Sunday, April 8, 2012

8 April 1898 - The Blades Cut Bolton Down For The Title

On 8 April 1898, Sheffield United won the league with a win over Bolton. It was the start of the Blades' most successful period, followed by two FA Cups.

Founded in 1889, United had finished as league runners-up to Aston Villa in 1897. Determined to improve their position, the club announced at the start of the 1897-98 season that they were gunning for the title. And they got off to a great start, going undefeated in their first fourteen matches, winning eight.

They had claimed the top spot early in that run, but faltered in December, losing two of their next three to drop in second. They rallied on New Year's Day, moving back to the top with the first of six straight wins. They remained there for the rest of the season, despite going winless for a string of four matches in February and March.

On 8 April, they were at Bolton and started the day three points clear of Sunderland, who had three games left to play. United went on to beat Bolton 0-1, while Sunderland lost 1-0 to Bury. The combination secured the title for the Blades with one game left to play.

They went on to win the FA Cup the following year, then again in 1902 (after finishing as runners-up in 1901). The 1898 championship, however, remains their only league title.


  1. They also had the first "bad" title defence. From champions in 1898 to 16th out of 18 in 1899 (only the bottom two were relegated at the time). Leicester would do well to look at their example and avoid it.