Austerity, tragedies and an anniversary - part one of how the Star brought you the year in news
Biggest council cuts ever
Sheffield Council announced its biggest-ever cuts in January 2013 – stating the changes would affect everyone.
The warning that libraries, leisure centres and Don Valley Stadium could close was confirmed – with 14 of 27 community libraries under threat and fees were to go up for parking and care.
Sheffield Council leader Coun Julie Dore said: “I have already stated continuing Government cuts spell the end of the council as we know it. That prediction is coming true.”
Other headline changes included the near doubling of costs for residents’ and businesses’ parking permits – although the council said it was increasing them back to a level they were at around three years ago.
Funding for children’s activities was also being axed entirely. Allotment rates were set to rise substantially. Care fees were said to go up. And on-street parking charges were to be extended to evenings until 8.30pm, Sundays and Bank Holidays.
But a few small pieces of good news were revealed by the city’s Labour leadership. Council tax remained frozen for a third successive year, and help for businesses was announced.
This could be our Angel of the North
Sheffield’s future Man of Steel, a modest 2m model had been created of the sculpture which supporters say will be South Yorkshire’s answer to the Angel of the North. It was put together at Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre under the direction of sculptor Steve Mehdi, who originally created it as a 30cm bronze figure.
The landmark will overlook the M1 motorway from a former landfill site near Catcliffe.
It is designed to pay tribute to South Yorkshire’s long history of steel and coal industries, while also reflecting the region’s 21st century strengths in advanced manufacturing and metals technology.
Steve said: “Man of Steel was inspired by the men and women I worked with in engineering in Sheffield, and the generations of people who worked in steel and coal across the region.
“This project honours the past and embraces the future, bringing together the heritage of the old industries and signposting the new technologies of Sheffield.”
Puppy’s leg amputated after cruel owner’s attack
This beautiful brown-eyed pup has only three legs – after being kicked so hard by a previous owner one of his joints shattered. Jacquie Neilson, who runs Rain Rescue animal centre, said: “These dogs had horrific injuries, and we need to find them homes. What happened shows the cruelty of the original owners.”
Tiny Ralf was found in Maltby by a member of the public. They took him to Jacquie after first trying other animal organisations who were all too overstretched’ by the sheer scale of South Yorkshire’s strays.
“We suspect Ralf must have been badly treated, “ said Jacquie.
Ralf underwent costly operations to amputate his shattered front leg, which Rotherham-based charity, Rain Rescue paid for.
Pauline was ‘locked’ in her body for nine months
A woman spoke of her miracle recovery after a sudden bleed on the brain left her locked inside her own body – for nine months.
Pauline Quinn, aged 49, could not walk, talk or communicate other than using her eyes – and had three major operations – after suffering a type of stroke caused by bleeding in the brain.
Her distraught family never expected her to recover fully after months with little improvement, and had even begun looking for residential homes with special equipment.
But when a shunt was tried, placed in Pauline’s body to drain brain fluid and relieve the pressure in her skull, it had such a dramatic effect that she was up and talking just three days later.
The former Sheffield hotel worker said: “It is a miracle I am still here.
“When I first spoke in hospital I asked my sister what the hell happened to me? Have I been here two or three weeks?’
“She took the biggest gulp and said I’m sorry Pauline, you’ve been here nine months’. I couldn’t believe it had happened to me.”
Murder of girl, 3
Horrified neighbours spoke of their shock following the murder of a three-year-old girl in Sheffield.
The toddler, Lylah Aaron, died in the early hours of February 9 after being rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hospital by ambulance.
Paramedics were called to an address on Beck Road, Shiregreen, the night before.
Neighbours near the property, which is taped off and under police guard, told The Star they were stunned.
Margaret Caulfield, aged 67, who has lived on Beck Road for over 40 years, said: “We knew there had been something serious because of all the police cars and vans we saw, but we didn’t know what had happened.
“To find out a young child has died is awful – shocking. I have lived here 40-odd years and never known anything as serious as this.”
Happy anniversary to a true Lane great
Forty-five years have passed since he made his Sheffield United debut but Tony Currie remembers it like yesterday.
“It was against Tottenham Hotspur and they had Jimmy Greaves, who was my idol, in the team, “ he said.
“So when I scored I didn’t really celebrate. I just jogged back into position because I was a bit in awe of the names I was playing with and against.
“Great footballers like Greavsie and Alan Gilzean. I was still a teenager and it was a really big thing for someone my age to be in that sort of company.
“But the buzz I got every time I walked out at Bramall Lane has never left me. It was wonderful.”
Another 377 appearances and 67 goals later Currie, whose anniversary coincides with this evening’s League One fixture against Leyton Orient, departed for Leeds having written his name into the history books of Bramall Lane.
Supporters, seduced by his ability and showmanship, still regard him as one of the greatest players to ever wear a United jersey.