The Battle at Bramall Lane

The Battle at Bramall Lane

The infamous Battle at Bramall Lane took place on 16 March 2002, between Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion.





‘Brilliant!’ (my mate’s a die-hard Wednesday fan).

Just some of the colourful words to describe the shocking events of that afternoon.

It must have been a full moon the night before…

Headbutts, flying elbows, karate kicks, punches and improper conduct (that last one just happened to be United boss Warnock).

West Brom manager Gary Megson said afterwards…

“There will be no replay. If we’re called back to Bramall Lane we shall kick-off and then walk off the pitch.

I’ve been in professional football since 16 and I’m 42 now. I’ve never ever witnessed anything as disgraceful as that.

There’s no place for that in any game of football, let alone professional football”.


The handbags started when Sheffield United keeper Simon Tracy was shown a red card just nine minutes into the game for handling Scott Dobie’s shot outside the penalty area.

Deputy keeper Wilko de Vogt came on at the expense of Peter Ndlovu.

Ten-man United held out for a further ten minutes, until Dobie scored his ninth goal of the season with a diving header from Andy Johnson’s cross.


It wasn’t until the 62nd minute that Albion added a second goal, with Derek McInnes firing home a sweet shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Three minutes later the game exploded when George Santos, who had come on just seconds earlier, unleashed a horrific two footed assault on Andy Johnson (it sent him spiralling 360 degrees through the air) and was swiftly sent off.

In the resulting melee, Suffo was also sent off for headbutting Mclnnes. The blades were down to eight!


How Michael Brown managed to stay on the pitch is a mystery. Already booked, he grabbed the heavily bandaged Derek Mclnnes around the neck and yanked him to the floor. The ref lost his bottle, and he wanted to go home.

Then moments later Keth Curle had a pop at Mclnnes. Throwing a few punches, but somehow avoided a red card.


West Brom scored again in the 77th minute when Moore Dobie pounced from a corner kick.

Two minutes later, Michael Brown signalled to the bench and off he trudged (injured apparently), followed by Robert Ullathorne in the 82nd minute.

With only six Sheffiled United players remaining on the pitch, the ref decided to take his ball home, abandoning the match after 82 minutes.

West Bromwich Albion were awarded a 3–0 win and the 3 points by the Football League.

 Sheffield United were fined £10,000.

Suffo £3,000 plus a 6 match ban (3 for the dismissal, 3 for violent conduct).

Curle £500 and a 2 match ban.

Santos a 6 match ban (4, plus 2 for violent conduct).

Neil Warnock fined £300 for improper conduct towards the 4th official.

Santos and Suffo never played for United again.

That my friends, was the Battle at Bramall Lane.

If you were there, share your experience…



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