Page 1

SHOWBIZ NEWS | HISTORY SPOTLIGHT | LIONS CLUBS | HEALTH & FITNESS

VillaTimes The

Issue 5 | £3.00 | www.thevillatimes.com

VILLA’S UNOFFICIAL MAGAZINE

HENDRIE “CLARET & BLUE RUNS THROUGH MY VEINS”

Villa legend & England midfielder, meets to talk about his career and his time at Villa Park NEW

Match Reports, Line Ups, Stats, Qoutes and much more...

RECENT FORM

Brendan Gleeson Exclusive Interview

Can you be born a Villa fan? "A Villa fan waiting to happen"

MORLEY

WEIMANN

THOMPSON

Player of the Month Player of the Month Where are they Now


Official vehicle supplier

Day TO EVENING WEAR Earl wears style statement Fiat 500

with snazzy Bicolour paintwork. 15 inch Multispoke alloys and chrome detailing complete the package for that street smart look 24/7. Body piercings by Holy-Moley Tokyo.

To find out more and for special offers visit fiat.co.uk/astonvilla

fiat.co.uk

Fiat, the car brand with the lowest average CO2 emissions in Europe^. Fuel consumption for Fiat 500 with Bicolour range in mpg (l/100km): Urban 49.6 (5.7) - 60.1 (4.7); Extra Urban 65.7 (4.3) – 91.1 (3.1); Combined 58.9 (4.8) – 76.3 (3.7). CO2 emissions 113 – 97 g/km. ^Source: JATO Dynamics. Based on volume-weighted average CO2 emissions (g/km) of the best selling brands in Europe, 1st half year 2012.


VillaTimes The

Editor Peter Brennan Designer Peter Brennan Web Development Peter Brennan Social Media Kenny Oldham Thanks to Ian Seddon, Peter Withe, Russell Jones, Aston Villa Football Club, Acorns, Joe Hunt, Brian Little, Ugo Ehiogu, Gordon Cowans, Danny Dewery Contributors Ryan Griffiths, Tom Davis, Simon Goodyear, Colin Abbott, Sam Tighe, Adrian Nevett, Mark Burke, James Leyfield Villa Times Photography Mark Little, Katie Doolan, Joe Merchant Images Getty Images, Colour Sport Advertising E: advertising@thevillatimes.com Subscription Go to www.thevillatimes.com E; info@thevillatimes.com The Villa Times Limited, Registered Office address MacNicholas Yard, 138 Hanbury Road, Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove, B60 4JZ. Company registration number; 08111746. E: info@thevillatimes.com W: www.thevillatimes.com Please note: The Villa Times is not a member of the Aston Villa group of companies and is a unofficial magazine based on Aston Villa Images are supplied by people’s own scrap books. The Villa Times Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright owners. every effort has been made by the publishers to ensure the accuracy of this publication; the publisher cannot accept responsibility for the errors or omissions. in the interest of independence and impartiality,many features in this publication have been written by third-party experts. Any opinions expressed therein are views of the writers themselves and not necessarily those of Aston Villa and The Villa Times.

Welcome

“Come On Villa” It has been a long and entertaining month on and off the pitch at Villa Park, with a long road ahead to the end of the season. The Villa Times has also hit the headlines, with a recent feature in The Birmingham Mail and Sunday Mercury, about our recent letter from Villa Fan and Villa Times reader, Prince William. The latest edition is packed with exclusive interviews. We have former England and Villa legend Lee Hendrie, Hollywood and Harry Potter star, Brendan Gleeson, and 80’s promotion winner Garry Thompson. We also meet up with Villa legend, Tony Morley to get his view of the best games, goals and players in the last month, which all adds up to give a unique perspective. We also have some great new features – an feature covering the fans favourite XI, starting with yours truly, a great new feature id “Recent Form” we also cover the last four games, providing match reports, stats and line-up’s with some interesting facts, and once again we have a exclusive interview with Villa ladies star Natalie Gibson. If that's not enough, we cover the season incorporating the 1987-88 promotion winning season with Colin Abbott, The Season So Far with Simon Goodyear and a feature of one of Villa favourite managers Graham Taylor. Lastly a sincere thanks to my team for making the Villa Times the successful magazine that it is, and in such a short space of time. Well done to all concerned! Peter Brennan, Editor

TVT

FOLLOW THE VILLA TIMES ONLINE

www.thevillatimes.com info@thevillatimes.com

News, analysis, interviews, travel, competitions, forum, shopping and much more when you log on to thevillatimes.com Polls, pics, debates and exclusives at facebook.com/villa.times

Taste the game with updates @TheVillaTimes1 thevillatimes.com Issue 4 3


Features Issue 5

8

20

31

16

Lee Hendrie Exclusive interview from one of Villa all time greats Lee Hendrie, to discuss life in football and his love for Aston Villa Garry Thompson We catch up with the former Villa player to discuss his most memorable matches, hardest players, funny stories and his time at Villa Park Brendan Gleeson We meet up with Hollywood and Harry Potter star, Brendan Gleeson to discuss being a fan, working with fellow Villa fans, his first match and what would he do if he went on Match of the Day. Tony Morley Exclusive feature with former Aston Villa legend Tony Morleyas he looks at some of the best goals, games, players and key moments of 2012

34

Nataile Gibson Exclusive Interview with long serving Villa Ladies player Nataile Gibson.

18

Graham Taylor Adrian Nevett, tells jus more about the life and career of former Villa and England manager Graham Taylor and the success he had at Villa and the clubs he managed in his career as a manager.

24

History:1987/88 Season Villa Times writer and author of the Nigel Sims and Seventh Heaven books Colin Abbott, tells us of his memories of the promotion winning year and squard of the 1987/88 season.

14

The Season So Far Simon Goodyear goes throught the hi's and low's of the past month, giving his views of the last months action.

In The Mag In The Mag

6 & 26 Picture of the Month This month we have pictures from Peter Lowe and Joe Merchant 37

James Leyfield Showbiz writer James Leyfield goes throught some stories in showbiz connected with Villa..

39

My XI this month we pick some player that grace Villa park since the start of the premiership, with the like of Paul McGrath, Dean Saunders, Nigel Spink and Ashley Young.

12

Villa Times Player of the Month We pick the Aston Villa's player of the month for the Villa Times

44

Villa Lions latest news from from some of the Worlds lions clubs with articles from the Cleveland Lions

49

Villa World Pictures sent from Villa fans not only from the UK but from across the world.

50

My Villa We interview Villa fan and Cleveland based Jeromi Rogers about his best moment, match, player and

4 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com

Watson looked like a roadie, but he was hard as granite. I never felt I got the better of him

Exclucive Interview

was Brian Little, but I have to say Sid was the best player I ever saw in a Villa shirt. Who was the hardest player you played against? Hardest player apart from Ken and Evo, (McNaught and Evans) who took it in turns to kick me round Villa Park, would have to be Dave Watson of Southampton and then Manchester City. With his long hair Watson looked like a roadie, but he was hard as granite. I never felt I got the better of him, the man was like rock. What the most funniest thing to happen to you in football and why? In the promotion year 1987/88, prior to home and away games Graham Taylor had us locked up in hotels. Alan McInally had got two birds to come to our room on one occasion and just as things were getting interesting there was a knock on the door. Jim Walker, the Villa physio, came into our room but we had hidden the birds in the bathroom behind the shower curtain. Jim sat down and made small talk for ages, we feigned tiredness and said we needed an early night. He said he would just use toilet before he left and it turned into a scene straight out of Fawlty Towers as he pulled open the curtain. He’d known they were there all along, and basically said unless we performed in the game tomorrow he’d have no choice but to tell the gaffer, which would have scuppered me as Graham was on me massively at time. Fortunately we beat hull 5-1.

GARRY THOMPSON

G

Who did you share with on away games? I shared a room with Rambo (McInally) and every time we were in a hotel he would strip off and run down the corridor banging on the doors. People would come out of their room’s to see a massive naked jock running down the corridor. It was a great ice breaker if any ladies were around as I would do the apologies.

The Villa Times meets up with the Villa legend to talk about his career and his time at Villa Park

arry Thompson was your typically old fashioned English centre-forward. Big and rugged, he led his line fearlessly and woe betide any centre-half who stood in his way to goal. Playing the majority of his football in the Midlands, notably with Coventry City and West Bromwich Albion (263 combined appearances, with a very impressive 94 goals scored) before a short spell at Sheffield Wednesday. Graham Turner snapped up Thompson on June 5th for a fee of £450,000. His goal return of seven in his first campaign for the claret and blue cause saw him finish second highest scorer to centre-half Allan Evans in a season where Villa’s midfield created very little for the forwards to feed off. The paltry figure of only 45 goals scored, combined with 79 conceded resulted in relegation. Thompson missed the last month of the season and would be out of action until November. His first match back for Villa was in the Valley Parade clash against League leaders Bradford City. ‘Thommo’ scored in Villa’s impressive 4-2 victory and went on to add another five to his tally in the next four games. His 11 league goals in only 24 appearances were pivotal in Villa achieving automatic promotion His impressive physique earned him the new

nickname ‘Bruno,’ he may have only made 73 appearances in the claret and blue shirt, scoring 19 goals, in his two and a bit year spell at Villa Park but he endeared himself to the Villa faithful with his passionate and committed style. In season 1988/89 he found first team football limited and moved down to London where he had spells at Watford, Palace and QPR. Jaunts at Cardiff and finally Northampton signalled the end of a playing career that earned him six England U-21 appearances (three goals) but not the full cap his form so richly deserved. On hanging up his boots he took up coaching roles, caretaker and manager position’s within the game.

Questions What’s your most memorable game you played and why? The game most Villa fans talk to me about was the Small Heath match, we won 2-1 and I got both goals. For a Villa fan that was a great moment. The first time I felt the love at Villa, we drew 3-3 at Anfield, I played well, scored, and at the final whistle the travelling Villa fans gave us a standing ovation, fantastic support, which was how I remembered them from childhood. I remember the players ended up having a monster row after the game, because even though Liverpool were still a great

I recently interviewed John Gidman and he said he was heartbroken to leave Villa we he did, how did you feel? I was gutted to leave the Villa but I needed to play regularly so it was inevitable. I didn't think the situation through though as I knew McInally was going to Bayern Munich so I should have stayed put. I would have backed myself against both Ian Ormondroyd and Tony Cascarino or any others that came in for that matter. The reality of it all didn't hit me until two days after I’d signed for Watford, as I was sat in a hotel room. I was devastated at what I'd done.

team, we led three times, and only managed a draw. What was your favourite goal you scored and why? My first goal against blues which was a diving header. Vince Overson tried to take my head off. Ron Wylie, my coach at Coventry City, was always driving me mad about putting my head in amongst flying boots, so to get a strikers goal in a Derby match was very satisfying. Who was the most influential magazine or coach for you, and why? Ron Wylie. He was my biggest critic but he made me the player I was. Dave Sexton also has to have a mention. He actually broke my game down, analysed it and built it back up. Dave explained things, making my understanding of the game easier. Both top coaches and great men. Who was the best player you played with? Derek Statham, a magnificent player who could do everything, he should have had loads more England caps. Another was Gordon Cowans, I knew he was a good player from watching him and playing against him, but when he came back from Italy and I played in the same side I was amazed how good he was. My boyhood hero

As a fan I think we will avoid relegation (just) but the worrying thing is there doesn't seem to be a club ethos, which means next year we could well be in same boat again. You can't keep avoiding the bullet. Main picture: Garry in action in the 1986/87 season. Above: Garry with a Villa mascot on the front cover of the official programme.

What do you think of the current squad and manager? The current squad is a mish mash! There’s no real creativity and defenders are struggling at times with the most basic defending. We can score goals but every decent team can defend well and go from there. Villa have started being prudent in the transfer market, so it’s going to be a long, hard and painful road ahead. As a fan I think we will avoid relegation (just) but the worrying thing is there doesn't seem to be a club ethos, which means next year we could well be in same boat again. You can't keep avoiding the bullet. I think we have a decent manager but he needs time. I also feel we should have strengthened in the January transfer window. If the worst scenario happens and we go down, are our players mentally strong enough to cope with the expectation of having to win most weeks? They will be the team everyone in the Championship will want to beat. From the performances this year it makes me wonder!

19 Issue 4 thevillatimes.com

thevillatimes.com Issue 4 20

Villa Managers with Adrian Nevett

At the age of 27, Taylor was the youngest person to become an FA coach. Following his retirement from playing, in1972 Graham became manager of Lincoln City Taylor leding Lincoln to the Fourth Division title in 1976, during which the Imps set the league records for most wins, fewest defeats and most points, in a time when 2 points were awarded for a win.

Graham Taylor

Here is a brief outlook on our 17th and 22nd Villa manager who went on to manage his country and came back to Villa for a second spell in charge.

In 1977, the 32-year-old Taylor was hired to manage Watford (1977–1987) by new owner Elton John. He turned down an approach from First Division West Bromwich Albion in favour of the Fourth Division club, and then led Watford from the Football League Fourth Division to the First Division in only five years. In this first season in the Football League Fourth Division, Watford won the title at his first attempt during the 1977–78 season, losing only five of 46 games and winning the league by 11 points. In the Football League Third Division Taylor led Watford to another promotion, finishing second, and losing out on the title, by one point in the 1978–1979 season. Taylor's third and fourth seasons in the Football League’s Second Division were less successful. Finishing 18th. and 9th respectively. The 1981–1982 season, Watford achieved promotion, ending the season in 2nd place, and gaining 23 wins and 11 draws in 46 games. In the First Division with Taylor as manager, Watford gained its highest-ever victory (8–0 against Sunderland); this resulted in Watford finishing runners-up in the entire Football League. He then took the side to the

Ithird round of the UEFA Cup. Taylor also led Watford to the 1984 FA Cup Final, which Watford lost to Everton 2–0. In his final season, 1986–87, Watford finished ninth in the league and reached the FA Cup semi-finals, missing out on another Wembley appearance when they lost to Tottenham, their chances hardly helped by the fact that both of their first team goalkeepers were injured. In June 1987, Taylor left Watford for a new challenge at Aston Villa (1987–1990), who had just been relegated from the First Division. Taylor managed to take Aston Villa back to the top flight with his first attempt, securing their top flight safety in 1988–89 with a win on the final day of the league season. During his third season at the club Villa finished runners-up in the first division, having led the league table at several stages of the season before being overhauled in the final weeks by Liverpool. Following this success, Taylor accepted an offer to take over the England national football team from Bobby Robson, who left the job after England's world cup semi-final defeat to Germany. International management: England (1990–1993) Taylor’s England qualified for Euro ’92, which proved to

19 Issue 4 thevillatimes.com

Player of the Month

The Villa Times player of the month A few years ago, when he put pen to paper on a deal seeing him move to Villa Park from Rapid Vienna, the name Andreas Weimann would of meant very little to many die hard Villains. However now even the tamest of Villa fan knows exactly who the big striker is. Andi Weimann has become a poster boy for Lamberts philosophy, and Villa fans can’t speak highly enough of the young Austrian.

19 Issue 4 thevillatimes.com

Ibe the high point of Taylor's tenure. England were drawn to face France, Denmark and hosts Sweden, they needed to beat hosts Sweden to advance to the semi-finals. During the game, after 60 minutes and with the score at 1–1, Taylor substituted Gary Lineker in his final game for England. They went on to lose 2- 1, England were eliminated. For the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States, England were drawn in Qualification Group 2. The group contained Norway, The Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and San Marino. England were expected to qualify along with the Dutch. Unfortunately this didn’t happen and Taylor resigned on 24 November 1993. He went 'with great sadness', saying: 'No one can gauge the depth of my personal disappointment at not qualifying for the World Cup.' There had been no question of him wanting to stay on, in any capacity. 'This is the appropriate course of action in the circumstances,' he said. 'If we didn't qualify, it was always my intention to offer my resignation.’ Return to club management Sir Jack Hayward appointed Taylor as manager of Wolves in March 1994, replacing Graham

Turner. But he took the Midlands club to fourth in Division One to qualify for the playoffs – their highest league finish since their last top division season 11 years earlier – where they lost out to Bolton Wanderers. They also reached the quarter finals of the FA Cup. However, the 1994–95 season proved to be his only full season at Molineux, as, after a poor start to the following campaign, winning just 4 from the 16 opening league games, he resigned in November 1995 due to overwhelming supporter pressure.

