Steel City derby: Fans on both sides of Sheffield's football divide gear up for the big game

Owls' midfielder Kieran Lee stretches out to stop Blades' striker Leon Clarke in September's Steel City derby.
Owls' midfielder Kieran Lee stretches out to stop Blades' striker Leon Clarke in September's Steel City derby.

Nervous and excited - that’s how fans on both sides of the Steel City divide described their emotions as the countdown to kick-off continues.

The Blades and the Owls will battle it out under the lights at Bramall Lane on Friday night, with United looking to secure their first derby double over Wednesday since 2006.

Trevor Payling, chairman of Sheffield United Supporters' Club

Trevor Payling, chairman of Sheffield United Supporters' Club

Wednesdayite Kev Woods, landlord of the New Barrack Tavern, is hoping to make use of his pub’s 2am licence by celebrating a win over his team’s arch-rivals.

And lifelong Blade Trevor Payling said he was confident United would secure a second victory over their cross-city rivals at Bramall Lane in four months.

Kev, who has run the Penistone Road pub just yards from Hillsborough for the last 15 years, said: “I’m not very confident about the match at all but it’s going to be a busy night for us.

“It’s a bit different to the game at Hillsborough because it’s on TV so we’re going to benefit from it from that point of view.

Kev Woods, landlord at New Barrack Tavern

Kev Woods, landlord at New Barrack Tavern

“Rather than the pub emptying just before kick-off people will be watching the match here as well.

“Hopefully we’ll get the result so that we can celebrate afterwards but if not people can always drown their sorrows.”

Kev, 60, said the match was “very important” for landlords and to the city’s economy.

“We need all the help we can get,” he added.

Meanwhile, Trevor, chairman of Sheffield United Supporters’ Club said the Blades were favourites of the tie and was looking forward to the game.

“I just think we need to go about it in the way Chris has set us up this season,” he said.

“It’s a home game so we need to take the game to them and press high up the pitch. We are the favourites but it’s a derby game and anything can happen.”