BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014

BBC Homepage

Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Related BBC Sites

Contact Us

Radio Sheffield's 40th Birthday

You are in: South Yorkshire > Radio Sheffield's 40th Birthday > Fantasy football!

Roland Nilsson in action for Wednesday

Fantasy football!

BBC Radio Sheffield celebrated its 40th birthday in November 2007, and to mark the special occasion the Football Heaven team asked you to nominate your favourite players from our local teams from the last four decades. So who made it?

We have been asking you to nominate your favourite managers and players who have served any one of the six clubs BBC Radio Sheffield covers in its football coverage.

Over a five week period we've asked you to send us your nominations for who you believe is or was the most outstanding in the last 40 years, from either Barnsley, Chesterfield, Doncaster Rovers, Rotherham United, Sheffield United or Sheffield Wednesday.

The BB Radio Sheffield 40th anniversary team, as selected by Radio Sheffield listeners and users of the BBC South Yorkshire has now been finalised!

Former Sheffield Wednesday manager Ron Atkinson

Ron Atkinson


The winner of this category is former Sheffield Wednesday boss Ron Atkinson.

'Big Ron' came back to England after a brief stint at Atletico Madrid, taking over at Hillsborough in 1989.

The Owls endured relegation under his charge, but subsequently bounced back to the top flight and won the League Cup in 1991.

Ron joined Aston Villa in 1991 and after a spell at Coventry returned to Hillsborough in 1997 for a shorter spell but helping the club retain its Premier League status.

Listen to our interview, select the audio link on the right of this page.

Alan Kelly

Alan Kelly


The second name to be selected from your nominations is former Republic of Ireland international and Blades 'keeper Alan Kelly who made over 200 appearances for United.

Alan joined United from Preston North End for a £150,000 fee and spent over seven years of his career at Bramall Lane:

"Just the whole experience was a fantastic one for me and my family," Kelly told us. Listen to our interview via the link on the right of this page.


The nomination for the four defenders were former Sheffield Wednesday and England international Des Walker. Roland Nilsson, who stayed with the Owls despite the S6 club being relegated, however he helped the team gain promotion the very next season.

Former Owls defender Nigel Pearson takles 'Sparky'

Former Owls defender Nigel Pearson

Fellow Owl Nigel Pearson is regarded as a great at Hillsborough and was instrumental in their success in the 93/94 season when Wednesday reached both domestic cup finals, but sadly broke his leg in the League Cup semi-final and missed both finals.

Last but not least is former Blade David Holdsworth who made 93 appearances for United before the club sold him to Birmingham for £1.2m in 1999.


The four players our listeners picked for the midfield, like the defence, are dominated by ex Sheffield Wednesday players, and all represented their countries at some stage.

Carlton Palmer moved from West Brom to join Sheffield Wednesday in 1989 for a fee of £750,000 and spent over five years at S6 before joining Yorkshire rivals Leeds for £2.6m. He made his name in the Premier League, arguably playing the best football of his career at Hillsborough.

Tony Currie

'TC' was an idol at the Lane

Another nominee is the very highly rated Tony Currie, who was considered one of the finest English midfielders of his era. The Londoner joined Sheffield United in 1968, scoring on his debut and quickly became an idol at the Lane. He played a pivotal part in United's team for over eight years.

Sheffield Wednesday favourite John Sheridan was another player nominated. He famously scored a cracker which was the winning goal in the League Cup final to defeat Manchester United in 1991. The Irish international made nearly 250 appearances for the Owls.

"We had four or five excellent years," Sheridan told Football Heaven.

"Unfortunately for us we only won one trophy... I do believe we should have won more, we were a very good footballing side.

"The supporters are a different class over the years and they still get massive support."

Last but certainly not least is wide man Chris Waddle. He joined Wednesday after a spell at Olympique de Marseille, wowing the French with his skill. Manager Trevor Frances brought Waddle back to English football in 1992 helping the Owls reach both domestic cup finals in the 92/93 season. The left footed talent enjoyed some great form playing on the right.


The striker category received the most nominations from the public. There were many big names to choose from but the local legends who received the most votes were former Doncaster Rovers striker Alick Jeffrey and Sheffield Wednesday's David Hirst.

Former Sheffield Wednesday striker David Hirst

David Hirst

Alick Jeffrey is regarded by many Rovers fans as the greatest ever player to have pulled on a Rovers jersey. Alick made his first professional appearance aged just 15, just as Pele and was even compared to the Brazilian.

He could shoot with both feet, was an ariel threat and a great passer of the ball. Jeffrey passed away in 2000, and is remembered fondly in Doncaster.

Many Owls fans will need no introduction to David Hirst. The striker is still a legend at Hillsborough and many say he would have been as prolific as Alan Shearer had he not have suffered as many injuries.

Hirsty, as he's known spent 11 years at Hillsborough just one short of the 150 goal mark. He was on the wanted list of one Sir Alex Ferguson, but David Pleat didn't do himself many favours by selling the striker to Southampton.

Final team

                                 Manager: Ron Atkinson

                                           Alan Kelly

    Roland Nilsson     Des Walker     David Holdsworth     Nigel Pearson

     John Sheridan     Carlton Palmer     Tony Currie     Chris Waddle

                                Alick Jeffrey     David Hirst

Football Heaven AFC...

In Pictures

To see the fantasy football team in pictures - or if you want this picture as desktop wallpaper, follow the links below.

last updated: 30/06/2008 at 11:45
created: 08/10/2007

You are in: South Yorkshire > Radio Sheffield's 40th Birthday > Fantasy football!

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy