Everyone’s a Blade aren’t they? Or so Sheffield United fans would have you believe. What is indisputable is that Bramall Lane, which started life as a cricket ground, is the oldest stadium in the world. Opening in April 1855, it was at first only used for cricket purposes, before being converted for football use in 1862, now remaining one of the oldest grounds in the world still used for professional football. Bramall Lane is not only the oldest stadium in the world it has also been a stadium of many ‘firsts’.
• Possibly the first charity football match ever was played there between Sheffield FC & Hallam FC on 29th December 1862.
• The first professional game played under floodlights in 1878 between the same two teams.
• The fixed crossbar was first used there in 1883.
• Brian Deane scored the first ever Premier League goal in front of the Kop against Manchester United in 1992.
It’s not just cricket and football that have graced Bramall Lane, it’s also played host to myriad other sports and events from rugby, cycling and athletics to crown green bowls and rock concerts. In 1975 the construction of a new main stand put the final nail in the coffin of the cricketing part of Bramall Lane’s history. This would have been a sad day for Yorkshire cricket legends like Geoffrey Boycott but these days Sheffield United are a premier league outfit, having consolidated their place in the top division in their first season back and the famous atmosphere in the ground almost took the roof off at times.
While this season the team will have to (at least to begin with) cope without their fans and the sound of the famous “Greasy Chip Butty” anthem spurring them on, the plyers will still feel honoured to grace the hallowed turf of a stadium steeped in history. History is in a state of constant flux, of course and only recently the Bramall Lane stadium has begun the process of yet further renovation work, with Eagle Platforms Ltd. supplying specialist lift and platform hire to a project in the heart of their local community. This is just the sort of project that Eagle Platforms loves to be involved in – something that has a direct positive impact on the local community. While the initial intention was to get the renovation of the Kop (the first in what will be a series of improvements going forward) finished in time for the start of the new season, Covid-19 put a spanner in the works, but fingers crossed that the renovation will be completed by the time that fans are allowed back into stadiums providing that much needed lifeblood for football clubs nationwide.
While early days, the beginning of the 2020/21 season has not been a great one for the Blades, perhaps proving what an incredible influence their fans have on the team. These are early days, however, and Eagle Platforms and DG Decorators, who are partnered in getting the renovation work done, will be keeping everything crossed that Sheffield United will have an even more successful season than last time around.