RTG’s totally and utterly (we hope) indispensable guide to this season’s away grounds.
THE OPPO –Sheffield United aka The Blades
DATE – Saturday 30th July
KO TIME – 3.00pm
Bramall Lane Stadium is in south central Sheffield, close to the Highfield area.
Visiting supporters are accommodated in the Bramall Lane stand (upper and lower), with around 7,000 seats allocated to away supporters.
Tickets are now on sale, prices £15 for adults, £5 for Senior Citizens and £5 for U16s. Season ticket holders for 05-06 season can purchase advance adult tickets for £10.
GOING BY CAR?
Get onto the A1; just after you pass junction 45 (for the A64 Leeds/York road) you’ll see signs for the M1 – so take the M1 south, and stay on it until you reach jcn 33 (or for traditionalists, follow the A1 > M18 > M1 route.)
When you leave the M1 at jcn 33, follow signs to Sheffield (A57).
Continue along the Sheffield Parkway to the Park Square Roundabout then take the 3rd exit signed A61. You’ll see the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre and the Bus Station will be on your right.
As you pass the Midland Station on your left, head left down Suffolk Road.
You then go straight through a set of traffic lights. There are 3 lanes at this point and traffic for SUFC need to be in the middle or outside
At the next set of lights you will veer to your right (DC COOK garage) onto St. Mary’s Rd.
Straight on through pedestrian crossing up to the next set of lights (petrol station immediately on your left hand side).
Turn left onto Shoreham St and the ground is just a few hundred metres ahead
on your right.
Click here for details of all city centre parking areas.
GOING BY TRAIN?
The 10.40am Virgin Trains service gets you to Sheffield at 12.51, the 11.22 gets you there at 1.20pm, or the 11.40am gets you there at 1.51pm.
It’s only about a mile from the station to the ground, will take you 15-20 minutes to walk: come out of the station and take the left hand exit at the roundabout in front of the station then go down Shoreham Street. Stay on Shoreham Street all the way down and you’ll soon see the ground.
Coming back, if you can get yourself on either the 5.54pm Virgin Trains service you’ll be back at Newcastle station just before 8pm, or the 6.21pm gets you back at 8.31pm.
For train times for that day, check the National Rail website.
Travelodge Sheffield, A630 Ring Road, Sheffield, tel 0870 191 1674
Comfort Inn Sheffield, George Street, Sheffield, tel 01142 739939
Holiday Inn Sheffield, Victoria Station Road, Sheffield, tel 01142 768822
Forte Posthouse, Manchester Road, Sheffield, tel 01142 670067
SCRAN AND BOOZE
The Golden Lion, Earl of Arundel, Norfolk Arms or The Bridge pubs all welcome well-behaved visiting fans. But away supporters are advised to avoid The Railway, The Cricketers and Sheaf House pubs.
There are plenty of eateries in the vicinity if you’re really hungry – many of them on London Road, or there’s a McDonalds on Farm Road, and a Little Chef on Prince of Wales Road.
LEND US A FIVER I’M OUT OF CASH
There’s a Lloyds TSB cash machine a stone’s throw from the ground, at 105 Bramall Lane, and another ATM in the nearby ‘Today’ supermarket on London Road (from the Stadium on Bramall Lane, head along Woodhead Road which will then bring you out at London Road, close to these two cash machines).
Finished 8th out of 24 with 67 points – the second consecutive row they’ve finished 8th.
P46 W18 D13 L15 F57 A56 Pts 67 GD 1
HEAD TO HEAD
Sheffield United and Sunderland have met 126 times in the League – we’ve won 57 and they’ve won 45, with 24 draws.
LAST 6 MEETINGS
22/01/05 Lads 1, Blades 0 (Stewart 44)
28/09/04 Blades 1, Sunderland 0
09/04/04 Lads 3, Blades 0 (Smith 7, Breen 65, Kyle 90)
07/03/04 Lads 1, Blades 0 (Smith 15, FAC 6th Rnd)
04/10/03 Blades 0, Lads 1 (Kyle 68)
03/12/02 Blades 2, Lads 0 (League Cup 4th round)
– Best league win: 10-0 vs Port Vale back in December 1892.
– Worst league defeat: 3-10 vs Smogs in November 1933.
– Record transfer fee paid: £1.2m to West Ham for Don Hutchison(Jan 1996)
– Record transfer fee received: £3.0m from Derby Co for Lee Morris (Oct 99)
Ironically the Blades owe their very existance to their local rivals, Sheffield Wednesday: the Wednesday team – formed as the footballing arm of Wednesday Cricket Club – began to use the cricket ground at Bramall Lane for matches. These games drew huge crowds and the ground became more and more dependent on these games for income. When Wednesday said they wanted to lease their own ground elsewhere in the area, it was suggested that a team was formed specifically to play at Bramall Lane, and the Sheffield United was born – taking its name from a cricket club called Sheffield United!
County cricket was still played at Bramall Lane until 1973.
In 1901, the Blades bought Sunderland centre forward Alf Common for the princely sum of £325 and he was part of the Sheffield Utd team which won the 1902 FA Cup. Common later returned to Sunderland.
Sheffield legend Jimmy Hagan originally came from the Durham area, working as a miner. He scored 100 league goals in 360 games before retiring in 1957.
Sunderland legend Ian Porterfield – who scored the winning goal in the 1973 FA Cup Final – managed United from 1981 to 1986, making them 4th division champions in 1982; then being sacked by the Blades in 1986
Birmingham City’s current gaffer Steve Bruce managed the Blades for one season in 98/99, resigning because of the lack of funding available to him for team strengthening. He was succeeded by one Adrian Heath, who lasted only a matter of months in the post before he too resigned.
Credits: BBC, Graham Knapp, Sheffield Utd FC official website, thebladesonline.com, Sheffield City Council, Rough Guide to English Football, Soccerbase, www.streetmap.co.uk, National Rail.