By Chris Dunlavy
HE’S dropped out of the Premier League and gone home to live with his mum – but Billy Sharp insists there’s nowhere he’d rather be than back at Doncaster.
Sharp, 27, hit 41 goals in 86 games for Donny before joining Southampton for £1.8m in January 2012. And though he subsequently won promotion and played – fleetingly – in the top flight, the striker says he never stopped caring for the club.
It was a bond fostered not just by Sharp’s efforts on the pitch but also by the support shown to the forward following the death of his two-day-old son Louie in 2011.
And it is why last year, when Doncaster returned to the Championship with a dramatic last-day win at promotion rivals Brentford, Sharp celebrated just as much as the players on the pitch.
“Everyone knows I’m a Sheffield United fan and I do still support them,” says Sharp, who has joined on a season-long loan from Saints.
“But Doncaster is a special club to me. The support they showed to me and my family during really tough times means more than foot- ball ever could. I owe them so much for the kindness they showed. There was other interest but I had my heart set on coming back.
“Last season was brilliant for them. I was actually at a service s tation when the Doncaster boys were on their way down to Brentford. I saw Cops (James Coppinger) and a few of the lads and I just had a feeling that they’d do it.
“I actually said to Cops: ‘You’re going to score the winner today’ and he did. He text me the next day saying: ‘How scary is that?’ “I was buzzing just as much as they were that day and now I’m here to try and keep them up.”
So keen was Sharp to rejoin his old club that he dropped every- thing to make the move happen.
“I drove up on Wednesday, signed the forms that afternoon,” he adds.
“Then I went to stay at my mum and dad’s house in Sheffield and came into training the next morning. It’s all happened very fast.
“My mum and dad are delighted – they drive to every game so it’ll be a bit cheaper for them!
“But the missus has said she doesn’t want to be staying at theirs too long. It’s nice to get tidied up after and get a bit of help with the little one but I’ll be trying to get somewhere sorted soon.”
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