Graham with Elton John

In February 1996 Elton John, who had recently bought Watford for a second time, appointed Taylor as General Manager at Vicarage Road. Just over a year later Taylor had appointed himself as the club's manager succeeding Kenny Jackett, who was relegated to a coaching capacity at the club. He won the Division Two championship at his first attempt in 1998. The following season Taylor won the Division One Play-off Final, beating Bolton Wanderers 2–0 at Wembley, and with it promotion to the Premier league, where Watford were relegated after one season. Despite starting the following season well – unbeaten through the first fifteen league games and heading the table – Watford slumped to finish 9th in Division One. At this point Taylor decided to retire. During this final season Taylor had become only the third manager to manage 1,000 league games in England, after Brian Clough and Jim Smith. Taylor came out of retirement in February 2002 to return to his old job at Aston Villa, but retired for a second time after Villa finished the 2002–03 season in 16th place in the Premiership. He subsequently cited tensions in his relationship with the club's chairman Doug Ellis. thevillatimes.com Issue 4 20

“We will fight for each other, for the fans and for the club and do everything we can “ Born in Vienna, Weimann began his career at hometown club FC Stadlau before joining Rapid Wien as a thirteen-year-old. He remained there for three years, before being signed by Villa, joining the club alongside fellow Austrian Dominik Hofbauer (now of SC Wiener Neustadt) Weimann was shipped out on loan to championship club Watford, in January 2011. This is where Andreas got the goalscoring juices flowing, where he netted four times in 19 games. When Weimann returned to the Villa reserve ranks, he was scoring goals like they were going out of fashion, netting two hat-tricks in quick succession. This followed a call up to the first team squad, and sure enough on the 10th march 2012 he scored that scrappy goal against Fulham to secure a 1-0 victory, and also take a bit of pressure of former manager Alex Mcleish. Weimann had come from the abyss, to scoring in the premier league, a dream for many, but things got better and better for the young Austrian. This season, Andreas has thrived off the support from current gaffer Paul Lambert has found some scintillating form at times, netting twice against Manchester United and Norwich City respectively. Andy has netted 10 times this season, while also providing good support for Christian Benteke. The Australian has really become a fan favourite and I’m sure in years to come he will be seen as a Hero at Villa Park. Going forward the claret and blues look a serious threat, the new-found confidence in the players which is clear to see, even if results don’t back it up. The forward-thinking players are hitting good form at just the right time because Villa will need goals no matter what happens. We’re also at the stage of the season now where you can’t just write off a game because of the standard off the opposition. Three points are vital regardless of where they come from. Andreas is a man in form having taken his goals tally into double figures with a goal in the 2-1 defeat to Arsenal. He said the loss left the dressing room down at The Emirates but was also encouraged by the impressive display that his side put on. Weimann believes that if they play like they did against the Gunners for the remainder of the season they will have enough to avoid relegation. “Everyone was down but we’re going to pick ourselves up,” he said, “We will fight for each other, for the fans and for the club and do everything we can to stay up. We have eleven games to go and we will do everything to get out of this. We’re confident of turning it around.” “The fans have been brilliant, They’ve stuck with us all season and I’m sure they’ll be behind us. We’re confident that by the end of the season we won’t be in there, We will keep working hard to make sure this is the case.” “We have to keep going. But if we play like we did at Arsenal, we will win more than we lose.” Weimann is still talking with Villa about his contract which expires in just 18 month’s time. Villa are keen to tie the 21-year-old down to a new four-year deal with contract talks not expected to be finalised until the end of the season and he insists that his mind is firmly fixed on scoring the goals to keep Villa in the division.

thevillatimes.com Issue 4 20


Player Anayalist with Tony Morley

p35

Gleeson Brendan

Recent Form p40

Lee Hendrie p8 thevillatimes.com Issue 5 5


MATCH DAY Match day at Villa Park with a view of the famous Holte End, with fans gathering before the game. The picture also captures Villa legends, Ken McNaught and Gordon Cowans making their way to the match ahead Picture of the Month by Peter Lowe


Picture of the Month


Exclusive Interview

LEE HENDRIE

B

orn in Birmingham on May 18th, 1977, to the Scottish former professional footballer Paul Hendrie, Lee has spent the majority of his career at Aston Villa playing for the club for 14 years. He also played in Football League for Stoke City, Sheffield United, Leicester City, Derby County, Brighton & Hove Albion and Bradford City. Lee made his debut for Aston Villa as a substitute in a 1–0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers on 23 December 1995. He went on to achieve the accolade of the club’s “Young Player of the Season” award in the 1997–98 season as well as playing in the 2000 FA Cup Final against Chelsea . In 2005–06 season it seemed Lee’s long spell at Villa Park was coming to a close, with Portsmouth reportedly showing an interest in his services. On 29 September Stoke City took Lee on loan. This loan was later extended with the Potters until the end of the 2006–07 season. Despite his Scottish Heritage, Lee represented England, the country of his birth, at international level, appearing twelve times for the England under-21 team, hitting the net five goals. He won his only full international cap for England at the age of 21 as a late substitute on 18 November 1998 against the Czech Republic, coming on in the 77th minute for Aston Villa team-mate Paul Merson in a 2–0 win. Lee is nowset to launch a national network of inspirational football sessions for children which he says will help show the ups and downs of the Beautiful Game. The fun sessions will help children build confidence, selfesteem and friendship but will also offer opportunities for those showing real promise to be spotted at a tender age. Father-of-two Lee, who now plays for Tamworth, has led development of the FootieBugs (www.footiebugs.com) activity programme which is being rolled out as a pilot scheme in selected areas of the Midlands, South and North. FootieBugs is a professional football activity session pro-

8 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com

Photography By Joe Merchant


thevillatimes.com Issue 5 9


Exclusive Interview

[L e e H e n d r i e ] session programme for children aged three to nine, offering fun classes teaching fundamental football skills. One of the most important and exciting aspects for Lee, is that sessions can be enjoyed by girls and boys as well as encouraging friendship and respect among children from different ethnic backgrounds. It’s also hoped that youngsters’ involvement in football can have a positive effect on their communities and parents are also encouraged to get involved. But Lee also says that learning you can win or lose a game of football from the age of three will be a boost for those youngsters with their sights set on a future in the sport – and that if he’d been able to have such experience, he would have approached the game differently. “With all my experience playing at the top flight of football, I’ve a lot to

Interview You are up there with the best to of played at Villa Park in the premiership. what are you doing with yourself these days? At the moment I am currently playing at Tamworth and still enjoying my football. I am also involved with Villa, playing for the old stars which is class. There are some great players currently involved. The banter and willing to win is still there with them which makes it brilliant. In my spare time I enjoy playing golf and spending time with my wife and children.

Do you have any plans to go into coaching and maybe even becoming a manager one day? Yes, I am just at the start of trying to get a kids coaching school together called ‘Footiebugs’. I am hoping to get things going after Christmas and it will be for kids between the ages of 2 and 7. I would love to give something back to the younger kids and also give them advice and make there aware about the world of football. And who knows what the future holds, I have always wanted to manage and this can be an experience if that is the route I head down.

What do you think to the current situation at Villa Park? It has been a little disappointing over the last couple of years but I think the new manager can change things around. However, we must all remain patient and hopefully see some great times return to Villa Park.

Who was the best player you ever played with? I would have to say Dwight Yorke. He was class, skilful, scored goals and had so much ability. And to top things off he was a great guy.

Who was the best player you have ever played against? I have always said it was Patrick Viera. When we used to play Arsenal he was just a great all round passer. He was also very strong which made it so hard to get the ball off him. I also played against the Brazilian legend Ronoldo, 10 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com

in a Aston Villa v Brazil expedition match, he was something else, it was a fantastic experience to play against him and the Brazil team.

What was the best match you was involved in while playing for Villa? Atlético Madrid at a cold, packed out Villa Park. The atmosphere was unbelievable. I always remember coming out the tunnel, with the hairs standing up on the back of my neck – It was unreal. The game which I am sure many Villa fans will remember was fantastic. The goal was a fantastic screamer and the roof nearly come off the stands. I had a great chance to score not long after but the keeper made a good save. If only that would have gone in.

What is the best goal you ever scored? My best goal was against Crystal Palace at Villa Park. I got past the Palace defender Ben Watson curled the ball into the top corner. I loved it. What is your biggest regret in your career? I have lots of regrets in life – both in and out of football but I try to put them aside. The one thing I always wanted to do as a young boy was to play for my country and play top flight football. I achieved both of these, but wished I got more caps and also finished my playing days at Villa. That would have been perfect.

You spent some time over in Indonesia, what was it like over there? Indonesia was a fantastic experience. The people were great and football was very different but I really enjoyed it. The people couldn’t do enough for me, I felt like a real big star out there. It gave me my confidence back – which was brilliant. For the fans that don’t know, who do you actually support?

“It was a fantastic experience to play against Ronoldo and the Brazil team”


I have supported Villa since I moved back to Birmingham when I was just a young boy. I had the chance to sign for a host of Midlands club but there was only one place for me, Aston Villa. I have some fantastic years at Villa Park, and will always be a Villa fan.

Who did you share with on away games and have you any funny stories? I shared with Gareth Barry, no really funny stories there, but when i left Villa, i was asked to go over to San Jose in the US. When I arrived in America, the club picked me up and showed me around the ground and their facilities, before dropping me to my hotel. When I got into my room, I got ready to go to bed after a long flight and striped off and jumped into bed. Suddenly the bed started to move and I jumped off, to see the raggy looking bloke get out of under the bed. In shock I said what’s going on and he replied, Sorry i must have the wrong room and left the room, leaving me to think that the club were playing a prank on me. The next day, I said it to the guy’s and they didn’t know what I was talking about. for the remander of the trip, every time i went in to the hotel room, I had to check around.

What’s the most funniest think to happen to you in football? Recently actually, I was getting ready for a Tamworth game and i went to put my new boots on, I found that I had two left ones, I thought it was my team mates messing me around and i went mad as i didn’t have any boots for the game. It worked out that my children had been playing with them earlier at home and they put the two left ones into my bag. i had to call my mom to rush over to the ground with a right one, so I could play.

I recently interview John Gidman and he told me he was heartbroken to have left Villa. how did you feel? Same, Heartbroken, I always wanted to finish my career at the Villa, I am Villa through and through and it was a Very difficult time in my career.

What was the feeling like to have the honour to play for your country? I of the best moments of my career, I only wished I had the chance to play more. I am urrently in the England Legends team and will be playing in a tournament in Dubai, with the likes of Trevor Sinclair, Matt Le Tissier and Teddy Sherringham, great to play with some of the greatest players the premiership has seen.

It has been a long season at Villa Park this season, what do you think of the current squad? Missing Stan and Dunne, we could do with one or two experienced players to help the younger squad members.

You have recently turned out for the Villa Legends and Lions, what is it like to be playing with some of Villa’s greatest? Great, love to have the chance to play with the likes of Sid, Tony Morley and Ken McNaught. Tony recently shock my hand at the Petrov match and said I was a top lad, it really gave me a boost, for the legend to say that to me.


Player of the Month

The Villa Times player of the month A few years ago, when he put pen to paper on a deal seeing him move to Villa Park from Rapid Vienna, the name Andreas Weimann would of meant very little to many die hard Villains. However now even the tamest of Villa fan knows exactly who the big striker is. Andi Weimann has become a poster boy for Lamberts philosophy, and Villa fans can’t speak highly enough of the young Austrian.

12 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com


“We will fight for each other, for the fans and for the club and do everything we can “ Born in Vienna, Weimann began his career at hometown club FC Stadlau before joining Rapid Wien as a thirteen-year-old. He remained there for three years, before being signed by Villa, joining the club alongside fellow Austrian Dominik Hofbauer (now of SC Wiener Neustadt) Weimann was shipped out on loan to championship club Watford, in January 2011. This is where Andreas got the goalscoring juices flowing, where he netted four times in 19 games. When Weimann returned to the Villa reserve ranks, he was scoring goals like they were going out of fashion, netting two hat-tricks in quick succession. This followed a call up to the first team squad, and sure enough on the 10th march 2012 he scored that scrappy goal against Fulham to secure a 1-0 victory, and also take a bit of pressure of former manager Alex Mcleish. Weimann had come from the abyss, to scoring in the premier league, a dream for many, but things got better and better for the young Austrian. This season, Andreas has thrived off the support from current gaffer Paul Lambert has found some scintillating form at times, netting twice against Manchester United and Norwich City respectively. Andy has netted 10 times this season, while also providing good support for Christian Benteke. The Australian has really become a fan favourite and I’m sure in years to come he will be seen as a Hero at Villa Park. Going forward the claret and blues look a serious threat, the new-found confidence in the players which is clear to see, even if results don’t back it up. The forward-thinking players are hitting good form at just the right time because Villa will need goals no matter what happens. We’re also at the stage of the season now where you can’t just write off a game because of the standard off the opposition. Three points are vital regardless of where they come from. Andreas is a man in form having taken his goals tally into double figures with a goal in the 2-1 defeat to Arsenal. He said the loss left the dressing room down at The Emirates but was also encouraged by the impressive display that his side put on. Weimann believes that if they play like they did against the Gunners for the remainder of the season they will have enough to avoid relegation. “Everyone was down but we’re going to pick ourselves up,” he said, “We will fight for each other, for the fans and for the club and do everything we can to stay up. We have eleven games to go and we will do everything to get out of this. We’re confident of turning it around.” “The fans have been brilliant, They’ve stuck with us all season and I’m sure they’ll be behind us. We’re confident that by the end of the season we won’t be in there, We will keep working hard to make sure this is the case.” “We have to keep going. But if we play like we did at Arsenal, we will win more than we lose.” Weimann is still talking with Villa about his contract which expires in just 18 month’s time. Villa are keen to tie the 21-year-old down to a new four-year deal with contract talks not expected to be finalised until the end of the season and he insists that his mind is firmly fixed on scoring the goals to keep Villa in the division.

thevillatimes.com Issue 5 13


J

anuary is usually the month of new hope for football clubs, especially those struggling at the wrong end of the table, like Villa. It brings the opening (and the closing) of the winter transfer window and the cob-webs can be dusted off the poor results that have gone but not forgotten and there’s the thought of Spring in sight, bringing fresh hope of better times ahead. Oh how I’d love to go back to New Year’s Day knowing what I do now and how the results have gone for Villa in the cold and wet month of January 2013. In short, January was a washout, just like the weather. On the back of a dreadful run of results at the back end of December, following a superb result away at Anfield which brought Villa so much praise and introduced Christian Benteke to the football world, Villa regrouped for the start of the new year. Paul Lambert’s young and (so called) inexperienced team smashed their own record for fielding the club’s youngest ever Premier League XI with an average age of 23 years and 120 days at high-flying Swansea. The first half against the Swans was like boys v men as the Villa goal was bombarded and the young Lions could only hold out until the tenth minute before conceding. Time after time the Swans picked holes in the Villa defence, but for all Swansea’s possession, poise and purpose, their failure to provide a finishing touch gave Villa a glimmer of hope and kept the score at 1 – 0 until just before the break when the unlikeliest of equalisers from Andi Weimann gave Villa fresh hope. After the beak it was perhaps inevitable that there would be a twist in the tale, but ultimately there were two. Villa took a lead which would have been scarcely believable at 14 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com

