ACTION REPLAY: End of the Bassett era at Blades 20 years ago

IT was a fateful footballing weekend for differing reasons 20 years ago when Yorkshire’s contingent took to the field.

Dave Bassett

Early December in 1995 was remembered nationally for the tragic death of school headteacher Phillip Lawrence, stabbed at a school in Maida Vale, and ‘rogue trader’ Nick Leeson being jailed for six-and-a-half years in Singapore for a fraud charge relating to the collapse of Barings Bank.

Across the Broad Acres, it was recollected for the resignation of Blades manager Dave Bassett with his final game in charge coming in a 2-0 derby loss to Huddersfield Town on December 9, 1995.

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Goals from Andy Booth and Darren Bullock earned the spoils for the Terriers, moving through the gears in a run of sizzling winter form which saw them rise to the giddy heights of third spot in the old First Division by early February.

The Blades, meanwhile, were in the doldrums and part-way through a torrid 10-match winless streak.

Things were not much better at neighbours Rotherham United - in the midst of an identical grim run without defeat.

The 19th-placed Millers went down to a Steve Finney brace at home to Swindon Town in Division Two.

The woe was manifest for Hull City, whose calamitous season continued with the bottom club losing 5-2 at home to Carlisle, for whom David Currie struck twice - Paul Murray, David Reeves and Gary Bennett also netting.

Richard Peacock’s brace was in vain for Terry Dolan’s side.

York City also found themselves at the wrong end of the table after a 2-0 loss at Walsall, whose scorers were veteran Derek Mountfield and Chris Marsh.

It was a noteworthy day for new Bradford chief Chris Kamara, whose first match in charge following the departure of Lennie Lawrence ended in a much-needed 2-1 home win over Peterborough, thanks to goals from Paul Showler and Lee Duxbury.

In the top-flight, Richard Jobson was on the mark with a rare goal in ninth-placed Leeds’ 1-1 home draw with Wimbledon, whose marksman was Oybind Leonhardsen.

Eric Cantona struck twice against Sheffield Wednesday - whom he trained with prior to joining Leeds - for Manchester United, but the Owls secured an impressive Old Trafford point, courtesy of strikes from Mark Bright and Guy Whittingham in a 2-2 draw.

It was a red-letter day from Juninho, who scored his first goal in Middlesbrough colours in the Teessiders’ 4-1 blitzing of Manchester City in front of 29,469 at the Riverside.

Nick Barmby (2) and Phil Stamp were on the scoresheet - Georgiou Kindladze replying for City.

In the second tier, Barnsley - whose scorer was Andy Rammell - were overpowered 4-1 by rampant high-fliers Derby, for whom Lee Carsley, Marco Gabbiadini, Ron Willems and Darryl Powell found the net.

Basement action saw Doncaster Rovers edged out 1-0 at Rochdale, Steve Whitehall netting from the spot, while Scarborough’s winless run extended to six games, with Steve Charles’s goal failing to prevent them from losing 2-1 at home to Darlington, whose scorers were Gary Bannister and Gavin Worboys.