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Salad Days Magazine | July 18, 2024

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Salad Days

Photographic documentary follows Sheffield United and their supporters home and away during The Blades’ promotion winning 1989-90 season.

There were few sharper than The Blades and their army of loyal followers that glorious promotion winning season of 1989-90. Bill Stephenson’s pictures bring life to the campaign that saw Sheffield United win their place back to the top flight for the first time since the mid 1970s.


It was a triumph toasted by the likes of celebrity fan, actor Sean Bean, downing a pre match pint alongside members of Sheffield United’s hardcore firm, the Blades Business Crew, the BBC. From the treatment room to the terraces, Stephenson did not miss a beat. Dave (“Harry”) Bassett was at the helm, Brian Deane was knocking in the goals, and The Blades and their fervent fans backed them every step of the way.



Stephenson’s pictures provide a unique insight into all aspects of football club life during that era. “They are intended to show the club as a cohesive family of passionate fans, players and management” he said. “Devoted to the success of United.”


Throughout the season, Bramall Lane became a fortress, with local passionate support driving the team forward. The atmosphere on matchdays was electric, as fans rallied behind their beloved club. United would eventually finish the season 2nd, level on points but with a slightly inferior goal difference, to table toppers Leeds United – but enough for automatic promotion.


Bassett had arrived the season before and helped cement the foundations of the family club feel, finding time to attend all manner of social events, including a Miss Sheffield United presentation.



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