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VillaTimes The

Issue 3 | £3.00 |





Citizen Khan DVD

& who played in them famous games

A Footballers Say with former Villa player

Mark P L U S Burke Great Player | Great Guy



abo ut foo tba ll & Life at Vill a par k



+ Villa History

Season 71/72 with Colin Abbott

Where are they now With Tommy Hughes


O f fi c i a l ve h i c l e s u p p l i e r

NEW white detailing villans, YOU DIG? ? The Fiat 500 has a whole new 70s strip this season Villans. The new Colour Therapy range is available with white alloy wheels, white mirror covers, white aerial, a stylish pool ball gear knob and a choice of five 70 s colours. Yet you’ll also find the technology under the bonnett is v ve ery 21st century. The TwinAir engine has such low emissions that you pay no road tax†. The Fiat 500 is a blast from the past with a lion’s roar to the now. How far out is that?

IN 70S COLOURS Fiat, the car brand with the lowest average CO2 emissions in Europe^. Fiatt 500 TwinAir, the lowest CO2 emission petrol car engine in the world*. Fuel consumption for Fiat 500 range in mpg (l//100km): Urban 44 4.1 (6.4)) – 64.2 (4.4)); Extra Urban 65.7 (4.3) – 91.1 (3.1); Combined 55.4 (5.1) – 76.3 (3.7). CO2 emissions 119 – 90 g/km. †Under current DVLA regulations there is no charge for Vehicle Excise Duty in the first year of registration and every subsequent year. Vehicle Excise Duty rates are reviewed annually by the government and are subject to change. ^Source: JATO Dynamics. Based on volume-weighted average CO2 emissions (g/km) of the best selling brands in Europe, full year 2011. *According to NEDC standard.



VillaTimes The










4 The Season So Far Simon Goodyear gives his view of the season so far

38 Football Fit Health, fitness and techinquie in football with Peter Withe.

20 Villa History Colin Abbott tells us of the 71/71 season

16 Villa’s Top Ten Villa’s top ten games

34 Villa Travel Feature on the cities 45 Villa Lions Villa will be visiting this Interview With Thai- month. land Lions & News from around the Lion 47 Villa World clubs Pictures of Villa fans from accross the 24 A Footballers Say World. With Former Villa 20 Where Are They player Mark Burke Now With Villa Legend 8 John Gidman about football and life Tommy Hughes at Villa Park 48 Fanzone Quiz and Fun for kids NEWS and the chance to win 28 Villa in Show Biz a new villa shirt. James Leyfield tells you about Villa in 30 Villa and Show Biz this month Charity Charity Events and 37 Pint & Pies News & Much More Find your local Villa pub

Editor’s Letter Welcome again to The Villa Times, this has been a busy and varied month The Villa Times received a letter from Buckingham Palace after sending a complimentary copy of the Villa Times to one of our most famous and well respected fans Prince William. The letter thanked me very much for the copy and wished The Villa Times much success for the future. In this months magazine we have an exclusive interview with John Gidman, a Where are they now? feature on Tommy Hughes, pictures from around the globe and much more.

Tommy Hughes:Where are they now P20

I would also like to mention the sudden loss of my well respected father Pat Brennan who passed away on the 9 November 2012 - Rest in Peace Dad. Up The Villa... Peter Brennan Editor

The Season So Far with Simon Goodyear

When I was asked to write this feature, nearly a month ago now, I decided specifically to wait until after the Norwich game to actually put words down on paper, mainly to give the team time to ‘bed in’ before making a fair assessment of the season so far. Roll back the clocks to the beginning of June and the merry-go-round of managers at Villa Park continued with the appointment of the ‘fans choice’, Paul Lambert. He was sounded out, given his brief, and told to transform Villa into a Premier League force once again. Yet another era had begum and we were promised football would be played the “right way” and the ‘feel good factor’ would soon be back at our famous club. Exciting times were ahead and we, the fans, were looking forward to attractive football, goals and a rocking Villa Park. Expectations were high once more. One thing was certain, the club’s hierarchy decided well before the opening day of the campaign that they were not prepared to see a third season of struggle and wanted to remove the negativity which had surrounded the previous regimes over the last two years. Paul Lambert is a manager known for his discipline, his positivity and has success in ‘rebuilding’ clubs so the pressure was on from Day 1. The ‘project’ had begun. Pre-season went well with some positive performances and at last we saw a Villa team comfortable in passing the ball around. A fresh new kit was unveiled, together with a new kit manufacturer. It seemed like it was a case of ‘out with the old, in with the new’ all the way through the club as we also saw a number of departures and quite surprisingly, a larger number of new players coming into the club. Out went the ‘dead wood’ and in came the stars of the future, with a number of young, up and coming players coming in from the lower leagues mixed with some experienced and hungry European based players such as Ron Vlaar, Karim El Ahmadi and Brett Holman. The fixture list seemed to be quite kind to Villa, looking at it in mid-August and my prediction of 14 points by the end of October should have been achievable. First up was newly promoted West Ham at The Boleyn Ground followed by Everton and then a tough away game at Newcastle with a League Cup game at home to Tranmere. With the exception of a straight forward win in the Cup and a good, solid performance at St James Park, we were still looking for our first Premier League win by the time we faced Swansea. Batteries had been recharged during the international break and we faced an in-form Swansea side who were riding high at the top of the league. The fans were beginning to wonder where the first win would come from but it finally came against the Swans on a day where the fans thought the club had turned the corner as they not only entertained a big crowd at Villa Park, but scored two without conceding. The boys looked formidable that day and we all went home thinking that the corner had been turned and the ‘Lambert effect’ had started to take shape. We saw the future in Christian Benteke, a player relatively unheard of outside of Belgium. Villa fans love their strikers and his debut against Swansea was a breath of fresh air as he won every ball in the air and battered the Swansea defence and scored a goal to cap off what was arguably the best Villa performance in over two years. So, we went off to St Mary’s in confident mood. At half-time we were flying high as a Darren Bent goal put our noses ahead but what followed was something short of a nightmare and all the good work that had preceded the first 50 odd minutes and the sweet victory over Swansea had vanished and it seemed we had been taken down a few notches by the new boys on the block. Bring on Manchester City away in the League Cup. Over a thousand die-hards travelled up there in the pouring rain in hope more than expectation but they came away from The Etihad in complete exhilaration as ‘the other’ Villa overturned a 2 – 1 deficit to take the Champions into extra time and come away with an unprecedented 4 – 2 victory, leaving every one of the travelling support in dreamland. Who cared it was the League Cup and against a Manchester City side minus many of the first team but still included the likes of Barry, Tevez and Balotelli.

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“Villa overturned a 2 – 1 deficit to take the Champions into extra time and come away with an unprecedented 4 – 2 victory” | 5

“Benteke looks sharp and strong at times but with Darren Bent knocking on his door he can’t afford to become complacent” A local derby against West Brom was a dour game but we held out for a draw, which was a encouraging considering last season’s dismal defeat. Tottenham was always going to be a tough game but a last ditch defeat at Fulham was a body blow, being as the team held out gallantly for 84 minutes but it was the lack of fire power that let the side down once more. A meeting with Paul Lambert’s previous employer’s, Norwich was an ideal way of putting the ‘spark’ back into Villa Park and it started brightly with a superb effort from Benteke, who kept his place in the side and played as if it was his debut again. However, we can draw a number of positive indicators, albeit not so clear to the lazy eye, that if things started to click then good fortune could be just around the corner, but the need for consistency is paramount to a successful season. Take the defence for example. Ron Vlaar is the ideal captain, after taking over the armband from Darren Bent, a surprise choice of skipper at the start of the season. He’s a real rock but we need Richard Dunne to come back to sheer up the back four. Ciaran Clark’s development is progressing nicely and by the turn of the year Matt Lowton and Joe Bennett will know what the Premier League is all about. I like the look of Lowton at times, especially during the Swansea game when he was excellent and scored a cracking goal. Holman is a power house and runs his socks off every game and he also has something about him. Benteke looks sharp and strong at times but with Darren Bent knocking on his door he can’t afford to become complacent. For me, the outstanding performances have come from Brad Guzan, a goalkeeper with immense potential but has had to endure a lifetime of warming the bench. The time is now for Guzan and he has been the one who has been Mr Consistent in the first quarter of the season. Our open play has been good at times so far this season so we can draw on some positives there. Fans want to see their side win first and foremost, but to play good, open football is important and to watch your side give it 100% is all you can expect from your team and this is something we haven’t seen too much of in recent years. However, with the games coming up against the top sides our midfield will have to be on their guard as this is an area I am worried about more than most. There is a tendency ‘over play’ and to give the ball away at times and the wide players are not supplying the strikers enough and that has led to a shortage of goals. All in all, six points from nine games isn’t exactly what I predicted in August but there are some positives there to draw on but I think we’re all under no illusion that it’s going to be a long, hard season and that Paul Lambert has a big job on his hands if he’s going to make Villa a force again.

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John Gidman

The Villa Times catches up with Aston Villa legend John Gidman in the Costa Del Sol to talk about his time at Villa Park and fond memories of a career spanning two decades


ohn played for the Liverpool youth team without ever playing for their first team, before he joined Villa in 1971. John was part of the FA Youth Cup winning team in 1972 and the 1977 League Cup triumph and made 197 appearances for Villa scoring 9 goals for the club and winning a well-deserved England cap in 1977.

Are you still involved in football today?

John was then signed by Everton in 1979 for £650,000 playing 64 times, Goodison Park was in something of an upheaval at this time as manager Gordon Lee shuffled his pack in a vain attempt to find a winning formula. The FA Cup promised some hope but defeats in the semi finals one year and the quarters the next spelled the end at Goodison Park for Lee.

Who’s is the most talented player you every played with?

Gidman's flair was sought by another manager at a new club, Ron Atkinson. Gidman became Atkinson's first signing for Man United when he moved to Old Trafford in an exchange deal, valued at £450,000, that saw Micky Thomas move to Goodison. United had a decent first season under Atkinson, finishing third, and Gidman was excellent, his style of play perfectly suited to the tastes of his new manager and the vast Old Trafford crowds brought up on exciting, attacking football. Virtually ever present in this first season it seemed as though Gidman's career was ready for a new lease of life but it was now that a series of debilitating injuries really began to wreak havoc with his game and his appearances became increasingly sporadic during his time at Old Trafford. There was one highlight remaining for Gidman, however, in the shape of the 1985 FA Cup final when he helped a ten man United defeat his former club Everton through Norman Whiteside's extra time goal. In 1986 Gidman moved across Manchester to play for City but, despite remaining reasonably injury free during his two seasons there, his time at Maine Road was not a happy one with the club suffering relegation to the second division. He then moved to Stoke City and then Darlington, before deciding to retire 1989. John has took time out to take part in a interview in the Villa Times to answers some questions that you have asked.

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Yes I am involved in a agency in Spain called Gidman Iranzo and we having been running for a number of years and enjoying the fact that I am now talking with a lot of people who I have known throughout my playing career one such as Brian Little being my best mate.

Villa – Brian Little had fantastic skills as a player Man Utd – Paul McGrath – reading of the game, his general play and his quickness of 15 to 20 yards, he had a great understanding of the games. However I have played with so many fantastic players there is too many to list all of them.

What is the most rememberable game you played in while at Villa? 3 – winning the youth cup after being thrown out of Liverpool 5 months prior, going to Wembley in 77 (Everton) and third putting on England shirt. if pushed to name one, it would be going to wembley in 77(proud to be a Villa player)

Do you still see some of your Villa team mates? Yes, with the work I am doing, I see Andy Gray, Brian Little, Gordon Cowans, Tony Morley and Steve Staunton just to name a few.

What was it like to be a cup winner with Aston Villa? I was very proud, Villa is a great club and I never wanted to leave Villa, I wanted to finish days at villa, matters were out of my control

Have you any fond memories of the Cup Final Day? Great memories of 3 cup finals days, game against Norwich (73/74) eye injury played up in all games to final and it was a very bad feeling to miss it, 77 final, two more finals with Man Utd and played against 83 Everton

You spent 8yrs at Villa, what was the feeling when you left for Everton in 1979 for £650,000.? I spent 9 years at Villa. The best feeling was the day I signed for Villa and the

John Gidman worst feeling was when I was carrying my bag with boots and being told I had to go to Everton. The drive for two hours to Everton very sad. it was not the club I going to that made me sad but the fact I was leaving Villa.

