We Are Blades!!!

Name: Sheffield United
Ground: Bramall Lane
Nickname: The Blades
Home Kit: Red / White stripes

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The origin of Sheffield United's nickname of the Blades is slightly more obvious than those we have covered in recent weeks but the story behind it is quite interesting.

Sheffield has long been associated with steel manufacturing, hence the match between United and Wednesday being referred to as the Steel City Derby. The Oxford English Dictionary entry for the city says: "The name of a manufacturing city of Yorkshire, famous for cutlery."

The nickname of the Blades was first adopted by Wednesday, before they became known as the Owls and ironically Bramall Lane was also the home of Wednesday before it became the home of Sheffield United - now the two clubs are fierce rivals and have met 123 times in all competitions, the first of which was played way back in 1893.

Sheffield United were formed back in March 1889, when they became an offshoot of the Sheffield United Cricket Club and came along 22 years after the formation of Sheffield Wednesday. They were originally a Football and Bandy club - Bandy being a game played on ice which was similar to Ice Hockey, where players used sticks to divert the ball into the opposition goal.

The idea was to keep the cricket club going during the winter and also keep some money coming in from Bramall Lane after Sheffield Wednesday moved to their new ground at the Olive Grove.

Their first football match came against the world's oldest football Sheffield FC in August 1889 and it was United who came out on top, winning 3-1.

Their first season was made up largely of friendlies and cup matches but they did reach the second round of the FA Cup before going down to their record defeat of 13-0 to Bolton - a record that still stands today.

The Blades joined the Northern league in 1891 and finished third in their first season. A season later they were elected members of the newly formed Second Division of the Football League and they achieved promotion at the first attempt finishing as runners up to Small Heath.

Following promotion to the First Division United met Sheffield Wednesday in a league encounter for the first time and it is believed 27,000 fans turned out to see the 1-1 draw.

After a run of seasons which saw them finish 10th, 6th, 12th and second they finally won the First Division title at the end of the 1897/98 season. They were also crowned Champions of Great Britain after winning a series of challenge matches with Scottish Champions Celtic.

Bramall Lane has always been the home of Sheffield United but before their inception it also played host to both Sheffield FC and Sheffield Wednesday after initially opening as a cricket ground. It is one of only two grounds, along with the Oval to host both Cricket and Football internationals and the FA Cup Final.

The ground is named after the Bramall family who owned the Old White House pub on the corner of Bramall Lane and Cherry Street . They also opened the Sheaf House, now a public house that still stands at the top of Bramall Lane.

The blades that currently appear on the club badge is a fairly new addition with the Sheffield coat of arms used between 1965-77. The badge was changed by then Manager Jimmy Sirrel and was designed 20 years earlier by former player Jimmy Hagan.

The original badge consisted of two white crossed blades, with a white Yorkshire Rose above, on a black background, this was surrounded by a red ring with "Sheffield United F.C." written around the top and "1889", the year the club was founded, underneath.

This badge has barely changed over the years, as you will see from the picture in the top right.

Article Credit: www.football-league.co.uk