Heavily criticised midfielder, Dean Hammond, was among the names on the Brighton teamsheet last time the Blades met the Seagulls.
That fixture, all the way back in 2006, saw the Blades run out 3-1 winners at Bramall Lane. It was the season United won promotion back to the Premier League under Neil Warnock.
Promotion was high on the agenda for Warnock’s men. For Brighton, however, their own Premier League aspirations were some way off after rising through the leagues and cementing a place in the second tier.
Brighton were still playing at the Withdean Stadium back then. Former Blade, Bob Booker, was the assistant manager in what was a complete contrast to what we see from the seaside club nowadays.
How the sides lined up
Brighton featured two players who would later go on to don the red and white of United. Dean Hammond was one, while the other was Colin Kazim-Richards, who would sign for the Blades the summer after this fixture.
United, on the other hand, featured a healthy mix of youth and experience. David Unsworth and Neil Shipperly steadied a ship containing talent such as Michael Tonge and a young Phil Jagielka.
Sheff Utd: Kenny, Armstrong, Geary, Unsworth, Short, Bromby, Jagielka, Ifill, Tonge, Kabba, Shipperley
Subs: Flitcroft, Deane, Quinn, Morgan, Montgomery
Brighton: Kuiper, El Abd, McShane, Lynch, Butters, Carole, Carpenter, Hammond, Frutos, Reid, Hart
Subs: Kazim-Richards, Gatting, Mayo, Robinson, Henderson
How the game panned out
Phil Jagielka was the main man here as he inspired the Blades to a 3-1 win at Bramall Lane.
‘Jags’ opened the scoring for United, before Paul Ifill and Michael Tonge put the Blades firmly in command. Substitute, and future Blades, Kazim-Richards did pull one back, but it was too little too late for the Seagulls.
A big crowd of over 27,000 packed Bramall Lane as Warnock’s men sought momentum in their promotion push. They wouldn’t disappoint either.
The inspired signings of the likes of David Unsworth proved crucial in the run-in for United. Indeed, an Unsworth winner later on in the year against Hull all but sealed promotion for United.
Things are a tad different now. When Brighton meet the Blades this weekend in the Premier League, both clubs will have been through the mire and back to take their place in the top flight.