3.15pm, when they were awarded an 84th minute penalty and Christian Benteke coolly dispatched the ball into the back of the net. Was this moment going to be the catalyst for Villa to start to climb the table at last? Moreover, could they hold on? Swansea, having wasted their dominance in possession, continued to pile on the pressure and Villa’s resistance was eventually broken four minutes into the allotted five minutes of stoppage time, when Danny Graham smashed in a shot from the edge of the box. Villa’s New Year resolution was clearly to show more resolve and play to the final whistle after the Christmas holiday from hell but at least the last-gasp heart-breaker from the Swansea front-man was a rotstopper and a bonus point. Three days later, a sparse Villa Park hosted the 3rd Round FA Cup tie against Championship team Ipswich. Mick McCarthy’s plucky battlers gave the home side a scare when Eric Lichaj deflected the ball into his own net on 31 minutes from Michael Chopra’s crossshot. However, Darren Bent, given a rare start up front, equalised seconds into the second half with a predatory finish before Weimann’s wonderful headed winner on 83 minutes clinched a 2 - 1 victory and a passage into Round 4. Then came the eagerly awaited Capital One Cup Semi-Final first leg at League 2 side Bradford City. Villa had smashed in 14 goals in their previous four ties and they were favourites to go through over two legs. Backed by over 4000 hardened Villa fans, Villa’s early possession didn’t bring any reward. Christian Benteke could have had a hat-trick in the first 15 minutes, heading two sitters off target and you had the feeling it was going to be one of those nights. Villa failed to seize the initiative and were made to regret it when the Bantams, roared

Match Day fans making their way to Villa Park and below the Villa team before kick-off pictures by Peter Lowe

on by the pumped up Valley Parade crowd (or Coral Windows Stadium as it’s now known), stormed down the other end to open the scoring through Wells on 19 minutes. A mix-up in the penalty area saw Zavon Hines’ attempted shot saved, with Villa looking for offside and Bradford expecting a penalty for handball against Barry Bannan but referee Howard Webb and his assistant Michael Mullarkey, waved play on and Wells emphatically obliged while the Villa back-line stood and watched. It was a nightmare waiting to happen and it just did. Bradford might have been in the fourth tier of English football but it didn’t look like it at half-time. In the second half, the home side stunned Villa yet again when in the 77th minute Jones whipped over an inviting, in-swinging pace-packed cross from the left and McArdle stormed in at the near post to glance Bradford into a two goal lead. It soon could have been three, but another Hanson header hit the woodwork. A few minutes later Andi Weimann looked to have responded with the sort of get-out-of-jail goal which proved vital for Ron Atkinson’s team of 1994 at Tranmere on the way to Wembley glory but it was shortlived as James McHugh sparked wild celebrations not least from a stadium announcer ecstatically incredulous at the score-line, when, with two minutes left, the defender gave Bradford an unthinkable 3 – 1 lead by powering a towering header past his boyhood hero, Shay Given. Next up were fellow strugglers Southampton at Villa Park


The Season So Far with Simon Goodyear

Paul Lambert managed to bring in a couple of ‘young and hungry’ players on deadline-day as deals for Yacouba Sylla and Simon Dawkins were rushed through in order to boost his squad

half-hour to have at least got back onto level terms, with Charles N'Zogbia again in inspired form and examining the Bantams defence. Possession was at 70% but yet again, for all the play the chances couldn’t be turned into the vital goals Villa needed until the 24th minute and Villa Park erupted as Christian Benteke gave the home side the lead. Shortly afterwards, Stephen Ireland had the ball in the net shortly afterwards but he had strayed offside and the goal was ruled out. That goal would have made it all-square and maybe, just maybe would have given Villa the impetus to finish the job on home soil. At 1 – 0 it was still anyone’s game but after 55 minutes Villa's Achilles’ heel at set-pieces again proved their undoing as ‘Big Jim’ Hanson restored Bradford's two-goal advantage, the striker getting himself in front of Ron Vlaar to head home a Jones' corner and send the Bradford fans wild and dreaming of Wembley once again. Lambert responded by introducing record signing Darren Bent and he set up a low chance for Ireland who stabbed the ball wide at the near post but Bradford substitute Gary Thompson came within inches of making a spectacular entry as his shot thumped against the bar. Lambert brought on a fourth striker in Andreas Weimann in a desperate attempt to claw back the lead and he gave the Villa faithful hope as he put Villa ahead on the night after Benteke's flick-on, but it was too in what became a ‘must-win’ game for the home side, let little too late and Bradford survived the final few minutes alone for The Saints. If there was anything such a ‘game to book their place in the show-piece final. Whoever put of two halves’ this was it as Southampton looked like the a bet on Bradford City getting to the final when the comhome side in the first half and took a deserved lead on petition started in August must have made a fortune but 34 minutes as Rickie Lambert buried a spot kick after Ro- for Villa, it against all the odds and a disaster. Villa beat driguez dived over Enda Stevens’ foot without the rookie Bradford on the night but no one cared about the result full-back making the slightest contact with the Saints as it felt more like a defeat. striker. It was a cruel blow but at least the Villa attack Just when the tears were drying up after the came out in the second half and looked the most likely to Capital One defeat the claret and blue crisis deepened in score but a host of missed opportunities denied luckless an FA Cup tie against Millwall on a snowy Friday night Villa and an increasingly bleak survival scrap intensified. backed by 1,700 fans, who against their better judgment If a local derby game at West Brom isn’t enough to catch showed their love for the club by putting their hands in the imagination then nothing will and at The Hawthorns, Villa lit up a cold Saturday night in mid-January by going 2 – 0 up by half-time. It looked like Villa had re-written the script as they ripped apart a lack-luster Albion side in 45 minutes of high-intensity football manager Paul Lambert craved. Charles N'Zogbia, in superb form produced one of his best performances for the club. Christian Benteke opened the scoring with a superb finish before Gabriel Agbonlahor doubled Villa's lead before half-time. After the break, Albion skipper Chris Brunt pulled a goal back and then Peter Odemwingie equalised seven minutes from time. It was inevitable, but there was enough in the first half to see the direction Paul Lambert wanted his Lions heading in the future and the style of football he wanted his young team to play. Hopes of reversing the Capital One defeat at Bradford were high after the derby-day draw. Bradford arrived in town backed by 6500 fans and Villa Park was rocking for the first time this season. It was like times of old, reminiscent of Blackburn a few years ago and Tranmere in 1994. Villa had enough opportunities in the opening

their pockets once again. In the hostile environment of The Den Villa took the lead when Darren Bent scrambled in the rebound after Andi Weimann was denied, but Danny Shittu’s header from yet another corner pegged them back just minutes later. If it wasn’t blatantly obvious, Paul Lambert seemed to have failed to fix the problems we’ve had all season – defending corners – and the manager cut a forlorn, helpless figure in the technical area in the second half as a Marquis’ header bounced back off the crossbar with Shay Given beaten and he reacted quickest to nod the rebound into the unguarded net. After being dumped out of two cup competitions in a space of a few days Villa only had the League to concentrate on and had 15 games to save their season. With only one day left until the transfer window closed, Newcastle visited town parading 2 new signings, both French and one player who was on Lambert’s radar, Moussa Sissoko. In a game of two halves, goals from Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye put Newcastle in command and ended a sequence of 17 games without a victory away from St. James' Park. Just typical of Villa this season to be the team that it happened to. All Villa could manage in reply was a Christian Benteke penalty early in the second period, even though the ‘back to basics’ performance warranted more goals. The players who got booed off at half time were greeted by a standing ovation from the same fans, or at least those from the 30,334 who had decided to stay for the second half. A total of 12 defeats and eight draws from 24 games dumped Villa back in the drop-zone and the crisis of confidence continued into February. At least Paul Lambert managed to bring in a couple of ‘young and hungry’ players on deadline-day as deals for Yacouba Sylla and Simon Dawkins were rushed through in order to boost his failing squad for the worrying relegation battle ahead. We can only hope that the teams around us in the relegation zone slip up a few times because things don’t look good for the club we love.

thevillatimes.com Issue 5 15


Match Stats

Aston Villa 3 Milošević 20', Taylor 55', Yorke 88'

Leeds Utd 0 Date 24 March 1996 Venue Wembley Stadium Attendance 77,056 Squads: Aston Villa 1 Mark Bosnich 7 Gary Charles 5 Gareth Southgate 4 Paul McGrath 3 Ugo Ehiogu 2 Alan Wright 8 Ian Taylor 6 Mark Draper 11 Andy Townsend (c) 9 Savo Miloševi 10 Dwight Yorke Substitutes:

This Month In Villa History

1996 League Cup Final

Villa, who have won more matches and scored more goals than any club in the 35-year history of this competition, began to celebrate. 16 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com

S

avo Milosevic scored a goal at Wembley which was worthy of winning any final. This one, arrowed in after 20 minutes, went a long way towards winning the Coca-Cola Cup final. It tilted an even match in Villa's direction and, when Ian Taylor stymied a possible Leeds United revival with a second after 55 minutes, Villa's record-equalling fifth success in the competition was assured. It was too one-sided. Leeds, despite a positive approach, did not play. Villa were excellent, from the Croat, Bosnich, through to the Serb, Milosevic. Lukic spread himself well then but he had little chance when, six minutes later, Milosevic struck. A Speed error led to his gaining possession 25 yards out. He advanced on Pemberton before whipping a dipping drive past and over Lukic's right hand. It was the sort of goal which must have featured prominently in that legendary video - the one that persuaded Little to buy him. Villa took control as Leeds sought to steady themselves. A Milosevic header was deflected over, Andy Townsend and Mark Draper tested Lukic, even South-

12 14 15

Michael Oakes Steve Staunton Tommy Johnson

Leeds United: Lukic; Wetherall, Pemberton, Radebe (Brolin, 65); Kelly, Palmer, McAllister, Ford (Deane, h-t), Speed; Gray, Yeboah. Substitute: Worthington. Referee: R Hart (Darlington). gate was spotted crossing from the byline Leeds slowly settled again but they remained troubled by Milosevic and Yorke, with the Serb twice being halted by lastditch tackles. In attack they at least stretched Mark Bosnich, the Villa keeper being forced to punch away a corner under pressure from McAllister. That gave a clue to Wilkinson's half-time switch. Brian Deane's height and strength were added to the attack, Gray was moved to the left and Villa's wingbacks were forced to defend. It almost paid dividends as Gray, twice, came inside Gary Charles but each time shot when he could have crossed. Villa's verve remained unquenchable however and they, too, spread their wings. A Yorke chipped cross was just cleared then, 10 minutes into the second half, Wright crossed from the left, Lucas Radebe, under pressure from Milosevic, half-cleared, and Taylor followed in to volley inside the far post. Villa, who have won more matches and scored more goals than any club in the 35-year history of this competition, began to celebrate. Deane and Carlton Palmer had half-chances but Villa al-

Bookings: McGrath, Southgate; Wetherall, Ford Man of the match: AndyTownsend.

Road to Wembley Round 2 (1st leg) 6–0 Peterborough United Round 2 (2nd leg) 1–1 Peterborough United (Aston Villa win 7–1 on aggregate)

Round 3 2–0 Stockport County Round 4 1–0 Queens Park Rangers Quarter-final 1–0 Wolves Semi-final (1st leg) 2–2 Arsenal Semi-final (2nd leg) 0–0 Arsenal (2–2 on agg. Villa advance on Away Goals)

always looked more likely to add to their total than concede. They did with a minute to go. Milosevic made a break down the right before pulling the ball back to Yorke. The Trinidadian, overcoming his surprise at his partner passing inside the box, fired into the roof of the net.


Morley Tony

Villa’s wing wizard Tony Morley from the League Championship and European Cup winning side, gives his expert analysis on present Villa form exclusively for the Villa Times.

Expert Analysis with the Villa Legend

“Benteke grabs all the headlines and it’s hard to choose but for me it has to be Weimann. He’s come in and shown he’s enthusiastic, you know what you’re going to get off him. He’s done extremely well.” Best game? I have to say the West Ham game because they won it. They might have won ugly but it secured the three points. I saw them at Albion and I thought the first-half was the best I’d seen them play, very similar to Liverpool. They looked absolutely superb but once again lack of experience and they let two goals in. I said before the West Ham game I didn’t expect it to be a great game though I fancied Villa to win it.

Best performance of a player? Benteke for his goals, he’s one that will blow hot and cold. He’ll miss sitters but he’s also going to score spectacular goals. For a big lad he’s showing some great touches but you never know what to expect from him so you’ll always be on your feet. I was also pleased for the back four against West Ham because they’ve had some stick over the last few weeks and that day they were all absolutely magnificent, considering West Ham’s style of play. They all came out of it with flying colours. It’s not just defenders that stop the goals – it starts with the No 9.

Best save? Darren Bent last five minutes against West Ham when he cleared off the line. When it was cleared I said to Jack Woodward, “That’s going to win us the game!” That save was crucial, had it gone in, heads could’ve dropped, and then what? As it happens, we rallied and got the three points which was important.

Best player of the month? Benteke grabs all the headlines and it’s hard to choose but for me it has to be Weimann. He’s come in and shown he’s enthusiastic, you know what you’re going to get off him. He’s done extremely well.

Memorable moment? The second goal for Villa at West Brom, it was absolutely superb and a great team goal from a move that came from the back. I like seeing individual goals and players with a bit of flair but I get as much enjoyment when I see what I’d term a team goal. I thought our first-half performance overall at West Brom showed we are in a different league to them. thevillatimes.com Issue 5 17


Villa Managers with Adrian Nevett

At the age of 27, Taylor was the youngest person to become an FA coach. Following his retirement from playing, in1972 Graham became manager of Lincoln City Taylor leding Lincoln to the Fourth Division title in 1976, during which the Imps set the league records for most wins, fewest defeats and most points, in a time when 2 points were awarded for a win.

Graham

Here is a brief outlook on our 17th and 22nd Villa manager who went on to manage his country and came back to Villa for a second spell in charge.

18 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com

In 1977, the 32-year-old Taylor was hired to manage Watford (1977–1987) by new owner Elton John. He turned down an approach from First Division West Bromwich Albion in favour of the Fourth Division club, and then led Watford from the Football League Fourth Division to the First Division in only five years. In this first season in the Football League Fourth Division, Watford won the title at his first attempt during the 1977–78 season, losing only five of 46 games and winning the league by 11 points. In the Football League Third Division Taylor led Watford to another promotion, finishing second, and losing out on the title, by one point in the 1978–1979 season. Taylor's third and fourth seasons in the Football League’s Second Division were less successful. Finishing 18th. and 9th respectively. The 1981–1982 season, Watford achieved promotion, ending the season in 2nd place, and gaining 23 wins and 11 draws in 46 games. In the First Division with Taylor as manager, Watford gained its highest-ever victory (8–0 against Sunderland); this resulted in Watford finishing runners-up in the entire Football League. He then took the side to the

Ithird round of the UEFA Cup. Taylor also led Watford to the 1984 FA Cup Final, which Watford lost to Everton 2–0. In his final season, 1986–87, Watford finished ninth in the league and reached the FA Cup semi-finals, missing out on another Wembley appearance when they lost to Tottenham, their chances hardly helped by the fact that both of their first team goalkeepers were injured. In June 1987, Taylor left Watford for a new challenge at Aston Villa (1987–1990), who had just been relegated from the First Division. Taylor managed to take Aston Villa back to the top flight with his first attempt, securing their top flight safety in 1988–89 with a win on the final day of the league season. During his third season at the club Villa finished runners-up in the first division, having led the league table at several stages of the season before being overhauled in the final weeks by Liverpool. Following this success, Taylor accepted an offer to take over the England national football team from Bobby Robson, who left the job after England's world cup semi-final defeat to Germany. International management: England (1990–1993) Taylor’s England qualified for Euro ’92, which proved to


Taylor Ibe the high point of Taylor's tenure. England were drawn to face France, Denmark and hosts Sweden, they needed to beat hosts Sweden to advance to the semi-finals. During the game, after 60 minutes and with the score at 1–1, Taylor substituted Gary Lineker in his final game for England. They went on to lose 2- 1, England were eliminated. For the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States, England were drawn in Qualification Group 2. The group contained Norway, The Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and San Marino. England were expected to qualify along with the Dutch. Unfortunately this didn’t happen and Taylor resigned on 24 November 1993. He went 'with great sadness', saying: 'No one can gauge the depth of my personal disappointment at not qualifying for the World Cup.' There had been no question of him wanting to stay on, in any capacity. 'This is the appropriate course of action in the circumstances,' he said. 'If we didn't qualify, it was always my intention to offer my resignation.’ Return to club management Sir Jack Hayward appointed Taylor as manager of Wolves in March 1994, replacing Graham

Turner. But he took the Midlands club to fourth in Division One to qualify for the playoffs – their highest league finish since their last top division season 11 years earlier – where they lost out to Bolton Wanderers. They also reached the quarter finals of the FA Cup. However, the 1994–95 season proved to be his only full season at Molineux, as, after a poor start to the following campaign, winning just 4 from the 16 opening league games, he resigned in November 1995 due to overwhelming supporter pressure.

