Sheffield United have confirmed the programme of events which will launch their 125th anniversary celebrations.
The club, founded on March 22 1889, will host a series of attractions ahead of Saturday’s League One fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers with around 50 former players set to parade across the pitch before kick-off.
Revealing the pre-match entertainment will begin at 11am, Dave McCarthy, United’s operations director, said: “We want to make sure that it will be remembered as one of the proudest days our famous ground has witnessed. The day, of course, is all about the fans and the way they have supported us over the years. We are all extremely proud of our illustrious past and the fact we have reached our 125th anniversary, which is a marvellous achievement and deserves to be celebrated in the best way possible.”
A ‘fan zone’ erected in Bramall Lane’s Cherry Street car-park will open at 11am and includes live music, interviews with personalities, big screen and a Blades 125 quiz. Food and drink will also be on sale with the first 125 entrants receiving a money-off voucher for a real ale commisioned by United.
Supporters are also being encouraged to fill the zone with their club flags, which John Cain (email@example.com) will coordinate.
Dinnington Colliery Band will be performing inside and outside the stadium with members wearing red-and-white scarves, while a vintage shirt mirroring the design United used in the 1890s also goes on sale.
With the fan zone scheduled to close at 1pm, 25 minutes before kick-off, players who have represented the club will be introduced to the crowd at 1.10pm with video messages from those unable to attend being screened during the first-team squad’s warm-up.
Nigel Clough’s players, are set to wear limited edition T-shirts during their final preparations for the meeting with Wolves and will distribute these among the crowd before returning to the dressing room.
McCarthy has promised both sets of players will also enjoy a “spectacular” introduction when they emerge from the tunnel.
“As part of the celebrations, fans of all generations are being encouraged to dig out their old Blades ‘retro’ shirts for the Wolves game,” he said.
Meanwhile, a commemorative matchday programme, priced £3, has been produced for Saturday’s League One fixture with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The special edition, which boasts increased pagination and a spine, has been described by editor Kevin Cookson as a “lasting reminder” of Sheffield United’s 125th birthday celebrations.
“The programme has been a cornerstone of this football club for many years,” he said. “Weeks of planning have gone into this issue.”