Following a promising season in 1896-97, the United football committee, at the start of the new campaign, declared its intention to 'gain the Championship of the League'. This seemed no idle boast as the team started on a terrific 14-match unbeaten run, with a series of outstanding performances. Yet a mid-season slump saw Aston Villa and Sunderland merge as serious rivals to United's title ambitions. The matches against these teams proved full of excitement, tension and controversy, and there were to be many twists and turns in the season before United were declared finally as Champions at Bolton on 8 April 1898.
Nick Udall lives near Gainsborough, where he is Head of History at the local mixed grammar school. He has followed the Blades since the late 1960s and is a regular contributor to United's match-day programme.