City united in grief for Gary

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A LETTER in The Star the other day summed up the feeling perfectly.

The author - clearly a Sheffield United fan - was congratulating supporters of Sheffield Wednesday for making their way to Bramall Lane to pay their respects to the Blades’ former manager, Gary Speed whose death rocked the UK’s sporting world. He concluded by saying simply: “There is more to life than football rivalry.”

Indeed there is. And that extra something can be summed up in one word: Respect. For Gary Speed was a man whose skill as a player, tact as a manager, inspiration as a coach and integrity as a human being earned him the greatest of respect.

Over the weekend, players and fans have been showing their high regard for Gary Speed in a thousand different ways.

But they were all united in their respect for the player and the man.

Whatever demons troubled him in his final days, we join every supporter in wishing him peace at last.

Banish loneliness for all this winter

NO matter how hard we try, Christmas is not a time of goodwill to all men and women. Not by a long chalk. For it is a desperately miserable period for those who are housebound and destined to spend the holiday by themselves.

Similarly, when cold weather closes in and turns even the slightest of journey into a hazard-laden expedition, the elderly in particular feel even more isolated than ever.

That is why we are proud to give a voice to health professionals in the city who are appealing for people to be vigilant in the coming months, particularly over the Christmas period, and make sure any elderly neighbours are not left out in the cold...literally.

Please spend a little time looking out for your older neighbours. And show that we have not forgotten the true meaning of Christmas.

Find way to help

GOVERNMENT changes to tariff rates for properties fitted out with solar panels are threatening a mini jobs boom which came in the wake of the scheme. And while nobody likes to see people lose their jobs, it must be realised that the industry which grew up around solar panels is primarily a money-making scheme which spotted a lucrative loophole. However, two wrongs don’t make a right. And the Government should now consider how it is to encourage this sector without writing blank cheques as was happening previously.