Graham with Elton John

In February 1996 Elton John, who had recently bought Watford for a second time, appointed Taylor as General Manager at Vicarage Road. Just over a year later Taylor had appointed himself as the club's manager succeeding Kenny Jackett, who was relegated to a coaching capacity at the club. He won the Division Two championship at his first attempt in 1998. The following season Taylor won the Division One Play-off Final, beating Bolton Wanderers 2–0 at Wembley, and with it promotion to the Premier league, where Watford were relegated after one season. Despite starting the following season well – unbeaten through the first fifteen league games and heading the table – Watford slumped to finish 9th in Division One. At this point Taylor decided to retire. During this final season Taylor had become only the third manager to manage 1,000 league games in England, after Brian Clough and Jim Smith. Taylor came out of retirement in February 2002 to return to his old job at Aston Villa, but retired for a second time after Villa finished the 2002–03 season in 16th place in the Premiership. He subsequently cited tensions in his relationship with the club's chairman Doug Ellis. thevillatimes.com Issue 5 19


Exclucive Interview

GARRY THOMPSON

G

The Villa Times meets up with the Villa legend to talk about his career and his time at Villa Park

arry Thompson was your typically old fashioned English centre-forward. Big and rugged, he led his line fearlessly and woe betide any centre-half who stood in his way to goal. Playing the majority of his football in the Midlands, notably with Coventry City and West Bromwich Albion (263 combined appearances, with a very impressive 94 goals scored) before a short spell at Sheffield Wednesday. Graham Turner snapped up Thompson on June 5th for a fee of £450,000. His goal return of seven in his first campaign for the claret and blue cause saw him finish second highest scorer to centre-half Allan Evans in a season where Villa’s midfield created very little for the forwards to feed off. The paltry figure of only 45 goals scored, combined with 79 conceded resulted in relegation. Thompson missed the last month of the season and would be out of action until November. His first match back for Villa was in the Valley Parade clash against League leaders Bradford City. ‘Thommo’ scored in Villa’s impressive 4-2 victory and went on to add another five to his tally in the next four games. His 11 league goals in only 24 appearances were pivotal in Villa achieving automatic promotion His impressive physique earned him the new

20 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com

nickname ‘Bruno,’ he may have only made 73 appearances in the claret and blue shirt, scoring 19 goals, in his two and a bit year spell at Villa Park but he endeared himself to the Villa faithful with his passionate and committed style. In season 1988/89 he found first team football limited and moved down to London where he had spells at Watford, Palace and QPR. Jaunts at Cardiff and finally Northampton signalled the end of a playing career that earned him six England U-21 appearances (three goals) but not the full cap his form so richly deserved. On hanging up his boots he took up coaching roles, caretaker and manager position’s within the game.

Questions What’s your most memorable game you played and why? The game most Villa fans talk to me about was the Small Heath match, we won 2-1 and I got both goals. For a Villa fan that was a great moment. The first time I felt the love at Villa, we drew 3-3 at Anfield, I played well, scored, and at the final whistle the travelling Villa fans gave us a standing ovation, fantastic support, which was how I remembered them from childhood. I remember the players ended up having a monster row after the game, because even though Liverpool were still a great

team, we led three times, and only managed a draw. What was your favourite goal you scored and why? My first goal against blues which was a diving header. Vince Overson tried to take my head off. Ron Wylie, my coach at Coventry City, was always driving me mad about putting my head in amongst flying boots, so to get a strikers goal in a Derby match was very satisfying. Who was the most influential magazine or coach for you, and why? Ron Wylie. He was my biggest critic but he made me the player I was. Dave Sexton also has to have a mention. He actually broke my game down, analysed it and built it back up. Dave explained things, making my understanding of the game easier. Both top coaches and great men. Who was the best player you played with? Derek Statham, a magnificent player who could do everything, he should have had loads more England caps. Another was Gordon Cowans, I knew he was a good player from watching him and playing against him, but when he came back from Italy and I played in the same side I was amazed how good he was. My boyhood hero


Watson looked like a roadie, but he was hard as granite. I never felt I got the better of him was Brian Little, but I have to say Sid was the best player I ever saw in a Villa shirt. Who was the hardest player you played against? Hardest player apart from Ken and Evo, (McNaught and Evans) who took it in turns to kick me round Villa Park, would have to be Dave Watson of Southampton and then Manchester City. With his long hair Watson looked like a roadie, but he was hard as granite. I never felt I got the better of him, the man was like rock. What the most funniest thing to happen to you in football and why? In the promotion year 1987/88, prior to home and away games Graham Taylor had us locked up in hotels. Alan McInally had got two birds to come to our room on one occasion and just as things were getting interesting there was a knock on the door. Jim Walker, the Villa physio, came into our room but we had hidden the birds in the bathroom behind the shower curtain. Jim sat down and made small talk for ages, we feigned tiredness and said we needed an early night. He said he would just use toilet before he left and it turned into a scene straight out of Fawlty Towers as he pulled open the curtain. He’d known they were there all along, and basically said unless we performed in the game tomorrow he’d have no choice but to tell the gaffer, which would have scuppered me as Graham was on me massively at time. Fortunately we beat hull 5-1. Who did you share with on away games? I shared a room with Rambo (McInally) and every time we were in a hotel he would strip off and run down the corridor banging on the doors. People would come out of their room’s to see a massive naked jock running down the corridor. It was a great ice breaker if any ladies were around as I would do the apologies.

As a fan I think we will avoid relegation (just) but the worrying thing is there doesn't seem to be a club ethos, which means next year we could well be in same boat again. You can't keep avoiding the bullet. Main picture: Garry in action in the 1986/87 season. Above: Garry with a Villa mascot on the front cover of the official programme.

I recently interviewed John Gidman and he said he was heartbroken to leave Villa we he did, how did you feel? I was gutted to leave the Villa but I needed to play regularly so it was inevitable. I didn't think the situation through though as I knew McInally was going to Bayern Munich so I should have stayed put. I would have backed myself against both Ian Ormondroyd and Tony Cascarino or any others that came in for that matter. The reality of it all didn't hit me until two days after I’d signed for Watford, as I was sat in a hotel room. I was devastated at what I'd done. What do you think of the current squad and manager? The current squad is a mish mash! There’s no real creativity and defenders are struggling at times with the most basic defending. We can score goals but every decent team can defend well and go from there. Villa have started being prudent in the transfer market, so it’s going to be a long, hard and painful road ahead. As a fan I think we will avoid relegation (just) but the worrying thing is there doesn't seem to be a club ethos, which means next year we could well be in same boat again. You can't keep avoiding the bullet. I think we have a decent manager but he needs time. I also feel we should have strengthened in the January transfer window. If the worst scenario happens and we go down, are our players mentally strong enough to cope with the expectation of having to win most weeks? They will be the team everyone in the Championship will want to beat. From the performances this year it makes me wonder! thevillatimes.com Issue 5 21


EVENTS

Save The Date Villa Events Coming Up

21st to 23rd June

International Lions Weekend The northern Ireland lions Aston villa supporters club are delighted to be hosting this prestigious event that sees villa fans worldwide descend on a venue for the weekend to reward villa fans from the excitement and stresses of another pressure filled season. We are expecting 300-500 villa fans from across Europe for an action packed weekend that kicks off on the Friday with a mini 5 a side tournament and sight seeing tour of the world famous Carrick castle from medieval times followed by an evening with Shaun Teale. The Saturday is the main day starting with the unique charity football match that kicks off at 1pm that is in aid of leukemia on behalf of our captain Stan Petrov. The game will be held at local stadium Taylor's avenue where fans play alongside ex players where an Irish lions team take on a rest of the world team. The two squads consist of 19 players with every player having 19 Petrov on their back. The Irish lions have this seasons home kit and the rest of the world team will have this seasons glow in the dark away kit which will all be keep sakes for the lucky person playing. You can apply to play in match by contacting NI lions chairman paul McCusker. Shaun Teale is managing a team and we already have league and European cup winners tony Morley and ken Mcnaught playing with two ex premier league villa players very close to being confirmed. The real fun begins after the game when we descend to the Ni lions meeting place the brown cow inn. We have a large beer garden and marquee as well as a pool table bar and restaurant exclusively for the event. The award ceremony will be followed by a barbecue then the villa players and guests participating in a q and a with live entertainment and villa karaoke with drinks promotions to keep the costs of the weekend down and a late license Aston villas tv station avtv will be in attendance along with the Ni lions club patron and villas award winning head groundsman jonny calderwood. The club has got a discounted deal for carrickfergus fanciest hotel the clarion which is renowned for its cooked breakfasts where the former villa players and majority of guests will be staying. The best part of the deal is you book now as it is filling at a fast rate and pay on arrival. All details are on our website www.northernirelandlions.co.uk which has details of the towns other hotels as well. The Sunday will be a more relaxed atmosphere we will have a lunchtime Barbecue back at the brown cow and you will have a chance to have a drink and a chat with the former players who will be attending until around 5 pm when the majority of people will be leaving for the airports. We have been very lucky with the price of flights as the usual plane over on the Friday morning returning on a Sunday night was rising to 130 return when the flights where nearly sold out but easyjet and flybe put extra flights on and at time of printing this you can get a return flight for 65. The purpose of the weekend is for villa fans to socialise have a bit of fun and raise money for a great cause when doing it and showing the world the class of villa fans especially when we are going through a rough time www.northernirelandlions.co.uk 22 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com

26th April

A Evening with Shaun Teale Fans the chance to spend the evening with Villa legend, Shaun Teale, Shaun played as a defender from 1988 until 2004 and was Key part of the League Cup-winning team of Aston Villa in ’94. Making over 147 appearances for Villa, scoring 2 goals whilst at Villa Park. Shaun went on to play for Bournemouth, Tranmere Rovers, Preston North End and Carlisle United, as well as playing in the Scottish Premier League for Motherwell. Held at the Hill & Cakemore Conservative Club, Long Lane, Halesowen, in what will be a great evening sponsored by Newey Construction Ltd, us Villa fans will be entertained by comedian Stephen Dodd, with a traditional fish and chips dinner. If you want to have a great evening and have the chance to meet the legendary Shaun Teale then please call 07834809204 or 07515 572027 for ticket availability, tickets are now on sale at £15 each. 15th March

Fosters Funny Comedy Night, Acorns Fundraiser Come and join us for a night of comedy in the Holte Suite. As well as raising money for Acorns on the evening guests will enjoy a basket meal, a pint of Heineken* and entertainment from Jonathan Mayor, Alex Boardman, Barry Dodds and Steve Shanyaski. Tickets £15 (Inclusive of entrance, a basket meal and a pint of Heineken, for tickets call 0800 612 0950 to book or book online at www.avfc.co.uk www.avhe.co.uk 30th April

AVFC Golf Day at The Belfry Join us for the famous Aston Villa golf day and celebratory dinner at the Belfry. Enter your team and play alongside Villa’s first-team stars on the Brabazon course. There will be prizes awarded for the longest drive and a four-course dinner to follow the day’s golfing. Package Pricing are £925 per team and a Individual place is £250, to book please call 0800 612 0960 or visit www.avhe.co.uk www.avhe.co.uk


A I L I B A R O M E M

Midlands

N VILLA OF ASTO ott ECTION L li n A b b ticity o SE C ST � E of authen A. T N A E E SE R G R and AVFP certificate E E “TH me with a emorabilia I HAVE EV IA lla items co e from Midlands M IL Vi B n A to R As All tativ en es M EM O pr re a signed by

bilia..... s Memora Midland lished

tab a well-es growing and fast- gham Birmin company orts ing in sp specialis bilia memora

grammes Signed Pro s le Collectab s ift G y lt ve No D's s Book VD's & C Videos, D Records, s ress Photo Original P rs e rt o Supp

r looking fo s or are n io il st a e m u e please ve any q n't find, one If you ha g you ca om or ph somethin smemorabilia.c d lan info@mid . d to help delighte e b l il w and we

01 2 1 3 27

?

64 4 9

om orabilia.c m e m s d n la www.mid

We train you and put up on the first step to your career in football......

We train you in the following:

- Media Planning - Brand Development Are you interested in a career in - Graphic & Web Design football media and would like more - Sales & Marketing - Journalism - Photography - Video Media Contact us at info@fansunitedcollege.com - Social Media for more information and course dates

training

www.fansunitedcollege.com Visit us at

thevillatimes.com Issue 5 23


THE SEASON OF 1987/88

The Villa strikeforce was also of serious concern and would be drastically overhauled. Scot Andy Gray who had been a revelation in claret and blue in his first term had never replicated his prowess in front of goal the second time round

A

ston Villa found themselves relegated to the second tier of English football for only the fourth time in their 114 year existence. At that point they were the second most successful club side in the country, their haul of 18 trophies pipped only by Liverpool. Graham Taylor was drafted in May ’87 with the expectancy of gaining promotion, which was a tall order bearing in mind his initial reaction was that the club was a shambles. Graham Turner had overseen the opening six matches of that relegation campaign before being sacked the day after Villa’s 6-0 capitulation at the City Ground and then Billy McNeill had been in charge for the remainder of last season in which Villa achieved only eight wins. It was indeed a mess. Taylor wasted no time in shipping out the bulk of the defence that had leaked 79 goals, out went Elliott, Dorigo and European Cup winner Williams. Kevin Gage, Steve Sims and Villa trainee Bernie Gallacher, who had debuted in the final game of the

By Colin J Abbott 86/87 campaign were bought in to work alongside Keown and Evans. The Villa strikeforce was also of serious concern and would be drastically overhauled. Scot Andy Gray who had been a revelation in claret and blue in his first term had never replicated his prowess in front of goal the second time round – two goals in 22 appearances last season perfectly illustrated the fact. Simon Stainrod was given four games under Taylor and were ultimately his last. In came a big Scottish centreforward from Celtic, Alan McInally to mix it alongside Garry Thomson and McNeill’s solitary signing Warren Aspinall. The Villa failed to register a win in their first four games including a bitter 2-0 defeat at the hands of Birmingham City, Villa were sitting 20th and looking more like relegation candidates than promotion hopefuls. Their first win arrived at Leicester with new boy Mark Lillis and another Mark, Walters, grabbing the goals. Another loss at home to Boro followed by a 0-0 v Barnsley, Villa Park stalemate and Aston Villa were up

a place to 19th. Whatever Taylor put in their tea prior to the derby game at The Hawthorns had a dramatic effect. His charges then went on an unbeaten spell of 14 matches, not only had Villa progressed to the 4th round of the League cup at the expense of both Middlesbrough and First Division side Spurs, they had finally managed a league win in front of their home fans at the eighth time of asking against Crystal Palace. Villa’s first defeat to end this amazing sequence was a 1-2 loss at home to Millwall. Taylor’s men’s reaction? They showed they had mettle by winning the next four league matches. A 1-0 result on Oldham’s plastic, McInally hitting his first league goal. Villa’s defeat at home to Sheff Wed in the league cup meant promotion received their undivided attention. A sensational 4-2 win at Valley Parade against league leaders Bradford City, Stuart Gray and Andy Gray both debuted in the game with Stuart bagging a brace. Thomson affectionately known as Bruno also found the net in the Bradford win to follow his effort

Whatever Taylor put in their tea prior to the derby game at The Hawthorns had a dramatic effect. 24 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com


History with Colin Abbott against the Owls and continued his scoring form hitting two in both the 2-1 win v Swindon and then the 2-1 victory at St Andrews. Villa’s climb up the table was nothing short of meteoric, in less than 20 matches they had gone from a relegation berth to third in the table. Draws at home to WBA and away to Sheff Utd where followed by a 1-1 draw against relegation placed Huddersfield, at this game there was a police announcement saying a coded message had been received, a bomb was suspected of being planted within the stadium and all exits were opened forthwith – from on the Holte End I saw nobody leave the ground! On New Years day Villa trounced Hull 5-0 at home to go top of the pile. Five straight league victories meant they consolidated their place at the summit from Blackburn Rovers by four points. Before January had ended so too Villa’s participation in the FA Cup. A slim defeat at Ayresome Park was followed by a 2-3 loss at Blackburn where new Villa boy David Platt from Crewe debuted and also got his name on the score-

sheet. Platt scored in both the following matches, which yielded maximum points. It was tight at the top Villa were back in the driving seat with Blackburn closely chased by Millwall but Villa’s home form of only seven wins from 13 was cause for concern.

