‘Take My Hand’ by Steve Cowens
A seven-year-old was propped up by his grandad on the John Street terrace railings. His snorkel parka zipped up to keep him from the cold November evening. Three-yards to his right stood the players tunnel which resembled a wire lion run that led into a circus arena. The smell of liniment drifted down from the dressing rooms to fill his nostrils. Copying the youngsters around him the youngster dangled one of his scarves over the railings.
As the floodlights bore down on the turf a misty haze lifted from the mildew on the grass. The Sheffield United and Arsenal players were about to come out as the anticipation built, the clunking of boots heralded the sound of ‘On Ilkley Moor Baht At’ from the public address system.
“Wheear’ ‘as tha bin sin ah saw thee” sang my dad as he held onto me. People around the seven-year-old shouted ‘Come on United’ as the players took to the field.
That young lad was Steven Cowens, it was his first-ever Sheffield United game and this almost spiritual experience would start a life of devotion and dedication to a very special football club. Sheffield United Football Club was born into my life and a long-long love affair had begun.