A number of significant celebrations and events will mark the 125th anniversary of Sheffield United, the club have announced.
The forthcoming high profile game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 22nd March - the exact date the Blades were formed - will be the launch.
With a 1.25pm kick-off, the fixture will feature:
- A pre-match Blades 125 road show and fan zone featuring a big screen and stage; personalities; bands, singers and dancers and a Blades quiz challenge for fans culminating in a final on the pitch
- The return of at least 50 former playing legends stretching back to the 40s in a pre-kick-off parade
- Performances from Dinnington Colliery full brass band decked out in red and white United scarves
- Celebration food and drink, including the launch of the Blades' 125 draught ale will be available for the first time from an outdoor bar
- The launch of the Blades vintage shirt - copying United's original jersey from the 1890s of thin red stripes on a white background and featuring the commemorative 125th club badge
- A video celebration of Sheffield United's history - to be shown on the big screen inside the stadium
- The current squad warming-up in commemorative T-shirts which will be handed out to supporters
- A spectacular introduction to the players walking out of the tunnel.
"From mid-morning the pre-match against Wolves will be something special. We are determined to provide a unique celebration to mark this date on behalf of the Club and our fans," said Sheffield United Managing Director Mal Brannigan.
"This is recognition of Sheffield's Red and White. We are not only proud to be celebrating our heritage but at the same time we are looking forward to the next chapters in our story which has become such an important part in the lives of so many people in this community."
The club's plans to mark the anniversary will embrace the rest of this season and into next. Headline activities include:
- The launch of a celebration book - the Blades history in images with a section featuring fans' favourite images
- A pre-season game - club officials are currently trying to tie-up a home fixture against strong opposition
- The staging of a Sports Personality of the Year style 125 anniversary dinner for up to 1,000 guests at Ponds Forge featuring VIPs and celebrities. Leading up and during the event will be the chance to vote for awards including United's greatest ever player, best goals and leading manager.
The move to form the club came after the 1889 FA Cup Semi Final between Preston North End and West Bromwich Albion held at Bramall Lane. The attendance at the game that day sealed the decision that the time was right to form a football club to play at the already famous venue in the Steel City of Sheffield
A meeting was called on the evening of 22nd March at 10 Norfolk Row in the city centre, the then office of the ground committee, to take steps to put everything together.
Sheffield United Football Club was born.
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