United front for city

Richard Batho at Bramall Lane
Richard Batho at Bramall Lane

Richard Batho is Sheffield born and bred.

He is the new communications manager at Sheffield United and, as a Blades fan for over 40 years, it’s clearly a labour of love for the 45-year-old. Richard is heading a new communications department at Bramall Lane, with the aim of ‘making sure the Blades communicate effectively in a modern and appropriate way.’ Living in Swallownest, he is married to Faye and has a 17-year-old son Charlie, who shares his father’s passion for the Blades and is currently studying at sixth form.

City Hall

There are so many memories of times spent at the old and now beautifully refurbished City Hall. It’s a building that Sheffield can be proud of.

My dad took me to see Cliff Richard when I was very young and I would have preferred to see David Bowie, but have to confess I still enjoyed the evening.

More recently as a family we went to see Jools Holland’s Big Band which featured Ruby Turner and Lulu! And even more recently, we went to Milton Jones because my son loves comedy.

I have to say that comedians usually just make me smile but on this occasion he really had me laughing.

Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane

This just had to be on my list! And I could fill a book of memories about my times at the Lane. Suffice to say that throughout the confusion, changes, upheavals, heartbreaks and good times that life has thrown at me, it has been a constant place of refuge where I spend time with my fellow Blades brothers and sisters.

If I had to pick one favourite game it would probably be the Nottingham Forest play-off semi final when we won 4-3.

I was also attending games during the Tony Currie era, so all of his games, including sitting on the ball and beating West Ham with that quality goal, would be in there.

I used to go in the cricket stand – and I used to watch the cricket when I was very young – then I went to hang on to the white fence at the John Street end.

Sugg Sports

I am not sure when it went, but for many years it was a great place for me to avoid going to Redgates with my brother, Paul.

I was a strange youth in many ways but I didn’t like children’s toys so in the lead-up to Christmas, when my brother was choosing which gifts he would like Santa to bring, I sought solace in Sugg Sports looking at Blades shirts and footballs.

It’s funny but no matter how you try to wrap a football you can still tell what it is!

The shop used to have a unique smell to it. I remember buying luminous lime green studs for my football boots, and when I took them to the coach he said ‘I’m not having you wearing those!’ Nowadays players wear boots of all colours.

Curbar Edge and view towards Baslow...

It’s always been just the most peaceful quiet place for me to walk and, while I certainly couldn’t lay claim to being a walker of any kind, my strolls up there are very therapeutic indeed. It’s a place to clear your head.

I must have been up there with my dad over 40 years ago sitting on the rocks and playing hide and seek with my brother.

Leopold Square

I try to meet up with Faye in town when ever both of us ever get away from our work and after she has visited Tall Poppy for her hair consultation, as it’s called these days!

We meet up there and argue over an Indian or an Italian meal, which is at least us talking to each other!

University Arts Tower

My dad used to work there as a lecturer in education. As a child, I used to love jumping on and off the paternoster lift. I always wondered what happened to it when it went over the top.

Sheffield Arena

I finally got to see David Bowie play in Sheffield at the Arena when Faye got me some fantastic tickets right down near the front.

It was a wonderful chance to see one of my great heroes live in concert and he really didn’t disappoint. It was a fantastic night.

I went to see Elbow recently, which was a great night. There was a support band called Villagers, who blew me away.

My son is a great WWE fan and he has taken me to the Arena on many occasions to see the superstars of wrestling doing their thing. I know it’s not to everyone’s taste but it’s certainly a show and a half!