Chris Wilder has paid tribute to Chris Basham as the defender prepares to make his 150th start for Sheffield United.
Basham is expected to reach the milestone against Bolton Wanderers tonight as Wilder’s team goes in search of its third straight Championship win.
Praising the 29-year-old’s “attitude and application”, Wilder said: “Chris typifies what we all about here. He’s a whole-hearted character and he gives 100 per cent every single time he steps out on the grass. He’s great in the changing room, Monday to Friday, as well. He wants to win and he’s a decent player too. That goes under the radar with him because I thought he was superb last time out.”
United travel to Greater Manchester fifth in the table after beating Sunderland three days ago. Basham, who was rewarded with a new contract following last season’s League One title triumph, also impressed as they dispatched Derby County before the international break.
“Chris is a selfless guy,” Wilder added. “If he has to do a different job for the team, no matter what it is, he’ll do it no questions asked. He’s been fabulous for us and that’s the reason why we signed him up. That’s what we want here, not just talented individuals but also good people as well. He’s a proper footballer and a proper bloke.”
Basham, who turned professional with Wanderers, recently described his career at Bramall Lane as a “rollercoaster” after arriving on a free transfer in 2014. A member of the squad which cruised to the League One title last season, he also helped United reach the semi-finals of the EFL Cup under former manager Nigel Clough.
But it was Basham’s performances during Nigel Adkins’ brief but troubled reign which, Wilder according to Wilder, provide the most telling insight into his character.
“We saw the fans getting on the back of the Sunderland players up there,” the United manager continued. “Well he’s had to play through that here and it’s not a good experience for any player; especially when you are a whole-hearted one who always gives their all.
“Bash’s commitment will have always been the same, even through the bad times, because you don’t just turn it on and off like a tap. To come through all of that is a great testament to him.”