On this date - April 23rd

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grafikhaus

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April 23rd has always loomed large in my long Blades-supporting life. Obviously, we’ve played other games on this date, but I was present at all these:

1962. My first-ever Blades game. Me, mum and dad got into dad’s Consul and headed over the Pennines for this Bank Holiday fixture. Mum – scared that I might get lost in the big crowd – took the precaution of dressing me so that I’d easily stand out. A bright red jumper…

Needless to say, I did get unattached from my parents but – to their horror – a kindly stranger reunited us. We won 1-0 with the goal coming from ‘Doc’ Pace,

1968. This near-13 year old was feeling the first stirrings of a true love that has lasted to this day. I headed to Bramall Lane for a home game with Fulham. It had been a poor season which would see the initial 9-year reign of ‘Gentleman’ John Harris end at the finish of this season. Fulham were rock-bottom, but still managed to beat the Blades 2-3 – our goals coming from Fenoughty and Woodward. Eighteen days later, Fulham’s near-neighbours Chelsea delivered the coup de grâce by beating us at The Lane on the last day of the season (after the game, I sat on the Kop steps and cried). Us and Fulham were relegated from the top flight.

1973. I re-visited the site of my first Blades game and made up a tiny part of the 55,035 crowd at Old Trafford. The Reds were in decline and would finish the season in 18th place (they would be relegated to the Second Division the following season). This match – Bobby Charlton’s last home game – saw the Blades win 2-1 with our goals coming from Bill Dearden and Keith Eddy.

1983. A forgettable 2-1 win at Bramall Lane over Bradford City in Division 3. Our goals were scored by Towner and Keith Edwards in front of a less-than-enthused crowd of 9,375. (This, unbelievably, wasn’t the lowest home crowd of Ian Porterfield’s second season). The euphoria of promotion from Division Four was forgotten, we would finish this season in mid-table and 9k to 11k crowds were common. At home to Newport County on 1st March 1983 drew a ‘crowd’ of 8,740.

1988. Another pitiful season in Division Two under Billy McEwan, Danny Bergara and the belated appointment of Dave Bassett mean that just 12,091 witnessed this 0-0 draw against West Brom in our final (scheduled) League match of the season. 25 days later, we had lost the 2-leg relegation play-off game v. Bristol City and were relegated back down to Division Three.

This season wasn’t without its ‘moments’, though. On January 2nd, we lost 0-5 at home to Oldham under the egregious Billy McEwan – quite the most shameful Blades performance I have witnessed (although Adkins would try his best to beat this). Never mind. A few days later, McEwan had gone and Dave Bassett – who had just been sacked by Watford - was appointed.

2011. United 3 Bristol City 2 in The Championship. Our goals – by Williamson, McAllister and Slew – couldn’t prevent us being relegated to League One 14 days later.

2016. An utterly dismal season under the equally-dismal Nigel Adkins had just two home games to go. We drew with The Tykes 0-0 on this day before the season ended fifteen days later with a 0-2 home defeat to Scunthorpe. We finished the season in 11th place in League One – our lowest league finish since the 1982-83 season, and Adkins was gone.

‘The course of true love never did run smooth.’
 

Cerberus Blade

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April 23rd has always loomed large in my long Blades-supporting life. Obviously, we’ve played other games on this date, but I was present at all these:

1962. My first-ever Blades game. Me, mum and dad got into dad’s Consul and headed over the Pennines for this Bank Holiday fixture. Mum – scared that I might get lost in the big crowd – took the precaution of dressing me so that I’d easily stand out. A bright red jumper…

Needless to say, I did get unattached from my parents but – to their horror – a kindly stranger reunited us. We won 1-0 with the goal coming from ‘Doc’ Pace,

1968. This near-13 year old was feeling the first stirrings of a true love that has lasted to this day. I headed to Bramall Lane for a home game with Fulham. It had been a poor season which would see the initial 9-year reign of ‘Gentleman’ John Harris end at the finish of this season. Fulham were rock-bottom, but still managed to beat the Blades 2-3 – our goals coming from Fenoughty and Woodward. Eighteen days later, Fulham’s near-neighbours Chelsea delivered the coup de grâce by beating us at The Lane on the last day of the season (after the game, I sat on the Kop steps and cried). Us and Fulham were relegated from the top flight.

