Honour Lane legend the same way as golden Jess

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THE Jessica Ennis Stand?

Seems like a damn good idea to be fair.

A tribute to one of the finest sporting talents our region has produced.

Deserved recognition for her achievements at this year’s Olympic games.

Not to mention a nod towards the fact that a football club’s ultimate responsibility isn’t towards corporate high-flyers or FTSE 100 companies capable of chucking a few quid into the coffers.

But rather the community it represents.

And, let’s face it, South Yorkshire has produced fewer more worthy ambassadors than the prodigiously talented heptathlete.

Those who argue such honours should be bestowed only upon folk who have kicked a bag of air around a pitch or have made some tangible contribution to the beautiful game would doubtless want to rebrand Liverpool’s Spion Kop.

How about the Mitre Mound or Umbro Viewing Area?

Both have got a lovely ring, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Now, only a fool would argue that, in the modern era, those entrusted with running a top-flight or Football League team like Sheffield United don’t have to make some accommodation for the prawn-sandwich brigade.

Attract folk who expect a flute of Bolly at half-time rather than cup of Bovril.

The supporters’ voracious appetite for success needs to be satisfied somehow.

When any attempt to cut a millionaire’s wages are met with cries of derision and accusations of having no ambition from sections of the stands, that’s part of the trade-off. But, just like society in general, the hallmark of a classy club is how it looks after, for want of a better phrase, the older generation.

They don’t owe anybody a living. Least of all those present-day professionals who dismiss wage packets worth hundreds of thousands of pounds as insulting (yes, that happened in these parts no so long ago).

But they shouldn’t forget to honour those who helped put them on the map.

United are fortunate to count many top players turned top blokes among their number.

Ted Hemsley, Len Badger and Carl Bradshaw are just some of those who still passionately champion the Blades whenever the opportunity arises.

Just like, it must be noted, those who flog lottery or match tickets behind the scenes.

For an entire generation of football followers, the names ‘Tony Currie’ and ‘Sheffield United’ are inextricably linked.

And I’m not just talking about followers in the red and white half of the Steel City either.

Followers across the entire globe.

Yes, there is already a Tony Currie Suite.

But that shouldn’t be a hurdle to what I have in mind.

So, by way of acknowledging not only nearly 400 stellar performances but also the former England international’s support for United’s various outreach schemes, why not name a stand after him too?

Now that would be a quality gesture towards a quality player.