SHEFFIELD UNITED: More to life than beautiful game

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PERSPECTIVE has become a dirty word in modern football.

Occasionally it cuts through the consumerism and self-obsession like a shining beacon. More often than not it gets lost in the fog.

Tonight, when Sheffield United host a barbeque for the Richmond Foundation, will not be one such occasion.

Every player, supporter and member of staff attending this fundraiser is about to realise that, in the grand scheme of things, last season’s play-off final defeat was pretty small beer. Mary Rose, who will be chaperoning youngsters from one of the mental health organisation’s projects at the event, said: “Our kids have experienced a lot of trauma and life has not been very easy for them so it is not always possible for them to stay at home with their families although we make sure that, if circumstances allow, they never lose touch. Our job is to try and help them as much as possible and also to raise awareness of issues surrounding psychological problems.”

United, who return to England tomorrow, have already forged links with several mental health projects in the South Yorkshire region.

Indeed, the League One club’s work with charity Breakthrough was recently recognised by Parliament.

There will be no publicity shots this evening though as Rose explained: “A lot of the children we work with are the subject of court orders because of what has gone on in their life so, unfortunately, that type of thing is not possible.”