Why 'dream player' Chris Basham embodies everything good about Sheffield United after 300th appearance

He may hail from Hebburn in the north-east rather than Heeley, but there can be little doubt that Chris Basham's heart belongs at Bramall Lane - and he has shown, by both words and deeds, that he has a better understanding of what it means to represent Sheffield United than most.

Tuesday, 5th January 2021, 6:00 am

"Commitment, hard work and passion... If you have those three things, you have a good chance at Sheffield United," Basham said recently. All qualities he has shown in abundance since signing for the Blades in 2014, on a free transfer from Blackpool.

Basham has experienced the full range of emotions at Bramall Lane since then - the highs of cup runs and crazy play-off games under Nigel Clough, the malaise that followed under his predecessor Nigel Adkins, and the exhilarating journey of Chris Wilder.

Saturday's defeat at Crystal Palace was Basham's 300th appearance in United colours, a milestone that went largely unnoticed because of the fall-out from the latest loss for Wilder's men.

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While it was difficult to take any positives from events at Selhurst Park, beyond 16-year-old Antwoine Hackford making his senior debut at an age when Basham was working in McDonald's after being released by Newcastle.

But to make 300 appearances for any club is an achievement that deserves recognition, especially in the modern era when players move at the drop of a hat.

"I can't speak highly enough of Bash as a person and as a player," Wilder said ahead of the Palace game.

"I put the TV on a couple of days ago and there was a re-run of the Swindon game [in the play-offs, a 5-5 draw] when Bash arrives - and he's done that a couple of times to great effect.

Chris Basham made his 300th United appearance at Crystal Palace on Saturday: Paul Terry/Sportimage

"He's just a modern day manager's dream player. He gets on with it and gives everything. He's come through the journey and played that position ever so well.

"He'll do whatever needs to be done to help the club and he's been brilliant for me. Everyone inside this club knows what Bash is about, a funny boy and a genuine kid and character, and one I've loved working with in my time at this club."