Fascinating facts: Red and yellow cards

IT IS rare to see a game of football in any of the top English leagues without at least one yellow card being brandished by the referee.

When I first watched football in the late forties teams would go a full season without having someone sent off.

The system of showing red and yellow cards to players being sent off or cautioned was first introduced in 1976.

The ‘honour’ of having the first yellow card belongs to David Wagstaffe who played for Blackburn at Orient (now Leyton Orient) on October 2 of that year. The system was dropped in 1981 but re-introduced in 1987 after pressure from FIFA.

On September 8, 2012 Sheffield United had two players sent off in their game at Scunthorpe.

I would be surprised if research showed they are few teams, if any, who have not suffered such a fate.

They do seem to have had particular problems against Latics however. On each of the following occasions they had two players sent off. December 17, 1977: Latics 3 Sheffield Utd 0;  September 8, 1984: Oldham 2 Blades 2;  September 7, 1991: Latics 2 Blades 2 and March 3, 2012 Blades 2 Latics 3.

Twice Sheffield United have had three  players sent from the field. On  March 16, 2002 when losing to West Brom they had three  players sent off but when, through injury United went down to six  men, the game was abandoned and the 3-0 scoreline to West Brom stood.

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