Aston Villa will open up their campaign by travelling up to Sheffield on Sunday. Steel City itself.
Situated just east of England’s ‘Peak District’, Sheffield boasts an industrial reputation similar to Birmingham’s. The similarities don’t stop there, as the club Villa are facing, are just as ancient as Villa themselves.
Sheffield has a right to claim the title ‘home of football’ as the city has a rich, and ancient footballing pedigree. Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Hallam FC and Sheffield FC were all established in the 1800’s. With Wednesday, Villa’s opponents on Sunday arranging kickabouts all the way back in 1867. That’s a full seven years before Aston Villa were even to exist. Sheffield FC came to be in 1857, and are known as the world’s oldest football club and Hallam FC operate in the world’s oldest football ground.
Sheffield is ‘twinned’ with Bochum, Donetsk and Pittsburgh, with the latter being especially famed for its own metal industry.
There’s some more information about Sheffield below, from WikiTravel:
Sheffield is built on and in-between seven hills, and it is thanks to this landscape that Sheffield exists today. Even before the Industrial Revolution, the villages around Sheffield were established as centres of industry and commerce thanks to fast flowing rivers and streams that brought water down from the Peak District. The valleys through which these flowed were ideally suited for man-made dams that could be used to to power water mills. A walk along the Rivelin Valley from Malin Bridge tram stop or along the Porter Valley out from Endcliffe Park towards the Peak District will reveal some of these old dams.
It’s very much a town after Birmingham’s heart, and much like our Second City, Sheffield has developed it’s own music scene led by the cream of the rock music world, Bring Me The Horizon and bolstered by While She Sleeps. The Arctic Monkeys and Miles Kane’s Last Shadow Puppets also call Sheffield home, as well as glam rockers, Def Leppard. Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson is also from the town. With Sheffield, it’s very much ‘come for the steel and stay for the metal’. Here’s to hoping that it won’t be Aston Villa who are running to the hills on Sunday.
Sheffield also a pedigree for British comedy with the semi-tragic The Full Monty and Four Lions both being set in Steel City. The Full Monty is famed for its take on the depression that hit the city following the closure of many of the steel mills and plants situated in the city. The working men of Sheffield had literally nothing to do, but the city has recovered since. Funnily enough, the city is now known as ‘The Greenest City in Europe’ and boast of its ‘two million trees’.
Aston Villa fans will be heading to a true cathedral of football on Sunday as they sit/stand in one of Villa Park’s few equals: Hillsborough. A ground defined by history, as much as tragedy, it’s one of the few giants of football, in terms of stadiums. Villa fans will also be situated in the Leppings Lane stand, which will be cause for an emotional occasion. Situated in Owlerton, where the Wednesday get their nickname, Hillsborough casts an imposing figure, however, I’ve been told that there’s a fantastic chip shop by the away end. It’s one of the ‘must-visit’ venues in UK football and Villa fans will get the chance to tick it off of their bucket list on Sunday
The Sky cameras will be out in force and Villa fans have sold out Hillsborough by buying tickets for a steep £42 a pop. The game should good for neutrals and will be an excellent way for Villa to get off to a good start. If you want to know more about Sheffield Wednesday, hit up Alex Carson.
That being said, Sheffield’s citizens take as much pride in their football as us Brummies. Wednesday won’t roll over easily!
Join us next time, with the need to know on Derby!