You played with former Villa player Paul McGrath at Manchester Utd, what was that experience like and have you any stories? Top class player. Playing at Ipswich 85/86 season and winning 1-0, second half and broke my leg that night and sat on bench, when Paul McGrath looked at bench, crossing his hands to signal he was in pain, when ron atkinson commented are we is insured it looks like he is having a heart attack, when we all looked up and could not see Paul was missing from the field of play and with 10 – 15 minutes to go we were down to ten men. when we got into the dressing room we could hear Paul singing Danny Boy in the bath. Paul had needed the toilet (had the shits) as a result he was fined 3 weeks wages.

What was it like to play for your country? I was Very proud for my father jack and mother Josie.when the National anthem played, I looked up and along side me in the team was Kevin Keegan and Elmy Hughes and Ray Clemence, When only 4 years prior to that i was cleaning their boots and was told by Bill Shankley that I was not good enough. at that stage I resiled no one can take away from me that I wore the England shirt .

What is the most funniest thing to happen to you in football? Getting married and then Being divorced for 18 years. HA ONE DAY I WOULD LOVE TO TELL EVERYONE WHAT DID HAPPEN IN THE GAME.

Quick Questions Favourite Villa Player? A FEW NAMES, ANDY GRAY AND BRIAN LITTLE WORTH 60MILL TODAYS market)

Favourite Music? In 1980 I was in a bar in Seattle on Gas Street, I was on my second beer with Man Utd players when I heard the song two out of three aint bad – Meat Loaf. ,a other all time favourite and great mate – Raymond Froggatt (Country Music). and of course coming from liverpoll the Beatles and McCartney.

Favourite Food? Before heart problems love a good chinesse, since I have had 6 stents – fish and chicken (fu@@ hate it)

Favourite Movies? The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. All time movie (Midnight Cowboy) – Dustin Hoffman)

Favourite Holiday destination? Been all around world, beatful island – Hawaii and I loved Cuba.

Favourite Pass time? At moment playing golf and sneaking out with a bottle wine (always red).

“Thanks to all the villa fans who I never got to say thank you to, all the nice comments and for giving me the chance and the club and manager at the age 16 year old to plu my trade .” John Gidman 10 |

this month Colin Abbott looks at the Season of 1971/72

Left to Right Ray Graydon, Geoff Vowden and Fred Turnbull celebrate promotion at Mansfield.

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“I was somewhere near the penalty spot I took one touch, it went up in the air and I volleyed it into the roof of the net. It was at the Holte End and the noise was terrific, there was helluva gate that game, even down in the Third - Villa were a big team!” Andy Lochhead

In the spring of 1967 Aston Villa - once the darlings of English football - had dropped for only the third time in their illustrious history into the Football League’s second flight. After massive boardroom upheaval the following year Doug Ellis was installed in place of the deposed chairman Norman Smith. Ellis wasted no time and a week before Christmas ’68 in came the charismatic Tommy Docherty. This was the man who would lead Villa out of the Second Division wilderness, he made influential signings in Chico Hamilton, Bruce Rioch and Pat McMahon. The Doc lasted 13 months but his prophecy was indeed correct, Villa wouldn’t stay in the second, by the end of the 1969/70 season Aston Villa had fallen even further from grace and were now to play in the third tier. Vic Crowe had been bought in mid-season but was unable to stop the drop. He bought in ex-teammate Ron Wylie as his right-hand man. A lack of firepower led to the signing in early March of the influential goalscoring midfielder Geoff Vowden. Villa narrowly missed promotion at the first attempt and had to settle for fourth position and yet another season of embarrassment in Division Three. The one positive - Villa fans had seen their team go all the way to Wembley where they not only defeated a George Best inspired Man Utd in the semi but also outplayed Bill Nicholson’s mighty Spurs side in the 1971 League cup final where they undeservedly fell to two late Martin Chivers goals. With Tommy Hughes replacing John Dunn in goal and winger Ray Graydon coming to Villa in a part-ex deal that saw a bitter Brian Godfrey go in the direction of Bristol Rovers, Villa set about gaining the promotion they saw was rightfully theirs. Andy Lochhead remembers the belief the players had in Villa climbing out of the Third Division, “We went out for every game expecting to win, we never thought about defeat; we’d be in the dressing room waiting to come out and we’d be jumping. It felt like we were winning home and away every week.” Six games into the new campaign Villa were sitting comfortably, two points behind leaders Bournemouth but with a game in hand, partially due to the League cup first round tie with Wrexham stretching to three matches. Graydon

had already scored three times in the League, Vowden had found the net twice and Andy Lochhead who would prove so deadly in front of goal had managed a solitary League strike. Villa’s attendances were the envy of all around them, an average of 25,000 attending Villa Park games.

Jim Cumbes recalls with amazing clarity an incident in one of his early Villa matches, “One of my first games at home was against Bolton and we won 3-2. I had a long kick before goalkeepers had a long kick, I remember I cleared it out of the area and it went three quarters of the way upfield to Andy Lochhead. He nodded it on and Ray Graydon scored, the crowd thought it was wonderful. I Future Scottish international Bruce Rioch, far too clever immediately won over the whole fans.” for this level of football would hit a rich vein of form from early October that would see him bag six goals in an eight In Jim’s first 11 games for the Villa they won ten of the game period. Villa’s participation in the League cup ended games scoring 24 goals and conceding only five, the soliin their seventh game of the competition with a resounding tary loss was when they were beaten by unfashionable 4-1 defeat away at Blackpool, though they had reached Rochdale. Cumbes said they normally had 2,000 spectaonly the fourth round. tors at Spotland but that day there were three times that many and it seemed nearly everyone was there following They were scoring goals for fun and had a very potent the Villa. In the last fixture of this remarkable 11-match strikeforce, Geoff Vowden, Andy Lochhead, Ray Graydon sequence, leaders by two points Villa played host to secand Willie Anderson would all finish the season in double ond placed Bournemouth. In a highly charged atmosphere figures, the latter two supplying many assists from the of 48,110 - a record attendance for a Third Division match wings. at the time - that had even attracted the Match of the Day cameras, Villa trailed at the interval 1-0 to a Ted McDougall But Vic Crowe was only too aware that they were ship- goal. Attacking the vast terracing of the Holte End, Vowden ping too many at their own end. A 4-1 win at home to levelled the score before Andy Lochhead controlled an Ian Blackburn was followed by a highly entertaining 4-4 draw Hamilton free-kick before spinning 180 degrees and catchat Port Vale. ing the ball on the half-volley to crash it into the net and send the Villa fans into a state of hysteria. The win opened The next weekend saw over 37,000 turn up in Aston to up a three-point cushion at the summit and had come after see third-placed Villa take on second-placed Notts. In a four straight victories. tight game Tommy Hughes in the Villa goal saved a Don Masson penalty while Villa’s free scoring winger Graydon Lochhead recalls the top of the table encounter, “I was hit the only goal of the game. “We won 1-0 and I had a somewhere near the penalty spot I took one touch, it nightmare that day. I remember Ray scored the goal. Ray went up in the air and I volleyed it into the roof of the net. and myself signed for Villa on the same day,” recalled It was at the Holte End and the noise was terrific, there Hughes. It would transpire that the unlucky Hughes would was helluva gate that game, even down in the Third - Villa play no more in claret and blue, in came goalkeeper (and were a big team! bowler for Worcestershire County Cricket side) Jim Cumbes from the Albion. Geoff Vowden playing in his first full season at Villa Park also recalls the clash of the top two sides, “I remember Signed for Villa on the Thursday in order to play on the vividly the Bournemouth game, McDougall scored that Saturday, Jim was injured and had to have a cortisone in- fantastic flying header in front of the Holte End, I can see jection in order to make his debut in a 6-0 victory away to it now. They were winning 1-0 at half-time and in the secOldham. He told me that Bruce Rioch had just come back ond-half we changed round and I scored a header from into the side after injury and then reeled the scorers off Ian Hamilton’s cross. I went up for it and just beat the and all correctly. His memory is as sharp as if he had played keeper. Andy Lochhead scored the other as he spun last month, I said to him, “You can tell you didn’t head the round and stroked it into the net, we won 2-1 and again it was from Chico’s cross. It was a huge crowd and was ball very often,” – absolutely amazing. | 13

Team Photo 1971 - 72 on Match of the Day on television.” Andy being an ex Burnley player was the ideal target for the boo boys of Blackburn the following weekend. Villa although conceding a half time lead, bought back a valuable point from Rovers with Andy elevating himself in the unpopularity stakes scoring the all important goal. At this same time Crowe decided to add more experience in depth to his side. Using the gate receipts and more besides that Villa had banked from their lucrative December friendly match with Santos and Pele, Vic bought in, Ian ‘Roscoe’ Ross, from Liverpool for £70,000 and the following month in would come the giant centre-half from Luton Town, Chris Nicholl, for an even bigger fee. Both new signings slotted in effortlessly. With regular full-backs Aitken and Wright and now a new man to play alongside Geordie centre-half Fred Turnbull the Villa defence got even meaner.

Back Row, L to R; Jimmy Brown, Ray Graydon, Lew Chatterley, Andy Lochhead, Malcolm Beard, Dave Gibson, Michael Wright. Middle Row, L to R; Dave Rudge, Lionel Martin, Charlie Aitken, Geoff Crudgington, Fred Turnbull, Tommy Hughes, George CurtisBruce Rioch, Willie Anderson. Front Row, L to R; Vic Crowe (manager), Brian Tiler, Harry Gregory, Pat McMahon, Chico Hamilton, Neil Rioch, Keith BradleyGeoff Vowden, Ron Wylie (first-team coach). the chapter on their third-tier campaign against Chesterfield - Roscoe netting his first of only three goals for the Villans – the very same team they played back in August 1970 when they kicked their first ever ball at this level. This time round Villa would ship only 32 goals compared to last seasons total of 46 while they finished the second highest scorers in the entire league – hitting the target 85 times. They had returned to top place in the table in January after beating Barnsley at home, a position they

The Villa bandwagon rolled on unmercifully, they ground out win after win taking a huge following wherever they went. They would taste defeat, this time against fellow promotion candidates Brighton & Hove Albion in late March for only the fifth time on their travels but as had happened on the previous occasions, it just served to strengthen their resolve, five straight wins followed, taking them to early April which was a busy month for the Claret & Blue as in that short space of time they had nine fixtures to fulfil. Chesterfield were hit for four on their home turf and it was just a case of when, not if the Villa were to gain promotion.

wouldn’t relinquish. Andy Lochhead hadn’t disappointed, he notched up an impressive tally of 25 League and cup goals in 53 appearances. He refuses to take the credit for himself by acknowledging the sterling service he received from the Villa’s midfield, especially the wingers. “Ray Graydon came in and was a very good crosser of the ball, he also scored a fair amount of goals. Chico Hamilton was another very talented lad, he played on the right wing but was left footed, he was great at going to the full-back, dipping his shoulder, spinning back and getting it on his left foot and pinging it in to the near post. I was away from my marker by then, that was the understanding we had. You know what it’s like if you get a yard on the fella picking you up – you’re in. When he pinged it in it was like a shot on goal, it only needed a touch on it and it was in the back of the net.” Vowden also weighed in with crucial goals and his time in the claret and blue was a special time in his career, “Vic and Ron made some good signings at that level. Ray Graydon, Chris Nicholl, and Ian Ross, they built up a very good squad. Ray was a good signing, he scored a lot of goals for a winger.”

This goal was finally achieved April 24th at the diminutive Field Mill, home of Mansfield Town where a Geoff Vowden goal secured Villa the point they needed to be sure. Centre-half George Curtis came back in for the ‘Stags’ game after missing the last dozen games through injury, it was his last appearance for the Villans.

“I used to room with Chris when we went away to games, he was a good lad, very underrated he was a big part of us gaining promotion. Ian Ross came shortly after and we took off really well. We were too good for that division to be fair. We had some great ball players, Bruce in the middle of the park and Ray on the wing. Record points, we had a fantastic season.”

