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Don Hutchison - in both camps

27 September 2019

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This weekend UTB, United's official matchday programme, caught up with former Blade and Red Don Hutchison.

Don, who starred for Liverpool between 1990 and 1994 and then United between 1996 and 1998, looks back on his time with both the Blades and tomorrow's opponents as part of a feature length interview.

After being part of the United renaissance under Howard Kendall, which included playing in the play-off final at Wembley, he was eventually sold to Everton in 1998.

But when speaking to UTB, Don looked back on his time at Bramall Lane with real fondness, revealing in great detail what it was like to play under Kendall, who he described as a brilliant man-manager.

More about some of Kendall's methods in tomorrow's programme, but here's a taster to what you can expect with some of the extracts that didn't make it into print, as firstly Don describes some of the quality players he shared a dressing room with during his time at the Lane.

He said: "The players we bought were top class, and they were internationals. I always look back at the 11 and it was ridiculous. I remember watching Roger Nilsen play, and he was just so gifted.

"We had Michael Vonk, Mitch Ward who was a one of the best crosses at the club, Gordon Cowans who was class, Dane Whitehouse was quality on the left and we had quality up front in Jan Fjortoft, Gareth Taylor and Petr Katchouro.

"The team over the period I was there, and I've missed loads out, you had to say it was a Premier League side."

Remember the fixture against Ipswich Town in November 1997? It might not jump straight off the page with most Blades supporters, but Don certainly has no trouble recalling it.

After goalkeeper Simon Tracey was forced off injured on the hour mark, and with no stopper on the bench, Don took the gloves for the final 30 minutes - almost seeing United to a win - until Ipswich equalised to make it 2-2 in the 87th minute.

Don recalls: "One game from that season stands out. Simon Tracey banged his head against the post, and we didn't have a sub 'keeper. If I am honest, I quite fancied it. I always messed around in training as a 'keeper, so I went in. I remember Mitch Ward scored a wonder goal for us to put us in front. I really enjoyed the experience aside from letting a soft goal in. It was different, and I got a buzz from it. There was a sort of plan, because I would do it as a mess about in training and I would go in goal. It was never set in stone though, because you never really thought it would happen, I just did it."

There's plenty more from Don in tomorrow's programme as he talks about his first meeting with Kendall, the unpredictable nature of training, getting injured in the play-off final, his time with Liverpool and the reason why the Sheffield United fans stood out from any other fan base he played under.

Your copy of UTB is available from all the usual outlets, with another bumper 100-page edition priced at £3.50.

This weekend we also have interviews from Phil Jagielka, John Egan, John Fleck and Chris Wilder, whilst Jack O'Connell is our second big feature as he talks about life on Merseyside, Malaga and his career to date. 'Jags' is also featured in our One2Eleven, whilst Ben Osborn picks his toughest opponents.

All this plus much more in tomorrow's edition of UTB.

United are currently selling subscriptions to UTB which will ensure a copy delivered to your door on the morning of every game and all can be ordered through our design partners Ignition Sports Media - click here.



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