He joined his hometown club Forest in 1981, where he won the first of his seven England under-21 international caps. Forest however allowed the defender's contract to expire and he had his pick of clubs. Having made 134 appearances and scored 2 goals for Forest, he moved to Spurs in June 1987, with the transfer fee set by tribunal at £387,000. Fairclough proved to be a solid and reliable centre-back, being an ever present throughout the 1987–88 season. The 1988–89 season however was blighted by injury for Fairclough and he only 20 made league appearances.
After failing to reclaim his place in Terry Venables' team, Fairclough joined Leeds United on loan in March 1989. In the summer of 1989 he made the move permanent, moving for a fee of £500,000. He was immediately installed at the heart of the defence, and the team gained promotion from Division 2 in 1990 and went on to win Leeds' first Division 1 Championship in eighteen years in 1992. In his six years at Elland Road, he was almost ever-present and immensely popular with the fans, picking up Player of the Year in 1990. His partnership with Chris Whyte was a key factor in the Championship win.
However he slowly started to lose his place in the side and moved to Bolton Wanderers in July 1995 for the same fee he joined the club for, having made 240 appearances scoring 23 goals. Over a period of three years he made 106 appearances scoring 8 goals. He joined Bolton on their promotion to the Premier League, and although he was unable to keep them there, he helped them return at the first attempt by winning the Division One title in 1997 with 100 goals and 98 points, though again they were ultimately relegated from the Premier League after just one season.
He had a spell at Notts County (1998–1999, scoring once against his soon to be employers, York City) before joining York City in 1999 where he stayed until he retired in 2001.
Born in Stretford, Lancashire in 1964, Sheridan joined Manchester City in 1981, but never played for the first team, before moving to Leeds United in July 1982. He made his debut for Leeds in the Football League Second Division on 20 November 1982 in a goalless home draw with Middlesbrough. He appeared 27 times in the league that season, scoring twice. He was rarely out of the side at Elland Road, and was a hugely popular player with the fans. His best season with the club was the 1986–87 season, when Leeds reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup and finished fourth in the Second Division—their highest finish since relegation from the First Division in 1982. He scored 15 goals in the league, but Leeds were beaten in the FA Cup semi-finals by eventual winners Coventry City and lost the Second Division promotion/First Division relegation playoff final to Charlton Athletic, and therefore stayed in the Second Division.
However, he remained loyal to the club until 3 August 1989, when after seven years in the Leeds first team (during which he played 230 league games and scored 47 goals) he fell out with manager Howard Wilkinson (who succeeded Billy Bremner the previous autumn) and joined First Division giants Nottingham Forest for £650,000.
He made only one appearance for Forest (in a League Cup tie against Huddersfield) before joining Sheffield Wednesday on 3 November 1989. It was with Sheffield Wednesday that Sheridan played arguably the best football of his career, scoring 33 goals in 243 appearances. Sheridan scored a "rocket" goal in Wednesday's 1–0 win over Manchester United in the 1991 Football League Cup Final. He also helped Sheffield Wednesday win promotion that season, while they were managed by Ron Atkinson. Atkinson then departed to Aston Villa in June 1991 and veteran player Trevor Francis took over as manager. Sheridan remained a key part of the team under Francis, helping them finish third in the league in 1992, reach both domestic cup finals in 1993 (where they were beaten 2–1 by Arsenal in both finals) and also reached the League Cup semi-finals in the 1993–94 season.
However, Francis was sacked at the end of the 1994–95 season and new manager David Pleat picked Sheridan less often than Atkinson and Francis had. He played just 17 times in the 1995–96 campaign, and made his final two appearances for Sheffield Wednesday early in the 1996–97 season.
Sheridan himself says that he supported Manchester City despite growing up in Stretford.
He was loaned to Birmingham City for a four-match spell in the autumn of 1996 (where he once again played under Trevor Francis) before finally exiting Hillsborough on 13 November 1996 in a £180,000 move to Division One leaders Bolton Wanderers.
He played 20 times for the Trotters in the 1996–97 season and scored twice as they were promoted to the FA Premier League as Division One champions with 100 goals and 98 points. He played 12 times in the 1997–98 season, as his side were relegated on the last day of the season.
