Bramall Lane has seen some characters over the years, but you would struggle to find a bigger one than Curtis Woodhouse!
Its pushing 20 years since he made his debut in the first team. There was never a dull moment around with Curtis, he had a will to succeed that was driven by where he came from and the background he had.
A mixed race family in Driffield was a rare beast, and his superb autobiography, 'Box to Box' details the struggles back then that young Curtis faced head on. The racism he encountered will chill your blood, but it kind of defines the person he became. A naturally talented sportsman, it is little surprise that all he wanted to be was John Barnes and take on the world in a Liverpool shirt!
Interest from many clubs, including Manchester City, was constant but after a spell with York it was 80's hero Colin Morris, father of his best friend Lee Morris, who recommended that the Blades gave them a trial. The rest, as they say, is history!
Our youngest ever captain in an FA Cup game, he loves the Blades to this day - Curtis candidly says that he thought all clubs were like Sheffield United - a family who cared for its own. The reality as he found out was different, very different
Curtis is painfully honest about the temptations, the dark underbelly of the sport that can claim the brightest stars and the reality is chilling. How does a player who has the world at his feet in terms of what he can achieve lose the interest in doing what he is best at? The book tells all in vivid detail.
Not many professional footballers will play for England and in the Premier League and then give it all up to pursue a career as a boxer, and a very good one, a champion in fact, but Curtis did. He is the sort of person that will succeed at all he tries, he has a will to win and often in the face of adversity is when he is at his best
The book is often very funny and self-effacing, it can also be make uncomfortable reading by sheer nature of its brutal honesty, but what a story and what a journey!
Curtis loves the Blades and it shines through as does his character and resolve. The honesty of it can be painful.
'Box to Box' is available now in the Blades Superstore, priced at £18.99.
The language used is, at times, raw and as he would tell the tale to you face-to-face. If you are offended by such prose then be warned, but if you want to read a story that, to be honest, you couldn't write, then this is the book to put on your Christmas list!