Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Sunderland memories for Villa boss

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.

Writer:Derry Villan
Date:Thursday December 13 2007
Time: 8:49PM


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?
13/12/2007 21:42:00
Are you suggesting Martin O'Neill changes his mind a lot and can't make decisions! Shocking! :D
13/12/2007 21:44:00
I wonder if that played a part in him not taking the Newcastle job.
13/12/2007 22:02:00
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.
14/12/2007 04:27:00
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.
14/12/2007 06:12:00
Hi Glensider - Can you please get a hold of me regarding on regarding the Villa shirt. Thanks mate.
14/12/2007 07:23:00
Pablo1978, you can send him a pm if you logon in the forum.
The Fear
14/12/2007 11:25:00
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.
14/12/2007 18:55:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment


Recent Aston Villa Articles

Another Dagger In The Heart

HH on yet another dagger in the heart of great supporters of a once great club

We Deserved A Point - Garde

Manager Remi Garde has said he felt the performance in the game against Watford today should've returned a point for Aston Villa.

Audio - Garde Pleased With Performance

Manager Remi Garde has said he was pleased with the performance Aston Villa put in during today's three two loss to Watford, but he knows a point should've been taken.

Stats: Aston Villa v Watford

All the stats from Aston Villa (2) vs (3) Watford, Villa Park, 28/11/15 Att: 35,057

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Mike Field
Steve Wade
Turkish Penguin
Chris Heath
M Calucar
JuanPablo Angel

Current Poll (see more polls)

Watford MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Sub - Traore19%
Sub - Gestede0%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Man City 14 9 2 3 29 16
2 Leicester City 14 8 5 1 29 8
3 Man Utd 14 8 4 2 28 10
4 Arsenal 13 8 2 3 26 12
5 Spurs 13 6 6 1 24 13
6 Crystal Palace 14 7 1 6 22 5
7 Everton 14 5 6 3 21 8
8 West Ham 13 6 3 4 21 4
9 Southampton 14 5 5 4 20 3
10 Liverpool 13 5 5 3 20 2
11 Watford 14 5 4 5 19 -1
12 Stoke 14 5 4 5 19 -3
13 WBA 13 5 2 6 17 -5
14 Swansea 13 3 5 5 14 -4
15 Chelsea 13 4 2 7 14 -6
16 Norwich 13 3 3 7 12 -8
17 Sunderland 14 3 3 8 12 -10
18 AFC Bournemouth 14 2 4 8 10 -13
19 Newcastle 14 2 4 8 10 -16
20 Aston Villa 14 1 2 11 5 -15
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Blog: Abu Dhabi Qualifying
Latest Vital Boxing News
Last Night in the Words of Tyson Fury
The Vital Football Members League

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Dec 5 2015 3:00PM : Southampton (a)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 13 2015 1:30PM : Arsenal (H)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 19 2015 5:30PM : Newcastle United (a)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 26 2015 3:00PM : West Ham United (H)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 28 2015 3:00PM : Norwich City (a)
Barclays Premier League
Jan 2 2016 3:00PM : Sunderland (a)
Barclays Premier League

Vital Members League Table

1.Pride of Lions1101
2.The Fear633
Vital Football Comment