These are 10 of the funniest quotes that sum up life in Sheffield

Sometimes a fleeting observation can encapsulate so much about a place and its people.

Friday, 7th August 2020, 11:45 am
Sean Bean is one of Sheffield United's most prominent supporters. Picture: Getty Images.

And over the years personalities who were born locally – and some who weren’t – have tried to pinpoint the qualities that make Sheffield so distinctive.

Here are 10 of the funniest and most incisive quotes about the city from the archives.

"I went on a very good adventure down the River Don once," the Sheffield-born Pulp frontman told the NME in 1993. "I had an inflatable boat and I went from here to Rotherham which is about eight miles away. It was like Apocalypse Now... It was probably the best thing I ever did. It's good to find an adventure in mundane surroundings. Sheffield is built on seven hills, just like Rome but I think that's where the similarities end."

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"I'm not posh at all," playwright Laura Wade, who grew up in Ecclesall, told the BBC in 2012. "I grew up in Sheffield but never managed to pick up the accent - which was careless because there'd be some cache now in being a northern playwright, but I missed out on that one."
"I think Sheffield's a really romantic place," city musician Richard Hawley told the BBC in 2005. "It's the people that count - Sheffield people have a great sense of humour, and doing all the travelling that I do, I really like the fact that I'm from Sheffield and can come back and be humbled very quickly by a little old bloke or something."
"My first memories of Sheffield were of contrast," comedian, actor, writer and broadcaster Michael Palin, who was brought up in Ranmoor, told National Geographic in 2019. "A big, huge, sort of smoky industrial area where all the steel forges were. Dust, noise. And the west, which borders on the Peak District, and is very beautiful and very leafy. Though less so since they started cutting down the trees."
"When I moved to Sheffield and went to a secondary modern in the seventies, there were certain challenges: if you've got a name like Sebastian, you either learn to fight or to run," the peer and former athlete told Esquire in 2013.
"If the people of Sheffield could only receive a tenth part of what their knives sell for by retail in America, Sheffield might pave its streets with silver," the MP and journalist, who died in 1835, once said - he clearly felt the city was getting a raw deal.
"They say those seven hills make you very introspective, because they’re all around and you find yourself looking inward," Graham Fellows - known for performing as his comic alter ego John Shuttleworth - said in 2018.
Cíntia Gil, director of the Sheffield Doc/Fest, recently said the city has a 'surprisingly resilient culture'. "A city that has six working 35mm projectors says something about a population, many cities have thrown these to the wasteland in the pursuit of the new."
"I never picked up a guitar as a kid, partly because my dad didn't want the noise in our little back-to-back in Sheffield," Joe Cocker, who was brought up on Tasker Road in Crookes, once said as he explained why he became a singer.
Asked by the Daily Mirror in 2008 what his epitaph would be, actor Sean Bean - a staunch Blades fan, as this picture shows - said: "He was a good father, a decent bloke and a good actor. And he was so pleased to have lived long enough to see Sheffield United win their fourth consecutive Premiership title on goal difference from Leeds United."