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Sheffield United 2007

Blades Match Report written by Julian Taylor

Well, I lived the dream, in fact several recurring dreams before the big day, normally along the lines of I couldn’t remember the way to Bramall Lane, the car not working and the clock ticking inexorably past kick off time!

In the event, I arrived in plenty of time to weigh up the competition. Relief set in when I realised there were several guys who looked at least as old and unfit as me. I entered the ground through the players’ entrance for the first (and probably last) time and made my way down to the dressing room and there it was, a shirt hung up with my name on the back.

The whole day was superbly organised even down to Football Aid having laid on Sports Therapists to massage or manipulate injuries. However, they hadn’t managed to secure any ex-players to play but the disappointment disappeared with the arrival of a true legend in TC (no, not Top Cat, Tony Currie), probably the best player to ever appear for United.

Anyway, kit on, it was time to step onto the hallowed turf as we had a good half an hour to warm up. As my wife has kindly pointed out many times since, ‘it is only grass’, however having played for 30 years on rutted sloping pitches where you need to continually watch out for little canine gifts, it was a revelation. Despite having played on the day before, it was absolutely immaculate and when you passed the ball, it went exactly where you wanted it to.

It was during the warm up that some sympathy came in for the guy in goal as he was absolutely peppered with shots from group of blokes who just wanted to score in the front of the Kop End (also some sympathy for row z which also took a bit of a pounding.)

Prior to kick off, we made our way back into the changing rooms where I took up the chance of a pre match massage (well, it would have been rude no too) on my creaking knees, before the bell went meaning we had to line up in the tunnel. Eyes forward, touch the Blades emblem on the ceiling and then it was out onto the pitch with the music blasting from the tannoy and the roar (laughter?) from 150 people in the stand opposite.

Following the Champions League style photo in the centre circle, it was time to lick off and after a pre-match discussion, I had dropped back to Left Back, a position more suited to my ability. The match started at hundred miles an hour and having made a foraying run into the other half of the pitch I realised that maybe this was a slightly bigger pitch than the ones I am used too and as there were no buses available to get me back to the other end, I should maybe slow down.

At half time, we were leading 2-1 but had looked under pressure, it all changed in the second half when we brought on the young lad with spikey hair (just hair would be nice…) up front. All of a sudden, we had some pace from the appropriately named Swifty and we proceeded to demolish the opposition I can claim two assists with my proudest moment being a corner onto Swifty’s head for the fourth. For all those of you who offered additional sponsorship for goals scored, your faith in goal scoring ability was justified and your money is safe!

The final score was 6-3 and wearing the Black and White Away kit, we had managed to do something that the first team never managed – namely, win in that strip.

Thanks to everyone who kindly sponsored me to have the time of my life.

Julian Taylor, No 14, Sheffield Untied ‘Away’

Home: W. Wild, P. Malby, S. Porthouse, D. Hemstalk, D. King, D. Wraith, S. Gibson, D. McCall, M. Mitchell, S. Wright, A. Landers, P. Landers, A. Batey

Mascot: Megan Mitchell

Away: P. Mitchell, J. Cartwright, T. Lomas, G. Locker, R. Devine, A. Connelly, M. Connelly, A. Sherlock, .D. Board, J. Taylor, S. Clarke, Barclays, Barclays

Mascot: Charles Board