10 of the funniest quotes ever written about Sheffield

Some of the funniest quotes about Sheffield are also the meanest ones (Photo: David Dixon / Geograph)
Some of the funniest quotes about Sheffield are also the meanest ones (Photo: David Dixon / Geograph)

Sheffield is an inspiring city with a strong cultural identity, and it has given the world countless brilliant inventions and people.

But with the good comes the bad, not to mention the humorous (whether intentional or not).

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With that in mind, here are some of the funniest things ever said or written about the Steel City.

"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."

William Cobbett

Farmer, journalist and MP, William Cobbett died in 1835, but even then Sheffield locals weren't getting the credit (and cash) they deserved from the rest of the world.

"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."

Sebastian Coe

The sprinting practice Sebastian Coe got as a child growing up in Sheffield helped him to become a track and field athlete in later life.

"What a beautiful place Sheffield would be, if Sheffield were not there!"

Walter White

This Victorian writer (not to be confused with the TV chemist) didn't beat around the bush.

George Orwell once called Sheffield 'the ugliest town in the world' (Photo: Wedesoft / Wikimedia Commons)

"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

Though he was a keen air guitarist, the late Joe Cocker never mastered the instrument itself, thanks to his brilliantly stubborn Sheffield dad.

"I'm not posh at all. 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."

Laura Wade

Playwright Laura Wade hits the nail on the head here - being from Sheffield will get you far in life these days.

"It could justly claim to be called the ugliest town in the Old World. And the stench! If at rare moments you stop smelling sulphur it is because you have begun smelling gas."

George Orwell

In his book The Road to Wigan Pier, writer George Orwell doesn't hold back when it comes to the Steel City...

"I really got my money's worth from colleges in Sheffield and Rotherham because I kept dropping out, and I wasn't sure what I wanted to do at first, like a lot of teenagers."

Sean Bean

This quote from actor Sean Bean should cheer up anyone who is feeling a bit lost in life. (And those colleges should really chase him up for some extra fees.)

What a beautiful place Sheffield would be, if Sheffield were not there! (Photo: Chris Downer / Geograph)

"I see a pretty state of things in your Municipality. Everything is mean, petty, and narrow in the extreme. What a contrast to Leeds!"

Anthony John Mundella

Believe it or not, this manufacturer and politician was a Sheffield MP until his death. Charming!

“We used to think nobody wants you if you come from Sheffield. Frankly, I'd like James to be a joiner and live round the corner, but this is his dream.”

Catherine Lomas

Mother of Sheffield-born actor James Lomas (who played Billy Elliot in the original West End musical) said this in an interview after her son's final performance.

“We live in Sheffield and we write about the things we see here. What else is there to write about?”

Alex Turner

The city's red light district, tough club bouncers and unique nightlife gave the Arctic Monkeys' front man plenty of songwriting fodder over the years.