1973. I re-visited the site of my first Blades game and made up a tiny part of the 55,035 crowd at Old Trafford. The Reds were in decline and would finish the season in 18th place (they would be relegated to the Second Division the following season). This match – Bobby Charlton’s last home game – saw the Blades win 2-1 with our goals coming from Bill Dearden and Keith Eddy.

1983. A forgettable 2-1 win at Bramall Lane over Bradford City in Division 3. Our goals were scored by Towner and Keith Edwards in front of a less-than-enthused crowd of 9,375. (This, unbelievably, wasn’t the lowest home crowd of Ian Porterfield’s second season). The euphoria of promotion from Division Four was forgotten, we would finish this season in mid-table and 9k to 11k crowds were common. At home to Newport County on 1st March 1983 drew a ‘crowd’ of 8,740.

1988. Another pitiful season in Division Two under Billy McEwan, Danny Bergara and the belated appointment of Dave Bassett mean that just 12,091 witnessed this 0-0 draw against West Brom in our final (scheduled) League match of the season. 25 days later, we had lost the 2-leg relegation play-off game v. Bristol City and were relegated back down to Division Three.

This season wasn’t without its ‘moments’, though. On January 2nd, we lost 0-5 at home to Oldham under the egregious Billy McEwan – quite the most shameful Blades performance I have witnessed (although Adkins would try his best to beat this). Never mind. A few days later, McEwan had gone and Dave Bassett – who had just been sacked by Watford - was appointed.

2011. United 3 Bristol City 2 in The Championship. Our goals – by Williamson, McAllister and Slew – couldn’t prevent us being relegated to League One 14 days later.

2016. An utterly dismal season under the equally-dismal Nigel Adkins had just two home games to go. We drew with The Tykes 0-0 on this day before the season ended fifteen days later with a 0-2 home defeat to Scunthorpe. We finished the season in 11th place in League One – our lowest league finish since the 1982-83 season, and Adkins was gone.

‘The course of true love never did run smooth.’

Brought back a few memories there. Although I hadn't been to any games pre 1970, but most of the others I remember well. Billy McEwan eh? He was an unfortunate choice of manager - another one that had never been a manager before we gave him his big chance. I remember him most for him proudly boasting that he wasn't going to spend the club's money - he was a frugal Scot of the tightest order. And I think the performances under him were just about as bad as they've ever been. When Bassett came in and immediately refreshed the squad, with the likes of Brian Deane - an awkwardly raw and gangly youngster, from Donny Rovers, and Tony Agana, some Watford reserve that we'd never heard of, it was in stark contrast to McEwan's, "we'll stick with what we've got" approach. And it obviously paid off.

I liked the Ford Consul btw - my mate's dad had one too. Bench seat in the front and column gear change. I used to think it was a really powerful car - then I look back at the 0-60 time of about 23 seconds and whilst that was pretty decent back in the day, it seems glacial now. Nice looking motor though, very comfy and loads of room.

1587621536934.png
 

Paisley Blade

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I think ( haven't checked) that OTD 2013 we lost at Crewe 1-0 , hot on the heels of our 3-0 reverse at Pompey the previous Saturday , shortly after our recent capitulation 0-2 at home to Creepy Crawley.

I was at all of these games , probably around 2,000 miles worth of travel there.

I distinctly remember the missus saying that I needed my head looking at, which jarred a little, but I didn't feel in a position to argue the point.
 

blade67

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I think ( haven't checked) that OTD 2013 we lost at Crewe 1-0 , hot on the heels of our 3-0 reverse at Pompey the previous Saturday , shortly after our recent capitulation 0-2 at home to Creepy Crawley.

I was at all of these games , probably around 2,000 miles worth of travel there.

I distinctly remember the missus saying that I needed my head looking at, which jarred a little, but I didn't feel in a position to argue the point.
The Crewe game was pretty grim. Signs that Morgan wasn't going to lead us to play off glory. We were in the aptly named cow shed stand.

