Sheffield United, close to winning the league, 1974/75 backpass!

Embed from Getty Images

This season ended in a total disaster for Sheffield United, after a fantastic last campaign and it was like the mirror had turned up again from that very special 74/75 season, with a sixth place finish just four points behind the winner Derby County.

It was such a great season for The Blades finishing that campaign at home v. Leicester, winning 4-0 and also in that game you had that iconic moment when Tony Currie and Alan Birchenall kissed each other on the gras floor, and became an iconig photo and among the most famous football photos ever.

Sheffield United finished off the campaign with a draw away to Birmingham City at The St. Andrews. The team of that campaign had a number of fantastic players in there, with Tony Currie the star of the pack. But there were also other internationals in the side with Jim Brown and Eddie Colquhoun both representing Scotland at full level.

The game against Leicester was one to highlight with goals from David Bradford, John Flynn, Tony Currie and Keith Eddie. 28 947 spectators was at Bramall Lane for the game on this April day. Despite this fantastic season the shadows were over the club, who had been in the top flight since their return in 1971. The team had slowly been weakened with big money moves. Mick Jones left to join Leeds, Alan Birchenall was sold to Chelsea and Geoff Salmons moved to Stoke.

The star of the team was of course Tony Currie, a player that had such a pivotal presence being a midfield on his own, but when he missed the start of the 75/76 season it looked doomed and as they struggled heavily and finished in the bottom of the table with only 22 points collected.

Embed from Getty Images

Looking in the mirror it looked a bit like this season when Sheffield United came from a brilliant campaign to leave at the PL from a bottom position and a disastrous season, though this was only the second season up, you can see how a club would struggle without their best players on the field.

Tony Currie left Sheffield United in the summer of 1976 for a fee of £250.000 and as Mick Jones joining Yorkshire rival Leeds. It was obvious as a second division team, it could be a struggle and it started a slide down the league that ended in the fourth tier before a new climb again was established.

Key players all over the field and as Sheffield United fans know their history, but probably names such as Len Badger, Mike Speight, Ted Hemsley, John Flynn and Bill Dearden could have had a bigger star in the football league history, they were all in a team finishing sixth in the football league top tier.

Embed from Getty Images

Ken Furphy had done a glorious job on a string budget, finishing just one point from a UEFA Cup spot, but as the history tells us, it can fast change from sun to rain, and without Tony Currie in those first games that next season, Furphy was dismissed in October, but that opened new doors at a totally different continent, taking over the reins at New York Cosmos.

Furphy just jumped into a fold of superstars and if Tony Currie was seen as such at Sheffield United, Pele was the main man at Cosmos. Keith Eddy, Terry Garbett and Tony Field all followed and became Cosmos players.

Embed from Getty Images

Furphy left New York Cosmos after that 1976 season, but Eddy, Garbett and Field stayed on and must have experienced something of a dreaming scenario as they found themselves among players from the top shelf of World football.

David Bradford, Eddie Colquhoun, Colin Franks, Alan Woodward and Jim Brown were other players to move over to the US and continue among stars and being part of the phenomena NASL that in all finished as a system in 1984, with a number of Sheffield United players making history also in this part of the football planet.

Most of the players in the squad during that special 74/75 season had left three or four years later and it was surely not a slide of a ride that anyone had expected after such a close reach to a league title win, but life in football can sometimes be rocky, something that also shows why we all are so fascinated by this game.

Leave a Reply

Powered by

Up ↑