As a relative newcomer to Sheffield, I can view the city through virgin eyes – and what I see does not fill me with ‘what might have beens.’
Last night Roy Hodgson’s England team reached their zenith – the World Cup finals in Brazil. In the lead-up to Tuesday night’s 2-0 win against Poland there were the usual suspects drawing on history, history which fitted their negative narrative. Remember Jan Tomaszewski? Or as you may know him, ‘Clough’s Clown’. He was the Polish goalkeeper who kept England from their 1974 World Cup dream with a display of ‘net-minding’ the like of which you’re not likely to see again.
But across the airwaves this week there have been myriad commentators busting a gut to convince us that because our national football team failed before, they were destined to fail on Tuesday night.
On this occasion they did not fail, and barbecue season 2014 is set fair for success. Now I do hope you’ll forgive my clunky analogy, topical though it is: my point being that simply because Sheffield is not the city it might have been had certain developments come to fruition, it does not mean the city is doomed to fail in the future.
The ‘City skyline that never was’ should provide Sheffielders with the reassurance that Sheffield is ambitious. Had other keystones in the British economic tapestry achieved thr Winter Gardens, Tudor Square, Peace Gardens, our railway station approach, Millennium Gallery et al, and still been able to rue the might-have-beens, I reckon they’d feel pretty proud of themselves.
I want the Sheffield Star to help drive investment; to demand positive leadership, to hold to account failing policy and insist upon an holistic strategy that will ensure the likes of Next, Ikea and co. are welcomed, encouraged, supported and blended into the city. I’ll be damned if the Sheffield Star will stand by and allow Leeds to stretch its legs away from us. Now is the time to galvanise the Steel City spirit. Now is the time to stand up and be counted.
by James Mitchinson
Editor, Sheffield Star