Tuesday, March 22, 2011

22 March 1889 - They're The Sharpest Club In Town

On 22 March 1889, Sheffield United formed at the Adelphi Hotel in Sheffield. Nicknamed "the Blades," they went to become champions of England's top flight and four-time FA Cup winners.

The new club was the idea of Sir Charles Clegg, president of the Sheffield Cricket Club, who intended it as a way for his cricket players to keep fit during the close season and to provide revenue for the city's Bramall Lane stadium. Incidentally, Clegg also happened to be the president of Sheffield Wednesday FC.

When the nascent Football League expanded to two divisions in 1892, United joined Division Two and were promoted to the top flight after only one season. They enjoyed moderate success in their first three seasons in Division One before finishing in second place in 1897, then winning the league in 1898 with a record of 17 wins, 8 draws, and only 5 losses. It remains their only league title, though they followed it quickly by winning their first FA Cup in 1899 with a 4-1 victory over Derby County.

They reached another FA Cup Final in 1901, then won it for the second time in 1902. Their other two FA Cups came in 1915 and 1925.

United reached a low point during the late 1970s and early '80s, dropping down to the Fourth Division in 1981. By 1990, however, they were back in the top flight and have since spent their time moving between the top two divisions. They are currently sitting in 22nd place in the Championship.

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