The Villa defence had stood tall and proud boasting the second tightest in the division, conceding only 41 goals while at the other end they had found the target on 68 occasions A win at Reading - which would be their last on the road - made up for the Villa Park defeat against Leeds but then three straight losses and a single

point at Palace meant Villa were down to fourth. Crucial home wins against Shrewsbury and Bradford both by 1-0 meant Villa went into the last game away to Swindon knowing their fate wasn’t in their own hands. Millwall had already secured automatic promotion. 2nd placed Boro were home to Leicester and Bradford hosted Ipswich. Villa could only manage a 0-0 at Swindon’s County Ground but as news filtered through from Valley Parade and Ayresome Park that the visitors had triumphed the realization was that Graham Taylor had managed Aston Villa to the promotion that was expected of him. Villa went up in the last automatic place by virtue of having scored five more goals than Middlesbrough, both sides had the same goal difference of 27 – unbelievable. The Villa defence had stood tall and proud boasting the second tightest in the division, conceding only 41 goals while at the other end they had found the target on 68 occasions with both Aspinall and Thompson reaching double figures. A lot can happen in a year.

Platt scored in both the following matches, which yielded maximum points. It was tight at the top Villa were back in the driving seat with Blackburn closely chased by Millwall

Alan McInally

Steve Sims

Garry Thompson

Martin Keown thevillatimes.com Issue 5 25


Picture of the Month

A EVENING WITH THE LEGENDS The Boot Inn, Sutton Coldfield, hosted Villa Legends, Ken McNaught, Tony Morley and Gary Shaw. The night, hosted by Danny Brown, as also attacted Villa Legend Gordon Cowans as well as Villa fans from far and wide. Picture shows, Gordon Cowans having a chat with Danny with former team mate, Tony Morley, looking on. Picture of the Month by Joe Merchant


AWAY TRAVEL

A

Manchester Utd experimented last season for the Aston Villa game, in housing the away fans in a different part of the stadium. way supporters are normally located in one corner of the ground, taking up part of the East and South stands. The view from the away sections are excellent and up to 3,000 away supporters can be accommodated. Entrance into the stadium is gained by first being searched by a steward and then placing your ticket into an electronic bar code reader. It is then up a few flights of rather steep stairs to the concourse. Although the concourse looks a little cramped, it is adequate and there seems to be enough food and drinks outlets that the queues never seem to get too long. These sell a range of pies and other refreshments, plus normally alcohol is available in the form of bottles of Budweiser and cans of Tetley beer. At the far end of the concourse is a large flat screen television showing Sky Sports. I don't know whether it is the American influence at Old Trafford, but I noticed on my last visit that after buying food or drink, that the attendant

April 22nd, Old Trafford, Manchester Utd 28 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com

results in most away fans standing throughout the game. The good thing though, is that the away fans can really make some noise from this part of the stadium. The Club experimented last season for the Aston Villa game, in housing the away fans in a different part of the stadium. This was in the very top tier of the North Stand towards the Stretford End (area NT3). I wouldn't be surprised if away fans end up in there for the 2012/13 season, as the move will part nullify the presence of away fans and allow more desirable seats in the South East corner to be given to home fans. Although the facilities are fine in this area, you can feel a bit 'cut off' from the rest of the stadium up there as the roof above comes down so low that you are unable to see much of the rest of the stadium. As you probably know Old Trafford is billed as the 'Theatre Of Dreams' and is certainly one of the best grounds in the country. However, if you have never been there before, be prepared to be a little disappointed, as the reality will probably not meet your pre-conceived expectations. Getting tickets for Man Utd home games is pretty difficult even if you

are a member of the club, so make sure you have tickets before you travel.

Where To Drink The three pubs nearest the ground (The Trafford, Sam Platts and The Bishops Blaize) generally won't let you in if you wear away colours. The best bet is probably the city centre or along one of the stops on the Metrolink. On my last couple of visits I have drank at the Quadrant pub which had a mixture of home and away fans and a couple of handy Chinese/Chippies nearby. The pub is about a 10-15 minute walk away from Old Trafford, in the direction of the Cricket Ground (see Directions & Parking for more info). There is also the Lime Bar in nearby Salford Quays. Good beer, quick service and good mix of home and away supporters'. Away fans are okay to drink in the Bridge at Sale. It is two stops from Old Trafford on the Metro (about eight minutes journey time)'. Alternatively alcohol is normally served within the ground, although for some high profile games the Club opt not to sell any.


April 6th, Britannia Stadium, Stoke City

The stadium is quite high up in an exposed position and the open corners can mean that a cold wind can whip through the stadium Where To Drink? Next to the stadium is a Holiday Inn and a Harvester Pub/Restaurant that do allow in away fans. You can also park at the Harvester itself for a cost of ÂŁ3. A bit further away on Dennis Viollett Road (off Sir Stanley Matthews Way) is a Power League complex that also has a bar, which also allows in away supporters, shows SKY television and you can even park in their car park for ÂŁ4.50. Otherwise alcohol is available on the concourses at the back of the away end, but queues can be lengthy, especially if there is a big support.

Away fans are housed on one side (towards the Players Tunnel and Main Stand) of the Marstons Pedigree (South) Stand at one end of the ground, where around 2,800 supporters can be accommodated. This stand is shared with home fans on the other side. At first I was quite perturbed by a large sign advising fans that persistent standing would result in ejection from the ground, however the facilities and view of the action from this stand are good. The concourse is adequate and there is a large choice of refreshments available such as Wrights pies, sausage rolls, cheeseburgers, rollover hot dogs and chips. Alcohol is also available in the form of Carlsberg lager (bottle), Bitter (pint), Strongbow cider (can) and Smirnoff Ice (bottle). The stadium is quite high up in an exposed position and the open corners can mean that a cold wind can whip through the stadium, so bear this in mind, especially in the winter months. I thought the inside of the stadium was quite disappointing being rather bland and lacking character, although I'm sure that this can be developed in time. Listen out though for the Stoke anthem 'Delilah' being sung by the home fans, they can still give a great rendition of that Tom Jones classic song. It is also worth bearing mind though that the Stoke fans are passionate about their club and this can make for an intimidating atmosphere, so it is best to keep colours covered around the ground. Don't be surprised if you are kept in after the game, in a fenced off compound to the rear of the away stand, whilst the Stoke fans are allowed to disperse. thevillatimes.com Issue 5 29


Acorns Day is back!

Saturday 16th March Join us to kick off the fundraising fun as Villa take on QPR in what will be a thrilling day in aid of Acorns Children’s Hospice. Last year, with your help we raised over £50,000; and this year we’re aiming to do the same. Activities on the day include: • A chance to win a fantastic Fiat 500 • Fabulous family fun day • A raffle to win a family trip to Legoland Windsor, and much more!

Check out our special eBay auction for loads of money can’t buy experiences and memorabilia!

For more information, visit www.acorns.org.uk/acornsday Or to book tickets, www.avfc.co.uk Visit www.facebook.com/acornschildrenshospice and click the ‘like’ button to become a fan.

www.twitter.com/acornshospice

Registered charity no. 700859 Registered office: Drakes Court, Alcester Road, Wythall, Birmingham B47 6JR. Tel. 01564 825000


Exclusive Interview

We meet up with the Irish and Hollywood star, to talk about his love for Villa, Paul Lambert There are not many big-name stars Brendan Gleeson hasn't acted alongside. Familiar to many as playing professor Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody in three movies in the Harry Potter film franchise, the Irish star has also made a name for himself appearing alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz and Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York and with Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes in 2008 comedy-drama In Bruges. But beneath the exterior of his characters lies a 57-year-old man more crazy about Aston Villa FC than 'Mad-Eye' Moody is mad. Although he wasn't born a Villan, it only took him until the age of 13 to realise which football team he should be following and he now bleeds claret and blue. While Brendan is unable to get to many matches nowadays due to his busy filming commitments – he is currently lending his voice to The Smurfs 2 alongside Modern Family star Sofia Vergara, Glee actress Jayma Mays and How I Met Your Mother's Neil Patrick Harris - he can still be thevillatimes.com Issue 5 31


Brendan Gleeson in the hit movie The Guard 32 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com


Celebrity Interview

It was a great time to be Irish, though. For all the craic, those guys were serious footballers, and serious heroes. found screaming at TV sets around the world cheering who was also in The Guard and Oliver, of course, and I home from filming? on the boys. believe there's a young fella called Hanks over in AmerNah. Too old! And he's well up for the craic when it comes ica, somewhere. to Villa, revealing he had some great banter with fellow Villa Times writer James Leyfield interVilla fans Oliver Phelps – whose twin brother James supHave you ever thought about doing a ports Birmingham City – and his son Domhnall Gleeson, viewed your son Brian recently (who is football film (comedy) based on Jack a Man United fan, what happened on the set of Harry Potter when the trio were all portraying Weasley brothers. there Brendan?) and he said you made Charlton’s time as the Republic of IreHe spoke exclusively to The Villa Times him cry when Villa beat Man United in land manager, the road to World Cup about his favourite ever Villa moment, his attempts to 90. With characters and stories of Jack watch Villa as far afield as Panama, and why great times the 1994 League Cup final with your and Villa Legend Paul McGrath being at the club are that much sweeter because they do not winning celebrations. Was that one of locked in a guarded room, which also happen every day. your all time favourite Villa games? If

Interview Do you believe in the Villa fans saying that you are "born a Villa fan"? If it's true I must have been born at the age of 13. That's when I became a Villa fan. I didn't follow any team and after pulling Villa out of a hat for an FA Cup draw, I did a bit of research and decided they were my team. The following year they got relegated into the Third Division! Didn't put me off, though. Can you be born "a Villa fan waiting to happen"?

What is the earliest match your remember? Can't remember! I had trouble following them in the early years because I started when they were in Division Two and the next thing they were in Division Three which made things doubly hard to access from Ireland. Mostly I remember Andy Lochhead and Brian Tiler pictures on the wall and fixture lists and Goal magazine. Trying to pick up BBC Wales to hear the results. "Fan" meant more "fantasy" more than "fanatic", I'm afraid. It's still a bit like that, in that I don't get to matches very often. But it's easier now to stay informed. I follow them all the time and shout at a lot of televisions.

Have you ever visited Villa Park for any games? If so, which game was it? The first time was around 1997 I think, when I saw them beat Middlesbrough 1-0. Dwight Yorke was superb. So was Villa Park.

Have you any funny stories connected to the Villa? More tragic, really.

Who was your favourite Villa manager? Martin O'Neill. I think Paul Lambert is going to be smashing for us, too, though.

There is a large number of Villa Lions clubs in Ireland, the largest being in Dublin. Do you ever go down to Murrays Bar, O'Connell St (Irish Lions base) when you get a chance to go

not, which game was? Apart from Bayern in 1982, that WAS my favourite Villa game till I was reminded of my cruelty to my son. By my son.

happened at Villa, I think it would be a brilliant movie - what do you think? I haven't thought about it but it sounds like you have! I did a football movie called Studs a few years ago so I can't see myself doing another one for the forseeable.

You stared in the Harry Porter series It was a great time to be Irish, though. For all the craic, with twin actors James and Oliver those guys were serious footballers, and serious heroes. Phelps, Oliver being a Villa fan and Have you ever met any Villa Players? James a Birmingham City fan - was there any craic during the filming over I met Ray Houghton at a function before the Irish play-off Blues and Villa and did you and Oliver qualifier against Holland where Roy Keane nearly made Marc Overmars the first Dutchman in space (over Mars) give James any stick for being a Blue and sent us to the World Cup finals. Brilliant night. Ray Nose? was great and we chatted about Villa for a good bit. UnI didn't have too many scenes with the Phelps lads, but my son, Domhnall, was also a Weasley and is also a Villa fan, so I think there was a bit of a laugh going on there alright. To be honest, I think it's a bit daft for someone like me, who doesn't live in Birmingham, to get too wound up about Birmingham City. I'd prefer Villa to win than the Blues to lose.

known to me I was expected to tell a few funny stories at the function but as I've said, I'm rubbish at funny stories. Embarrassing. Still, it was a great night. Following Ireland can call for patience at times, as can following Villa, but when the good times come they're all the sweeter for it. I love that.

You work very hard, and I must say I have watched all your movies, recently The Guard for the third time and it has me in stitches. Thanks!

Do you hope to visit Villa Park soon for a match? Maybe. I find it hard to plan anything the way I work. I never know where I'm going to be.

You work and film all over the world, do you get a chance to watch any matches or follow the team while on location? If so, have you any funny stories? I always try to catch the games. Some places are easier than others. Locations like Canada are handy enough. Panama, not so much. I'm rubbish at funny stories, sorry.

Do you know any other actors that are Villa fans? My Domhnall and Pauline McLynn and Rory Keenan

Above: Brendan’s son Domhnall Gleeson, a fellow Villa star and hollywood actor

thevillatimes.com Issue 5 33


Gibson

A Interview With

N atalie

Centre Forward - Aston Villa Ladies

Natalie Gibson has the ability to adapt to any situation. The 25year-old can play in midfield or up front. She has great passing range, immense vision and an immaculate first touch.She also has a real eye for goal. Natalie has been at Villa for 16 years and graduated through the club's girls centre of excellence.

