The new Sky Bet Championship season gets underway this Saturday as Dean Smith takes his side to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United. In the build-up to the game, we've had a look at players and coaches, past and present, who've had a foot in both camps.
The Blades squad on Saturday should include one face well known to the travelling fans at Bramall Lane, with another unfortunately sidelined with a knee injury. Simon Moore and Jack O’Connell were key parts of United’s League One winning side last season and, while Simon will miss out with a knee injury sustained in pre-season, Jack is expected to be involved for Chris Wilder’s side this weekend.
Simon spent four years at Griffin Park between 2009 and 2013 making 77 appearances for the club. The goalkeeper made his breakthrough during the 2012/13 season, playing 52 games as Uwe Rosler’s side took Chelsea to a replay in the FA Cup Fourth Round and suffered play-off heartbreak against Yeovil Town. He left for Cardiff City shortly after that defeat at Wembley but struggled to nail down a starting place in South Wales. Simon made just 25 appearances in three seasons at the Cardiff City Stadium before heading to Bramall Lane last summer.
One man who could line up against his former side is Jack O’Connell. The defender made 50 appearances last campaign, scoring six goals, following his summer move from Griffin Park. Jack spent nearly 18 months in West London after joining from Blackburn Rovers, playing 18 games and scoring his only goal in the 2-2 derby draw at Fulham in December 2015.
In total, 35 players have worn the red and white of Sheffield United and Brentford over the years. The man most closely associated with the two clubs is Bob Booker who spent 15 years representing the two, making more than 450 appearances, during which time he won promotion twice at Bramall Lane and was part of The Bees 1991/92 Division Three winning side.
Other men to have distinguished themselves in both South Yorkshire and West London include Brentford’s current Chief Scout Andy Scott and the striking duo of Carl Asaba and Marcus Bent. It’s not just on the pitch where the two clubs have common history. Jimmy Sirrell and Micky Adams both spent spells as managers while David Weir endured a difficult 13 game spell in charge of The Blades in 2013 before becoming part of The Bees coaching staff under Mark Warburton.