The Doncaster born forward whose appearances for the Blades spanned across 19 years.
The first of our “Legends of the Lane” series looking at a modern day hero at Bramall Lane
Deane must have done something right, as he’s the only player to have been signed 3 times by the Blades.
Originally signed in 1988 as a third division striker he made an immediate impact by scoring on his debut against Reading. It was just a month later that Deane’s popularity really took off, as he and his strike partner Tony Agana both hit hat-tricks in a 6-1 win over Chester City. The first double hat-trick since Arthur Mercer and Harry Johnson contributed 6 in an 11-2 win over Cardiff in 1926.
August 5th 1992 was a day that revolutionised football, it was the incarnation of the Premier League. Sheffield United were at home to Manchester United who had narrowly missed out on the league title in 1991/92. Just moments in a cross was put in and there was Brian Deane to head past a helpless Schmeichel.
When the Blades were relegated Deane moved slightly north to rivals Leeds. He finished his first spell with United with 83 goals in 198 appearances. His spell with Leeds was also successful although he didn’t achieve the same status as he had with the Blades. 32 goals in 138 games for the Whites was not as impressive as his record for the blades and 4 years later Deane returned to the Blades for a second spell.
United had just missed out on Premiership football with defeat in the Play-Offs, but were rocked by the departure of manager Howard Kendall. Nigel Spackman took the reigns and brought in quality and experience, with players like Vas Borbokis, Brian Deane and Paul McGrath. Deane carried on where he picked up at Bramall Lane scoring 11 goals in 24 games before being involved in a shock move away from the club on the same day as Jan-Aage Fjortoft which would lead to the exit of manager Spackman.
A short spell with Benfica (7 goals in 18 games) was followed by a quick trip back to England when he signed for Middlesborough. A list of clubs would follow including Leicester City, West Ham Utd, (A return to) Leeds and a short spell with Sunderland. In 2005 he went down under and joined Perth Glory, where an injury blighted his career in Australia.
January 2006, and Deane returned to the club that he had achieved legend status. He was carrying a knock and wasn’t up to the fitness standards of the Football League, however he made his return against Brighton and Hove Albion and almost capped it with a goal had it not been for a magnificent save from the Goalkeeper.
The final day of the season was nothing short of a party at Bramall lane, with promotion already guaranteed. Crystal Palace were the visitors and with minutes left the big man got up from the bench and began removing his tracksuit. He played around 3-4 minutes of that match without ever really getting near the ball, yet the majority of the 30,000 people in the ground that day knew they were seeing the final game by a true modern day legend at Bramall Lane.
Deane received 3 caps for England and in total ended his career with 195 goals in 653 games. However, his United record is much more impressive, as he finished with 94 goals in 224 games.