Settled Sharp keen to help lift beloved Blades

Billy Sharp celebrates his goal against Macclesfield Town.
Billy Sharp celebrates his goal against Macclesfield Town.
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BILLY SHARP has revealed how his support for Sheffield United meant he could never have signed for Steel City rivals, Wednesday, despite being approached in the past by the Owls.

The 29-year-old has been the marquee signing of the summer for the Blades after recently completing his switch from Leeds United.

It is his third spell at Bramall Lane as new United manager Nigel Adkins looks to plot a path towards promotion.

For a League One club, Sharp’s capture represents something of a coup with the striker having spent the past eight seasons in either the Championship or Premier League.

It is unlikely he would have made the step down for any other third tier side and Sharp, a lifelong fan, will further ingratiate himself with United supporters when they learn how interest from across the city early in his career was never going to turn into a move to Hillsborough. Speaking at yesterday’s official launch of United’s new away kit at Meadowhall, Sharp said: “I have always been a fan of Sheffield United.

“Even when I left, I wanted the team to do well. I wanted them to be higher. Now I have an opportunity to make that happen along with everyone else. I feel to be a better player than when here before.”

Sharp’s delight at being back at his beloved Blades was clear to see yesterday as he mingled with fans and sponsors at the kit launch. He was, though, once linked with a possible move to Wednesday when Brian Laws, previously his manager at Scunthorpe United, was in charge at Hillsborough.

“People might have thought I was going to end up at Wednesday,” said Sharp when asked about United’s neighbours.

“But it was never going to happen. I went to speak to Brian Laws but I was going to go to Wolves anyway. Then, Sheffield United came in and that was that.”

Sharp’s focus in the coming months will be on helping the Blades escape League One at the fifth attempt. It is a challenge he is relishing after finally sealing a return down the M1 from Leeds.

He said: “The move was on the cards for five or six weeks. I didn’t play enough at Leeds last year and this gaffer believes in me so when I knew he was interested I was eager to get back.

“I was away at training camp and maybe better to be in Austria rather than Leeds when things got done.

“There have been changes for the better here and the gaffer knows what he is doing. He has got promotion from this league before and I am pretty positive we will be there or thereabouts.”

Jamal Campbell-Ryce is facing a spell on the sidelines after injuring a hamstring at Macclesfield Town on Tuesday night.