He then made a surprise move to Doncaster Rovers, the club who had just been relegated from the Football League to the Football Conference. He made eight appearances in the 1998–99 before making a Football League comeback with Division Two side Oldham Athletic, where he would remain for the rest of his playing career. Over six seasons, he played 114 games and scored 14 league goals as the Latics managed to avoid falling into Division Three but never quite made it to Division One, the closest they came being a playoff semi-final defeat in the 2002–03 season. Sheridan finally retired at the end of the 2003–04 season, a few months short of his 40th birthday.
Sheridan was appointed manager of Plymouth Argyle on 6 January 2013.
Blake was a trainee at Chelsea but was released in 1990, without graduating to the first team. He moved back to his home-city club Cardiff City after this, where he quickly made his senior debut against Bristol Rovers in March. He quickly rose to being a first team regular in 1990/91 and went on to become a firm favourite with fans.
He helped the club to the Third Division title in 1992/93, scoring 11 times, and made a strong start to life in the third tier the next season, scoring 14 goals in 20 games. It was during this season that he rose to national prominence when he scored a spectacular goal against Manchester City to send them crashing out of the FA Cup. This form attracted Premier League Sheffield United to snap him up for £300,000 in February 1993. In total, he scored 40 goals in 164 appearances for the Welsh side.
Blake scored five goals in the remainder of Sheffield United's top flight campaign, but could not halt relegation. He then finished as the Blades' top scorer in the next two seasons, but neither season saw the club mount a serious promotion challenge in Division One. During the 1995/96 season, his goalscoring again won him a move to the Premier League, as he joined Bolton Wanderers in December 1995 in a £1,200,000 deal.
Blake failed to make an immediate impact at Bolton Wanderers and only managed one league goal as they dropped out of the Premier League after a solitary season. He rediscovered his goalscoring prowess in the 1996/97 season though, as he notched 19 league goals to fire Bolton back to the top flight as champions. The next season saw his best seasonal tally in the top flight as he bagged 12 goals, however this couldn't prevent yet another relegation for the club after one season.
He started the 1998/99 season brightly, with 6 goals in the opening 12 games, which won him his third move back to the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers in a £4.25m deal in October 1998. History repeated itself though for Blake as he again suffered the drop in a season that saw him manage just 3 goals.
The striker remained at Ewood Park for two full seasons, the second of which saw him again win promotion, but he managed only 9 goals over these seasons. He started the club's return in the top flight, and scored their opening goal away at Derby County, but was swiftly returned to Division One when he was sold to Wolverhampton Wanderers in September 2001 for an initial £1.5m fee.
Blake quickly refound his form at First Division Wolves, scoring on his debut against Stockport, and ending the season with 11 goals. However, he missed out on another promotion as the club suffered a late slump to fall into the play-offs where they lost to Norwich. The next season saw Blake better his tally, as his 12 goals helped the club go one step further as they won the play-offs. Blake himself scored in the 3–0 final win over his former club Sheffield United, held in his homecity of Cardiff.
His final crack at the Premier League was hindered by a year of niggling injuries that kept him sidelined for the majority of the games. He managed just one goal, against Newcastle United, from 13 appearances as the club proved unable to survive. This relegation gave Blake the unenviable distinction of the player suffering the most Premier League relegations, with five different seasons ending in the drop (1994, 96, 98, 99, 2004). A record that has since been matched by Hermann Hreidarsson.
Blake was released by Wolves upon their relegation in 2004, after making 85 appearances, scoring 26 times in all competitions. He joined fellow relegated club Leicester City on a one-year contract after having also had a trial at Sunderland. His opportunities here were mostly only as a substitute and he never scored a league goal for the Foxes, but did score once in a League Cup defeat to Preston North End. Failing to make an impact, he was instead loaned out to Leeds United in January 2005, where he managed the final goal of his league career against Coventry City. His loan was cut short by a ruptured hampstring and he returned to Leicester, but did not feature again before being released by the club in June 2005.
His professional career derailed as he was given a six-month suspension in August 2005 for testing positive for a recreational drug. After serving his suspension, he had a trial at Stoke City but decided he was unwilling to commit to playing full-time anymore. Instead, he spent two months playing for non-league Newport County, where he had originally been a trainee, before his deal ended in October 2006.
Have you any tales to tell about these players or any others who played for Bolton and Leeds?
Go on you know you want to tell us.
Others who played for both sides include -
Scott Sellars, John McGovern, Gary Speed and Michael Ricketts.