Star signs for Blades

Hillingdon Times: Sean Bean with Dr Gary Armstrong. Sean Bean with Dr Gary Armstrong.

HOLLYWOOD star Sean Bean swapped the blades of Middle Earth sword fights for the Sheffield United Blades, his beloved football team, at a Brunel University book signing.

The Lord of the Rings star visited the university to autograph copies of Sheffield United FC: The Biography by sports lecturer Dr Gary Armstrong.

The actor, who also played Sheffield footballer Jimmy Muir in 1996 film When Saturday Comes, has been friends with Dr Armstrong since they struck up a conversation on a London train journey 16 years ago.

They both found they had a lot in common - in particular a love of Sheffield United.

Sean, 47, wrote the foreword for the book of anecdotes and visited the school on Tuesday to sign copies for staff and students.

Dr Armstrong said: "The book has been some time in the making, however our love of the Blades has been instrumental in driving the project.

"Much of the book is a compilation of stories and memories passed down through various generations of Blade supporters. These anecdotes will now form part of the club's history."

The book, which has the backing of club chairman Kevin McCabe, has been compiled from club archives and the accounts of people who ran the club and former and present players.

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