Five days later in front of 37,179 souls at Villa Park in what could best be described as a carnival atmosphere, Villa took the Third Division championship as they tore Torquay United to shreds, 5-1, with a certain Brian Little marking his full debut by getting his name on the scoresheet – possibly one for the future? Ironically they closed

Cumbes, Villa’s goalkeeper also shares the credit with his defence for Villa having the meanest defence in the division, “With Wright and Aitken being ever present since my arrival we were able to build up a very good understanding, we each knew what the other would do.”

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The experienced Jimmy Cumbes comes in from WBA




There is no real formula in place that helps define the greatness of a match, although a fair few goals would surely be nice. This list, as nominated by voting fans, has just about everything you could hope for in a Villa thriller; from high-flying ventures in Europe, tales from the old First Division, and cup game classics. The predicament from the last two seasons – and to a certain extent the opening period of Paul Lambert’s campaign – haven’t produced the sort of playing field needed for great football games to flourish. Thus a look back at some of the finest fixtures in Aston Villa’s history is perhaps the perfect tonic to inspire players and fans alike! 16 |

Tom Davis takes a look a some of Villa’s greatest Games

13th April 1977, Football League Cup Final Replay: Aston Villa 3-2 Everton

11th April 1989, Football League First Division: Arsenal 0-1 Aston Villa

5th November 1989 Football League First Division: Aston Villa 6-2 Everton

It was a case of third time lucky for Villa as two previous attempts of lifting the League Cup against Everton were eradicated from the minds when they produced one of the most memorable cup final victories of all time. With just over ten minutes left on the clock, it looked as if Villa were heading for a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford, but a spell of four minutes saw the tie turned on its head.

Graham Taylor is current manager, having won promotion to the first division in his first season. His side finished a point off the relegation places the following season, but remarkably went on to finish runners up in this campaign. This fixture occurred towards the end of the season as they looked to give the eventual title winners Liverpool a run for their money.

It is a Sunday afternoon and Aston Villa are about to kick-off against Everton. They play on the back of a positive run of four straight league wins, following a somewhat shaky start. Gordon Cowans gave Villa the lead in this particular fixture, before the goal count was trebled with goals from Ian Olney and David Platt in the space of six minutes. Villa seemingly placed a firm grasp on this game despite a late resurgence from Everton. But the half-time score of 3-0 only tells half the story.

Centre-back Chris Nicholl was the unlikely source of a 40yard screamer which tore inside the post to level the match. Minutes later, Brian Little gave Villa the lead after eluding two Everton challenges and finding the back of the net from the narrowest of angles. It looked as if that was the winning goal but three minutes later Everton equalised through Mike Lyons, forcing the tie into extra-time for the second replay running. The game very nearly produced another draw, but Little poached the winning goal with seconds to spare, after a deflected cross fell to his feet sixyards out.

Arsenal were also a side on the ascendency however, and it showed in this game. In a match they dominated for large chunks of the game, it seemed inevitable that one of their strikers would get on the score sheet sooner or later. But it was from the foot of Villa full-back Chris Price that the only goal of the game arrived. After more heavy defending, the ball was cleared up long to the club’s new record-signing, Tony Cascarino. He twists and turns one way and then the other, the upcoming support of David Platt looking the likely destination of his next pass. From nowhere however, Price darts through on his right-hand side and curls a right-footed shot across John Lukic in the Arsenal goal.

Four minutes into the secondhalf and Platt scored again. Minutes later, Olney did exactly the same to extend Villa’s lead to five. There is even time for Danish defender Kent Nielsen to get in on the act, before Everton scored two in a matter of minutes with the clock running down – one courtesy of Paul McGrath’s shin. At 6-2, the rout had finally reached its conclusion. The return fixture was just as entertaining as well finishing 33, in a game that was Taylor’s last before he was appointed England manager.

23rd December 1970 Football League Cup Semi-Final Second Leg: Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United Aston Villa were a side competing in the old Third Division when they faced top-tiers’ Manchester United in a star-studded side that featured Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law – not forgetting future Villa goalkeeper, Jimmy Rimmer. A crowd of 62,500 packed into Villa Park to witness their claret and blue heroes claim an unlikely victory against a side who were crowned champions of Europe just two years before. A 1-1 draw from the first leg still favoured United to find a place in the final, and after an early solo goal from Brian Kidd on 14 minutes to put the visitors in front, it looked like they were on course to do just that. Yet Vic Crowe’s Villa hung on and found themselves level before half time with a goal from Lochhead. To the surprise of both sets of fans, the home side then took the lead mid-way through the second half thanks to a goalmouth header from Pat McMahon. Although they went to lose to Spurs in the final, Villa had provided the biggest cup upset of the season on a frosty December evening. What a perfect Christmas treat.

19th March 1966, Football League First Division: Tottenham Hotspur 5-5 Aston Villa You could have been forgiven for thinking you’d seen it all when Aston Villa produced one of their greatest ever comebacks in a 5-5 thriller at White Hart Lane. The following day however, the World Cup was famously stolen whilst on exhibition at Central Hall in Westminster, London. Quite a week for the football fan, although for those of claret and blue persuasion, the former holds far more importance! A Jimmy Greaves inspired Tottenham Hotspur had found themselves 5-1 up by the time the 52nd minute approached, and an away side who suffered heavy defeats to West Ham and Fulham in their two games prior looked set for yet another drubbing. In a matter of minutes however, Villa had clawed one back, stirred by the sensational four goals from Tony Hateley who provided the dramatic turn-around. It was so nearly even more as well, when Alan Deakin rounded Spurs’ keeper Pat Jennings only for his effort to be cleared off the line. A sixth goal would have certainly proved too much for the heart to handle. | 17

27th February 1994, Football League Cup Semi-Final Second Leg: Aston Villa 3-1 Tranmere Rovers

17th December 1976, Football League First Division: Aston Villa 5-1 Liverpool

Aston Villa had lost 3-1 away to Tranmere in the first leg of this cup semifinal, but there was still all to play for, even if Ron Atkinson had stated it would take a ‘superhuman effort’ to reach the final victorious. After 23 minutes of play, it looked as if the longlost dream of reaching the final had all of a sudden become reality, as Villa Park witnessed the home side storm to a 2-0 lead with goals from Dean Saunders and Shaun Teale. The game was far from its conclusion, however.

Liverpool’s period of success in the seventies provided some of their most memorable games in history, yet their league trip to Villa Park was certainly not one of their most favoured fixtures. Bob Paisley had already won the league title with Liverpool the year before, and would go on to become one of the clubs’ greatest ever managers, but Villa - led by Ron Saunders - had re-established themselves in the top flight and were in scintillating form this evening.

Within minutes of getting their second, Tranmere had fought back with a penalty from John Aldridge, thus leaving them 4-3 ahead on aggregate. As the game had minutes remaining, Dalian Atkinson turned home a header to level the score again and force the game into extra-time. The two sides were each other’s equal however, meaning a penalty shootout was needed to decide the tie. After five spot-kicks, Mark Bosnich saved to give Villa the advantage, yet Ugo Ehiogu hit the bar and Tranmere equalled the scoring. But Bosnich was not done yet. He saved a further penalty and after Daley made it 5-4, Bosnich saved yet again to send Villa through to the final.

It was Andy Gray who opened the scoring inside ten minutes, and before the half hour mark Villa were deservedly leading 3-0 after a brace from John Deehan. Liverpool were faltering with every forward move Villa made, Brian Little adding a fourth with a shot that curled into the far corner of the goal. A consolation goal from the away side followed, but Gray added a fifth before half-time with a trademark header. Surprisingly that was to be the final goal of the game, although the display produced in the first half – often cited as the finest 45 minutes of football produced by the club – was more than enough to secure the win.

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27th March 1994, Football League Cup Final: Aston Villa 3-1 Manchester United

20th April 2008, English Premier Division: Aston Villa 51 Birmingham City

26th May 1982, European Cup Final: Aston Villa 1-0 Bayern Munich

Aston Villa weren’t given a fighting chance in the build-up to this cup final, despite finishing runners-up to United in the league the previous season. Villa were on a bad run of form, which lead to the belief that Alex Ferguson’s men would run out easy winners. The pre-match predictions looked to be on course as United dominated possession stats, but it was Villa who took the lead from only their second chance of the game with a goal from Dalian Atkinson.

Victory over your nearest rivals is a satisfying feeling at the best of times, but particularly when you run out 51 winners. Dominating the play from the beginning, it took half an hour for the home side to take a deserved lead after Ashley Young drove the ball into the bottom of the net following an assist from Olof Melberg. John Carew provided goals either side of half-time to put Villa 3-0 ahead as they looked set to do the double over their local rivals for the second year running.

There is no greater game in the history of the club than the 1-0 victory over German giants Bayern Munich in Rotterdam. Three-times champions Bayern were hot favourites for the trophy, and after Villa goalkeeper Jimmy Rimmer was forced off injured in the tenth minute, it seemed the task of returning triumphant had just become even greater. His replacement, Nigel Spink, had the daunting duty of making only his second competitive appearance for Villa on the biggest stage in football, yet was equal to everything thrown his way.

The home side were in cruise control and with just over an hour gone Young scored his second and Villa’s fourth when he thumped home a rebounded effort. Mikael Forssell pulled one back for the visitors but their celebrations were only temporary, for Gabriel Agbonlahor’s goal rounded Villa’s tally to five. It provided the biggest winning margin against the Blues since 1963, and boy, was it long overdue!

“Shaw, Williams, prepared to venture down the left,” said Brian Moore’s commentary, as Villa ventured forward. “There's a good ball in for Tony Morley,” he proceeded. “Oh, it must be, and it is! It's Peter Withe!” It wasn’t the most glamorous of goals, but Peter Withe had just scored the winning goal of the game after the ball hit his shin and bounced off the post before crossing the line. It is a feat that lives long in the proud history of Aston Villa.

The second half continued in much the same vein for United, but Ron Atkinson’s counter-attacking tactics were paying off when Villa broke again and earned a free-kick just outside the box. Kevin Richardson swung the ball across for Dean Saunders to make it two. United were persistent in their efforts and a Mark Hughes goal seven minutes from time could have swung things. But Villa had enough time to brake once more; Tony Daley’s attempt struck the post and the rebounded effort from Atkinson caught Andrei Kanchelskis on the hand. It was a penalty. Saunders confidently stepped up to make it 3-1 in the 90th minute. Aston Villa had won the League Cup!

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Where Are They Now Your Questions Answered By ...

Tommy Hughes Thomas Alexander Hughes joined Chelsea in 1965 as an 18-year-old, signed by Tommy Docherty, “I think he was after a full Scottish team at the time. I spent a little too long there I suppose but it was a different game in those days, there was no squad rotation, you came in only when someone got injured.” Tommy was understudy to the agile Peter ‘The Cat’ Bonetti. “Peter never got injured very much and then I broke my leg in a pre-season match in Amsterdam, this resulted in Chelsea bringing in ’keeper John Phillips – ironically from Villa.” “I had a good chat with Dave Sexton after he told me Villa were interested and we both thought this would be a good chance for me to get established so I had no hesitation, I popped up to the Midlands had a chat with Vic Crowe and signed. It wasn’t a step down coming to the 3rd Division as Villa had always been classed as a big club.” “There was me and a guy called Geoff Crudgington who was more or less my understudy. It wasn’t going too bad and then we played at Wrexham in a League cup match and I done my ankle in the leg I had broke. Geoff was a great lad but I don’t think Villa fancied him, they thought I was a bit more experienced so they asked me to play with my bad ankle. I was having cortisone injections and turning out with a heavy strapping. It was getting where I could hardly jump and that’s when you start losing your confidence a wee bit. It was a question of time before a replacement came in and Villa bought in Jimmy Cumbes. The guy never got injured and with my wife not being able to settle in Birmingham I needed to get away.” Tommy’s last match in the Villa jersey was at home to Notts County, he played 16 matches in Villa’s Third Division championship winning year and collected a medal for his part in their promotion. “I think you had to play in 12 or 14 matches, mind it was still down to the managers discretion. Vic and I weren’t the best of pals, I remember falling out with him when my wife was expecting our second child and she was in a car crash, I was stuck in ‘Brum’ and she was still in London. I said I needed to get down to see my wife as I’m a bit worried about her, she was in a crash a few weeks ago and is having our baby.” He said, “No you’ll be in training tomorrow.” I said, “Your joking!” After training had finished he came over and said, “You can go to London now if you want, but I want you back in the morning.” “It was just how it was in those days, I was treated no differently from the others. Players were looked upon like lumps of meat - how things have changed. Even with bad injuries you had to play - wrap it up and take a couple of whiskies!” “Despite that it was great playing for Villa, they never struggled for crowds and we would get bonuses depending on the attendance. I was on the bench for the Santos game, they allowed subs for friendlies and there were over 50,000 there that night. The miners were on strike at the time and no other games were being played but Doug Ellis had the foresight to get a generator in to get the game on. There were 10,000 locked out.” “I went to Brighton on loan, former Villa man Pat Saward was manager but they were skint, bottom of the League and hadn’t won for 24 games. But I enjoyed it down there, we had a good little run and we beat Luton in my first game. Pat and Vic were mates so that was the connection. I was hoping for a permanent move to Brighton, my wife was from Croydon so that would have been ideal. Villa wouldn’t give me a free transfer as they wanted back what they had paid for me, they actually got more than their investment when they sold me to Hereford.” Tommy played for Hereford for close on a decade before taking over as manager in 1983. After leaving football he started his own business and still resides in Hereford.

