Dan puts the Focus on Sheffield’s two Football clubs

Back to his roots: Dan Walker presents a cheque at Wisewood Sports Centre.'         Picture: Steve ellis
Back to his roots: Dan Walker presents a cheque at Wisewood Sports Centre.' Picture: Steve ellis
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FOOTBALL Focus presenter Dan Walker says a return to top-flight football for the two Sheffield clubs can’t come soon enough.

Walker, aged 35, who will take over from Gary Lineker to present this Saturday’s Match of the Day for the first time, lives in the city and thinks Sheffield deserves to see its teams at the highest level. He told The Star: “It’d be great to see Wednesday or United making a challenge for the Premier League.

“Certainly getting both teams in the Championship is the first step. The city loves its sport. I think that was shown this summer with the reaction to Jessica Ennis’ success.

“And we’ve had Jonny Marray at Wimbledon, Nick Matthew is the world squash champion, there’s Ponds Forge and Don Valley Stadium as well as the other top facilities- there’s so much to boast about.

“Wednesday and United have been away for too long. Both are well supported clubs and the city is far bigger than some of the others that now have established Premier League clubs.”

Walker, who supports Crawley Town, was speaking at Wisewood Sports Centre in his role as an ambassador for the Football Foundation.

Funded by the Premier League, The FA, the Government and Sport England, the Foundation is providing £150,000 of funding to a floodlit third generation artificial grass pitch. Walker, aged 35, said: “The grassroots is so important to our national game.”

See the full story in Grassroots tomorrow.