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Tuesday, 12 June, 2001, 07:33 GMT 08:33 UK
Football fan in the hot-seat
Richard Caborn's first love - Sheffield United
Richard Caborn's first love - Sheffield United
The new Sports Minister, Richard Caborn, is a former director of Sheffield United.

Caborn, who was on United's plc board during the mid-1990s, has been MP for Sheffield Central since 1983.

His first public engagement as Sports Minister will be to attend the one-day international between England and Pakistan on Tuesday at Lord's.

"I've been watching cricket since I saw Freddie Trueman bowling for Yorkshire at Bramall Lane," he said.

  Caborn Facts
Born: Sheffield 1943
1979-1984: Euro MP for Sheffield
1983: Became MP for Sheffield Central.
1997: Minister of State for the Regions
1999: Minister of State at Department of Trade and Industry
2001: Appointed Minister of State (Sports) at Department for Culture, Media & Sport.
As Trade Minister, Caborn intervened to speed up a work permit for Belarus international Petr Katchouro in August 1999 in time for him to play in the Blades' first game of the new season.

Caborn's Sheffield connections mean he is well known to the new Home Secretary, David Blunkett, which he said would help towards "better joined up Government".

Caborn is also well connected with Sir Rodney Walker, the chairman of UK Sport, and with John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister.

Richard Caborn
Richard Caborn: Self-confessed Blades fan
In 1991, Caborn was involved in the staging of the World Student Games in Sheffield.

Although that was criticised as an expensive failure, Caborn believes such events can have a long-lasting effect on a region.

"Sport can be used as a major force for regeneration in this country," he said.

"There are so many possible spin-offs from sport, using the intellectual property from sport, sport medicine and sport science to generate income for sport, just as they do in Australia.

"We have to have a clear vision of where we see the sports industry going in the next 10 to 15 years."

We have to have a clear vision of where we see the sports industry going in the next 10 to 15 years
Richard Caborn
Caborn has strong links with the city, having been educated at Sheffield Polytechnic and going on to work as a fitter.

A keen amateur footballer, Caborn scored an own goal in an MPs' football match against a Press XI in 1984.

He also lists golf as one of his interests.

Between 1979 and 1984 he was a Euro MP for Sheffield and was chairman of the Trade and Industry Select Committee from 1992 to 1995.

Prior to joining the Department of Trade and Industry, Caborn was Minister of State for the Regions, Regeneration and Planning at the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, a post he held from May 1997.

See also:

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