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Best player ? I was always a Charlie Cooke (Chelsea) fan, he could change a game and had fantastic ability. As my old man would say, “He was better than a tannery ball player!” With being a goalkeeper I’m a bit favourable to goalies and Pat Jennings was a great keeper.

Most difficult opponent ? I was never that frightened of anyone. But big Andy was a toughie he never disappointed you. You always knew when you played against him because he had this habit of putting his elbow in your face, what made it worse was you could hear him coming. Big Mick Jones from Leeds was another one. I can still feel my teeth now from where they were all smashed. Most memorable game ? Beating West Ham United with Bobby Moore in an FA cup-tie with Hereford. Winning the Third Division title with them was special too.

Worst injury ? Broke my leg a couple of times, dislocated my arm, broke my nose 3 times!

Why did you leave Villa ? It came to the end of my contract and I just moved on.

Funniest dressing room incident ? When I was at Brighton on loan there was a guy there Bert Murray an ex Chelsea and Birmingham player. He said what are you doing here the manager has lost the plot, he’s gone round the twist. The boss didn’t turn up for training at all on the Friday. Anyway the following day the teamsheet is up, Hughes in goal. Brighton hadn’t won at home for months and they were adrift at the bottom of the league. We warm up a bit and it’s getting on to about quarter to three, back in the dressing room and the boss Pat Saward walks in, he’s got his big crombie coat on and his hands are in his pockets. He says to me, “Good luck son, you deserve a break, hope your loan period goes well for you down here – all the best son. As for the rest of you *******, you haven’t listened to a word I’ve said all season.” He then started saying how Bert Murray takes no notice of him at all. He walks over and says, “Bert Murray I’m talking to you.” Murray is doing up his bootlaces and ignoring Pat. He walks up to Murray and says, “I can’t take no more, you’ve driven me to this.” He then pulls a gun out and pointing it at Murray he fires the thing, the noise in the tiny dressing room is incredible. I went from a sitting position to six feet in the air. Murray is white as a ghost, thinking he’s been shot and Pat Saward blows the barrel of this gun and cool as you like he walks out of the dressing room. We are all in a state of shock and are minutes away from going out to play a match. The gun was a starting pistol but we didn’t know at the time. We went out and won the game 2-0, best bloody team talk I’ve ever had in my life! By Colin Aboott | 21

Villa News

Citizen Khan follows the trials and tribulations of loudmouthed, tight-fisted, self-appointed community leader Mr Khan (Adil Ray), his long suffering wife Mrs Khan (Shobu Kapoor) and daughters Shazia (Maya Sondhi) and Alia (Bhavna Limbachia). This new family-based sitcom is set in the well-known British Pakistani area of Sparkhill, Birmingham. Mr Khan is a larger than life character, with strong opinions and big dreams. The challenges he faces are those of many fathers - how to make ends meet, keep his wife and daughters happy and impress his daughter’s future in-laws. Things would be so much easier if everyone just listened to him and followed his lead, but his obsessively house-proud wife and two feisty daughters usually have other ideas. Citizen Khan also stars Kris Marshall (Love Actually, My family) as mosque manager Dave. Created by Adil Ray, the character Mr Khan has already featured in BBC Two comedy series Bellamy’s People, on Radio Four’s Down the Line and on his own online series on the BBC Comedy website. Citizen Khan is written by Richard Pinto and Anil Gupta (Goodness Gracious Me, The Kumars at No. 42) with Adil Ray.

News Villa Park among potential venues for 2015 Rugby World Cup Villa Park has been included in the long list of potential venues The tournament will run from September 18 to October 31, for the Rugby World Cup 2015, joining other iconic venues 2015. such as Wembley Stadium, Twickenham, the Millennium Stadium and the Olympic Stadium. The geographical spread of the venues will allow approximately 2.9 million tickets to be made available to fans all over Villa Park has a long history of hosting high-profile fixtures. England and Wales, as well as approximately 400,000 international fans visiting for the event. It was the first stadium to have hosted England internationals in three centuries, with the most recent being a friendly The Pool Allocation Draw for Rugby World Cup 2015 is takagainst the Netherlands in 2005. ing place in London on December 3, 2012, after which ER 2015 and RWCL will be in a position to work through the It has hosted 16 internationals in total, including three FIFA fixture schedule with all stakeholders to select a final list of World Cup 1966 matches and four UEFA Euro 96 matches. up to 12 venues, which will be concluded by spring 2013. Villa Park has also played host to more FA Cup semi-finals Rugby World Cup is Rugby's showpiece event hosted every than any other venue with 55, and hosted FA Cup champi- four years and one of the world's largest and most popular ons Chelsea and Premier League champions Manchester global sporting events. City earlier this season for the FA Community Shield. Aston Villa Chief Executive Paul Faulkner said: "Villa Park has The long list features 17 potential match venues to host the long been associated with major events including FA Cup 48 Rugby World Cup 2015 matches from 15 different cities semi-finals and, of course, the Community Shield which we across England and Wales. hosted as the curtain-raiser to the 2012-13 season.

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A Footballer’s Say with former Aston Villa & Wolves midfielder

Mark Burke

Brian Little Great Player Great Guy In the last issue there was a great interview with Brian Little a TRUE Villa legend and somebody Im proud to say is a friend. I've known him since I was around 11 years old and I can't say how much of a thrill it was to be coached by him in my early years at Villa and also to find out what a truly great bloke he was!! I've played in several countries since then and had many managers and its always interesting to compare their qualities. When I think about Brian and how he managed us young players and subsequently the first team it's easy to see why he was a success. The players wanted to play for him. Sometimes it's that simple. His personality and management of players meant he got everything out of them. Nobody wanted to let him down and if you did he told you and you didn't want it to happen again. He was a very 'human' manager and believe me they are not all so human!!! I have foggy memories of Brian as a player as I was very young, I just remember his style but not specific things but when we were at Middlesbrough together (Brian was youth team coach) Brian sometimes joined in the training and I remember Tony Mowbray saying he was the most difficult player he had played against . Clever movement and a superb touch, one wiggle of his hips and he was gone. It was an education for all of us to watch in those short bursts before his knees forced him to stop.

My Villa Memory

Brian Little, great player , great guy.

Grounds now have changed for the better Interesting news that Villa are once again leading the way in Grounds now have changed drastically for the better on the English football with the proposal to trial run standing ter- whole but we have noticed in the last few years a change races again. in atmosphere, more polite and a little gentler than in years gone by. This is a brave move by the club and will be intensely scrutinised. Not a bad thing most would say with memories of charging mobs up and down Trinity Rd come to mind.That tribal asI remember standing in the Holte End and various other pect that gives football its edge, that rawness taking the grounds and the ensuing crushes when the crowd surged game too far over the edge. forward. But the game does need a certain edge to give it energy It's amazing really but in those days you never thought about and life. It's a fine balance between safety and keeping that the dangers , I just thought it was part of the game and very special English atmosphere. exciting!! Lets see if the experiment goes ahead and if Villa can lead This all changed with Hillsbrough, the day that changed the the way in showing how it can bring back some of that pasgame forever. sionate atmosphere we all remember.

League Cup Final at Wembley When I was 8 years old in 1977 my Uncle took me to the League Cup Final at Wembley against Everton, possibly the worst game of football in history!

seeing several Villa fans holding a tout upside down by his ankles over the side of the big drop and shaking all of the money out of his pockets!!!

I bet he didn't sell any tickets at My most vuvid memory is of walking down Wembley Way and inflated prices after that! | 23

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Villa Showbiz News

Mad Villa fan James joined BANG as a showbiz reporter in 2011 after graduating from the University of Sheffield. His diverse music taste - which ranges from Slipknot to Taylor Swift, with a bit of N-Dubz thrown in for good measure – 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 N-Dubz and B*Witched get back together.

England players mock Wills for supporting Villa Prince William is just like the rest of us – often getting ribbed for supporting the Villa! Britain's second in line to the throne recently opened St George's Park, the England Football Association's new centre of excellence, with his wife, Duchess Catherine, in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, where they met the England team before the side's 5-0 demolition of San Marino. William and Catherine – who is still known to many as Kate Middleton, her official title before she tied the knot with our beloved Wills – also met Roy Hodgson, who said he was "very impressed" they had taken time out from their busy schedules to open the new and impressive complex. But just a few months after David Beckham jokingly laid into Wills about the Villa, the England players were at it, too. Local Burton MP Andrew Griffiths explained: "There was a lot of ribbing about Aston Villa and whether they are going to have any players in the England team. He said that was not his decision. "He asked me if I thought the centre would deliver an England World Cup win. I said, 'Of course, guaranteed.' There was a wry smile. That about sums it up."

Brendan Gleeson makes son cry over his love for Villa

While Wills may have thought he was out of the woods after that, he was wrong. The prince was involved in a question and answer session at St George's Park later in the day, but he kind of brought this one on himself.

Brendan Gleeson seems like a very nice bloke and he's certainly a great actor, but who would have thought his love of Aston Villa would lead to him making his son cry?! Back in the glory days of 1994, Brendan – who you may well know as Alastor 'MadeEye' Moody in the 'Harry Potter' film franchise – was cheering so loudly when we easily saw off Manchester United 3-1 in the Coca Cola Cup Final at Wembley that he made his United fan son, Brian Gleeson, who was just six at the time, weep with sadness! Brian – who is also an Irish actor and starred as Gus the dwarf in fantasy film 'Snow White and the Huntsman' alongside Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth earlier this year – exclusively told showbiz news agency BANG Showbiz: "I'm a Man United fan, it's funny they all support English teams over here. He made me cry once when we lost in the Coca Cola Cup to Villa 3-1. He was screaming quite loud." But Brian has the last laugh these days as he admits Brendan hasn't had much to cheer about lately! He added: "Villa haven't really been much of a rival recently."

He said: "I've got a quick question - I was just wondering if Aston Villa were ever going to win the Premiership?"

Greg Rutherford's Villa Park love Last month we told you how flame-haired Olympic legend Greg Rutherford once had trials at Villa and while we were delighted to find that out, the gold medal-winning athlete has left us devastated by his latest revelation – he supports Manchester United! When naming his best ever football XI in The Sun newspaper earlier this month he picked former Villa stopper Peter Schmeichel and at least he doesn't attempt to shy away from the time he spent at the Villa. When asked if he's ever been a decent footballer, he told the publication: "I was as a youngster, yes - I had trials at Aston Villa before going on to take up athletics full time."

Chris Sulley - who is due to take up a job training coaches at Villa and other clubs - replied: "I've obviously got some work to do. They have produced good young players. Hopefully we can enhance that." But William being the fun guy he seems to be had the last laugh when it came to the players. Well, Ashley Cole. Wills met the left-back at St George's Park just one week after the Chelsea defender had branded the Football Association (FA) – of which William is of course the president – a "bunch of t***s" on his twitter account.

And at least one of his best ever football moments has come at Villa Park, even if it wasn't watching the lads in claret and blue!

So, the prince used his opportunity to his advantage and made the players and Ashley burst out laughing, when he told the defender: "If you continue to be a naughty boy, they will take your twitter account off you."

He added: "For me there's nothing better than Ryan Giggs' goal against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park. One of the greatest goals in history."

