first time, my Dad would ram the old red Vauxhall Cavalier up on the grass verge somewhere around Myrtle Road at the behest of my Grandad.
This was it for me, one of the first of many occasions the three generations would nip in the smoke-filled Sheaf ‘for one’, cue into the turnstiles on the right-hand side of Cherry Street, have a couple of quid in the bookies (Usually Deano 2-1 would get you 16s) and position ourselves on the same three seats on the same row of the same gangway at Bramall Lane (C).
The date was March 2nd 1993 and I was seven years old. I knew all of the names of the Sheffield United players, their positions and the rather wacky manager with a southern accent.
But this was the game where the claws were sunk into me. No going back. Wild horses wouldn’t drag me from this club through thick, thin and thinner…
Spurs’ defending was crap, and so was the pitch, but this was a Spurs team full of internationals. The tackling was hard, the players were honest but the result was forever engrained.
Jinking Franz Carr bagged from a corner along the ground from Glyn Hodges, Bryson bagged a couple, followed by an own goal from Andy Gray off the ‘keeper, the original Deano and a late one from Paul Rogers. It finished 6-0.
In the intervening years, I have never seen a Blades side dismantle a ‘very good’ (Mabbutt, Anderton, Sheringham et al) Premier League team to that extent.
I left the ground almost gobsmacked. I can only really relate it to when we went 2-0 against Man United at the Lane this season. This was the team that couldn’t string three passes together (Grandad), couldn’t buy a win (Grandad) and didn’t have a clue (guess who!)
Looking back, the team were all British, had a fantastic spirit and upset the establishment (Dave Bassett went onto win the inaugural LMA award, Deano scored the first goal of the Premier League era). Striking similarities with today in terms of camaraderie and relationship between players, staff and fans (apart from Grandad).
Deano and ‘Jock’ Bryson were now my heroes and I could finally stick it back to the Wednesday fans at school who had been lording it and celebrating their playground goals with cries of Hirsty and Waddle… Little was I to know what was to come later on in the year (It still hurts to recall).
It’s this recent resurgence that has compelled me to put pen to paper. All the kids going to the Lane now need to enjoy the Flecks, Sharps and Bashams. Let’s hope that they never have to experience the relative doldrums of the old Third Division, experience magical games at the Lane, and can forever look down on our neighbours…