SHEFFIELD UNITED: Thanks in my hour of need: Steve Simonsen

Heading for the exit door: Goalkeeper Steve Simonsen

Heading for the exit door: Goalkeeper Steve Simonsen

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DEPARTING Sheffield United goalkeeper Steve Simonsen has paid tribute to the “absolutely brilliant” backing he has received from the club’s supporters since the League One play-off final.

Blades manager Danny Wilson is poised to reveal his retained list today, with Simonsen set to be one of the players axed.

It was the 33-year-old who missed the decisive spot-kick in their 8-7 penalty shoot-out defeat to Huddersfield last Saturday at Wembley. He says the support from the football fraternity since his miss has been “overwhelming”.

Simonsen told The Star: “I have had great support from my family and friends but the Blades fans have been absolutely brilliant. I have had hundreds of responses from people and also a lot of messages on my Facebook page.

“Some people have contacted me who I have not spoken to in years. They didn’t need to do that. They could have let me sit back and stew.

“Some of the support has been overwhelming. It does make you feel a little bit better about yourself.

“I have not heard anyone say anything negative at all.

“The fans’ response has been fantastic and I can only thank them for that. It has been very touching.”

Following a two-month loan spell at United, Simonsen, the former Tranmere Rovers, Everton and Stoke City shot-stopper, moved to Bramall Lane on a permanent basis nearly two years ago.

He made more than 100 appearances as the Blades dropped out of the Championship before playing an instrumental role in United’s promotion push last term.

Of his impending departure, he said: “I’ve had my ups and downs over the two years that I’ve been there. Since Saturday in particular. I’ve had nothing but kind words.”

The Star understands Andy Taylor and Johannes Ertl will also be released.