An onlooker told The Sun newspaper at the time: "Ashley looked like he wanted the ground to swallow him up. He was so embarrassed." | 25

86–91 94–97

Southampton Walsall

Teams managed

1974–1983 Northern Ireland

National team

Senior career Years Team 65–66 Burnley 66–68 Witton Albion 68–69 Halifax Town 69–72 Luton Town 72–77 Aston Villa 77–83 Southampton 83–84 Grimsby


3 6 11 8 0

42 97 210 228 70


Gls 0

Apps 0

Youth career Cambridge United 2005–2009 Arsenal 2009–2012 Aston Villa

Playing position Centre Back

Height 6 ft 1 in

Place of birth Wilmslow, England

Full name Christopher John Nicholl Date of birth 12 October 1946 (age 66)

Chris Nicholl

Villa Biz

Villa Park is set to welcome US rock legends Bon Jovi in the summer of 2013, as another music spectacular comes to B6. Bon Jovi will hit the road in 2013 to fill stadiums and arenas worldwide with Bon Jovi: Because We Can The Tour and they will be performing at Villa Park on Sunday June 9. Bon Jovi's return to the road next year caps an incredible run which has secured the band's status as the essential live rock band - having performed more than 2,700 concerts in over 50 countries to more than 35

million fans.


The latest tour will kick off in North America in February before travelling through Europe, the Far East, Africa, Latin America and Australia.

Seats, including disabled and wheelchair tickets, are being sold through SEE Tickets from their online box office or by contacting 0871 220 0260. They are priced from £12.50-£125.

Because We Can - The Tour will debut brand new songs from the band's latest album What About Now, due out in Spring 2013. Shows will of course also feature the band's classic hits including the anthems Livin' on a Prayer, Keep the Faith, You Give Love a Bad Name, It's My Life and many

Book the kids now on to exciting Soccer Schools

For initial enquiries and interest, please email

More football fun is in store for youngsters over Christmas with Villa's brilliant Soccer Schools. The popular Soccer Schools take place between Sunday December 23 and Monday December 24 in the Indoor Academy building at Villa Park. It's the chance for youngsters aged seven to twelve to take part in fun football activities. Children can attend both days if they wish, as different activities will be held on each day. The Soccer Schools cost £20 a day. Sessions run from 10am to 3pm and participating children must wear trainers or astros plus shin pads. There will be technical coaching - dribbling, turning, passing, shooting and goalkeeping. Also there will be the opportunity to participate in 'mini major tournaments' - the Premier League, the FA Cup, the Champions League, the Euros or the World Cup. And penalty shoot-outs will also be held! Each child will receive a football, certificate and tour of Villa Park. Courses are taught by our FA qualified CRB checked coaches, who have Emergency Aid and Safeguarding Children certificates. To Book a place for your child by calling Consumer Sales at 0800 612 0970.

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Fans can also enjoy VIP treatment at the concert too. Hospitality packages will be sold through the club's hospitality and events department.

Fan Wins Holiday Villa fan Duncan Mathieson was left "stunned and thrilled" when he won the holiday of a lifetime, courtesy of our match sponsors against Norwich. The home match was very kindly sponsored by Tobago, The True Caribbean. Fans were invited to visit the impressive Tobagolator, situated in the Trinity Forecourt. There they entered a competition to win a free holiday to Tobago, famous for its long stretch of beautiful beaches, romantic settings and the most natural and beautiful scenery you will ever imagine, in conjunction with Virgin Holidays. The superb prize was drawn at half-time at the Norwich game and Duncan couldn't believe his ears when he heard he'd won.


8th t







Join uuss for our



Book nnoow for a fa fabbulous nniigh ght out! To book your table/tickets contact, call 0121 236 0164 or use our booking form. Supported by

Paul Faulkner, and BBC Radio and TV presenter, Phil Upton, are set to become new Trustees at the Birmingham-based blood cancer charity, Cure Leukaemia. The charity, which funds research nurses to enable patients to access potentially lifesaving, ground breaking drugs and treatments, named the pair as its newest Trustees following their continued support.

Paul Faulkner becomes new Trustee at the Birmingham-based blood cancer charity, Cure Leukaemia

Mr Faulkner and the club have been involved in supporting the charity and raising awareness of the disease following the diagnosis of club captain, Stiliyan Petrov, of acute leukaemia earlier this year. Phil Upton has been a dedicated committee member and keen supporter at numerous Cure Leukaemia fundraising events since it was established in 2003. James McLaughlin, CEO of Cure Leukaemia, said: “I am delighted to welcome both Paul and Phil as Trustees. Their support to date has been hugely appreciated, and their experience and knowledge of the West Midlands business community will be vital as we continue to grow and develop over the coming years.” Paul Faulkner, CEO at Aston Villa FC, said: “Cure Leukaemia’s dedication and pioneering work is inspiring and I’m delighted to have been appointed as a Trustee. There’s a natural link between the club and charity following Stiliyan’s diagnosis and I’m looking forward to assisting the team and supporting their hard work in the fight against Leukaemia.” Phil Upton adds: “I’ve been actively involved with the charity since its formation in 2003 and I am committed to doing anything I can to help raise awareness of the wonderful work it does as it gears up to celebrate its 10th Anniversary. Cure Leukaemia is a charity close to my heart and I’m looking forward to fulfilling my role as a Trustee.”

Villa Charity Radio WM 95.6 presenter Danny Kelly feeds the Lions for his 100 Club Challenge. Radio WM 95.6 listeners knew Danny Kelly was once frightened off by a peacock called Arthur at Tutbury Castle, so his producers thought it would be a good idea to stick him in a wire mesh cage, with lumps of raw meat and have him feed the lions, WILD ones, at West Midlands Safari Park for his 100 Club Challenge! Radio WM 95.6 listeners were asked to make donations with the promise the bigger amount raised, the bigger the animal Danny had to feed! The listeners DID donate and raised £836, ensuring Danny Kelly was taken to the Safari Park, put in a cage and asked to feed the biggest Lions! Thank you to Danny and everyone who donated towards his 100 Club Challenge. We will keep you updated on Radio WM 95.6 Adrian Goldberg's presenter challenge next week!

Clever Cherry Movember Challenge for Cure Leukaemia Cure Leukaemia supporters Clever Cherry will be growing some fantastic facial hair throughout the month of November and we're asking for your support to keep those bushy beards growing until the end of the month. The Cherry’s grew some very interesting moustaches for the 2011 Movember challenge and raised nearly £1000 for Cure Leukaemia! If you would like to show your support and donate to the Clever Cherry Movember Challenge and see some very inspiring facial hair as the month progresses, please click here. We look forward to seeing the biggest and best moustaches on the 30th! Please send us YOUR Movember stories and pictures to and we will post the best, the biggest and the funniest on our facebook page Cure Leukaemia and on twitter @CureLeukaemia

Spooky Sponsored Walk a great success! The Sandwell Lions organised a fantastic Spooky Sponsored Walk in aid of Cure Leukaemia on Saturday 27th October. “We are pleased to announce that Cure Leukaemia has been selected as the official charity partner for the Talksport Radio Sporting Dinner to be held in the Banqueting Suite at The Edgbaston Stadium on Thursday 29th November 2012. The evening will welcome Talksport presenters Alan Brazil, Ronnie Irani, Richard Keys and Andy Gray as special guests for an evening of stories and plenty of fun banter.

Tickets are priced at £75 pp + VAT or £695 + VAT per table of ten to include a 3 course meal and live comedian. There are also VIP packages available to include the fantastic opportunity to meet the guest speakers before dinner during the VIP reception. VIP packages are priced at £105 pp + VAT or £995 + VAT per table of ten. To book your place, call 0844 811 6800 or email For further information, log onto”

100's turned out, dressed up in their scariest Halloween costumes and wellies to walk around Sandwell Valley Country Park, accompanied by Cure Leukaemia CEO James McLaughlin and patient Tony De Grey and their families. The Lord Mayor of Sandwell, Keith Davies also attended on the day to show his support for Cure Leukaemia. A huge thank you to Paul Murphy and the Sandwell Lions for organising such a great event in aid of Cure Leukaemia. A great day was had by all and we're already looking forward to next year! | 31


Around The Ground


the Villa Times meets people who make Villa tick

Adrian and Hedda Nevett During the summer of 2009 Aston Villa placed adverts in the local Birmingham Mail newspaper and their official website appealing for Host Families. These would be normal everyday folk/families, “the only criteria was that you lived within half an hour of the club’s training ground and had a postcode of B73 or B74.” These families would each take two of the club’s youngsters and offer them a stable, healthy, homely environment. These youngsters may well have precocious talents but ultimately they are still kids. The Host families would be categorised; Respite – help out at short notice, i.e. cover Host Family during a holiday etc, Host Family – To home a player for the whole season (July – May) and the last one – Fostering. Apprentices are offered a two year scholarship within the Academy at Bodymoor Heath Training Ground, where they are placed with Host Families if they do not live within a 30 minute radius of the training ground. The players are normally paired up, say, two English lads, two Irish or two defenders etc. Whatever works so the lads are supporting each other. Both 1st year academy 16-year-olds and 2nd year academy 17-year-olds are on a two-year contract. In the players 3rd year some are offered professional contracts while some are released. At this stage they can play in the reserve or first team but they are too old to represent the academy. Players will stay with their host family in their 3rd & 4th year and are expected to find their own accommodation in the 5th and final year, though players can nominate to stay with their host families if both parties are agreeable.

Adrian & Hedda Ade Nevett, being a big Aston Villa fan, thought it made perfect sense to marry his bride-to-be (Hedda) at Villa Park, luckily she consented and they duly married in 2004 in the MacGregor Suite at Villa Park. Hedda had offered lodgings in her previous home to professional people and foreign students before meeting Ade, and with his love of the claret and blue, they jointly “decided to go for it” as Ade puts it. Both working full time, they applied and were successful and, after being CRB checked (Criminal Records Bureau), they were taken on as a Respite family for the 2009/10 season. “It was to see if we liked it and whether Aston Villa liked us, so we had two lads for four weeks over the Christmas period, whilst another family had an overseas vacation. They were both foreign players, and it was an enjoyable experience and an insight into how these young lads make the grade to be professional footballers”. The following season they became a full-time Host Family to two of Villa’s 1st year academy players. At the season’s end the club asked Ade and Hedda if everything

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By Colin Abbott

was satisfactory and they asked the players also if there were any concerns. The arrangement worked so well that the next campaign the pair kept the same two youngsters who were now into their final academy year. There are now twenty one families attached to Aston Villa that look after the younger players.

“After the 2009/10 season when we first started, we still keep in touch with all the players we have looked after, whether they still remain at Aston Villa or play overseas, and every one of them is still in the game at some capacity.”

Duties The main duties involve, meals at Breakfast and evening, laundry, and the family integrate the players into their own family unit offering the youngsters a safe environment where they can further develop their social skills. They are taught discipline by having to keep their respective rooms tidy and by having set times where they are expected to be in, they have access to the host family’s home and are encouraged to mix, help and socialise.

The family are given guidelines to follow regarding a nutritional, balanced diet and they are encouraged to make sure their young charges eat fish and vegetables regularly (disguised in various forms in the food if a youngster is particularly picky). Regular meetings are held with Host Families at Bodymoor Heath to discuss any queries/problems or be updated on any matters or procedures with Bryan Jones and the club’s Head of Education & Welfare and Head of Safeguarding. Ade is a naturally friendly bloke and has a games room situated in the garden where a quite a social gathering congregate for a chat and a game of pool or darts before they converge on Villa Park. Hedda, who not only holds her own in a game of pool, is a brilliant host on these match day Saturdays and makes sure no one leaves without having filled their boots on the food that is - lucky for some - out of bounds to her young athletes. Ade and Hedda have been responsible for providing respite care, as well as being a host family for players ranging from 1st & 2nd years up to 4th year professionals and have watched with pride from the terraces as their youngsters have been substitutes for the first team on a few occasions. Ade said “It gives you a good feeling to know that some of the lads that have started in the academy and have been living with you are now pushing for first team recognition. The wife always jokes that if they ever write their autobiographies when they’re famous, don’t forget to give us a mention.”

