Premier League Career: Sheffield United (1992-1994)
Dane Whitehouse was a one-club man throughout his career. He figured for Sheffield United in the very first two seasons of Premier League football and continued to play for them until 1997. A committed left-winger, Whitehouse also filled in regularly at left-back and often gave sterling performances.
He signed professionally for the Yorkshire side in July 1987 and a year later, made his professional debut against Blackpool aged just 18. It wasn’t until the 1991-1992 season that Whitehouse became a regular figure in the starting XI at Bramwall Lane. He scored three goals that season in the FA Cup. Unfortunately, injuries restricted him to just 14 appearances in the very first season of the Premier League. His debut came in a win over Liverpool FC in September 1992 and he still scored five goals, including a double on the final day in a 4-2 victory against Chelsea.
Despite collecting 10 yellow cards in 1993-1994, Whitehouse was one of the Blades’ key players that season. He only missed four league matches, scoring five times including in a crucial win against relegation rivals Oldham Athletic. In March 1994, Dane struck a genuine contender for Goal of the Season against West Ham United. Trailing 2-0 early on in a game they needed to win to stay in touch with the other relegation scrappers, the ball dropped to Whitehouse outside the penalty area. He launched a blistering drive that flew into the net from nearly 30-yards out. Sadly, that was to be his last goal at this level. An agonising 3-2 loss to Chelsea on the final day sent Sheffield United crashing out of the Premier League as results went against them.
Although several Premier League sides were interested in recruiting Whitehouse, he stayed loyal to the team he had supported from birth. In November 1997, Whitehouse’s career came to a shuddering halt against Port Vale. He was victim to a crude challenge from Gareth Ainsworth which left him with a serious knee injury. Despite attempting to regain full fitness, he had to admit defeat in his battle to return to the pitch and retired at the start of the millennium. Ainsworth has since admitted: “I sent him a letter when I knew it was a serious injury. There was no reply. Obviously, I do feel bad it was me in the tackle. But you never mean to end anyone’s career.”