WHEN Jamal Campbell-Ryce first told his mother about joining Sheffield United, she cried.
Not, the new Blades winger insists, through unhappiness but with sheer pride that her son had got the move of his dreams.
“This is 100 per cent the biggest club I have joined,” said the 31-year-old former Rotherham United and Barnsley winger.
“I was talking to my mum the night before I signed and explaining to her how Sheffield United would be the biggest I’d played for.
“She cried when I told her. She was so pleased for me and knows how hard I have worked in my career. She is my biggest fan and my biggest critic. She is really proud of me.
“I have played for some good clubs like Bristol City and Barnsley but Sheffield United, without being too disrespectful to the others, eclipses them all.
“In League One, they get 20,000 every home game. This club should not be in League One. The stadium, the training, ground, the manager, the fans –they are Championship, at least.”
Campbell-Ryce, born in Lambeth but a Jamaica international, will officially move to Bramall Lane at the end of next month when his current contract at Notts County expires.
He added: “The move came about quickly and it was a pleasant surprise. I caught wind of it and within a week everything was done.
“I put in a call in to (Notts County manager) Shaun Derry on the way up to Sheffield to tell him I’d signed and he wished me all the best. He told me what a massive club this is and that I should enjoy what is a fantastic opportunity.”
Joining Campbell-Ryce at United earlier this week was Livingston striker Marc McNulty. Like the 32-year-old wideman, the Scot, 22, is excited to move to a club that has already been installed as favourites to win League One next term.
He said: “I have known for the last few weeks it was probably going to happen. I had a few teams interested, but this just felt right.
“I always maintained that when I left Livingston it was important that I made the right move. I didn’t want to go somewhere, not get a go and then get loaned out.
“This is a big club with big crowds. With all due respect, that’s not something we really do regularly back home, play in front of 20,000 people, and players thrive on that.”