Academy - U21 - NextGen Villa’s host families are obviously doing something right; they are an integral part in the scheme of things. The Aston Villa academy is the envy of many top European clubs, turning out stars such as Gabriel Agbonlahor, Barry Bannan, Marc Albrighton, and the most recent ones, Weimann, Clark, Baker, Lichaj, the list is endless. The academy and its youngsters have performed consistently well over the last five or six campaigns, landing their respective FA Premier Reserve League South Division title, three years in succession and performing well against the might of Europe’s leading youth in the Next Gen series. This newfound glory for the Villa’s next generation is reflected in the sterling work provided by couples like Ade and Hedda Nevett.

John Wood Next Month | 33

Saturday 15th December

Liverpool Premier League Liverpool famed for its football teams, The Beatles and buzzing nightlife. It lies within The Historic County Boundaries of Merseyside. We Villa fans have a lot to thank Liverpool with it being the home of some of Villa all time greats such as Peter Withe, John Gidman and legends such as Steve Staunton, Ray Houghton and Dean Saunders making the move from Liverpool FC to the midlands. Liverpool is a city with great cultural heritage and was awarded the title of European Capital of Culture 2008, with the famous Pier Head Waterfront being a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2004. Liverpool is home to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and is also renowned for being the birthplace of a wide range of popular musicians including The Beatles, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Frankie goes to Hollywood, Echo & the Bunnymen and many more. The city possesses the largest national museum collection outside of London and has a fascinating and turbulent history as a great world maritime centre. Liverpool is home to Europe's oldest Chinatown. The famous Grand National Horse Race takes place in the outskirts of the city (Aintree). It is also home to two association football clubs, Liverpool and Everton, which are both amongst the most successful British football clubs.

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Travel Saturday 1st December

QPR Premier League

White City is a district in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, to the north of Shepherd's Bush. Today, White City is home to the BBC Television Centre and BBC White City, and Loftus Road stadium, the home of football club Queens Park Rangers FC.

Make the most of your stay in the city with these free London attractions. From London's exquisite parks, to worldclass museums, historic houses and stunning art galleries, there are some amazing free experiences to be had in London. The range of free London attractions is incredible. Where else in the world can you meet dinosaurs and creepy crawlies, see portraits of Tudor monarchs, travel back to the Battle of Britain, see Darwin's walking stick and the Lord Mayor's 18th-century gold coach, all without spending a penny?

Tuesday 11th December

Norwich League Cup

The Norwich area has a whole host of museums, theatres, cinemas, arts venues, churches and green spaces catering for families, couples and singles of all ages. Attractions, parks and shops offer half term and school holidays activities from book reading to puppet making whilst adults can enjoy recitals, art galleries and bandstand concerts to name but a few – and most of these things to do are FREE.

In the countryside discover the amazing unspoilt landscapes of the Norfolk Broads where you can sail, canoe, walk and cycle. Birdwatching and fishing are popular past times as the Broads are home to some of the rarest wildlife including the reclusive bittern. You can hire sailing boats, motor cruisers (by the hour or the day) you can even charter one of the few remaining Norfolk Wherry yachts, complete with crew. If you prefer to amble along discovering quaint villages and market towns a very pleasurable experience awaits. Visit independent shops, antique auctions, farmers markets, breweries, churches, nature reserves, gardens and art galleries.

Sunday 23rd December

Chelsea Premier League

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is home to some of the most interesting and enjoyable attractions in London. From the ever-hip King's Road in Chelsea to the recently-popularised Notting Hill, the shopping heaven that is Kensington High Street, the fantastic scenery of Kensington Gardens or some of London's top museums that are in South Kensington. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is rich in history and architectural interest - yet fashionably modern.

The area has always been closely associated with the British Monarchy : The Albert Hall and the recently restored Albert Memorial dedicated to Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria are located in Kensington - an area that is also associated with the late Princess Diana who lived at Kensington Palace. Whether you are a Londoner or a first time visitor to the Capital, Soundmap takes listeners on an wonderful audio journey down the King's Road that was the epicentre of Swinging London. A dizzying world of music, theatre, art and fashion . Chelsea Football Club is located in Fulham, adjacent to Chelsea. As a result of Chelsea's expensive location and wealthy residents, Chelsea FC has the wealthiest supporters in England. | 35

Villa Academy Player Feature

Benjamin Siegrist enjoyed a productive 2011-12 campaign, establishing himself as Villa's reserve team keeper as well as working at close quarters with the first team. The Basel-born custodian made 17 appearances in the Barclays Premier Reserve League as Villa stormed to the southern section title.

Switzerland’s Benjamin Siegrist Drennan and Burke fire young guns to victory Villa U19 2-0 PSV U19 Villa significantly boosted their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages of the NextGen Series with a classy display against PSV Eindhoven. Goals from Graham Burke and Michael Drennan ensured a victory that lifts Tony McAndrew's team up to second place in Group 4 in the prestigious European U19 competition. It leaves the boys in claret and blue with a good chance of reaching the last 16 - either as group runners-up or as one of the best third place teams. Villa made two changes from the side that drew 2-2 at Celtic last month with Burke and Josh Barton coming in for Charlie Ward and Brad Lewis. It meant Burke - a two-goal hero in a memorable NextGen Series win over Rosenborg last term was reunited with fellow Irishman Drennan in attack. Drennan showed great strength to hold off a defender and slide through a perfect pass which Burke raced on to before neatly dinking the ball over goalkeeper Jesse Bertrams. VILLA: Hill, Barton, Bateman, Lyden, Devine, Watkins-Clark, Graham, Carruthers, Drennan, Burke, Grealish. Subs: Ward, Melvin [for Carruthers, 90], Crowley, O'Brien, Toner, Calder, Zazrivec.

36 |

But, more significantly, Siegrist was brought into the first team fold by goalkeeping coach Terry Gennoe. It offered Siegrist the opportunity to work with senior keepers Shay Given and Brad Guzan on matchdays as well as on the training field. He was an integral member of Villa's NextGen Series squad, playing in five of the six group games before suffering disappointment of missing the last eight tie against Marseille with a hand injury. On the international stage, Siegrist also established himself as a regular member of Switzerland's U21 squad having previously represented his national side at U17 and U19 level. The 20-year-old finished the season by helping Villa reach the final of the Hong Kong International Soccer Sevens - the third time he had featured in the prestigious competition. Siegrist made a big impression in the Villa academy ranks as part of the team that finished as runners-up in the FA Youth Cup in 2009-10. But his finest achievement that season came with Switzerland, who won the World U17 Cup in Nigeria. Siegrist walked away with the Golden Gloves award for the tournament's top goalkeeper. Opportunities at Villa were limited for Siegrist in the 2010-11 season, with Andy Marshall and Elliot Parish also vying for the reserve team keeper's jersey. But the summer proved to be a busy one for the 6ft 4in stopper. After representing Switzerland in a European U19 qualifier, he got the call to head to Denmark to provide goalkeeping cover for the U21 side in the Euro 2011 finals. But developing his claret and blue career is his number one priority.

Ryan Griffiths Proud to be a Villan

Sta n Coll ymore is spot on with hi s asse ssme nt



The Aston Hot el , Aston The charming Aston Hotel offers free secure parking, and shows live sports on a big screens and is just 20 metres from Villa Park, home of Aston Villa. The Hotel has fourteen elegantly designed en suite letting rooms with TVs and all the required facilities. A full English breakfast is available each morning and a range of drinks are on offer in the newly traditional fitted bar area. The Aston Hotel Witton Rd Aston Birmingham B66 NS E o r g | t : 0121 328 2841 This past Saturday I, as usual joined the travelling faithful in our game against Sunderland. One of the seasons long haul games it culminated in a 17 hour round trip to see the game, but it was worth every minute of it! During the returning coach journey the driver had kindly switched the radio on so that we may listen to the late kick off between West Ham and Man City. But it was something said during the half time break that caught my attention. As usual Stan Collymore was doing his snapshot analysis of the games already taken place when he came to our result. Now with Stan being a Villa fan I’m always interested in what he has to say regarding the team, this was no different,


captivating performances against Swansea and Man City. Sunderland showed we can grid a result out, it can only give confidence to the team.

Confidence is key, and again as Stan says we have a very young squad out there, in fact the average age of the first team squad is only 25.80, and when you consider we have the dinosaurs of Dunne (33), Marshall (37) and Given (36) thrown into the equation it starts to tell its own story. In fact 14 of the 26 players in the first ‘I said at the start of the season this will team squad, fall below that average. be a rollercoaster of a emotions for the Villa faithful, a season whereby we lose A young squad is a balancing act, get them wingames against the likes of Southampton ning and confidence will soar, equally confiand then go and beat the Champions in dence can hit rock bottom should events their own back yard in a cup, if the Villa conspire against us. This is the point I feel Stan can keep themselves up this year they was making, given the circumstance of last year can go far, this is a young team with bags and some pundits even predicting the worst for us this season, means that expectations for them of potential’ are low outside of our own fan base. As any level headed fan will tell you, Stan is spot on with his assessment. Some may have had Playing football the right way and building conhigher expectations, I myself spoke of a top 10 fidence into a young squad is the major platform finish when Lambert, first came on board! The to establish. Yes this season is going to be infact of the matter is, like many got caught up in consistent, it’s going to frighten us and make us fear the worst, but it’s also going to deliver us the excitement of it all. the unexpected, besides as Villa fans do we reA good pre season did nothing to dent my con- ally expect anything other than a roller coaster? fidence, and then came the opener at the Boleyn Ground and the reality of the situation hit Youth is a blessing, it’s a blessing we have, it’s a blessing for us to build on, and after home. this season a young core of players is only Stan is completely right is my opinion; the per- going to pay us dividends going forward. formances have been Jekyll and Hyde at times. After this season we truly could have the Horror shows against Southampton and Ever- bright future to match our proud history. ton the case in point followed with majestic and

An a, Califor nia The story of the sailing ship is the story of man's conquest of the elements; the oceans, winds and treacherous currents Manhattan of the seven seas. It tells of the courage and tenacity of the b ar in Cab o men who sailed them to chart Roig, S pa in and map the world and spans This bar is one of the typical every age of discovery and exEnglish run bars we all see on ploration. our holidays but this one has a difference! Villa fans Emma and On return to a safe harbor, Joe in the picture work long they headed for their beloved hours serving up excellent pubs and taverns. Where good home made food to all but an fellowship, jokes, and gossip extra warm welcome awaits were exchanged with unreVilla fans. strained vigor, letting off steam. So that on return to the fold, It was a pure coincidence when they met the problems of I walked in the bar to hear " Up home, wives, and children with The Villa!" bellow out from the relaxed humor. kitchen area. After a long chat about all things Villa they are FULLERTON, CA 709 North now part of the newly formed Harbor Blvd 714.871.7447 Costa Blanca Lions run by Pete Open daily 11am - 11pm Goulder, who meet regularly at Bar Med for all Villa matches. Pete can be contacted on +34672 921159 and welcomes ex pats living in Costa Blanca or Villa fans on holiday to join up with them for a beer and watch the games. | 37

Football Fit with Peter Withe




er Villa and England Strik er rm fo e th ith w -1 on 1d How to Score Every Passing and Reaction an

Did You Know! Peter played for 13 clubs over a 19 year period, playing in South Africa, America and of course the Uk and played 11 times for England scoring once.

Football Fit with Peter Withe

Finishing: How to Score Every 1-on-1 Grassroots football players are more likely than most to find themselves behind the defence and one-on-one with the opposition goalkeeper.

Key Points

Get the ball into the penalty area as quickly as possible These opportunities stack the odds in the attacker’s to give yourself the best chance of hitting the target. favour, but so frequently we will see players lack the confidence or the ruthlessness required to take advan- Look at the goalkeeper’s position and decide whether you can put the ball over or around them with an early tage and score from a one-vs-one chance. shot. You can use these attacking coaching points to help your players develop their confidence in coaching sessions, If not, move the ball slightly to one side of the goal. This so that when the chance arises during a game they will will move the ‘keeper towards their near post and open up an angle for a far post shot. know exactly how to score every time.

As soon as you have enough space, pass the ball into the far bottom corner – keeping it away from the keeper’s reach.

Attacking Decisions If the ‘keeper rushes out to close the shot down be prepared to take the ball around them using feint moves and the outside cut. Don’t be averse to powering the ball in at the near post if the goalkeeper leaves it open.

Peter Withe Passing and Reaction

The soccer drill focuses on developing one touch passing, reaction, weight and accuracy of passes.

