Will young Alfie grow up to show his true colours?

Split loyalties: For now, little Alfie Lester is a fan of both clubs
Split loyalties: For now, little Alfie Lester is a fan of both clubs
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YOU’RE not supposed to have divided loyalties on a weekend like the one we’ve got coming up in the city.

But little Alfie Lester really does have a foot in both camps.

For Alfie has a grandpa taking him to Bramall Lane one week and then his other grandparents whip him off to Hillsborough when the Owls are at home.

Which means that Alfie’s bedroom isn’t home to just one set of shirts, scarves or pictures of his heroes.

He’s got both colours, both shirts and players from opposite camps to stare at.

Of course, one day Alfie - still only four - will probably have to make the big decision as whether it will be blue and white or red and white.

Seeing as mum and dad are in opposite camps then it’s going to be an interesting one - with a bit of gentle persuasion along the way!

Mum is Caroline Lester who, as Caroline Porter, appeared in this column last week pictured with then schoolpal and best friend Louise Foster at a Bramall Lane derby in 1993.

The result of what happened to these best friends (and how they’ve changed) can be found on page 3 of today’s paper.

Alfie’s mum, Caroline, is certainly expecting him to become a fully-fledged Blade one day ... “He first went to the Lane when he was nine months old, it was the first game of the season against Colchester just after we’d come down from the Premier League,” she said.

“He was a Junior Blade at a week old and became a Junior Owl at a month old so he started early with both.”

Husband Robin is a Wednesday fan but they have baby Ruby, 14 weeks old, in the family as well so she might end up going on a Saturday afternoon to where Alfie doesn’t.

However, Alfie will be missing Sunday’s game. A prior arrangement takes him to a Touring Cars event with his dad!

Mum will be there, however, so will she be cheering a United victory?

Well, it may be League One but it will still be as passionate come noon on Sunday and I sense the tension rising among rival fans - which is what you’d expect.

There have been quite a few draws in recent times and it might be the ‘safest’ result to predict. But that’s fence-sitting and an easy way out and you don’t risk offending anyone.

There’s no doubt Wednesday go into it in form and no longer as the underdogs now that they’ve jumped up to second.

On a form guide, United have come a cropper against two of the other leading sides in the division, losing to both Huddersfield and Charlton at the Lane.

It should be no surprise Wednesday have started to pick up. With their squad and the strength of it, they should be fully expected to be right up there come the eventual shake-up.

So, while I would like to go for a draw I would, if pushed to pick a winner, think Wednesday look likeliest to win it and lean that way because they are proving exceptional dangerous at set-pieces. How well United combat this Wednesday strength and this aspect of the game could well be critical to the outcome.

Incidentally, I see United have organised a 20th anniversary dinner (with some of the players involved) of the 2-0 win over Wednesday in 1991, the first top-flight derby for over 20 years. United were underdogs that day too!