Quick Questions Favourite Villa Player? Benteke Favourite Music? 80’s 90’s the classics Favourite Food? Roast Lamb Dinner with mint sauce Favourite Movies? Dirty Dancing The Hangover Favourite Holiday destination? Anywhere Sunny with a nice beach Favourite Pass time? chilling with friends Taking the dog for long walks

Natalie with team mates

What was it like to sign for Aston Villa ? It was on honor and a proud moment

Was it a ambition of yours to play for Aston Villa? Yes as a child I was a big Villa fan and always dreamt of putting on a villa shirt and playing for them, so when I started to play for them it was a dream come true

How has Aston Villa progress with in Ladies football since you have joined? It has grown season by season and we are now playing in the highest league that we can at the moment, it also helps with the young talent that we have coming through the centre of excellence system, there are some great players in there that are just adding to the experience that we have in the team Juan Pablo Angel in action

What is your most proudest moment of being a Aston Villa player? My most proudest moment whist playing for villa would have to be when we won the league to get promoted into the premier and we also won the county cup that season, so it was a great season and I was proud to be a part of the team

Favourite Aston Villa player? My all time favorite villa player was Juan Pablo angel, I just loved the way he played. My current favourite villa player would have to be Benteke, at times he is unplayable

What is your memorable game you have played in? My most memorable game I played in would have to be when I made my first team debut, it was away to Doncaster belles, I started the game and scored, which made the game even more memorable

Do you and your team mate hang out together? Natalie in action

34 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com

Yeah we go out quite a bit and get on really, we have a good laugh every time we go out and the banters always flying


Around The Ground Andrew Ullah first visited Villa Park in May 1967, along with brothers Alan and John. VillaUllah lost 2-4first to Everton that day and would relegated but it Andrew visited Villa Parkbein didn’t matter to a young and impressionable boy, he was hooked. Aston May 1967, with and Ullah sibling Villa Football Clubalong have that effect,brothers John and RayAlan - yet another John. Villa lost 2-4 to Everton that day - are season tickets holders since the early ’70’s and ’85ish respectively. From day onbe the relegated boys would walkbut down Villa Parkmatand collect autoand that would ittodidn’t graphs as the players finished training, Andrew was allowed ter to a young and impressionable boy,to carry fullback Keith Bradley’s bag across the carpark, “Something I’ll never forget, hemade wasmehooked. Aston Football Club he feel ‘ten foot’ tall that Villa day, meeting new boss Tommy have that effect, John and Ray yet anDocherty was special too.” Pocketsibling money was to get into occasional other Ullah - saved are season tickets matches and the Third Division are early remembered the famous Man holders sincedays the ’70’sfondly. andNotably ’85ish Utd 1971 League Cup semi-final victory beating George Best & Co, Sanrespectively. tos with Pele and the top of the table clash with Bournemouth - where allFromLochhead that day scored on thethe boys would walk down to others. time hero Andy winner standing out above Villa Park the players Gay finished train-in May ’72, Andy’s firstand evercollect away autographs game was atasShrewsbury’s Meadow ing, Andrew was allowed to outnumbered carry full-backthe Keith Bradley’s “Villa took thousand’s and we home side that day, in fact bag did across the carpark, “Something never forget, he third!” we everywhere we went for thoseI’lltwo seasons in the made me feel foot’ tall that day, and meeting new boss more matches On ‘ten leaving school in 1974 earning a wage Tommy Docherty special too.”the League Cup Final win at Wembwere watched than was missed including Pocket money was saved getwins into towards occasional ley against Norwich City, and then vital to away the end of the matches and the Third are remembered campaign, Blackpool 3-0,Division as well asdays witnessing Villa’s guaranteed return to fondly. famous Man 1971 League Cup the top Notably flight withthe a resounding 4-0Utd victory at Hillsborough. semi-final victory beating George Best &the Co, Santos with Ray Graydon’s goal to secure League Cup meant Aston Pele stepping and the into top European of the table clash withfor Bournemouth - the club’s hisVilla competition the first time in where all-time Andy Lochhead the winner tory. The historichero match Belgian match scored in September 1975, against Royal standing out aboveto others. Andy’s away gamewith wasthe Antwerp happened be Andy’s firstfirst trip ever abroad, “I went at Shrewsbury’s Meadow Mayinto ’72,Europe “Villa took thou-We traveller’s club andGay it was special in going with Villa. sand’s and we the inhome side that fact had a great time,outnumbered the result wasn’t our favour andday, wheninRay we did everywhere wentgoal for in those twodefeat seasons in the (Graydon) scored ourwe solitary the 1-4 you’d have third!” we had won the noise we made. thought On leaving school in 1974 and earning a wage Andy had since added two more foreign trips to his more matches were missed including matches attended list, watched Anderlechtthan in the European Cup the semi-final League Final win glory at Wembley against–Norwich City,played and thenCup the crowning of club football the Final itself and on then vital away wins towards thewhere end of the campaign, out a balmy evening in Rotterdam underdogs Villa siBlackpool as well as witnessing Villa’s “That guaranteed lenced the 3-0, German masters Bayern Munich, has to return be one of to the flight with a resounding 4-0 victory at Hillsborthe besttop moments of my life!” ough. job is with Birmingham Council and a colleague also worked Andy’s goal he to secure the as League Cup at Villa Park.Ray WithGraydon’s being a fanatic fancied this well and after meantsuccessfully Aston Villainterviewed stepping into competition forby Lee being for European a turnstile operative’s role the first–time in the club’s history. The historic Belgian Preece Football Operations/Project Manager at match Aston Villa - he match in September against Antwerp was taken on in 2002.1975, I had the goodRoyal fortune to meethappened Andy a few to be ago Andy’s first trip abroad, “I went with traveller’s years when Charlie Aitken introduced methe to him. After bumpclubinto andhim it was specialVilla going Europe with Villa. We ing at certain Parkinto events, (Andy regularly takeshad leave a great thejob result wasn’t in Villa, our favour and from histime, council to help out at whether it’swhen family Ray themed (Graydon) scored solitary goalproud in thehistory-bright 1-4 defeat you’d day’s, assisting with our handing out the future have thought we had the noise wedays, made. scarves, semi-final flags won or Aston heritage he say’s its an honAndy had sincea added twoI more foreign to our to give service to such great club) listed his nametrips as Andy his matches attended in thehasEuropean Cupto admit, Andy Turnstile in my phone, list, sinceAnderlecht then the name stuck. I have to semi-final then theNigel crowning glory club football hear Jimmyand MacEwan, Sims and RonofWylie all refer –tothe Andy as Mr Final itselfatplayed out on a balmy evening Rotterdam Turnstile our recent ‘In Safe Hands’ book in launch, it did put a whereonunderdogs smile my face. Villa silenced the German masters Bayern Munich, “That to bloke, be onevery of the best moments of my Villa He’shas a top knowledgeable on Aston life!”above all he will go out of his way to help people. and Andy’s job is with Birmingham Council and a colleague also worked at Villa Park. With being a fanatic he fancied this as well and after being successfully interviewed for a turnstile operative’s role by Lee Preece – Football Operations/Project Manager at Aston Villa - he was taken on in 2002. I had the good fortune to meet Andy a few years ago when Charlie Aitken introduced me to him. After bumping into him at certain Villa Park events, (Andy regularly takes leave from his council job to help out at Villa, whether it’s family themed day’s, assisting with handing out the proud history-bright future scarves, semi-final flags or Aston heritage days, he say’s its an honour to give service to such a great club) I listed his name as Andy Turnstile in my phone, since then the name has stuck. I have to admit, to hear Jimmy MacEwan, Nigel Sims and Ron Wylie all refer to Andy as Mr Turnstile at our recent ‘In Safe Hands’ book launch, it did put a smile on my face. He’s a top bloke, very knowledgeable on Aston Villa and above all he will go out of his way to help people.

36 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com

with Colin Abbott and some Villa Legends

Charlie Aitken with Andy


J Leyfield ames

Villa Showbiz News

Mad Villa fan James is TV Editor at showbiz news agency BANG Showbiz, who he joined as showbiz reporter in 2011. His diverse music taste – ranging from Slipknot to Taylor Swift, with a bit of N-Dubz thrown in – is the envy of his colleagues. When he's not stalking Caroline Flack, he's reading about what Tulisa and Taylor have been up to and longing for the day NDubz and B*Witched get back together. Follow him on Twitter @JamesJourn

Gary Gardner's Gavin a laugh

It is great to see our talented midfielder star Gary Gardner has been using his time out injured wisely. Not only has he been hammering it in the gym in a bid to recover as quickly as possible from his serious knee injury, he recently helped boxer Frankie Gavin defend his British welterweight title. We all know what springs to mind when we talk about a Villa man helping out in a big fight, so perhaps we should get Gardner to give the lads a pep talk before each of our remaining games as we prepare to take on an even bigger challenge than Gavin's? Banter seems to be with the key if we are taking tips from Gavin's grapple, so get Gardner in the changing rooms to crack a few gags before the game and all our problems will be solved, right? Probably not, but it worked for the 27-year-old fighter. Gavin told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “Since Gary has been injured, he has been able to pop up to the gym more. It is good to have fellow professionals around you. They know the things to say when you are training. Gary has been quite badly injured but he has gone on the bike with me occasionally. “It is nice to have someone to talk to. We also The Football Association is getting on a bit have a bit of banter on Twitter." – it was their 150th birthday the other While Gardner loves having a bit of friendly Twitday. And it was superb to see FA Presiter banter with Gavin – who defeated Jason Weldent Prince William praising the organisa- born to defend his title – the boxer doesn't always tion "as a supporter of" his beloved Aston get such an easy ride on the social networking site, Villa and our great nation. or perhaps this is the result of our midfielder's jestIn an open letter which marked 150 years ing? of the FA, William said: "Like you, I am a He added: “People say I am fat and lazy and I can’t football fan. I have loved the game from a punch but they haven’t been in the gym with me – very young age - as a player with my nearly everyone I have boxed has hit the canvas.” friends, and as a supporter of club and So while we hope Hall Green gym – where Gardcountry. ner, Gavin and Gary's brother Craig, who we no "I consider it a huge honour to lead The longer talk about, regularly train – will be the FA - it is an organisation which reaches source of a quick recovery for the 20-year-old every community, bringing the simplest star, Gavin has no doubts Gardner has the perfect enjoyment to people of all ages and all attitude. abilities. The boxer explained: “Gary has a good head on "Over 150 years, football has become his shoulders and good family around him. He part of the very fabric of our society and I knows what he has to do and lives the right life.” hope the year ahead will allow us to celebrate every aspect of this great game." William – who has been president of the FA since 2006 – was also full of praise for Ritchie Neville is in shock about Villa's current form. the organisation's new training complex at The 5ive singer – who has reformed the boy band for ITV2 show The St. George's Park, which he opened in Big Reunion – is devastated to see how his boyhood team have been October last year along with his wife, playing this season, and while he is as concerned as the rest of us about Duchess Catherine, and Wembley Stathe possibility of relegation, the 33-year-old star is confident Paul Lambert dium. can lead us to safety. He added: "Our flagship facilities at St. The Solihull-born singer exclusively told showbiz news agency BANG George’s Park and Wembley Stadium are Showbiz: "I can’t believe it about Villa. It's a shame but hopefully they will the inspirational homes of 24 England OK." teams and world leading coach education Ritchie – who has been living in Australia for the last few years – is even facilities. planning a trip to Villa Park to give the lads some support. And we are all "My hope is that our 150th year really praying he isn't watching Championship football next year. shines a light on all of this great work." Speaking in his new Aussie accent, he added: "I'm going to try to get to a It's just a shame he won't be watching us game next time I’m back. Give them a bit of support." in a Wembley final this year!

Villa fan Wills wishes FA a Happy 150th Birthday

5ive star in Villa shock

thevillatimes.com Issue 5 37


C

S

As

H C T A YM

2013 l i r p , 28 A y a d un

T I R A H

In Aid

Ho en's r d l i Ch gham n i m r of Bi

l spita

s d n e Leg & XI s a n l l o i i l a L Vs Bez VCentre Club l i V ton , ields m .3 0 p K/O 2 es by c an pper Naught , ial A c Spec s, Ken M h More n u c bought a M w o o n C r l e y, a nkdets can be 5803 or d r o G Mo e)Tic 2 20 T o n y nder 12s fre on 0751 tmail.com

l; @ho .00 (U t, Te derm es ÂŁ5 rmot t pric an McDe il seanmc e k ic a T Se by Em from

38 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com

f d Holly acre Roa d Woo ton, g i Erd n gham, in m Bir JT 0 B 24


MY XI 2. Olof Mellberg Career: 2001-2008 Appearances: 263 Goals: 8 Arriving from Spain in the summer of 2001, Mellberg made an outstanding debut in an opening day goalless draw at Tottenham and remained a dominant figure in Villa's defence for the next seven seasons, rarely making a mistake. Olof arranged for every one of the 3,200 who made the trip to West Ham for his farewell match to be presented with a replica shirt as his parting gift. It was the central defender's way of thanking the fans for the backing they had given him throughout his time at Villa Park. David O’Leary dropped for the opening game of the 2003-04 season at Portsmouth, but new manager quickly realised the error of his ways, reinstating Mellberg and appointing him captain, Villa that year went on to finish sixth. A commanding centre back, Olof was a comfortable right-back, a position he occupied during his final season. He was also known for them vital goals, and he became the first player to score a competitive goal at the Emirates Stadium when Villa drew 1-1 with Arsenal in the opening match of 2006-07.

VILLA TIMES EDITOR PETER BRENNAN PICKS OUT 11 NOTEWORTHY VILLA LEGENDS

1. Nigel Spink Career: 1977-1996 Appearances: 460 Nigel made more appearances for Villa than any other goalkeeper, making over 460 games for the club in a career spanning over 19 years and being Villa's first choice keeper in the club's first-ever Premier League season. Nigel will always be remembered for his inspired performance, when he came on as a substitute for the injured Jimmy Rimmer in the European Cup final, Less than 10 minutes into the game, Rimmer was forced to go off with injury and it looked bleak for Villa as the regular number one was replaced by a player who had only one first team appearance to his name. But Nigel became the hero of Rotterdam with a range brilliant saves which denied favourites Bayern Munich before Peter Withe bagging the winning goal. He also helped Villa to victory over Barcelona in the 1983 European Super Cup as well as making a substitute appearance for England on the tour of Australia in 1983. Nigel’s final appearance for Villa was as an outfield player when he replaced injured Ian Taylor in the last minute of a 1-0 defeat away to QPR in December 1995. Not long after he joined West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer, bringing to an end a magnificent 19-year Villa career. After retiring from playing, he went on to coach at West Bromwich Albion, then after a brief spell as manager of Forest Green Rovers, he went on to work under Steve Bruce at Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and Sunderland as a goalkeeping coach. He left Sunderland on 6 December 2011, following Bruce's dismissal a few days earlier and is now goalkeeper coach at Bristol City.

3. Alan Wright Career: 1995-2003 Appearances: 329 Goals: 5 Alan joined Villa from Blackburn Rovers for £900,000 just before the 1995 transfer deadline, to become a member of an elite band of players to have played more than 300 games for Villa, two of them cup finals. A steady full-back, he was in the side which beat Leeds United 3-0 in the 1996 League Cup final and was back at Wembley in 2000 for the last FA Cup final to be played at the old stadium in a 1-0 defeat by Chelsea. Apart from two Wembley visits, there was also an FA Cup semi-final in 1996 and a League Cup semi-final in 2000 and numerous ventures into Europe. Alan went on to play Middlesbrough, Sheffield Utd, Cheltenham Town, Fleetwood Town before finishing his playing career at Northwich Victoria, going on to be appointed Assistant Manager at Northwich in February 2012. Alan went on to manage Victoria later in 2012 before being replaced by Lee Ashcroft.

Have a look at the others I picked thevillatimes.com Issue 5 39


6. Gordon Cowans Career: 1974-1985, 1988-1991, 1993-1994 Appearances: 527 Goals: 59

4. Gareth Southgate Career: 1995-2001 Appearances: 242 Goals: 9 Gareth joined Villa from Crystal Palace in 1995, briefly having the distinction of being the club's record signing before his £2.5m was surpassed by a £3.5m outlay for Savo Milosevic the following week. He arrived as a midfielder but by the start of the season he had been converted to a central defender, a move that would to prove beneficial to both club and country. Lining up beside Paul McGrath and Ugo Ehiogu in a three-man defence, and that trio provided the backbone to a successful campaign, with Villa finishing fourth in the Premiership, reaching the FA cup semi-finals and winning the League Cup with an 3-0 Wembley victory over Leeds United. He also won the first of his 57 England caps that season and was a key figure in England's run to the semi-finals of the European Championships before his weak penalty against Germany ended hopes of the nation's first major triumph since the 1966 World Cup. It was a blow from which Southgate quickly recovered and his form over the coming seasons was outstanding, with Villa reaching the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup in 1997-98 before going out to Atletico Madrid on the away goals rule. Appointed club captain following Andy Townsend's departure to Middlesbrough, Southgate led Villa to the 2000 FA Cup final, the last game to be played at old Wembley Stadium, where they lost 1-0 to Chelsea. Gareth went on to play for Middlesbrough before hanging up his boots and stepping in to manage Middlesbrough in 2006, On 20 October 2009, less than two hours after a 2–0 victory over Derby County, Southgate was dismissed as manager with Middlesbrough in fourth place in the Championship. The decision was controversial as he had taken Boro to within one point of the top position.

