UK time is: 01:28:36
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Sunderland memories for Villa boss

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has spoken of his childhood love of Sunderland ahead of Saturday's trip to the Stadium of Light.

While O'Neill is often considered a life-long Celtic fan (especially by the supporters of the Parkhead club!), the boss has revealed the performances of Sunderland legend Charlie Hurley had him hooked from a young age.

O'Neill had to make do with following the Mackems on the radio and via the newspapers and never made the journey to Roker Park as a child - but confessed the sparkle he had then has never left him.

The Birmingham Mail quoted O'Neill as saying: "The sparkle never leaves you but it (the passion) has to do with growing up and becoming a professional.

"Because of where I was brought up and the type of background in Ireland, where you were Celtic or Rangers, I was a big Celtic fan.

"But in England, when everyone was choosing their side, mine was always Sunderland. They're my old team. I supported them as a kid and Charlie Hurley was my hero."

Unsurprisingly for a man with O'Neill's memory, the boss can recall several Sunderland games from his younger days - losing against Bury on Boxing Day 1962, losing against Chelsea 1-0 to miss out on promotion in front of 62,000 fans and losing in the FA Cup quarter final against Manchester United after three replays in 1964.

Despite his childhood love of the club, however, O'Neill reportedly turned down the chance to manage Sunderland when he was offered the chance 18 months ago - though the romantics among us may like to imagine that he would not have been able to refuse the offer if the club were still at Roker Park.

Hopefully Sunderland will suffer another loss at the weekend, which would perhaps in keeping with most of O'Neill's memories of them - though it is rather ominous that when he first went to Roker Park as a player with Nottingham Forest in 1972, his side were on the wrong side of a 4-1 scoreline.

But enough of the past - it's time for Martin O'Neill to make some new memories as he leads Villa back to winning ways against a struggling team who no longer have what they used to in years gone by.




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Join the Vital Fantasy Football League - its Free!

The Journalist

Writer: Derry Villan Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday December 13 2007

Time: 8:49PM

Your Comments

Obviously you need to read MON's quote in the fifth paragraph. He did say there he was always a Celtic fan. This wasn't just from Celtic fans, it was from him. Having said that, MON changes his mind like others do their socks. So who really knows the truth anyway?
weetim67
Are you suggesting Martin O'Neill changes his mind a lot and can't make decisions! Shocking! :D
DerryVillan
I wonder if that played a part in him not taking the Newcastle job.
Pking
Yeah really DerryVillian!! Shocking right enough! I was a friend of Peter Withe a few years back and always liked Villa. I really hope you come back again.
weetim67
Charlie Hurley eh? Now there's a name from the past. Pretty good centre-half from what I recall. They've had some decent players down the years have Sunderland, but in my time I can certainly never recall them having a more than average team. Scaled the heights of course when they beat Leeds United to lift the F.A. Cup, but they've never really been a decent top flight side.
glensider
Hi Glensider - Can you please get a hold of me regarding on nishal.bramdav@gmail.com regarding the Villa shirt. Thanks mate.
Pablo1978
Pablo1978, you can send him a pm if you logon in the forum.
The Fear
Hi Pablo1978. Its not me you're wanting my friend, at least I dont think so. Another Vital Villan I would imagine. If it is I, then my apologies, and please remind me as to what we're discussing here.
glensider
 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Gardner To Make 2014-15 His Year (Wednesday July 23 2014)

Roncrete's Sett(led) At Villa (Wednesday July 23 2014)

Vlaar Bar (Wednesday July 23 2014)

Taxi for Tonev (Tuesday July 22 2014)

Full Squad For Texan Tour (Monday July 21 2014)

Boston 0-0 Villa U21s (Saturday July 19 2014)

Lambert Planning Tough Texas Tour (Saturday July 19 2014)

Archived Aston Villa Articles

List All Vital Villa Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. The Fear 777
2. ClivetheVillan 511
3. Pride of Lions 377
4. kefkat 285
5. sirdennis 195
6. HeathfieldRoad1874 187
7. Green Tea 182
8. Clubpaver 164
9. Juan Mourep 164
10. Villan Of The North 141

League Results (view all)

Latest Results

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
1. Arsenal 0 0 0 0 +0 0
2. Aston Villa 0 0 0 0 +0 0
3. Burnley 0 0 0 0 +0 0
4. Chelsea 0 0 0 0 +0 0
5. Crystal Palace 0 0 0 0 +0 0
6. Everton 0 0 0 0 +0 0
7. Hull City 0 0 0 0 +0 0

Breaking League News

Toronto FC vs Spurs
Spurs : 23/07/2014 22:29:00
Sigurdsson Signs 4-Year Deal At Swansea City
Swansea : 23/07/2014 20:58:00
Davies & Vorm deals confirmed!
Spurs : 23/07/2014 20:50:00
Liverpool: Clear As Day 2013-14 Issue 8
Liverpool : 23/07/2014 18:05:00
Match Day Moments - RZ Pellets
Chelsea : 23/07/2014 17:33:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Darren Bent?
Suggested By:  JP Fear
Still needs to be sold 13%
Should be a starter 19%
Good for squad/off bench 68%
No idea! 0%