Fans unite over atmosphere at Steel City derby

Owls fans at Hill;sborough....Pic Steve Ellis
Owls fans at Hill;sborough....Pic Steve Ellis

There was jubilation for the red half of Sheffield yesterday as Sheffield United took victory in the first Steel City derby for five years.

Blades fans were beaming as they left Hillsborough following their team’s 4-2 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

Sheffield Utd fans during the Championship match at the Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield. Picture date 24th September 2017. Picture credit should read: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Sheffield Utd fans during the Championship match at the Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield. Picture date 24th September 2017. Picture credit should read: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Unitedite Ian Connor, from Heeley, said: “It was amazing. The atmosphere was brilliant and the lads certainly lived up to the occasion.

“It is great to have the Steel City derby back. We’ve waited too long for it, and to win it 4-2 it just incredible.”

Blade Alan Browne, of Meersbrook, said: “It was brilliant. Couldn’t have asked for a better performance.

“I can’t stop smiling. It’s going to take a while for this to wear off.”

The faces of Owls fans could not be more different, with many opting the leave the stadium before the final whistle.

Wednesdayite John Weldings said: “Gutted, just gutted.

“I’d be looking forward to this ever since the fixtures came out, but we just didn’t perform on the day.

“We didn’t deserve anything from it.”

Allan Bailey, of Chapeltown, said the atmosphere before the game was ‘incredible.’

“Before kick-off the stadium was bouncing. The place erupted when we brought it back to 2-2,” he said.

“I don’t think there is any other derby where you will experience an atmosphere like today.”

South Yorkshire Police said the match itself passed with little trouble.

Hundreds of officers were on duty throughout the day during the force’s biggest policing operations for years.

Suspected hooligans had been arrested in a series of raids last week aimed at preventing Wednesday and United fans becoming involved in pre-arranged or spontaneous violence.

Police chiefs said both clubs have a hooligan element of more than 100 individuals known to seek out trouble and violence with rivals.

During the match officers issued five dispersal orders and made one arrest.

Chief Superintendent Shaun Morley said: “I hope everyone has enjoyed it and felt reassured and safe by our presence at the events.

“In the weeks building up to the 10k and derby game, we worked closely with the event organisers and football clubs to plan the policing of the operation.

“Our main focus throughout the day, has been to ensure everyone was kept safe and to take action against individuals who came intent on causing violence and disruption.

“The majority of fans and supporters were there to enjoy the game and I’d like to thank them for their co-operation and patience throughout the day.”

He added: “The high visibility police presence remained across the city in the evening to provide reassurance, ensure members of the public are safe and address any issues of violence or disorder.”

Police were called to London Road after jubilant United fans blocked the area following the final whistle.

Officers were also called into action in the city centre following trouble near to The Bessemer and Old Bar One on Leopold Street.