Meet the former Sheffield United scholar helping free-scoring Hallam FC around the day job
While goals have been an issue for one Sheffield club this season – despite millions worth of investment in their strikeforce – finding the back of the net hasn’t been a problem at Hallam FC.
The non-league minnows have scored a whopping 29 times in their last five matches and no fewer than 605 fans crammed into the world’s oldest football ground on Tuesday evening to see them demolish their latest opponents 7-1 – the highest attendance at Step 6 anywhere in England on the night.
Despite not being among the goals, towering centre-half Chris Salt has been at the heart of the team’s resurgence after a slow start to the Northern Counties East Football League Division One season.
“We had our heads down but it only takes one win then you are up,” the 27-year-old former Sheffield United scholar said.
"Now it just seems to be clicking for us, plus confidence-wise it’s a massive boost to go into every game thinking we are going to win.
"I’m due a goal. I have had a few disallowed, which I’m not happy about. The referees must have wonky eyes.”
Woodhouse-based Chris played alongside George Long, Callum McFadzean and Joe Ironside in his three-year stint with the Blades, which ended when he was released in 2013.
Now the former Handsworth Grange pupil earns a living as a renderer with Sheffield Exterior Coatings alongside marshalling the Countrymen’s defence.
"You have got to work to pay the bills,” he added.
"I don’t ever want to stop playing football because it’s just something I love doing. I’ve had some injuries and being out has killed me.
“Luckily, if I’ve got a midweek game, my boss won’t kill me. It’s gruelling waking up after a midweek game, especially with the job I do because it’s constantly on my legs.”
Still, Chris has no bitterness about not making it as a professional.
"It’s a bit disappointing,” he said, “every kid when they are at the club dreams of doing a Harry Maguire or John Stones.
"You have to get to grips with it and find yourself a job.
"It didn’t really take long to get adjusted to it. The difficult thing for me was it was all I had ever done.
"Luckily I have found something now where I’m happy and proud.”