Blades Fan Column: Our original United can’t be erased from history

Ex-Blade Arthur Wharton
Ex-Blade Arthur Wharton

An away match at Oldham gives the opportunity to sample some culture and beer in Manchester.

And last week we paid a visit to the National Football Museum in central Manchester.

Of course we were on the lookout for Blades-related exhibits, but didn’t get off to a great start as the first one we saw was Captain Blade in a feature on mascots.


Things improved. There was Arthur Wharton in an exhibition about black players. Typically they didn’t mention he played for us.

I manipulated a touch-screen interactive display to the Sheffield United page and saw, between an image of an old United programme and one of Tony Currie, a reproduction of the cover of a Flashing Blade from 1998! Fame at last!

The football in the First World War exhibition had, as you’d expect, something on the Khaki Cup Final, but you had to search hard to discover it was won by Sheffield United. The replica programme was even opened at the Chelsea players’ page.

To continue the anti-Blades Conspiracy Theory, the computers showing the football in the First World War website were not working properly because of “a long-running script”, so it was difficult for punters to read my story there about that 1915 Cup Final.

As we were leaving we spoke to a female employee (a Man Utd fan) who asked us if we were there for tomorrow’s match (the museum was full of foreigners who clearly were Manchester fans of both persuasions).

No, we said we were there for today’s match at Oldham featuring the first, the original United.

“So Sheffield are playing Oldham?” she asked. No, we said, Sheffield United are playing Oldham.

The first, the original United, we reminded her.