Organisation Players are arranged as shown. Four inside players are placed next to different colored cones. Two server players are placed to the yellow cones. Players change position periodically. Description One of the server players (A) passes the ball (1) to the other

server player and calls a color. This command determines which inside player the receiver (B) has to pass the ball to first. Then receiver (B) has to play all the other inside players. Finally he passes the ball back to player A and calls a color. Inside players turn into the direction of player A. Progression is the same. | 39

Davies Car ly

A Interview With

Centre Forward - Aston Villa Ladies

Carly Davies is a real powerhouse forward for Villa Ladies. The 26-year-old is quick, powerful and direct and never fails to register her fair share in front of goal. Carly has been at Villa for 12 years and graduated through the club's girls centre of excellence.

Cup Final 3.2 on the Wednesday evening and then went on to win the league and promotion into the FAWPL on the Sunday finishing top of the table. We did this by breaking a league record of 14 games unbeaten. That’s a record I think the players and club are all proud of.

Quick Questions Favourite Villa Player? “SUPPORT STAN” Favourite Music? Motown (yes I am only 26) RnB Favourite Food? Chicken, I love chicken and I’m free for Nandos whenever you want to take me?! lol Favourite Movies? The Body Guard/Stand By Me, I love the Marvel films to….SPIDERMAN!!!! Favourite Holiday destination? USA Favourite Pass time? Being a teenager and playing football from morning till night. We would often be chased of the local astro turf because we shouldn’t have been there! Now I’m the one doing the chasing lol!

What is your memorable game you have played in? The last game of the season we got promoted. We had to win that game to secure promotion and an added bonus of finishing top of the table above rivals Coventry. If we lost or drew we would have to wait on other results to see if we would go up, so of course it was tense in the changing room before the game. We were drawing the game into the 85th minute and on 86 minutes against the run of play I scored. It was a feeling I wish I could have bottled up and one I don’t think any of us will ever forget. We went from losing our first 4 games on bounce to Was it an ambition of yours to play for Aston Villa? being unbeaten the rest of the season. A great achievement for From a very young age when my teachers at school would ask all of us involved. me “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, most 7 year old girls would say, a princess, a vet, a nurse, a model. My re- Do you and your team mate hang out together? sponse was “a professional footballer for Aston Villa or a football Yeah we spend quite a bit of time together. Some of us have coach”. For me I can say I’ve managed to do both. My bedroom played together for many years now and you become close wall was always covered in football posters and my mom would friends sharing the emotions and the banter that come with playstruggle to get me to wear anything that wasn’t claret and blue ing in a football team. We support each other on and off the or had an England badge on the front, lol! I think that answers pitch, that’s the best part of being a member of a team. We know your question! how to enjoy ourselves! What was it like to sign for Aston Villa when you were only 14? I was actually 15 when I signed for Aston Villa. It was a dream come true for me really. I grew up supporting Aston Villa and watching them whenever I got the chance. My Dad and Uncle Karl where both massive villa fans and supporters of my football, so for me to be able to pull that shirt over my head for the very first time was a proud moment for both them and me.

How has Aston Villa progressed with in Ladies football since you have joined? The running of the ladies set up has come extremely far since I joined back in 2001. We have always been very fortunate to have the backing financially by the Club and this is something that has only continued to be improved year by year. Many ladies teams do not get any support by their male counter parts unlike us. Since being took on by the club and managed by the Community Scheme we have seen massive benefits and improvements. We have a great training facility, equipment, kit, transport, quality coaching staff and great Physio care. Alongside this we are now covered by our media team who do a great job in reporting the day to day running’s of the team and help promote the Ladies and Girls set up within Aston Villa FC. When you run a team professionally you get that attitude and work ethic back in return from players and coaching staff. We proved this by winning promotion to the National Women’s Premier League in 2010-11 season. We then went on to finish 3rd in 2011-12 and are looking to continue improving. It’s all very positive and I know it will only continue to improve in the future.

You were a part of the Villa Community Scheme for many years, how did it feel to represent Villa? Like I said earlier, I always wanted two things as a kid, to play for villa or coach. I’m fortunate enough to have done both and for the Villa. Aston Villa is a well-established club in the English game and it was a great honour for me to be part of such a great club persuing the career I always wanted. They helped develop me as a coach and gain the qualifications I have behind me now. Without the support from the staff and club I wouldn’t be where I am now so for that I will always be grateful and very proud to have worked for such a great club and one that I support!

You have coached in the USA, what was that experience like and what is the game like in the states? I was only 19 when I first went out to the states to work. It was the best thing I ever did. It opened my eyes to the opportunities that are out there if you really want them. I had two great summers out there, probly two of the best ever. The players there were so keen to learn and improve, a breath of fresh air for any coach, particularly a young one like myself at the time. The game in general nationally is improving all the time in the states, you What is your most proudest moment of being a Aston only have to look at their national women’s side to see that. They Villa player? are the best in the World, they are hard workers and technically Proudest moment would have to be doing the double in 2010- fantastic players. They have tremendous facilities and financial 11. We beat local rivals Coventry City Ladies FC in the County backing out there. | 41

Villa Ladies

Sun 17th, 2pm, Bham Police, Sun 25th. 2pm, WBA, Forecoming Games November: December Sun 2nd, Portsmouth, Sun 9th, Charlton

Match Reports Sun 7th October

Leeds Ladies 1-2 Villa Ladies: Clarke and Davies net in away win Second-half goals from Kelly Clarke and Carly Davies gave Villa Ladies a deserved away victory at Leeds United Sun 21st October

Villa Ladies stars win national awards

Coventry Ladies 1-3 Villa Ladies Merrick, Wilkinson, Merritt on target

Two Villa Ladies landed prestigious awards at the FA Joe Hunt, ladies head coach, said: "Congratulations to Women's Awards. Sarah and Sherry.

Villa Ladies produced an attacking masterclass to see off Coventry Ladies.

Midfield ace Sherry McCue finished second while Sarah "The whole club are very proud of them. I'm fortunate Mayling of the U17s finished third in the Young Player of enough to coach both players. the Year award. "They give their all for club and country. They are so dedBoth collected prizes at the event, held at the Waldorf icated to being the best they possibly can." Hilton in Aldwych, London, to honour those who have made the biggest impact in the game in 2012. England Manager Roy Hodgson and Olympic duo Denise Lewis and Sarah Storey were among the special guests at Alex Greenwood from Everton won the top gong. the event.

Bethan Merrick, Katie Wilkinson and Tash Merritt [pictured] bagged the goals on an afternoon of delight for the claret and blues.

McCue is a all-action, tough-tackling midfielder who is Women's football was one of the biggest success stories high regarded in the senior set-up. of the Olympic Games, with Team GB's 1-0 win over Brazil at Wembley a particular highlight. Mayling is quick, direct, technically sound, strong and athletic. She's one of the hottest prospects in the female game That game attracted a record crowd for a women's match - the complete midfielder. in Britain - 70,584.

Six England call-ups for young Villa Ladies Villa Ladies have had a club record number of U19 players called up for international duty with England within the last month. A total of six from Joe Hunt's side were selected for the friendly game with Sweden U19s on Friday October 19. Maddie Cusack - for the first time - Sherry McCue, Aoife Mannion, Megan Walsh, Abbeyleigh Stringer and Katie Wilkinson have got the call. Villa boss Hunt was absolutely thrilled when he got the news. He said: "It's great for Villa as a club to get this international recognition. "I'm especially thrilled for Maddie who has received her first call-up. She didn't start in the team at the beginning of the season but now she's one of the first names on the sheet. "That's come from sheer determination and hard work on her part. She'll prove a good addition for England because she can play in numerous positions. She's a top player. "I have some really talented players here at Villa. This just goes to show that. We're second bottom of the league at the moment but that won't last long because this group - once they gel - will come good. I'm sure of that." All home games are played at Trevor Brown Memorial Ground, Church Road, Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield

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Sun 28th October

Villa Ladies 1-0 Man City Ladies Birthday girl Cusack "frightening"

Manager Joe Hunt paid tribute to birthday girl Maddy Cusack as she helped Villa Ladies see off Man City Ladies 1-0 on home soil. Cusack may have only turned 17 the morning of the game but she put in the maturest of performances in the middle of the park as Villa Ladies made it two wins in two games, helping the team up to third in the National League. Sun 4th November

Leicester Ladies 0-3 Villa Ladies Stringer bags brace

Abbeyleigh Stringer was the heroine as Villa Ladies saw off Leicester City Ladies 3-0 in the League Cup. Stringer bagged a brace to give Joe Hunt's side a two-goal advantage at the break and wing wonder Kelly Clarke hit another just past the hour mark to guarantee the win. Sun 11th November

Barnet Ladies 0-2 Villa Ladies Petrovic and Wilkinson on target

Villa Ladies made it four wins in four games as they saw off Barnet Ladies in an immensely fiery encounter at Underhill. Dani Petrovic and Katie Wilkinson bagged the goals as Villa Ladies earned a 2-0 victory in a game which saw Barnet Ladies finish with just eight players following three red cards. The result also helped Villa Ladies to joint second in the National Division. They are just four points behind leaders Sunderland Ladies, although the north-east side do have two games in hand.

Villa Shopping Villa Gifts We All Want

Wh a t a r e y o u b uyi ng th em L io n s t h i s C hr i s tmas ?

Aston Villa 80/81 Home League Champions Shirt Aston Villa 80/81 Home League Champions Shirt - Claret/Sky A replica of the shirt worn by the famous 1980-81 Football League Championship winning side that boasted Rimmer, Swain, Evans, McNaught, Williams, Gibson, Mortimer, Bremner, Cowans, Withe, Morley, Shaw, Deacy & Geddis. Embroidered crest on left chest.


Books Denis Mortimer Framed Signed Photo Aston Villa Limited Edition Denis Mortimer Signed Framed signed by the man himself. Acrylic glazing, wooden frame, Photo Captain and legend Denis Mortimer proudly pa- photographic print and card mounts. Comes supplied with rades the club's first trophy since 1957; the 1980-81 Divi- string and fixings to hang. Size: 590 x 488 x 30mm son 1 Championship trophy to the Villa Park faithful.


This Limited Edition framed photo of this historical moment is hand

Was: £120.00 Save £20.0

The Real Bobby Dazzler: The Bobby Thomson Story

Aston Villa Essentials Fleece Zip Through Hoody Womens

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This is a no holds barred behindthe-scenes insight into Thomson's public and private life. This is a story of a typical Scottish lad who, from an early age, excelled in every sport and was born a winner. Thomson would quickly make his name in that great Villa side and was an integral part of Mercer's Minors. After four years at Villa Park, he moved across the city to St Andrew's where he would meet up again with the enigmatic Stan Cullis.

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Villa Lions

Aston Villa Fan Club in Thailand In 2005, an Aston Villa fan Wiwat Treekrutphan built a website called ‘We Support Aston Villa’ with a free domain. Later on in 2006, I accidentally found the website and contacted Wiwat about moving the website and registering the domain. The site is called ‘Aston Villa Thailand Fanclub’ and we originally had 14 members, 13 Thai fans and 1 English fan from Birmingham who worked in Harrow International School, Bangkok. Most members joined the club around 2006-2007, when the club was taken over by new owner Randy Lerner and when Martin O’Neill was appointed manager. The team had young players like Gabby Agbonglahor, Gareth Barry, Gary Cahill and Liam Ridgewell etc. Personally I believe that the Thai Villa fans came to join the site after Aston Villa drew 11 at Arsenal and then also drew 1-1 at Chelsea a month later. I met with Wiwat, along with 2 other Villa fans Tae and Pat for the first time in April of 2008, when Aston Villa beat Birmingham 5-1. The next meeting had two new members Tle and Kui. We usually watch the matches on cable TV and some of us watch the match on live stream. We arrange to watch matches together 2-3 times a year, especially when we play Birmingham City and WBA. Every New Year the fans will meet for a meal and exchange gifts. We now have 112 members in the Club with around 80 active Members. Some of our members have already travelled to watch matches at Villa Park. Two of our members had season tickets while studying at the University of Birmingham, and more of us plan to go in the future. Last year 3 members went to watch the pre-season matches in Hong Kong. The Premiership is the most popular football league in Thailand, and Thai people have been fans of English football for a long time. It’s on at the right time for Thai people to watch. Many of our members want to go to Villa Park to watch a match but there is a problem booking tickets as they are only sold in the first instance to those with a booking history. Therefore, it’s hard to apply for a visa to go to England by the time the tickets go on general sale. We hope that in the future the club will give overseas fans, without sufficient booking history, the chance to purchase tickets and build up their booking history. The club should come to Asia more often as there is a massive Premiership fan base here. It might not be easy to come to Thailand, but it would be great for us to go and watch matches in other countries like Hong Kong, Singapore or Malaysia. I believe that there are many other Villa fans in Thailand and my aim is to make them aware of our fan club so that we can bring them all together.

