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Sheffield United: Blades of Glory

Sheffield United FM24

Wednesday, 1st September 1993.

sheffield united football manager 2024 sheffield united

I was in the midst of an obsession with ice hockey after watching The Mighty Ducks a few hundred times, and I set off with my dad to go watch the Sheffield Steelers play.

When we got into the city centre, he asked me a question:

“Do you want to go to the football instead?”

After a quick stop off at a phone box (dang, I really am old) to check if there were any tickets left, I found myself on my way to Hillsborough and my first ever Sheffield Wednesday match.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Sheffield Wednesday vs Norwich - 1st September 1993
19:45 kick off; I wasn’t out at midnight as a child, promise!

As any Football Manager player will tell you, the first few releases you own, you’ll likely end up playing as the team you support. You have a deep-rooted connection; you know the players inside and out, and if you support a team like Sheffield Wednesday, you want to know what it feels like to actually win some trophies.

This was me until I got involved in content creation (though I still use that term lightly when it comes to describing what I do). I’ll always do the Beta/Early Access with Sheffield Wednesday to get a feel for the game, and then it’s all about finding a save that, not only will I enjoy, but other people will too.

And that brings me to today and the start of my new challenge within the world of Football Manager, a challenge that not many have done before.

A Challenge for Charity

A couple of months ago, I set up a poll on Twitter asking if people would ever manage their rival team in FM.

The result was not surprising, and the answer was pretty clear: a resounding 80% of voters said absolutely not—managing your fiercest rival on FM, unless you’re planning on sabotaging them, is seen as a crime against football.

And that’s how I decided to choose Sheffield United as my main save for FM24.

FM Twitter Poll

I bet some of you are raising an eyebrow right about now. Why would a lifelong Wednesdayite cross the divide and manage their arch-rivals?

Don’t worry, I’m not about to switch allegiances to the red and white side of Sheffield; instead, it’s a way to step out of my comfort zone and raise a bit of money for charity.

This save isn’t just about guiding the Blades to victory; it’s about connecting a game that means a lot to many people to a real-world issue that also means a lot to many people.

Turning Struggles into Support

Mental health is a bit like football; it’s full of highs and lows, you never know what’s around the corner, and there are times when even the best laid plans can come crashing down.

It is my own mental health journey over the past few years that has made me aware of the crucial roles organisations like Mind can play for people who are struggling; they’re a lifeline for the thousands who are navigating the complexities of mental wellbeing.

So here was the idea I came up with: if my followers could raise £250 for Mind, then I’d take over Sheffield United in my FM24 save.

I was always quietly confident that the target would be reached; I just didn’t ever imagine it would be within 24 hours.

At the time of writing this, the amount stands at £700, and I don’t want to stop there.

Wins On and Off Screen

Whenever I start a big save, I like to set objectives. I find they add a bit of purpose to playing and stop me from just clicking continue without really thinking about what I’m doing.

For this edition, I’ve termed these objectives ‘Blades Bingo’ and each one achieved during my save triggers me to make a donation to Mind, effectively turning wins on the screen into wins for charity.

The amount I donate will be decided by a number generator, with the values ranging from £2 to £10.

Sheffield United FM24 Bingo

I’ll share more about these objectives in another blog post.

United Through Rivalry

How do I feel about managing Sheffield United while being a passionate Sheffield Wednesday supporter? I hear you ask.

Well, it’s a challenge! But within this challenge, there lies an opportunity—the chance to bridge the divide, unite for a good cause, and celebrate the historic footballing city of Sheffield.

So, while it’s a unique challenge, it’s a challenge I’m taking on with open arms, a genuine passion, and a commitment to make a difference.

Your ongoing support for this FM save, whether it’s through sharing my blog or donating to my page, is vital to us continuing to break down the stigma around mental health struggles.

Blades of Glory is not solely about me securing victories as a Manager, it’s about scoring a victory for mental health awareness too. I’m playing for a cause that goes beyond club rivalries; it’s about making a difference—one ‘Blades Bingo’ success, one meaningful conversation, and one step at a time.

And, hopefully, we can have a little fun and raise a little money along the way.

Sheffield United FM24

Sheffield United FM24

Sheffield United FM24

Sheffield United FM24

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