1915: When football seemed unimportant

IT HAS been known down the years as “The Khaki Final”, owing to the vast number of soldiers in military uniform watching the game. While the event is well known, the outcome of the match has been largely overlooked in history. Many people will struggle to name the two finalists: Sheffield United and Chelsea. But this game, coming at the end of the 1914-15 season, … Continue reading 1915: When football seemed unimportant

In search of Willie, the Giant Custodian

ANYONE who knows anything about the early history of Association Football will have heard of the name Willie Foulke. At 24-stone, Foulke, who played in goal for Sheffield United, Chelsea and Bradford City, and made a fleeting appearance for England, holds the record for the heaviest professional footballer in Britain, if not the world. I came across some ancient, although surprisingly clear, footage of Willie … Continue reading In search of Willie, the Giant Custodian

Sheffield – an underperforming city

RUN YOUR finger along the list of Premier League towns and cities and there’s a glaring omission – Sheffield. Not just because the city has a rich football heritage is the absence of a team from “steel city” notable, but also because the only place with a bigger population than Sheffield in the current list of 20 clubs is none other than London. Sheffield has … Continue reading Sheffield – an underperforming city

72 Classic: A tale of two Uniteds

GEORGE BEST was still considered to be the best player in the country, of any country, in fact, in 1971. Manchester United were still the biggest draw in town. But Best was a troubled soul, increasingly getting into hot water and commanding the wrong kind of headlines, and United were still trying to negotiate the post-Busby era. The empire was crumbling and United were no … Continue reading 72 Classic: A tale of two Uniteds

Blades running strong

NOBODY really expected Sheffield United to mount a serious challenge for promotion to the Premier League this season, but the Blades are sitting at the top of the Championship table and have confounded the tipsters’ predictions in the opening months of the season. When the bookmakers’ priced their odds for the 2018-19 campaign, United were 8-1 to win the title, which placed them roughly in … Continue reading Blades running strong

1915: When football seemed unimportant

It has been known down the years as “The Khaki Final”, owing to the vast number of soldiers in military uniform watching the game. While the event is well known, the outcome of the match has been largely overlooked in history. Many people will struggle to name the two finalists: Sheffield United and Chelsea. But this game, coming at the end of the 1914-15 season, … Continue reading 1915: When football seemed unimportant

Calling in on….Sheffield United, the dashing Blades

Sheffield could – and should – be England’s Milan. Two clubs, considerable latent support, reasonable catchment area, passionate football folk, and a population of half a million. The two clubs, United and Wednesday, are part of football’s traditional heartland, early beneficiaries of the industrialisation of the sport in Britain, indeed the world. They need not be looking back at their best days, but sadly, they … Continue reading Calling in on….Sheffield United, the dashing Blades

In search of Willie, the Giant Custodian

Anyone who knows anything about the early history of Association Football will have heard of the name Willie Foulke. At 24-stone, Foulke, who played in goal for Sheffield United, Chelsea and Bradford City, and made a fleeting appearance for England, holds the record for the heaviest professional footballer in Britain, if not the world. I came across some ancient, although surprisingly clear, footage of Willie … Continue reading In search of Willie, the Giant Custodian