Sheffield United captain, Billy Sharp, has gone above and beyond for one Sheffield Wednesday fan this week.

Emma Stenton reached out to Sharp on social media after her grandad, Ken, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given days to live.

Ken was a Blades season ticket holder and wanted to meet the skipper. Sharp responded and agreed to the meeting, but the day before it was due to happen, Ken died.

Yet the 34-year-old still made the trip to see Wednesday supporter Emma and her family, taking with him a signed shirt.

Emma has asked that United fans now pay tribute to her grandad in their next home match against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, with a minute’s applause in the 38th minute.

Solidarity of Billy Sharp putting Sheffield Wednesday rivalry aside

Billy Sharp

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

As is often the case in Sheffield – and other two club cities – rivalry between sides occurs in families. The lighthearted mockery that goes alongside that is one of the things that makes football so great.

As a Blades academy product, current skipper and someone who has played 260 times for the club, Sharp doesn’t need to be told about the rivalry with the Owls.

Yet he also shown that some things – many things, in fact – are far more more important. Sometimes that is forgotten and at a time when a little more kindness perhaps needs to be shown in society, Sharp is reminding us all.

My colleague at HITC, Mathew Nash, wrote this piece in the wake of Caroline Flack’s death. As football fans we often forget that players are humans too, simply doing a job. Our criticism of them hurts just as much as it would to anyone else.

Sharp is a legend at Bramall Lane, but hasn’t let that stand in the way of going the extra mile for a Wednesday supporter. And has rightly been praised for his actions.

At a time when many of us have been made to reflect on how we treat people on social media and in society as a whole, we can all learn something from Sharp.

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