Sheffield United: Why Newcastle United were the first team Chris Basham looked for when the Premier League fixtures were released earlier in the summer
While many Sheffield United supporters scanned the Premier League fixture list for names like Manchester City, Liverpool and Spurs when it was released in the summer, Chris Basham’s first thoughts were to find another team entirely.
Newcastle United. Not only his boyhood club as a youngster, but also the one which dashed his early dreams of being a footballer when they released him at the age of 16.
“It was the first one I looked for,” admitted Basham, who will line up against the Magpies for the first time in his professional career tomorrow evening in a game streamed live on Amazon’s Prime service.
“It’s close to me and my family and my mates back home but at the same time it’s just another game. And hopefully one we can win, so we can keep bouncing up that league.”
Despite that insistence, though, there is more spice to this game for Basham. He famously worked in McDonald’s after being released by Newcastle, before being picked up by Bolton and beginning a long journey back to the Premier League.
“I want to prove something to them in a good way… the kid-they-released-type feeling. But I’m old enough now to get on with it. It did hurt back in the day, and it was a bit embarassing in front of friends and whatever, but I’m back in the Premier League now with Sheffield United and I couldn’t be happier.
“As a youngster you have to take the downs with the ups. There’s only been ups recently and now my sole focus is on Sheffield United, and winning a game against a tough team.”