Sheffield United have always tried to keep all members of the family as close as possible once they have ceased to pull on the red and white stripes - when people move on sometimes this can be a little harder.
The Sheffield United Former Players' Association (launched in August 2015, see here) has been set up to help the Club communicate better with everyone, keep in closer contact and keep those that have played a part in our history in touch with former colleagues and what they are up to.
The Former Players' Association is a charitable trust, this enables it, moving forward, to choose local charities to support and also contribute to its own benevolent fund. It also enables United to make sure that family members of those who have passed on, widows, children and grandchildren, remain connected to Sheffield United Football Club.
Former skipper Chris Morgan has agreed to take the role of inaugural Chairman in this, his testimonial year. We are also delighted to announce that another former captain, Carl Bradshaw, has accepted the role of Secretary. Carl, as many will know, is a Sheffielder and passionate Blade, he is also a great organiser and his contribution will be invaluable. There will be other appointments to the committee as it moves forward.
sufc.co.uk aims to keep fans and former players updated with news throughout the season, here's some of the recent snippets...
Saturday 24th October saw the Former Players' Association host its first major event when the promotion team of 1990 came together along with manager Dave Bassett.
Heroes never die as the 350 packed into the Platinum Suite proved and it turned out to be one fantastic evening. Host Martin Green used edited highlights from the "United" BBC Television documentary to look back over that eventful season as the Club pushed for promotion. Here are a few of the former lads who returned and a look at what they are doing now:
Simon Tracey - Coaching for Carlisle United and also working for the FA
John Gannon - Overseas Scout for Manchester City
Paul Stancliffe - U21 Coach for Doncaster Rovers
Ian Bryson - Academy Coach, Preston North End
Brian Deane - Academy Ambassador, Sheffield United FC
Mark Todd - Head of Community Trust, Sheffield United FC
Martin Pike - Scouting Consultant
Tony Agana - Teaching in Rotherham
Carl Bradshaw - Runs his own Property Development Business
Chris Wilder - Manager, Northampton Town
Dane Whitehouse - Works at Corus Steel
Mitch Ward - Runs his own building business
It was also great to see Graham Benstead, Mark Morris, Paul Wood, Glyn Hodges, Paul Beesley and Club Physio Derek French
Dave Bassett was on fine form and Club legend and Ambassador Tony Currie and his wife Liz also joined the reunion!
Club legend "Hodgy" has not been too well of late, all at the Club wish him the very best of health and are sure that fellow fans will feel the same. We all hope Alan is back on his feet and home at Bramall Lane as soon as possible.
Tony Currie has recently welcomed home:
David Frain - "Frainy" is a Sheffield lad through and through, he is also a Blade and came to the game v one of his former Clubs, Rochdale.
Former Skipper David Holdsworth took in the game v Fleetwood Town and we were delighted to help TC's former colleague Dave Staniforth celebrate his 65th birthday for the game against Millwall!
We were all saddened to hear of Howard Kendall's sad passing a short time ago. Sheffield United were honoured to be represented at his Liverpool funeral by Mr and Mrs Tony Currie and Ted Hemsley. TC said it was a superb send off for a true football legend. Tributes were read in the Anglican Cathedral by, amongst others, Joe Royle, Peter Reid, Duncan Ferguson and former Blade Graham Stuart. The obituary that appeared from ourselves in the programme v Fleetwood Town was in the cathedral and we hope that it played a small part in giving some comfort to his widow Lillian and his children.
The thoughts of the Club and the Former Players Society are with the Kendall family.