He might be the ripe old age of 94, but football-mad Frank Booth still dreams of the beautiful game.
The former Sheffield United reserve is often found telling staff at Pexton Grange Care Home, Pitsmoor ‘it should have been me’ at the sight of today’s professional players.
So the ex-Blade had double cause for celebration when the club wished him happy birthday with a signed shirt and card in recognition of his service.
Trudi Ashmore, a member of staff at Pexton Grange, said: “He sometimes tells us it should have been his name up in lights. When he’s in a talking mood he loves to speak about the good times.
“He still loves football and still follows the Blades – he’s got no time for Wednesday.
“Frank’s a real character and a gorgeous man. You want to meet a gentleman, meet him.”
Frank, who grew up the youngest of three boys in Longley, was scouted by Sheffield Boys as a young lad before the call-up from Bramall Lane.
But his promising career in the reserves was cut short when he served in Italy and France in World War Two.
The bachelor, a great uncle to nephew Alan Booth, went on to do various jobs – from steelworker to milkman – with his glory days never far from memory.
It was after hearing his tales that Pexton Grange’s activities co-ordinator Geri Crowe contacted Sheffield United to arrange a special surprise.
The Blades sent Frank a birthday card on his 93rd last year, but went one step further with a signed shirt this time round.
Geri said: “Frank loves talking about the time he was there so I thought it’d be nice for them to recognise him.
“It was very generous of them to thank him for his service all those years ago.
“He was delighted with his shirt. It’ll be well-worn by now.”