Poor old Jon Forte was getting dogs abuse. I remember Jamie Murphy looking aghast into the stand as the abuse could be heard so clearly.

The only thing to distract us from the football was a row between two blokes sat just along from us. One was complaining that the kid behind was kicking his seat and the kid's dad was arguing the toss. It went on for 1/2 the 2nd half.

Perhaps a sign that the team weren't inspiring the fans that night.
 

Paisley Blade

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The Crewe game was pretty grim. Signs that Morgan wasn't going to lead us to play off glory. We were in the aptly named cow shed stand.

Poor old Jon Forte was getting dogs abuse. I remember Jamie Murphy looking aghast into the stand as the abuse could be heard so clearly.

The only thing to distract us from the football was a row between two blokes sat just along from us. One was complaining that the kid behind was kicking his seat and the kid's dad was arguing the toss. It went on for 1/2 the 2nd half.

Perhaps a sign that the team weren't inspiring the fans that night.
I remember Doyle coming over to the fans at the end to try and placate the rather ugly mood.

That and Joe Ironside falling over a lot.
 

LoughboroBlade

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Poor old Jon Forte was getting dogs abuse. I remember Jamie Murphy looking aghast into the stand as the abuse could be heard so clearly.

It was basically the George Long treatment before Long was treated to it. I’ll never understand that sort of mentality of worsening a player visibly devoid of confidence. Forte was having a series of shockers in that spell, wasn’t helped by some of our fans at that point, and on that night he got way more stick than his performance deserved – McDonald for example was appalling that evening, outshone by Barry Robson of all people, in what was an apology of a performance, but nobody singled him out for criticism. I’m struggling to recall a worse pair of consecutive away trips I’ve been on than the Portsmouth and Crewe games.
 

blade67

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It was basically the George Long treatment before Long was treated to it. I’ll never understand that sort of mentality of worsening a player visibly devoid of confidence. Forte was having a series of shockers in that spell, wasn’t helped by some of our fans at that point, and on that night he got way more stick than his performance deserved – McDonald for example was appalling that evening, outshone by Barry Robson of all people, in what was an apology of a performance, but nobody singled him out for criticism. I’m struggling to recall a worse pair of consecutive away trips I’ve been on than the Portsmouth and Crewe games.
Was Forte brought in to replace Blackman?

That's how I remember it, but a lot of those league 1 seasons flow into each other
 

LoughboroBlade

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Was Forte brought in to replace Blackman?

That's how I remember it, but a lot of those league 1 seasons flow into each other

Essentially yes, along with Dominic Poleon. Remarkably we loaned Forte from the Premier League!
 

BettingBlade

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I thought I'd blanked that Crewe game out of my mind but nope reading this thread has reminded me that I was definitely there. Didn't Ironside miss a sitter in injury time as well.....

....funny really, but he always played like someone who was missing a wheelchair.
 

BushBlade

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Essentially yes, along with Dominic Poleon. Remarkably we loaned Forte from the Premier League!
In the same way anyone loaning Ricky Holmes from us would be ‘loaning from the Premier League’.
He was an Adkins signing when they were in L1 (I think) and the team quickly outgrew him. Apparently, he was on a contract that increased substantially on promotion. So he ended up being a third division player on first division money.
 

LoughboroBlade

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In the same way anyone loaning Ricky Holmes from us would be ‘loaning from the Premier League’.
He was an Adkins signing when they were in L1 (I think) and the team quickly outgrew him. Apparently, he was on a contract that increased substantially on promotion. So he ended up being a third division player on first division money.

Completely, and yet I’m pretty sure the club still reported it as a “premier league striker signs”. It’s fair to say though that he was substantially poorer than we’d expected, even taking into account the fact he was in a false division. I think he had a decent season with Oldham a year or two later.
 

BushBlade

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Completely, and yet I’m pretty sure the club still reported it as a “premier league striker signs”. It’s fair to say though that he was substantially poorer than we’d expected, even taking into account the fact he was in a false division. I think he had a decent season with Oldham a year or two later.
I never like slating our players but he was fucking awful. I felt for him because he must have really wanted to do well but he was shit.
 

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