STUART McCall has left Sheffield United following the sacking of Paul Heckingbottom.

Former Bantams defender Heckingbottom’s anticipated exit was confirmed by the Blades this afternoon.

Chris Wilder, another ex-City defender, has returned to the Bramall Lane hot-seat three years after leaving the south Yorkshire club.

Heckingbottom becomes the first top-flight boss to lose his job this season. The Blades are bottom of the table on five points – and were hammered 5-0 at relegation rivals Burnley at the weekend.

Valley Parade legend McCall and Mark Hudson, coaches under Heckingbottom, have also gone.

McCall previously played for the Blades and was assistant to Neil Warnock before taking up his first management job with City in 2007.

He returned to Sheffield United in November 2021 from Blackpool after Heckingbottom was appointed and helped them win promotion back to the Premier League last season.

But they have lost 11 of their opening 14 games in the Premier League and are currently four points from safety.

Sheffield United chief executive Stephen Bettis said: “On behalf of the board of directors, I’d like to thank Paul for all his efforts at Sheffield United, firstly as under-23s manager before stepping up to take control of first-team duties.

“His professionalism and dedication have been a credit to the club and I’m sure all Unitedites enjoyed the promotion-winning campaign.

“However, after slipping to the bottom of the table and a number of disappointing results and performances, it is felt that a change is needed to give the club a boost and every possible chance of remaining in the Premier League beyond this season.”