"Sorely missed" - Paul Heckingbottom pays tribute to Len Badger after Sheffield United legend's sad passing

Paul Heckingbottom, the Sheffield United manager, says Len Badger will be “sorely missed” after paying tribute to the Blades legend following his death at the age of 75.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 2:30 pm

Badger, who played almost 550 times for his boyhood club and was a member of the legendary 1970/71 promotion side, passed away earlier this week following complications from a surgical procedure.

The boyhood Blade was a member of Sir Alf Ramsay’s ‘shadow squad’ for the 1966 World Cup, but did not win a senior England cap.

In later years he was a constant presence at Bramall Lane, looking after guests on matchday, and also provided a valuable sounding-board for managers including fellow Blade Chris Wilder.

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Len Badger a man whose love and loyalty to Sheffield United shone throughout his career and life

And Wilder’s successor Heckingbottom said ahead of Sunday’s clash with Burnley: “I never met Len, but I am well aware of his history with the club.

“The club have put out a fantastic tribute and everyone who knew Len, his friends and family, can be very proud of him.

“When you lose a hero of a football club, it means so much to so many people and it’s a reminder of the power of football.

A file photo dated 01-07-1969 of Len Badger, the Sheffield United legend who has passed away at the age of 75: PA Photos/PA Wire.

“He gave great service to the club; he was still playing a role and he’ll be sorely missed.”

Tony Currie, another member of that legendary United side who remained close to Badger in the years since, described him as a “diamond” and “like a brother to me” while Wilder said his fellow full-back was “a down to earth, working class Sheffield lad with no airs or graces about him whatsoever.”

“He personified everything that makes this city so great,” Wilder added.