Billy Sharp leads tributes as Sheffield United legend Len Badger dies, aged 75
Legendary Sheffield United defender Len Badger has died, aged 75.
The club announced late last night that Badger died following “complications from a surgical procedure”.
The Darnall-born player turned out for his beloved Blades on 541 occasions, and in 1966 became the club’s youngest ever captain.
He would go on to have a spell at Chesterfield but it is at Bramall Lane where his fondest memories were.
An emotional tribute, posted on the club’s website, said Badger could have played at a higher level with a bigger club than United and perhaps won more as a player but that didn’t matter as ‘he was proud of the fact he was a Blade’.
It read: “Len was one of the greatest full backs to play for the club, but he was also one of its greatest characters. Those fortunate to know him will testify that he was one of the funniest, warmest and kindest people you would ever have the joy of meeting. He loved the Blades beyond measure. He never wanted to play for anyone else, and it was possibly that loyalty to one of the more unfashionable clubs that cost him a far more glittering career, but that mattered little to him.
"He was proud of the fact he was a Blade, and you could find no other former player with not only an encyclopedic knowledge of the games he had played in, but in the history of the club full stop. He cared and it mattered.
“For many years he has been a friend and colleague to us on matchdays, playing the role of host to perfection, something he learned over many successful years in the licensing trade after hanging up his boots, and looking after the matchday guests and sponsors and making their day just a little more perfect.
“One of our floodlights has truly gone out for the last time, and it will never come on again. Our thoughts go out to his wife Mal, Sam, Stephen, and all his family and friends at this truly devastating time.
“Thanks for the memories, the stories and the service you have given to us all. God bless you, Len.”
Upon hearing the news, current captain Billy Sharp posted on twitter: “Devastated, my dad’s all time fave Blades player, and somebody who I was lucky to share the 2 recent promotions with and got to shake his hand before every game. A wonderful man and player, thoughts to all Len’s family.”
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