This Is Sheffield
October 22, 2000

Sean Bean -- The Shy Lad Destined For Stardom
Staff Reporter

HOW did a lad from the Sheffield suburbs, the son of a steel plater and secretary, get to become one of Britain’s hottest movie stars? In the first of three extracts from Laura Jackson’s new biography, we discover how Sean Bean discovered a love of acting when he should have been preparing for a career in industry.

Branded as ‘undeniably Britain’s greatest living sex bomb’, at the beginning of the 21st century Sean Bean tops the list of many casting directors on the lookout for hot British talent.

His success could never have been signposted. There was no theatrical blood in his working class background, no desperate craving to seek the limelight.

One indelible hallmark, however, is his enduring pride in holding fast to his northern roots. And those rock-solid foundations were laid in Sheffield.

One of Sean’s teachers, Ted Danson, recalls: “He was a very quiet, shy little boy who avoided the spotlight at all times.

“Sean’s one ambition in life then was to play football for Sheffield United and that is all he dreamt about, night and day.

Maureen Oakes, a Bean family friend, recalls: “He was a lovely little boy, so keen on football and I think what stands out most about those years was how knowledgeable Sean was about football and Sheffield United.”

Although mainly a happy childhood, he had a wilful side that could erupt angrily if he felt thwarted.

On one spectacular occasion, a tantrum landed him in hospital with serious injury. It happened one day at home when, having spent hours outside playing with a cousin, the pair were in the lounge making paper shapes. When Sean, tired and a little fractious, anted the scissors and was not immediately given them, his rage exploded.