Gordon joined Villa upon leaving school, graduating through Villa's youth and reserve teams before getting his first taste of senior football in 1976, coming on as a substitute against Manchester City at Maine Road. Few players throughout Villa's history can match the quality of passing displayed by the midfield ace with David Platt going on record as saying he wouldn't have been the player he was without the immaculate service he received from the man known as Villa's Prodigal Son. He left the club three times - and on each occasion he returned, latterly as a youth coach and then first team coach. By the end of the following season he was a first team regular as well as winning a League Cup medal following a dramatic victory over Everton in the second replay of a marathon 1977 final. Sid didn't miss a single match between 1979 and 1983 as he became a Key figure in the most successful season of the club's history, adding league championship, European Cup and European Super Cup medals to his collection. Sid’s unbroken appearance run came to an end when he broke his leg in a pre-season friendly, causing him to miss the whole of the 1983-84 campaign. In 1985 he joined Italian club Bari, but was brought back to Villa Park by Graham Taylor three years later, helping Villa to finish runners-up to Liverpool in 1990. Later that year Taylor, having been appointed England manager, handed Cowans his 10th and final cap. Sid is now reserve team manager at his beloved Villa, having come into the coaching fold under previous manager Gerard Houllier.

8. David Platt Career: 1988-1991 Appearances: 155 Goals: 68 Graham Taylor at the time thought he paid over the odds when Villa signed David Platt from Crewe Alexandra for £200,000 in 1988, being forced to match a bid made by his former assistant Steve Harrison, who was manager of Watford. The attacking midfielder, Platt was a prolific marksman over the course of three-and-a-half seasons at Villa Park, and when leaving Villa for Italian club Bari in the summer of 1991, he netted Villa a club record fee of £5.5m.He had come to the notice of clubs all over Europe during the 1990 World Cup finals in Italy when he became an overnight sensation with a spectacular over-the-shoulder volley which gave England a victory over Belgium in the last minute of extra-time. A Manchester United supporter as a youngster, Platt joined his boyhood favourites straight from school but was released in 1985 as part of a cost-cutting exercise at Old Trafford. If that was a bitter disappointment, though, a move to Fourth Division Crewe put his career back on track and he was regularly on target at Gresty Road, prompting Taylor's interest when the manager was looking to strengthen his squad to enhance Villa's Second Division promotion bid. Platt scored on his debut in a 3-2 defeat away to promotion rivals Blackburn Rovers, by the end of the season he had scored five goals, including the winner against another of the main contenders, Bradford City.David went on to score 24 goals in two consecutive seasons, he went on to score 15 goals to help Villa to retain top flight status during a traumatic season under Jo Venglos before moving on to Bari.

5. Ken McNaught Career: 1977-1983 Appearances: 260 Goals: 13 Ron Saunders paid Everton £200,000 for McNaught's services that summer and although the central defender, he gradually established himself as an key part of the team who would go on to enjoy League Championship and European Cup glory. Son of former Scottish international Willie McNaught, he joined Everton as an apprentice in 1972 and made 86 appearances for the Merseysiders, before moving to Villa Park. His first defensive partner was Leighton Phillips but by the start of the 1978-79 campaign he had forged a partnership with fellow Scot Allan Evans which would form a crucial to Villa's domestic and continental triumphs. Along with six other players, he again enjoyed an ever-present campaign as Villa won the title in 1980-81, and although a knee injury meant he missed most of the first half of the following season, he was back in time for the later stages of the European Cup. Ken scored Villa's second goal with a close-range header in the second leg of the quarter-final against Dynamo Kiev, while he and Evans were towers of strength against Bayern Munich in the final. He was also in the side who won the European Super Cup by beating Barcelona in 1983, later that year he moved the move neighbours West Bromwich Albion. 40 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com


Monthly pick of the legends

7. Tony Daley

MY XI

Career: 1983-1994 Appearances: 290 Goals: 38

Tony joined Villa as an apprentice in 1983, signing professional two years later, not long after making his first team debut at Southampton. He continued to make progress over the next couple of years until injuries restricted him to just 11 starts during Villa's promotion campaign of 1987-88. His highest number of league appearances was in 1989-90, when Villa finishing runners-up to Liverpool in the First Division title race. His form that season, and again in 1991-92, prompted Graham Taylor to hand him his first England cap and he went on to play seven times for his country, including the 1992 European Championship finals in Sweden. His runs and crosses set up countless openings for his team-mates, not to mention a number of goals for himself, He was a delight to watch as his pace and skill down either flank made him a constant menace to opposition full-backs. Daley's best known goal came in a First Division game against Everton at Villa Park on 22 October 1988. A spectacular flying volley in a 2–0 win for Villa, the goal quickly – thanks in no small part to the popular football video series 'Goals Galore' – became known as 'Daley's Dazzler'. Daley left Villa Park for Wolves for £1.25m in 1994, before going onto play for Watford, Walsall, finishing his playing career at Forest Green Rovers, which at the time was managed by former teammate Nigel Spink.

11. Tony Morley

9. Gary Shaw

Career: 1979-1983 Appearances: 180 Goals: 34

Career: 1977-1988 Appearances: 213 Goals: 79

Ron Saunders signed from Burnley for £200,000 in the summer of 1979, Morley spent four successful years at Villa Park before leaving to go to neighbours West Bromwich Albion in December 1983. Tony went on to play under Ron Saunders at three midland clubs - Villa, Birmingham City and Albion during a second spell at The Hawthorns. Villa's triumphs of the early 1980s were built essentially on team work, Morley's twisting and turning before he crossed for Peter Withe to hit the European Cup winner is a moment which is still vivid for Villa supporters who either witnessed it at the time or have subsequently watched video footage of the memorable moment. And apart from his ability to create openings, he also contributed a fair number of goals. Tony was on target 10 times during the title-winning campaign of 1980-81 - including a spectacular Goal of the Season against Everton at Goodison Park. His second goal against Dynamo in Berlin, when he raced the length of the pitch before slotting home a low shot, is among the club's alltime great goals, while his sublime left-foot shot against Anderlecht proved to be the goal which carried Villa to the final. He was also a member of the Villa side who beat Barcelona in the European Super Cup, as well as winning six England caps. Tony went on to play not only for midland teams, Birmingham City and West Brom but also had a stint in Holland were he won a Dutch Cup runners-up medal in 1987 playing for FC Den Haag.

Gary Shaw will always be remembered as the golden boy of Villa's golden era, from Kingshurst began his apprenticeship with Villa in 1977 and by the end of the following year he had been given his first taste of senior football, making his debut as a substitute at Bristol City. Gary signed professional contracts on his 18th birthday and established himself as a first team partnering with Peter Withe upfront that struck fear into the heart of oppositions during the title winning campaign of 1980-81 and the European Cup trail the following season. While Withe provided the power, Shaw's pace and anticipation completed a lethal duo - and also earned his accolades far beyond Villa Park. In 1981, having contributed 18 goals to Villa's League Championship triumph, he was voted PFA Young Player of the Year. 12 months later his talents were acknowledged on the continent as he received the accolade of European Young Footballer of the Year. He remained a regular during the 1982-83 season, during which he won a European Super Cup medal but then, sadly, became the victim of a series of injury problems which seriously curtailed his appearances over the course of the next five years.

10. Dean Saunders Career: 1992-1995 Appearances: 144 Goals: 49 Although he spent only three seasons at Villa Park, he was the club's leading scorer on each occasion. Dean arrived from Liverpool for a club record £2.3m a few weeks into the 1992-93 campaign - and immediately won the hearts of the Villa fans. Although he didn't score on his debut at Elland Road, his first home game the following weekend saw him line up against Liverpool, scoring twice in a 4-2 victory against the club he had just left. During the next few weeks, Deano and his striking partner Dalian Atkinson just couldn't stop scoring. Saunders went on to score 16 league and cup goals, including the winner in front of the Kop as Villa beat Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield to complete a double over the Reds. He repeated that 16-goal haul the following season, Dean became the first Villa player to score a Premier League hat-trick and was also on target twice in the 3-1 League Cup final triumph over Manchester United at Wembley. Although Villa were in a battle against relegation in 1994-95, Saunders went one better with his personal haul, with his 17 goals playing a significant part in the club's top-flight survival. Dean went onto sign for Turkish team Galatasaray, before going on to play for Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United, Benfica, before retiring from playing at Bradford City. After his playing retirement Saunders initially became a coach at Blackburn Rovers working alongside his former manager Graeme Souness. He moved with Souness to Newcastle United in 2004, initially in the role of striker coach, and then later becoming first-team coach. Dean got his first taste of management at Wrexham in 2008, going on to manage Doncaster Rover, before moving back to the midlands manage Wolves. thevillatimes.com Issue 5 41


Saving Lives by Saving Time

Midlands Air Ambulance is the only Charity directly responsible for funding and operating three Air Ambulances serving the communities of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Midlands Air Ambulance Charity receives no Government or National Lottery funding, £6 million is needed each year to keep the service operational, all of which is donated entirely by the public and local businesses.

Some facts and figures… Airlifting a casualty to hospital within one hour (the Golden Hour) of an incident greatly increases their chance of survival, that’s why Midlands Air Ambulance is so vital in an emergency situation. We have a fleet of 3 state-of-the-art aircraft equipped with full life-support equipment on board. We can reach a Trauma Centre from anywhere in the region in less than 15 minutes. We have responded to more than 35,000 incidents since 1991 and saved countless lives. £6 million is needed each year to maintain this vital emergency service. 4 in every 10 incidents responded to is funded by a ‘Gift in a Will’.

Find out how YOU can help Saving Lives by Saving Time

Call 0800

8 40 20 40 or visit www.midlandsairambulance.com Unit 16 Enterprise Trading Estate, Pedmore Road, Brierley Hill, West Midlands DY5 1TX


RECENT FORM

THE MONTH IN STATS

4 MATCHES 17

SHOTS ON TARGET

14 YELLOW CARDS

1 VICTORY 7 GOALS

2 DEBUTS

60.837 people through the Villa Park turnstiles

5 BENTEKE GOALS 4 SCORERS

12 CORNERS

MATCH REPORTS | LINE UPS | QUOTES

thevillatimes.com Issue 5 43


Asto n V illa 1- 2 Ne w castle Unite d Christian Benteke 49 (pen)

Newcastle United resisted a valiant second-half fightback from Aston Villa to claim a first away win of the season with a 2-1 triumph at Villa Park. The visitors controlled the first half and deservedly led 2-0 at the break thanks to fine goals from Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye. Villa responded brilliantly in the second period, but although Christian Benteke pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, they were unable to force an equaliser and now drop into the bottom three. Newcastle handed debuts to Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko and signalled their intentions with a high-tempo start in which they dominated both territory and possession. Their energy was rewarded after 19 minutes, when Sissoko split the Villa defence with a divine threaded pass to Cisse, who took a touch before beating Brad Guzan with a low, rightfooted shot. The goal stunned Villa into life and although they remained second best, Charles N'Zogbia almost drew them level with a superb leftfooted half-volley from 22 yards that cannoned back off the post. But they soon found themselves 2-0 down

Papiss Cisse 19 Yohan Cabaye 31

after a moment of brilliance from Cabaye, who swept a brilliantly struck right-footed half-volley into the top corner from 25 yards. Villa made two changes at the break, sending on Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann, and twice went close to pulling a goal back within seconds of the restart. Weimann had the first, turning and letting a right-foot shot fly from 12 yards that Tim Krul did well to save, before Benteke drew a similarly smart stop from the Newcastle goalkeeper with a left-footer from just inside the box. Villa's tails were suddenly up and they deservedly got on the score-sheet through Benteke's penalty after Agbonlahor went down easily in the box under a challenge from Mathieu Debuchy. The hosts continued to push and it took another fine stop from Krul to deny Weimann's low drive after a fine crossfield pass from Benteke. With Newcastle digging in, Villa forced one final chance, when Nathan Baker met a corner unmarked but saw his pointblank header blocked on the line.

Villa Park 29 Jan 2013 KO 19:45 Barclays Premier League Attendance: 30,334 Aston Villa Bradley Guzan Ciaran Clark Ron Vlaar Nathan Baker Matthew Lowton Ashley Westwood Barry Bannan Charles N'Zogbia Joe Bennett Christian Benteke Darren Bent Substitutions Gabriel Agbonlahor Brett Holman Andreas Weimann Eric Lichaj Shay Given Jordan Bowery Stephen Ireland

Newcastle Tim Krul Mathieu Debuchy Steven Taylor Fabricio Coloccini Davide Santon James Perch Yohan Cabaye Yoan Gouffran Moussa Sissoko Jonas Gutierrez Papiss Cisse Substitutions Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa Steve Harper Gael Bigirimana Shola Ameobi Mike Williamson Sammy Ameobi Vurnon Anita

Ev e r to n 3 - 3 Asto n V illa

Anichebe (21) , Fellaini (69) Fellaini (90 +3)

Goodison Park 02 Feb 2013 KO 15:00 Barclays Premier League Attendance: 38,121 Everton Tim Howard Phil Jagielka Johnny Heitinga Sylvain Distin Leighton Baines Kevin Mirallas Darron Gibson Leon Osman Steven Pienaar Marouane Fellaini Victor Anichebe Substitutions Steven Naismith Bryan Oviedo Phil Neville Shane Duffy Nikica Jelavic Jan Mucha Thomas Hitzlsperger

44 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com

Aston Villa Bradley Guzan Ciaran Clark Ron Vlaar Joe Bennett Matthew Lowton Ashley Westwood Karim El Ahmadi Charles N'Zogbia Gabriel Agbonlahor Christian Benteke Andreas Weimann Substitutions Nathan Baker Brett Holman Simon Dawkins Eric Lichaj Shay Given Jordan Bowery Yacouba Sylla

Agbonlahor (24) Benteke (2, 61)

Marouane Fellaini struck twice late on as Everton fought back to hold Aston Villa to a 3-3 draw in a thrilling Premier League clash at Goodison Park. Christian Benteke's early opener was cancelled out by Victor Anichebe, only for Gabriel Agbonlahor to put Villa back in front in a thrilling first half. Benteke grabbed his second of the game to give Villa a 3-1 lead, but his fellow Belgian Fellaini had the last laugh with two goals, his second three minutes into injury time, to salvage a point for David Moyes' men. Aston Villa dropped into the relegation zone following a midweek loss to Newcastle but there were positives in their second-half performance and Paul Lambert's side made the perfect start at Goodison Park as Benteke latched on to a Charles N'Zogbia pass and shrugged off the challenge of John Heitinga to open the scoring with a neat finish after just two minutes. Fellaini missed a chance to equalise moments later as he curled a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area, while Darron Gibson had an effort deflected off target and Leighton Baines blazed over with an ambitious free-kick

from 30 yards as Everton continued to press. Their efforts were rewarded in the 21st minute as Anichebe showed good strength to spin Ciaran Clark after collecting a ball from Kevin Mirallas, before firing low past Brad Guzan. Villa restored their advantage almost immediately thanks to a firm header by Agbonlahor from Ashley Westwood's right-wing cross, but were then pinned back inside their own half for the remainder of the first half as Everton again tried to hit back. Everton kept up the intensity at the start of the second period but it was Villa who carved out an early chance as Andreas Weimann beat the offside trap to run on to a pass from Agbonlahor. However, he lacked composure with a wild shot high into the stands. Benteke made no such mistake just after the hour mark as Matthew Lowton delivered an inviting cross from the right and the powerful striker again got the better of Heitinga to head home. Fellaini reduced Everton's arrears in the 69th minute when he poked the ball into the bottom corner following a clever lay-off by Anichebe, setting up an exciting climax. Fellaini struck again in the dying seconds as he headed home a Baines corner.


