Blades fans are braced for new Wembley drama

United fan sits alone with his thoughts after defeat in their Coca-Cola Championship play off Final at Wembley Stadium, London, 25th May 2009.
United fan sits alone with his thoughts after defeat in their Coca-Cola Championship play off Final at Wembley Stadium, London, 25th May 2009.

Suzanne Liversidge

President of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce

ALTHOUGH I vowed never to put myself through it again after the loss to Burnley, of course I have secured my place at Wembley and will be there, travelling on the Blades train. Once a Blade, always a Blade! I will be watching it with my family and the McCabe family.

We have enjoyed a great season, bar the last few weeks, with plenty of goals and an impressive record. It’s disappointing that we couldn’t do it automatically, and I am sure Danny and the lads are ready to make their season performance count.

We are a Premiership club and deserve to get back up there. On the day the team simply need to believe (and score !!).

Peter Charlton

Editorial Director for Yorkshire Post Newspapers

ALL season, I have said – to anyone that cared to listen – that I would not be going to the play-offs should the Blades drop out of the automatic promotion positions.

After the Millennium Stadium, where the match was effectively over after 11 minutes, and Wembley, where we failed to show up against Burnley, it just seemed too painful...

However, the decision was taken for me as I have to be in London on Friday – so we’re making a weekend of it. This time I’m gambling on the tactical nous of Danny Wilson to see us through.

My partner, Joan, and I are going as guests of the sponsors, npower. There was talk of an invite from Huddersfield Town and I do know at least one colleague is going with them, but that would have been too difficult to comprehend: I would have had to wear blue… and sit on my hands!

Whatever happens, this is the last we’ll see of this team: if we stay in League One, there will be wholesale changes and if we are promoted, half the team will be moved on… but at least under this manager we’ve tried to play football.

Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Webster

Sky Sports presenter

OF course I will be there, positively giving all my support. No negativeness or mention of our play-off record.

I just keep having visions though of 2009 when we might as well have just given a free Premier League pass to Burnley. It was so disappointing that United just didn’t turn up. I was with my Grandma at Wembley last time, I had to hold her back from running on the pitch and giving our players a kick up the backside. This time she is refusing to go with me as she says she can’t cope with the heartache and let-down.

I still haven’t decided who I’m going with – my Grandma’s refusing to come, she’ll be watching from behind the settee. Especially as she has an Owl sat right next to her in my Grandad.

I have a good feeling about this time around. I’ve absolutely loved this season, probably because we’ve actually won games – in all seriousness, though, the rivalry has been fantastic and the football we’ve been playing has been a joy to watch.

The end of the season has been unfortunate but I’m proud of the way we got through the semis and I think Danny Wilson did a great job with an out-of-form team.

Paul Blomfield

MP for Sheffield Central

AFTER my experience at the last three play-off finals, like a lot of Blades, I swore I’d never go to another one. But of course I’ll be there.

After such an exciting season, Wembley is a disappointment, but we’ve got to get behind the team and get back into the Championship.

JP Bean

Local historian and writer

I’VE been watching United since I was eight and I’m not of an optimistic disposition so I never expect a good outcome, although I hope for one. It’s a long way back from Wembley if you lose so I’ll watch it on television.

Jon Parry

Research Manager, Skills for Justice

CAN I face watching another play-off? Yes, but with trepidation and through my fingers. I will be at home with a beer, my wife and two youngest sons – one of whom is a Swansea fan! Oh and our new gecko (with cat watching him more closely than the match). My weekend will be punctuated by birthday celebrations, my son Dan’s birthday being postponed until the Sunday and my mother’s 70th similarly re-accommodated to ensure I can watch the inevitable.

This season has been great – however the signs for this Saturday aren’t good. I suffered the heartache of the last play-off final from a bar in Italy and this year we’re going to Italy again.

Vieni su di voi Blades! (which means Come on You Blades).

Roger Glossop

Stage designer and director of the World of Beatrix Potter, Windermere

LAST time we were on a cycling holiday down the Danube and sitting in our hotel at the famous Schlogen bend when our son, Samuel, rang to tell us Burnley had won.

The only previous play-off final I’ve seen was the Crystal Palace one but I am going this time, though I’m not sure my presence will influence the outcome. But at least I will see the new Wembley for the first time. The whole family are going, it will be a day out. Last week Samuel suffered a nasty football injury which left him with a broken cheek and is going into hospital and having a plate put in. He’s supposed to convalesce for two weeks but says he’s coming. That’s the sort of thing you do if you’re a Blade.

Mark Frith

Editorial Director of FHM, Grazia, Zoo and Empire magazines.

I WAS there in 97, to see that heart-breaking last-minute goal with my own eyes. Then we found a puncture on our car as we got to the car park. And, being hopeless, I had to call on a Palace fan to mend it. Not good.

I wasn’t there when Wolves thrashed us (can you blame me?) but I will be there this Saturday. In a season of craziness, where odder things have happened, could it really be our year? Hope over experience. Believe, my friends...