Sheffield United: Chris Wilder reveals how many Sheffield Wednesday fans view him - as he hails 'football city' of Sheffield with 'different class' people
Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has hailed his home city of Sheffield as a ‘football city’ – despite admitting many fans of Sheffield Wednesday will think he’s ‘an absolute a**ehole’.
Wilder, speaking to award-winning journalist and author Ed Hawkins, traces his journey from the lower leagues at Oxford and Northampton to the Premier League, with his boyhood club, in the latest issue of FourFourTwo magazine.
Dubbed ‘The English Guardiola’ on the title page, Wilder also journeys further back – to his youth, when he left Sheffield for Southampton to join their academy when his dad knocked back an approach from the Blades.
“I’ll never forget it,” Wilder, who was 14 at the time, said.
“Knock at the door, the Sheffield United fella walked in and my dad said ‘nah, he’s not doing that’.
“I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to sign for my club. So disappointed.”
Wilder did eventually return home when his time at Southampton came to an end, signing for United in the first of two spells as a player.
“I just loved the city,” he added. “It’s the same now as it was then… vibrant, gritty, working-class.
“The people are different class – maybe even the Wednesday fans.
“Many think I’m an absolute a***ehole, but this is a football city and if you love football here, there’s a respect.”
FourFourTwo is in shops now, priced £4.99.