The Sunderland fan hoping to prove Newcastle United wrong
Chris Basham typifies this Sheffield United side.
Signed on a free from Blackpool, the defender has played three seasons in League One, two in the Championship and now an ever present in the Premier League this season.
The Blades play like a twice promoted (in the last three seasons) team in terms of energy and commitment BUT they are showing themselves to also be an attractive and exciting team to watch.
They are reaping the benefits of being a promoted team that has mostly been kept together, that has got used to winning/not losing and has carried through the confidence and momentum of their upward trajectory.
Everybody, especially the bookies, have been waiting for them to crash and burn, but even they (the bookies) have conceded now that this is looking very unlikely to happen, rating them now a 14/1 chance to be relegated, whilst tonight’s opponents Newcastle are 3/1.
Chris Basham has two extra reasons for wanting to win tonight.
The defender is from Hebburn and grew up as a Sunderland fan.
However, he came through the youth system at Newcastle, only to be released at the age of 16, receiving the news through the post…
Despite growing up as a Sunderland supporter, Basham came through the youth system of their local rivals until a letter arrived at his family home confirming he was no longer required.
Working then for two years in McDonald’s and playing non-league football, he earned his eventual reward when Bolton signed him and he played a handful of Premier League games for both them and Blackpool early in his career.
However, this is the first time, 15 years later, that he gets a chance to face his old club. and at the age of 31 he will be looking to maximise his time now in the top tier.
Nice to see a player making it after having such a knockback early in his career but hopefully Chris Basham doesn’t complete his turnaround with a win over NUFC tonight.
Chris Basham talking to Sky Sports:
“Obviously you want to prove it to them in a good way because this is a kid they released.
“It’s hard when you are 16, you get released and your dad is reading a letter saying: ‘you’re done at Newcastle now son’. It was tough to take.
“It did hurt back in the day when I got released because it is a bit embarrassing in front of friends.
“I thought I could get a contract.
“I was one of those young lads that were full of energy but a bit smaller and not as developed as the other boys.
“I probably needed a bit more time so that’s why I think it didn’t happen.
“I went to McDonald’s and worked there but it is all about an experience.
“To go from serving fast food, it’s a big turn around and a dream come true playing in the Premier League.
“It’s been a long road back to the Premier League and I couldn’t be any happier at Sheffield United.
“He (Chris Wilder) wants us to go out and play like we have been, take confidence from playing the big sides and try and win these games.
“The boys are full of confidence and there’s an excitement and eagerness around the place to get out there and play again.
“We’re ticking away really well at the moment and hopefully that carries on.”
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