By Mark Rasdall
I'm really looking forward to tonight's game. Though I won't be one of the 5,000+ supporting Leeds United at Hillsborough I'll be one of the millions watching the game on television around the world.
I always think back to previous encounters when big derby games like this come along, especially against top clubs like Wednesday who we played in our very first
season in the Football League, back on 9th October, 1920 when we lost to 'The Wednesday' 2-0. One week later we beat them by the same margin at Elland Road.
I'm quite old but not that old so wasn't at either game...
Three games I do remember are the January, 1992 match, of course, when we won there 6-1 with a Lee Chapman hat-trick putting us well on course for our third title. Sheffield Wednesday were doing pretty well themselves at the time so the margin of our victory was unexpected, though Howard would probably claim it was all planned!
I also remember the 2-3 defeat at Elland Road in March, 2007 where everything was slipping away from us again. Who could forget that match, with our being 3-0 down and then those two late goals (especially Cresswell's). I was painting the walls on the stairwell at the time and, if you were to lift the carpet up even now, you'd see my scatter diagram of white splodges as I went absolutely mad - but not as mad as my wife who was unimpressed and quite icily, I thought, assured me it was all too late!
The match I really remember best, though, was the clash at Hillsborough in September 1982 when the scores were reversed and we won 3-2. We'd just been relegated (funny how these clashes are so close to title/relegation bearings isn't it - or maybe that's just the rollercoaster ride we've all been on for so many years?). Despite the awful ending to the 1981/82 season we also seemed to take thousands and thousands to Sheffield that day and Frank Worthington's two goals will remain with me forever.
So, Neil reckons it will probably be like Wacky Races tonight - and I'm sure he's right - but let's show them what our new team is capable of with a new fighting spirit, organisation and genuine resilience. Spare a thought, though, for all those Liverpool fans who once stood there and didn't live to remember all the exciting football matches still to come.