Two stainless steel plaques celebrating the contribution of Harry Brearley and Portland Works to the city of Sheffield were unveiled this week by Kevin McCabe, chairman and joint owner of Sheffield United Football Club.
Other attendees at the small ceremony included the Lord and Lady Mayoress; SUFC ambassador and former player, Tony Currie; John Garrett, SUFC engagement officer and club historian; Dr Chris Corker from York University; and representatives from Portland Works board and tenants.
The plaques detail the history of the works and the achievements of Brearley; a lifelong supporter of SUFC and a colleague of their star goal scorer, Harry Johnson, in the 1920s. The idea was initiated by Paul Hopprich and Carl Whitham; both of whom are tenants at Portland Works and had relatives involved with the football club.
Paul’s great great grandfather was Tom Bott, Chairman of Sheffield United from 1913 – 1920 (in the group photo, bottom right). And Carl’s great great grandfather was Mick Whitham who played for Sheffield United and got United’s first international cap playing for England.
Stella Howe, outreach & education officer, presented a stainless-steel bracelet to Kevin McCabe on behalf of Portland Works, with a bead engraved with his name and the words “Forged in Steel”. The Friends of Portland Works charity organisation also presented him with a set of genuine R.F. Mosley knives.
Sheffield United then presented the Works with a framed “125 years of SUFC shirt” signed by the players and bearing a presentation plate that reads:
Presented as a mark of friendship by Sheffield United FC to our neighbours at the Portland Works, August 2019″
The ceremony was widely reported in the Sheffield media.
Our thanks to Peter de Lange for the photographs.