Sheffield United: Blades pay tribute to former manager Furphy

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Former Sheffield United manager Ken Furphy has died following an illness.

He was appointed as John Harris’ successor in December 1973 before leaving Bramall Lane two years later.

United legend Tony Currie, who also worked under Furphy at Watford, told The Star: “I’ve got some great memories of my time with Ken.

“He gave me my first chance as a youngster down there. I always remember, on the day I was due to sign as an apprentice, I crashed Ken’s car.

“There was a dog track around Vicarage Road there at the time. Micky Packer and myself were cleaning it and, as he hosed it down, I edged it straight back into a post.

“It was a lovely thing too. A Humber Sceptre.

“I had to go and tell him and Ken told me, at 16, the day I got my first England appearance fee I could pay him back for the damage.”

“Ken sorted me out a meal at a local cafe once a week which was very much appreciated,” Currie added. “I think he wanted to build me up.

“He was also the type of manager who liked to look after his players and made sure we all got a turkey at Christmas time. But, because he knew I had a big family, he always made sure that I got the biggest one!”

A United statement read: “All at Sheffield United are sad to hear of the death of former manager Ken Furphy following a long illness.

“Furphy came to the club as manager from Blackburn Rovers in December 1973, replacing John Harris, In his first season as manager of the Blades, we narrowly missed out on a European place and he presided over an era of change for the club that saw the South Stand open its doors.

“He parted company with the Blades in October 1975 before going on to become manager of New York Cosmos, where he coached Pele, and a number of other teams in the United States.

“In later years he worked for the media and BBC Radio Devon. The thoughts of all at Sheffield United are with the Furphy family at this sad time.”