'It made my day' - Chris Wilder's surprise birthday call to 83-year-old Sheffield United fan
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David Cowens, who celebrated alone at his home in Waterthorpe on Wednesday, was blown away when he picked up the phone to get a personal birthday greeting from the Blades manager.
“It made my day and goes to show Chris is a man of the people,” said the former steelworker, who has two children and one grandson.
“He wished me a happy birthday and asked how things were going and what I was doing for my bithday, so I told him I’m isolating but I’m treating myself to a couple of pints of John Smith.”
The Blades boss was asked to make the phone call by David’s son Steve, who is an old friend of his going back to the days they managed rival clubs Bradway FC and Mosborough FC in the Meadowhall Sunday League, and he was more than happy to oblige.
“Dad’s quite a social animal who’s used to going to the pub every day to meet his mates, and all of a sudden he’s on his own in his flat, which is quite hard for him,” said Steve, who is also a big Blades fan.
“I wanted to do something to cheer him up and I thought what better than a phone call from the man who’s taken Sheffield United from a club in disarray four or five years ago to one which is on the verge of qualifying for Europe.
“I knew Chris would do it because that’s the kind of man he is. He’s turned things around not just on the pitch but off it because before he joined there was a big disconnect between the club and its fans. It was a class act from a class man. What other Premier League manager would do that?
“My dad’s on cloud nine because he’s been a Blades fan since he was seven and he’s so proud of what Chris has done for the club.”