Asto n V illa 2- 1 W e st H am Unite d Christian Benteke 74 (pen) Charles N'Zogbia 78

Villa Park 10 Feb 2013 KO 13:30 Barclays Premier League Attendance: 30,503 Aston Villa Bradley Guzan Matthew Lowton Ron Vlaar Ciaran Clark Nathan Baker Andreas Weimann Ashley Westwood Fabian Delph Jordan Bowery Charles N'Zogbia Christian Benteke Substitutions Barry Bannan Joe Bennett Simon Dawkins Brett Holman Yacouba Sylla Shay Given Darren Bent

Ashley Westwood 87 (og)

Christian Benteke and Charles N'Zogbia combined to lift Aston Villa out of the Premier League relegation zone with a priceless 2-1 victory over West Ham at Villa Park.

West Ham Utd Jussi Jaaskelainen Joey O'Brien Winston Reid James Tomkins Emanuel Pogatetz Mark Noble Mohamed Diame Kevin Nolan Matthew Taylor Joe Cole Andy Carroll Substitutions Guy Demel Raphael Spiegel Matthew Jarvis Ricardo Vaz Te Marouane Chamakh Carlton Cole Gary O'Neil

Benteke showed no sign of nerves as he rolled home from the penalty spot to break the deadlock with 16 minutes to go after N'Zogbia had been tripped in the area by Mark Noble. And the former Wigan and Newcastle man then stepped up to curl home an outstanding free-kick to double the advantage for Paul Lambert's men four minutes later. There was a nervy finish in store for the home supporters as Ashley Westwood could only loop a header from Joe Cole's dangerous curling cross over Brad Guzan and into his own net with three minutes to go. And in the last of four added minutes, the Villa goalkeeper was called into action to make a crucial save, blocking a close range shot from Kevin Nolan at his near post. The victory sees Villa climb to 17th in the Premier League table, pushing Reading down into the bottom three but only one point adrift of the Midlands side. The first half at Villa Park was an instantly forgettable affair, with the only incident of note com-

ing in the opening exchanges, when Andreas Weimann produced one of the misses of the season in only the second minute. Benteke fired in a shot from range, which Jussi Jaaskelainen failed to deal with, and it looked as though all Weimann had to do was roll the ball into the gaping goal, but he somehow fired wide of the target to widespread disbelief. That incident seemed to shake the confidence of the young Austrian, and it was no surprise when he was replaced as part of a double change in the 63rd minute, with Darren Bent joining the fray. The England international has struggled for opportunities this season, but he was immediately into the action, although perhaps not as he had expected, clearing off the line from Andy Carroll following Matt Taylor's corner. Sam Allardyce's side looked to hit Carroll whenever possible, but the England international was well marshalled in the main by Ciaran Clark, who also produced two crucial clearances from under his own bar in a much-improved second half. All the real drama was reserved for the closing 16 minutes, with Benteke and N'Zogbia putting the Holte End in full voice despite the dramatic conclusion, with Villa recording their first Premier League victory since the 3-1 win away to Liverpool on 15 December.

Arse nal 2- 1 Asto n V illa Cazorla 6, 85 Weimann 68 A deadly double from Santi Cazorla saw Arsenal return to winning ways as they edged out Aston Villa 2-1 at Emirates Stadium. On the back of a tough week which had seen the Gunners crash out of the FA Cup and suffer a UEFA Champions League battering at the hands of Bayern Munich, one very early effort from Cazorla and one very late one, after Andreas Weimann had levelled for the visitors, offered welcome relief to Arsene Wenger and his troops - who are now just one point adrift of the top four. Watched by owner Stan Kroenke, making a rare visit to north London, Arsenal started well. Jack Wilshere capitalised on a poor backpass and raced at goal, but the midfielder fired straight at Brad Guzan. Cazorla then lifted the quiet atmosphere inside the Emirates with Arsenal's opener in the sixth minute. Nathan Baker blocked Cazorla's initial shot after some good work by Wilshere, but the Spaniard made no mistake with his second effort, slotting past Guzan with a beautiful curling effort. Urged on by an animated Paul Lambert from the touchline, Villa looked to hit straight back. Charles N'Zogbia raced down the right past

Thomas Vermaelen and pulled the ball back Emirates Stadium for Gabriel Agbonlahor but Wojciech 23 Feb 2013 KO 15:00 Szczesny saved. Barclays Premier League Villa's attacks led to a nervous atmosphere Attendance: 60,079 inside the Emirates, but Theo Walcott brought them to the edge of their seats with a teasing curler that flew inches over Guzan's Arsenal Aston Villa goal. Wojciech Szczesny Bradley Guzan Arsenal's passing was often sloppy and the Carl Jenkinson Matthew Lowton home fans became annoyed at the Gunners' Per Mertesacker Ciaran Clark attempts to pass the ball in to the net. The Thomas Vermaelen Nathan Baker hosts did produce an impressive move just Nacho Monreal Joe Bennett before the break, though, with Cazorla findVassiriki Diaby Fabian Delph ing Olivier Giroud, but Guzan was equal to Mikel Arteta Ashley Westwood the Frenchman's effort. Santi Cazorla Charles N'Zogbia Villa then stunned the home side by equalisJack Wilshere Andreas Weimann ing on 68 minutes. Carl Jenkinson failed to Theo Walcott Christian Benteke clear a long punt down field, the ball made Olivier Giroud Gabriel Agbonlahor its way to Weimann and he went on a blisSubstitutions Substitutions tering 40-yard run before beating Szczesny with a weak shot. Aaron Ramsey Karim El Ahmadi Guzan saved brilliantly to deny Giroud from Tomas Rosicky Andy Marshall point-blank range as Arsenal continued to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Jordan Bowery pile forward, and the Gunners finally got Vito Mannone Yacouba Sylla their reward five minutes from time when Yao Gervinho Simon Dawkins Nacho Monreal swung the ball into the box Laurent Koscielny Brett Holman and Cazorla converted, much to the relief of Lukas Podolski Eric Lichaj Wenger and the home support.

thevillatimes.com Issue 5 45


International Lions

Lions Clubs

Premier Deals - Exclusive Deals for Members

As part of our on-going commitment to members and adding ‘extra’ value for being part of our unique Supporters’ Club, we are constantly on the look-out for special deals for members. We are delighted to be able to officially launch a new section on our website called Premier Partners (http://www.bromsgrovevillalions.co.uk/premierpartners/i ndex.php). Here organisations and businesses we are working closely with are shown along with specially negotiated deals/offers for members.

Sutton Coldfield Lions - A few details about our Supporters Club. We have been running coaches to away games for Villa Supporters in the Sutton Coldfield area since 1978. The Club was originally set up by Ron Price and ran from Falcon Lodge. Since those early days the Club has really expanded and now boasts over 400 Members of which in excess of 100 are Season Ticket Holders. We organise travel to every single away game, normally by coach but also by rail. The coaches pick up at The Green House in Mere Green, Sutton Town Centre, The Fox at Walmley,

46 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com

The Yenton, The Charlie Hall in Erdington and finally The Armada. The Club does not have a Head Quarters, as such, but meets in the New Aston Social before every home game. We try to keep the cost of travel as low as possible and also charge a Child rate which not all Travel Clubs do. Last Season we were Awarded "Aston Villa Supporters Club of the Year 2012".


Weekend 2013

The Northern Ireland lions Aston Villa supporters club are delighted to be hosting this prestigious The Northern Ireland lions Aston villa supporters club are delighted to be hosting this prestigious event that sees villa fans worldwide descend on a venue for the weekend to reward villa fans from the excitement and stresses of another pressure filled season. We are expecting 300-500 villa fans from across Europe for an action packed weekend that kicks off on the Friday with a mini 5 a side tournament and sight seeing tour of the world famous Carrick castle from medieval times followed by an evening with Shaun Teale. The Saturday is the main day starting with the unique charity football match that kicks off at 1pm that is in aid of leukemia on behalf of our captain Stan Petrov. The game will be held at local stadium Taylor's avenue where fans play alongside ex players where an Irish lions team take on a rest of the world team. The two squads consist of 19 players with every player having 19 Petrov on their back. The Irish lions have this seasons home kit and the rest of the world team will have this seasons glow in the dark away kit which will all be keep sakes for the lucky person playing. You can apply to play in match by contacting NI lions chairman paul McCusker. Shaun Teale is managing a team and we already have league and European cup winners Tony Morley and Ken McNaught playing with two ex premier league villa players very close to being confirmed. The real fun begins after the game when we descend to the Ni lions meeting place the brown cow inn. We have a large beer garden and marquee as well as a pool table bar and restaurant exclusively for the event. The award ceremony will be followed by a barbecue then the villa players and guests participating in a q and a with live entertainment and villa karaoke with drinks promotions to keep the costs of the weekend down and a late license Aston villas tv station avtv will be in attendance along

with the Ni lions club patron and villas award winning head groundsman jonny calderwood. We have got a discounted deal for carrickfergus fanciest hotel the clarion which is renowned for its cooked breakfasts where the former villa players and majority of guests will be staying. The best part of the deal is you book now as it is filling at a fast rate and pay on arrival. All details are on our website www.northernirelandlions.co.uk which has details of the towns other hotels as well.

Shaun Teale is managing a team and we already have league and European cup winners Tony Morley and Ken McNaught playing The Sunday will be a more relaxed atmosphere we will have a lunchtime Barbecue back at the brown cow and you will have a chance to have a drink and a chat with the former players who will be attending until around 5 pm when the majority of people will be leaving for the airports. We have been very lucky with the price of flights as the usual plane over on the Friday morning returning on a Sunday night was rising to 130 return when the flights where nearly sold out but easyjet and flybe put extra flights on and at time of printing this you can get a return flight for 65. The purpose of the weekend is for villa fans to socialise have a bit of fun and raise money for a great cause when doing it and showing the world the class of villa fans especially when we are going through a rough time

An Evening with John Gregory Sutton Coldfield Fc held host to Ex Aston Villa manager, John Gregory. Gregory played for Aston villa between 1977-1979 making 65 appearances and scoring 10 goals. He came to manage the team in 1998 and his reign as manager ended in 2002. His time as manager saw Villa reach sixth in the table and also reaching the FA cup final, which Villa lost 1-0 to Chelsea. The event was held in aid of CureLeukaemia and Acorns. The event was set up by Sutton Coldfield lions and was available to members for just a fee of £12. Raffle tickers were avalible to people attending, prizes included tickets to England vs Brazil, Aston Villa vs Southampton and Aston Villa merchandise. Gregory was introduced by Aston Villa Official match day program editor Rob Bishop. The crowd of 150 gave Gregory a warm welcome to the stage. The show saw Gregory talked about his career as a player and manager of Aston Villa. He gave the crowd an insight into his career and the players he played around at the time. The event was very entertaining and Gregory kept the crowd laughing by throwing in jokes about Ex chairman Doug ellis and also the players he spend his time with. Alex Mcleish was a victim of his jokes and got the most laughs from the crowd. Through out the story telling Gregory picked up his guitar and entertained the crowd. Gregory chose to perform tracks from his musical hero Bruce Springsteen. He performed a number of springsteens tracks including Atlantic city, Red headed Women and Youngstown. His final track No surrender was a tribute to Aston Villa Captain Stiliyan Petrov. It was a moving moment as Gregory told the audience "We are missing our boy and I hope that he'll be back amongst us one day” “ I think it says everything about him - it is in the title." A moving track to finish of a wonderful night. An Evening with John Gregory was a great success, Sutton Coldfield Lions should be proud of what they have achieve as it bought Villa fans together to raise money for such a great cause. For an Ex player & Manager John Gregory showed that no matter who you are, we will all come together to support Petrov and any other Leukaemia patients.

Subscribe Today

Aston Villa’s Premium Un Official Magazine

Monthly Exclusive Interviews

Delivered direct to your door wherever you live in the World.

Free online version, Ipad and Iphone Compatable.

Free entry to the Villa Times monthly prize draw

info@thevillatimes.com Email us Today for more information at

thevillatimes.com Issue 5 47


Subscribe Today...

If you want your monthly dose of Villa news, interviews, features and more - ensuring you don’t miss an issue then subscribe today and get The Villa Times delivered to your door.

CALL NOW ON 01527 757417 OR Email info@thevillatimes.com

Join us on Facebook with the chance of winning monthly prizes for free

48 | www.thevillatimes.com

www.thevillatimes.com | 48


Villa World

Send Us Your Photo to info@thevillatimes.com

Us Villa fans are everywhere this month, Brum, Jamaica, Australia, USA, Ireland and yes Villa Park

Martin with for Villa man Lee Hendrie

ith d Mark w Aaron an ibson G lie ta a N Villa Ladies,

S u tt o n C o ld fi el d V il la Li o n s in V ar te ks . Se pt em be r 20 01

Steve and son Callum Hill and myself on holiday in Jamaica at the famous Dunn's River Falls Tom Cole and his wife June in the US Portland Timbers Game

before the

Tom Cole in philedelphia during the recent US tour

ds in h with frien Rob Goug SA Portland, U

Come On You Villa.......... Morten Locke rt, from Oslo, N orway and Vid ar Jupskaas at Vill a Park

We at the Villa Times would like to thank you all for sending in your picture, UTV

Send Us Your Picture for Next Month and be in with a chance of winning the new home shirt thevillatimes.com Issue 5 49


Dimiter Bonev

My Villa

This month our overseas Villan comes from Stilyan Petrov's homeland, Bulgaria. Dimiter Bonev lives in Varna and he is the chair of the Bulgarian Lions and he is also a regular visitor to Villa Park. Here Dimiter discusses how he came to be a Villa fan, his favourite memories and pays tribute to Villa's captain fantastic Stilyan Petrov.

What was it about Aston Villa that made you a Villa fan? Plenty of things. Villa’s victory against Bayern Munich , the players and , above all, the audience Villa’s fans are incredible, so devoted to the team. When did you see your first live Villa game? The first Villa game I saw live was in Bucharest when we lost 1-2 from Steaua on November 25th 1997. Yorke scored for Villa. I had a fever of 39C but this did not prevent me from being on that stadium. What was the best Villa game you have ever seen? Our victory over Bayern at the finals for the European’s Cup at the De Kuip Stadium, Rotterdam. I was only 11 back then but I will remember this game forever. Who is your all time Villa favourite? I would have to say Nigel Spinks for his responding to the call of duty in 1982 to capture the European Cup title. And also Stylian Petrov , of course. What is the best goal you have ever seen scored at Villa Park? Gaby’s goal against Chelsea when we beat them 2-0 . An incredible experience. Who is your current favourite Villa player? Andreas Weimann , Marc Alrbighton and Gaby Agbonlahor . How often do you manage to come to Villa Park to see games? Every season I can get to watch 3 or 4 games live in Villa Park. I consider myself extremely lucky because I’ve never watched Villa lose. I hope this season I will have the chance to watch Villa play at Wembley. It came as a huge shock to all Villa fans and the football community as a whole when captain Stilyan Petrov was diagnosed with Acute Leukaemia.

50 Issue 5 thevillatimes.com

How was the news about Stan's illness received by the Bulgarian people? All people in Bulgaria were shocked by the news and everybody wanted to help. On hearing the news Bulgarian Lions A.V.S.C. got a nice icon, had it sanctified and we sent it to Stan hoping it could give him some strength and courage.

“As a player he’s perfect he always his best on the pitch.” How would you sum up Stan as a player, a captain and a man? As a player he’s perfect- he always his best on the pitch. As a captain – he always strives forwards for victory and he never gives up. As a person- very modest and with a great heart.


The Villa Times - Issue 5  

This months edition has exclusive interviews with Villa legends, Lee Hendrie, Tony Morley, Garry Thompson, Hollywood actor and Harry Potter...