Saturday, 31 August 2013

Sheffield United FC

31st Saturday August 2013 kick off 15:00 hours                                                                          

Sky Bet 1 League
Sheffield United 0 v MK Dons 1                                                  
Bramall Lane,
Sheffield S2 4SU

Admission : £8
Badge : £2
Game Number 2013/14 : 30    Ground Number 2013/14 : 24
Weather : Very Good
92 Club No : 57 of 92

Club History

Sheffield United nickname is 'The Blades', following Sheffield's worldwide reputation for steel production.

The Club play their home games at Bramall Lane, the oldest major stadium in the world still hosting football matches.
Sheffield United enjoyed possibly their most successful period between 1897 and 1902, winning the League in 1898 and the FA Cup in 1899 and 1902, with further wins following in1915 and 1925. They were beaten finalists in the FA Cup in 1901 and 1936, and reached the semi-finals in 196119931998 and 2003. Their best performance in the League Cup was reaching the semi finals in 2003.
More recent times saw The Blades promoted to the Premier League in 2006, which shortly ended amidst controversy after just one season.
Who remembers the Carlos Tevez goal ?  Giving West Ham United (aka the Spammers) victory over  Manchester United  (aka Manure United) at Old Trafford and consequently retaining their position in the top flight of English football. In turn, poor old Sheffield United were relegated from the Premiership. This resulted in a course of  litigation from the Yorkshire club regarding Tevez's eligibility to play in the Premiership. The matter was eventually settled out of court, with West Ham fined £5.5 million by the Premier League and ordered to pay the Blades compensation over five years - but they retained their place in the Premiership which meant much more than the compensation they were forced to pay. The Sky money is easily covered the amount due.

Sadly despite reaching the Championship play-off final in 2009, further decline has followed  resulting in their relegation to the third tier of English football where they remain.

Sheffield in song and verse

The sheer number of "back to back" dwellings led George Orwell to write the following   "Sheffield, I suppose, could justly claim to be called the ugliest  town in the Old World".


                           Was he referring to this?  

How can we forget the new wave classic "Making plans for Nigel" by XTC - whose future apparently lay with British Steel - what a lie that was!

Sheffield - Old and New

During the 19th century, Sheffield gained an international reputation for steel production. Many innovations were developed locally i.e. stainless steel and silver plating. Leading to a tenfold increase in the population during the Industrial Revolution. Unfortunately, modern times have seen an increase in the production of Iron and Steel from overseas leading to a decline in local industries during the 1970s and 1980s, which coincided with the collapse of coal mining in the area.

After many years of decline, the Sheffield economy is going through a strong revival.  This can be seen by the re development of former industrial sites several for example the  City Lofts Tower, completed Winter GardensPeace Gardens, and the Millennium Galleries.

However, recent development has stalled given the downturn in the economy and many projects remain unfinished as evidenced by the photographs below.



Kelham Island
Sheffield has a reputation for being at the "cutting edge"(no pun intended -honest) of the steel making processes. An example of this is the  Bessemer converter by Henry Bessemer in 1855 - the Bessemer converter -see right.
This was the first industrial process for the mass-production of steel from molten pig iron. The key principle is removal of impurities from the iron by oxidation with air. The oxidation process raises the temperature of the iron mass and keeps it molten and thus ready for other uses.

Before this wrought iron was kept up to periods of up to a week in a long stone box, before being rolled into steel bars and thus being fit for industrial use.

Kelham Island is one of Sheffield's eleven designated Quarters. Formerly an industrial area, the island itself was created by the building of a  mill fed from the River Don to serve the water wheels powering the workshops of the areas' industrial heyday. A great deal of urban regeneration is evident in this area, as residential and social uses are mixed into this former industrial area.
The area is home to an industrial museum, the Kelham Island Museum, including the famous River Don Engine and the Chimney House. The area is home to some fine public houses the Kelham Island Tavern and the Fat Cat are two great pubs worth visiting for ale and food.

Politics in Sheffield

In this picture, we have to the far left the Sky Party - and to the far right the Communist Party. Is that the right way round - I think so ?

South Yorkshire Police Constabulary famous for it's role in the Miner's Strike & Hillsborough.


The Fun Section


Oaks and his footwear step back in time.       How to "charm" and get away with a pitch invasion.


    Miss Sheffield 1976 - now reduced to selling pin badges at Bramall Lane.


The Academy of Urbanism - sounds right up my street.                      

"River voultion" are a community based group who encourage people to get involved in managing and maintaining Sheffield's waterways with the aim of improving their appearance, accessibility and the quality. One of the ways they achieve this is by the annual raft race along the River Don.

The River Don  is a river in South Yorkshire, England. It rises in the Pennines and flows for 70 miles (110 km) eastwards, through the Don Valley, via Penistone, Sheffield, Rotherham (hence Don Valley Athletics venue), Mexborough, Conisbrough, Doncaster and Stainforth. In Sheffield's steel "heyday" water from the River Don was one of main sources used to power steel making machinery - hence a very important aspect of Sheffield's history. It originally joined the Trent, but was re-engineered by Cornelius Vermuyden as the Dutch River in the 1620s, and now joins the River Ouse at Goole.

Cornelius Vermuyden  was a Dutch engineer who introduced washes in the Fens of East Anglia (Butler, Drummer and Mussels country) to reclaim the land. He also built early versions of the sea wall at Canvey Island, this is why a lot of Canvey's street names are in Dutch.         

The Crucible not just a smelting process, but home of the Professional World Snooker Championship. Who remembers  Alex Higgins (RIP) little incident with a potted plant and it's use as a latrine? 

The Pubs


 Oaks enjoys a pint of bitter, the bar maid looks pretty
 bitter as well - what do you reckon Sussex Hopper a            
 poor "four out of ten"?

     "Inside" the Tavern - looks like this chap never left!

The Ground

The Game


The game was a pretty poor affair, Blades huffed and puffed all game for a goal but to no avail. Their striker missed a sitter at the end which would have clinched all three points for the home team. Distraught at his missed, he decide to get himself sent off (see pic above) and allow MK Dons to nick all three points from under the noses of the BBC.

At the time of writing, Blades currently lie bottom of the Sky Bet League One - how the mighty have fallen - the Blades have clearly been "blunted" - trouble at mill. Expect the dream team of Di Canio and Poyet to be appointed very soon.

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