Blades Fans’ Column: An up and down day for the city but it was joy for Sheffield United

Tony Agana in action against Leicester in May 1990
Tony Agana in action against Leicester in May 1990

We’ll turn our attention away from the play-offs for now and look back on what happened 25 years ago last Tuesday.

We’ll have played the first leg against Swindon by the time you read this, so it’s difficult to know what to say about that, so why not a bit of nostalgia? So let’s recall May 5th 1990, the day that witnessed the best headline in the history of the much-lamented Green ‘Un, namely: Blades Glory, Owls Down.

A win for United at Leicester would mean promotion to the old First Division.

Winning the Division Two title was still possible, but so was missing out and having to go through the play-offs. Wednesday had to lose at home to Forest and Luton had to win at Derby if Wednesday were to go down. There didn’t seem much chance of that.

United went one down early, but Brian Deane and Tony Agana were ripping them to shreds and suddenly we were 4-1 up

Another Leicester goal didn’t dampen our spirits as we knew we were going up, especially as third-placed Newcastle were losing to Middlesbrough.

Throughout the first half Blades fans were chanting (about Big Ron): “He’s fat, he’s round, he’s taking Wednesday down!”, but as the game went on this subtly changed: “he’s taking” became “he’s taken”.

This was a rare day when no mixed messages came through from the people carrying radios, which were the only source of news back then. We knew Wednesday were getting stuffed, and Luton scored a late winner at Derby.

Our game ended 5-2, with thousands of people lining the pitch, ready to invade at the final whistle. Dave Bassett was hoisted shoulder high, and stripped almost naked by souvenir hunters. He left the pitch wearing just underpants and socks! Happy Days!