Adv e r t is e w it h We have pictures of our fan club in and on

Aston Villa’s Premium Unofficial Magazine 44 | | 44

A Interview with Kung Chonmaitree What past players are best loved by the Villa fans in Thailand? Our old fans love Milosevic / JPA / McGrath / Platt / Taylor / Saunders. Our new fans who have become Villa fans in last 5-10 years like Barry / Gabby / Bent.

What player from the past do you wish you’d seen play? David Platt / Paul McGrath / Ian Taylor

What's your best memory as a fan of your club?

Bromsgrove Villa Lions Win supporters club award for October! Phil Gardner and Duncan Kemp were rewarded for their continous hardwork and dedication to their members cause by being named Official Branch of the Month - October. The supporters club based at the Grapevine Bromsgrove are going from stregnth to stregnth and boast a membership base of 400 loyal Villa supporters. They are pictured here in The Lions Club Lounge before the game with Manchester UInited on Saturday. Congratulations to all involved and keep up the great work.

Winning the League Cup in 1994 & 1996

The Mag

The Villa Times goal is to give Aston Villa football fans something different, with up to date information on Aston Villa, giving a good old fashioned magazine with a modern twist.

What's your worst memory as a fan of your club? Last season when McLeish was the manager, the Thai Villa Fans lived in fear of relegation. We believe we are so lucky to still be in premiership, thank god!!!

What do you think of the new manger? He is a modern manager with fresh ideas, we believe that he will use his ability to change the team and buy some talented new players. It might take some time to do it so we should give him a chance.

What new player do you like this season? Benteke / KEA / Holman

Who is your favourite current player?

New deal exclusively for members of Villa Lions Clubs The Villa Times Magazine is now working with the Villa Lions Clubs to get their news and events out through a monthly article in the magazine and on the Villa Times newsletters.


Our New and informative website is going live soon with some great features for that Villa Loving fan to visit for up to date information of whats going on at Villa Park

t h e V il l a T i me s Gabby Agbonlahor

Where will Villa finish this season?

Hopefully Villa will finish in middle table this season, 10th-12th would be acceptable. Our big hope is that we will win the League Cup.

As a member of the Villa Lions you are able to now buy the Villa Times magazine at a discounted rate of £20 (normally £24) for 6 months subscription and £36 (normally £48) for 12 months subscription. If you would like to subscribe to the Villa Times magazine, please email Peter at and quote "Lions Sub Offer" and he will the send you a unique PayPal link to subscribe to the magazine. When contacting Peter please quote what subscription length you would like.

Call 0 1 52 7 7 5741 7

or email for more information

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Villa World

Send Us Your Photo to

Us Villa fans are everywhere this month, Brum, Gibraltar, Australia, Norway, Ireland and yes Qatar

Villa Twins Asto n is on the right, and Jayde n is on the left from Irelan d

d Bobby Villa Legen and Pauli n Thomso

Neil Mould and the Sydney Lion s with Dion Dub Ian Taylor before lin and Villa v Chelsea in Hong Kong 2011

Daniel Clark from Gibraltar with his daughter Jessica door neighbour Pete Sutton and son Riley with next hopes up, your get ’t footballer Raul at their Villa (don r qata ge Villa not Villa Park) in Y

Lee Foster in Perth with Peter Withe at the Joondalup Golf Corse

Come On You Villa.......... M o rt e n L o ckert, from Osl w Irish llo fe h it w o , Norway with y ave a view n Martin He o f O to n sl o u in ta th S e e background man Stev We at the Villa Times would like to thank you all for sending in your picture, UTV 47 |

Send Us Your Picture for Next Month and be in with a chance of winning the new home shirt

Fanzone Competition

The Fanzone Quiz Test Your Villa Knowledge With The Villa Times Quiz

Citizen Khan follows the trials and tribulations of loud-mouthed, tight-fisted, self-appointed community leader Mr Khan (Adil Ray), his long suffering wife Mrs Khan (Shobu Kapoor) and daughters Shazia (Maya Sondhi) and Alia (Bhavna Limbachia). This new family-based sitcom is set in the well-known British Pakistani area of Sparkhill, Birmingham. Mr Khan is a larger than life character, with strong opinions and big dreams. The challenges he faces are those of many fathers - how to make ends meet, keep his wife and daughters happy and impress his daughter’s future in-laws. Things would be so much easier if everyone just listened to him and followed his lead, but his obsessively house-proud wife and two feisty daughters usually have other ideas. Citizen Khan also stars Kris Marshall (Love Actually, My family) as mosque manager Dave. Created by Adil Ray, the character Mr Khan has already featured in BBC Two comedy series Bellamy’s People, on Radio Four’s Down the Line and on his own online series on the BBC Comedy website. Citizen Khan is written by Richard Pinto and Anil Gupta (Goodness Gracious Me, The Kumars at No. 42) with Adil Ray.

Question What are the names of the Villa fans that star in Citizen Khan? Send your answers by email to

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N'Zogbia arrived 2 Charles at Villa in 2011 from star Stan Collymore?

Young was signed 3 Ashley by Villa for £9.6m in Janwhich side?


was the manager of 4 Who Aston Villa before Martin O’Niell?


City in 2007?

Who signed for Villa from Tottenham for £1.25 million in 2008?


Who did Peter Enckleman sign for when he left Villa in 2004?

Who Am I? A Welsh International, My names is dean. I share my surname with one of Villa’s most successful managers in recent years?

club did John 9 Which Gregory manage before

managed Villa beWho was the manager 8 Who tween 1998 and 2002 10 of Villa during 1990/91 and led them to the Cup Final?



uary 2007 from which side?

Which Villa Player 5 signed for Birmingham

Spot Pick Name the Villa players that we watched over the last month

taking over at Villa?

season ?





Answers 1.English 2.Wigan 3.Watford 4.David O’Leary 5. Liam Ridgewell 6. Wayne Routledge 7.Blackburn Rovers 8.John Gregory 9.Wycombe Wanderers 10.Jozef Vengloš 11.Dean Saunders 12. Ireland 13. Bent 14. Beneteke

Win a Citizen Khan DVD for Christmas

is the nationality 1 What of former Aston Villa

Next Month Gordon Cowans

Interview with Birmingham band UB40 band member and Villa fan Brian Travers, History feature with Colin J Abbott and much more

Wa n t to ma k e su r e th a t yo u g e t e ve ry i ss u e ? th e n r e s e r v e

Name That Player

VillaTimes The

Editor Peter Brennan Designer Peter Brennan Web Development Peter Brennan Thanks to Ian Seddon, Peter Withe,John Gidman, Russell Jones, Aston Villa Football Club, Acorns, James Leyfield, Ryan Griffiths, Mark Burke Contributors Andy Evans, Tom Davis, James Leyfield, Colin J Abbott, Simon Goodyear, Mark Burke, Ryan Griffiths Villa Tiimes Photography Mark Little, Katie Doolan Images Getty Images, Colour Sport Please note: that some images used are from player and fan scrap books Advertising E: Subscription Go to T; 01527 757417 E; The Villa Times Limited, Registered Office address MacNicholas Yard, 138 Hanbury Road, Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove, B60 4JZ. Company registration number; 08111746. Tel: 0845 257 1874 E: W: Please note: The Villa Times is not a member of the Aston Villa group of companies and is a unoffical magazine based on Aston Villa

Who Is It? Former Irish International who started his career at Celtic

Please Reserve My Magazine

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 inderpendence 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.

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My Villa

Jason Quek

Our Facebook live chat features Jason Quek who lives in Funafuti, Singapore and is a member of Aston Villa Singapore Fans. Here he shares his memories, his favourites and how he came to be a Villa fan. How long have you been a Villa fan? offended him so much he request to leave avfc. Since the Year 2000. Midway through the 1999/2000 season Is he your all time favourite player? Villa have so many great players over the years. I look What was your first memory of watching Villa? back at footage. I think Dwight Yorke have to be the all It was John Gregory and his whistling from the touch- time favourite player though the way he left Villa was line. not very gentleman of him. Do you remember the first game you saw? Who did we play and what was the score? It was Against Middlesbrough. Villa 4-0 win. Gascoigne injured his shoulder or elbow or arm hitting George Boateng Is this game that started your love for Villa? No. It was the West Ham game in the Worthington cup The one Villa won the replay 3-1. If i wasn't wrong West Ham actually won the original tie but due to an ineligible player , Villa was given another chance again. That game didn't have coverage in Singapore. So didn't get to watch it. I get confused over the years with League Cup , Worthington Cup , now Capital One Cup.

Have you ever seen the Villa live? If so, please tell us all about it. I saw Villa live in Hong Kong during a preseason tour they had at Hong Kong. They were playing against BlackBurn Rovers. I remember the feeling it was so exciting. What do you think of the current set up at Villa Park? And who is your favourite current player? The current squad is a team in transition. I am quite satisfied with Paul Lambert's management of the team. It is more attacking and more exciting to watch. It is a bit similar to the John Gregory days.

And finally which player has impressed you the most this season so far? Who was your favourite player at that time? The Villa player that is currently my favourite has to be During that time without a doubt it has to be George Brad Guzan though I think he and Shay Given needs to Boateng. I was so sorry to see him leave. I recall he got be rotated to provide competition to both of them to wind up by someone who played a prank or joke that inspire them to play better.

Andrew Powers

Evesham born Andrew has been a Villa fan since he was 10 years old and he had his first Villa shirt in 1975. He now lives in Newport and every Sunday afternoon from 3 o'clock he can be heard and seen online as a host on Newport City Radio's 'Most Wanted Show'. In this interview he shares with us his memories with us and his thoughts on this season's set up. Did anyone have any influence on you becoming a Villa fan? Yes a good friend called Nicky Jordan. He was wearing a villa top and I turned around and said who's that football team and he said 'Aston Villa'. And from that day I have been hooked on the Villa.

had to choose? Peter Withe. He is my hero.

What game would you say was the best game you have ever seen Villa involved in? The Tranmere game. It was live on TV they was losing but got back to win it to get to the Coca-Cola Cup final Can you remember your first trip to Villa Park? in 1994. It was a midweek match and I think it was Norwich City. It was a Wednesday night match. Who scored the best goal you ever saw and which game was it scored in? Do you remember the score? Dean Saunders scored from the Half way line at home I think it was 2-0 to Villa. That was when we were in to Ipswich Town. That was the best one for me. the old Second Division. What are your thoughts about Paul Lambert Who did you go with? and the squad as a whole this season? John New and his wife and my auntie Alice. I think he is the best manager after Martin O`Neil and I think if we give the new squad time they will be good. Just imagine, you are playing with your friends And he might buy again in January 2013 to make the in a game on the local pitch. Who would you squad better. We have got a good front man in Darren have modelled yourself on as a player? Bent and Christian Benteke will come good as well. Andy Gray or Brian Little, and then later on it was Peter Withe or Alan McInally. And which player do you think is the best signing Paul Lambert has made so far? Who is your favourite all-time player if you really Belgian striker Benteke I think if he starts scoring for us.

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AstonHotel The

Est 1918

Under New Management Newly Refurbished


The charming Aston Hotel offers free secure parking, and shows live sports on a big screens and is just 20 metres from Villa Park, home of Aston Villa.

The Hotel has fourteen elegantly designed en suite letting rooms with TVs and all the required facilities. A full English breakfast is available each morning and a range of drinks are on offer in the newly traditional fitted bar area.

The Aston Hotel is convently located for all that Birmingham has to offer, with city centre shopping and the famous Broad Street nightlife.


Call 0121 328 2841 for more information, match ticket packages and availability

The Aston Hotel | Witton Rd | Aston | Birmingham | B6 6NS e: | t: 0121 328 2841 |

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The Villa Times - Issue 3  

The Villa Times, Issue 3, Featuring John Gidman

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