If, and it remains if, Sheffield United triumph at Wembley on May 24 then Terry Kennedy, their multicoloured centre-half, would probably like to mark the occasion with a commemorative tattoo, writes James Shield.
But the defender, whose participation in the forthcoming League One play-offs has been placed in jeopardy by injury, has already been urged to consider something a little more sober instead.
“Terry’s been outstanding for us,” Andy Garner, United’s first-team coach, said. “I can’t praise him enough.
“He’s a great character and a great lad with a terrific attitude too.
“He’ll be getting fined though if he has another tattoo done though. The gaffer has told him he can’t have anymore.
“We know every single one he’s got on his body. They’ve all been written down and mapped. So, if he does, there’s going to be a little bit more money coming out of his wages. He knows it’s going to cost him.”
Despite Clough’s famously irascible attitude towards football’s fascination with body art, privately curbing Kennedy’s collecting is a problem the United manager would love to find himself grappling with towards the end of next month. First, though, his team must negotiate safe passage through Sunday’s final match of the season against Chesterfield and then a double-header against either Swindon Town, MK Dons or Preston North End depending upon this weekend’s result.
Both United and their rivals from the Proact Stadium are guaranteed a top six finish but Clough’s side enter the contest determined to maintain their grip on fifth.
Kennedy, who has been hampered by groin and knee problems of late, is among several players unlikely to be risked as Clough aims to strike a balance between delivering a positive result and ensuring his squad stays in the best possible shape.
“Terry is what you’d call a ‘proper’ centre-half,” Clough said. “He challenges for every single aerial ball and that type of desire is great to see.
“There are no guarantees for anyone but naturally we’d love everyone to be available.”