Sheffield United Board of Directors Press Stories

Last Update: 08 April 2002

Yorkshire Post
08 April 2002

Actor takes role with beloved soccer club
Ian Appleyard

ACTOR Sean Bean has just accepted his toughest role yet - becoming a director of Sheffield United.

The star of Hollywood blockbusters such as Lord of the Rings and Goldeneye has followed the plot at Bramall Lane all his life.

His love of United is so strong that a former wife even cited the club as the "other woman" in divorce proceedings.

Now the die-hard supporter and proud owner of a "100 per cent Blade" tattoo will take in the view from the directors' box after being introduced to fans before Saturday's game with Walsall.

The 42-year-old is investing a six-figure sum in return for his new role and directors hope that his arrival will further strengthen the relationship between the club and its supporters.

But, with debts in the region of £6m and continuing pressure to reduce the club's wage bill, Bean could be involved in some tough decisions.

Currently in London after returning from a film set in Los Angeles, he said: "I will be just one cog in a team effort aimed at getting the team back to the Premiership.

"This will be a joint effort by all the people who care for the club. It is looking very positive for the future. The club have made it clear to me they intend to hold onto their good, young players.

"I am proud to be associated with such a great club. I am looking forward to working alongside other Blades who have only the best interests of the club at heart."

Bean is particularly excited by the emergence of youngsters such as Michael Tonge and Phil Jagielka and says the club's £5m commitment to developing an academy was also instrumental in his decision to join the board.

"In my discussions I was impressed with the plans for the academy. This is the way forward and I want to be associated with such a development."

The deal to confirm his appointment was rubber-stamped after he attended Saturday's 3-0 victory at Watford.

Manager Neil Warnock revealed that the film star had at times been known to show his face in the team dressing room and went drinking with players last season after a Worthington Cup tie against Colchester United.

Bean's love affair with United began 35 years ago. A vivid memory was missing an Alan Woodward goal because he and his father arrived late for the game.

One of his favourite moments as an actor involved shooting scenes for the football movie When Saturday Comes on the pitch at Bramall Lane.

 

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