Sheffield pensioner Tony Foulds to be guest at Steel City Derby

Football fans on both sides of Sheffield's football divide will be able to thank pensioner Tony Foulds whose dedication has helped ensure the sacrifice of ten US airmen has not been forgotten.

By Sam Cooper
Thursday, 28 February, 2019, 13:32

Sheffield Wednesday fan Tony Foulds will be in the directors' box at Hillsborough for Monday's Steel City derby against United.

Mr Foulds, 82,  became a worldwide star as he took centre stage at a flypast in Endcliffe Park, organised following his years of dedication to the memorial for the Mi Amigo crew who died in the 1944 crash.

Tony Foulds, 82, waves from Endcliffe Park in Sheffield, as warplanes from Britain and the United States stage a flypast tribute to ten US airmen 75 years after he witnessed the crash that killed them. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

And now, as well as taking up his prime seat in the directors' box, he will also take to the pitch to make the half-time draw, giving fans the chance to show their appreciation for his efforts in ensuring the crew's memory lives on.  

Mr Foulds said: "It’s going to be brilliant. I’m a Wednesday fan and I’ll be in the directors’ box.

“I’m taking my next door neighbour but he isn’t a Wednesdayite so I’ve told him he’ll have to keep his mouth shut.”

Richard Stearman and Adam Reach clash in the last Steel City derby at Bramall Lane

The crew of the B-17 crew sacrificed their own lives to save a group of children playing in the park on February 22, 1944, avoiding them and crashing the aircraft into woods.

Mr Foulds, who was seven at the time and one of the children playing in the park has spent most of his life tending to a memorial in Endcliffe Park commemorating the crew and last Friday’s 75th anniversary flypast attracted more than 12,000 people to watch a number of British and American aircraft soar over Sheffield. 

Since the flypast, he has starred in media interviews across the world and thousands in Sheffield have called for him to be honoured.

The Mi Amigo crew.

He said: “The last few weeks have been brilliant. I’m just walking into town now and the amount of people who stop me because they recognise me is amazing.

“I went for breakfast in Wilko’s and a group of workmen walked in and I have never had so many hugs from blokes in my life.”

Sheffield Wednesday take on their cross-city rivals at Hillsborough on Monday. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

Mi Amigo flypast at Endcliffe Park in Sheffield. Picture: Chris Etchells