Smith column: You won’t find us laughing at Sheffield United’s printing error

Oops - a Blades printing blunder
Oops - a Blades printing blunder

As gaffes go it’s a stonker.

Alhough ‘One ‘effin Sheffield’ is unlikely to become a fans’ favourite anytime soon.

A Blades official calendar had Sheffield spelt ‘Shefield’ which will have gone down well with Sheffield Wednesday fans.

If it’s any consolation - and it won’t be to whoever did it - The Star has fared far worse in its history.

Missing headlines, bizarre picture captions and some wonderful misunderstandings in the days before digital communication had seen-off the telephone copy-taker as a species.

One time from the far north west came a reporter’s reference to ‘managerless Barrow FC’ which became ‘manager Les Barrow’.

To complete a Lakes double we had a ‘Barrow, in fairness’, instead of Barrow-in-Furness.

Then there was a ‘Mr Chance in the first minute’, and the other striker who unforgivably: ‘sh*t from the edge of the docks’.

The copy-takers’ curse shows no deference and acknowledges no departmental boundaries.

Before he became a toff and was just a brilliant runner, Seb Coe was heralded as ‘Sir Bastion Coe’.

One former BBC Radio Sheffield presenter of this parish once said live on-air that a certain player had ‘p*ssed a late fatness test’.

In the Star’s classifieds one lonely heart wanted to meet someone to share his ‘hedonistic’ lifestyle.

It actually went into the paper as his ‘head on a stick’ lifestyle.

Wonder if he found anyone?

*Just back from a week in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Most of us know the city as Eurovision song contest host in 2012 and the European Championships in 2015 and will be one of the 12 cities to host UEFA’s Euro 2020 thanks to government funding and the country’s vast oil wealth.

Alongside this elite lives the less affluent majority.

Much less affluent in many cases.

Within this secular, Muslim-majority society there is a sports-loving people who count wrestling, boxing, gymnastics and chess among their loves.

Chess? I was good-humouredly chided for doubting its sporting status. More than 100 countries recognize it as such.

I lived to tell the tale.

Baku is further east than Moscow or Baghdad but what they and most of the world REALLY loves is football.

Our football.

Yes they like their own Premier League, Serie A, La liga and the Bundesliga but the English Premier league is what really gets them jumping.

Many in this country resent that our football coverage is Premier League oriented to a ridiculous degree.

Imagine how we’d feel if that football were coming from a country almost 3,000 miles away?