Sheffield United’s nickname the Blades comes from the city’s steelmaking trade. Yet, making the title truly their own wasn’t completely straightforward.
Allow a rivalry to commence.
Way back when, ‘Blades’ and ‘Cutlers’ were the names used for all senior Sheffield football clubs. United supporters took to the nickname the ‘Blades’ far more than the ‘Cutlers’ and demanded it as their own. Whereas Sheffield Wednesday fans always believed it was their right to call themselves the ‘Blades’ due to being the older club.
In 1907, the deciding blow was delivered. A cartoon appeared in a newspaper, drawn by an artist who was not familiar with Sheffield, or that soothing Sheffield twang, depicting Wednesday from Owlerton (“Oller-tun” to the locals) as an owl and United as a blade. Since then the city’s support has been officially split between the Owls and the Blades.
It wasn’t until the 1970/71 season that the Blades revealed a badge that was seen as a design classic. After a more traditional design based on the council’s crest of arms was used, finally two crossed blades with the white rose of Yorkshire, set in a black shield was introduced to the shirt. And that one stuck.
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Written by Dave Farthing