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Oh To Have Been Under That Gaslight In 1874

Oh To Have Been Under That Gaslight In 1874

I wonder just what they would think. That gathering of gentlemen from the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel Cricket Team, who stopped under that Heathfield Road gaslight back in 1874. They were there to discuss the options open to them over the winter months, options that would keep them fit and in close contact with one another, until the next cricket season came around the following year.

They needed some activity, and after watching and being fascinated by a game of football in a nearby meadow (a meadow in Aston, Lozells, Handsworth? Can you believe that?), they took the monumental decision to form themselves into a football club. And so dear friends, as you all know, Aston Villa Football Club came into being.

We know very little about these gentlemen as individuals, but no doubt they were a varied mix of egos, characteristics and personalities, just like we enjoy and experience here on Vital Villa.

What then I wonder, would those distinguished gentleman make of it all, if by some wondrous invention available on 'the other side', they had access, even if only for a solitary day, to the wonderful site that we all know and love as Vital Villa?

What would they make of the articles, the threads, the arguments, the debate, the discussion, the disagreements, the thoughts, and the greatly varying views and observations?

After all, after getting over the initial shock that so many people should come together, 135 years into the future no less, to discuss and debate a pastime that was very much of secondary importance to their cricket team, how would they take to the topics currently being discussed on the 100% Villa forum. (I wont even mention the 'Off Topic' nonsense, that would no doubt leave them both shocked and speechless, should they inadvertently venture into that area).

No doubt the very first thread that would catch their eye, would be the thread relating to the hoped for arrival of a certain Stewart Downing from a club called Middlesbrough, for a reported fee of what's that, 12million pounds?


Obviously they wouldn't comprehend that figure, and they'd immediately question whether or not he was as good as George B. Ramsey, who cost the club not a penny, a gentleman Scot who had merely approached the footballers at an early game in which the new club were a player short, and simply asked if he could join in. What a low-key introduction for the man who was to become a true legend in the history of Aston Villa Football Club.

Wonder if this Mister Downing has the same style and subtle skills of George, they would ponder.

They'd find that while the majority of members are more than happy with the acquisition of the player, there were certainly dissenting voices making themselves heard.

So while the gentlemen of the mid 1870's were completing the acquisition of Eli Davis and Howard Vaughton from the Wednesbury Strollers, the 2009 version were hoping to complete the signing of Stewart Downing, while debating the merits of whether or not to bring in a foreign gentleman, name of Sylvain Distin, to a place called Villa Park.

Whatever happened to the Wellington Road ground in Perry Barr they would ask. Where is this Villa Park?

Browsing through the other threads they'd find a multitude of topics spawned by gentlemen with funny sounding nicknames, and responses to those very same topics, by individuals who were absolutely certain that their views and comments, were the only views and comments that summed matters up both perfectly and correctly.

How could they fail to enjoy perusing Skeggy's 'An Open Letter To Martin O'Neill' thread, and then, after ordering their 'On The Piss My Lord' T-shirts from the Vital Villa shop, t-shirts that they'd obviously wish had been available back in the 1870's, t-shirts that would have been dedicated to the likes of Archie and/or Andy Hunter as opposed to Paul McGrath, they'd no doubt move on to browse through General Krulak's pages, before checking out other threads, sparked by the minds of BBJ, ianrobo, shortshady, The Fear, Steff and Big Marlon, and others too numerous to mention.

That they'd enjoy their day on Vital Villa is beyond question. After all, they are/were Villans, just like each and every one of us.

They'd smile, and pat themselves on the back, humoured in the knowledge that their foresight was the sole cause of all this merriment and enjoyment.

I wish they could join us here on Vital Villa, even if only for the day.

We could start a 'Welcome' thread for them. You know what, I'll safely say that it would be the first thread on the site that we would all be united as one in.

We'd sing their praises, shower them with love, and thank each and every one of them, ordinary lads who huddled up under that gaslight on that murky night back in 1874, and came up with the wonderful idea of giving birth to a football club, a football club named Aston Villa.

But what I wonder, would they think of Vital Villa?

Fellow members, thank you for your time. Experience yourselves a great day




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The Journalist

Writer: Glensider Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday July 16 2009

Time: 9:10AM

Your Comments

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Get involved and suggest an article. This website is your website and we are looking for people to contribute. So if you attend a game, full or reserves and have an opinion, why not write a match report, or have your say on any issue you wish Villa related. Perhaps you are a budding journalist or even just someone who is very opinionated? Well why not join our team? If this interests you please contact Vital Villa.

The Fear
Join Vital Villa

It's easy to register for Vital Villa, simply click the link and enjoy getting involved! Message Board. To visit the Vital Villa message board, click here.

Get involved and suggest an article. This website is your website and we are looking for people to contribute. So if you attend a game, full or reserves and have an opinion, why not write a match report, or have your say on any issue you wish Villa related. Perhaps you are a budding journalist or even just someone who is very opinionated? Well why not join our team? If this interests you please contact Vital Villa.

The Fear
brilliant Glensider, lapped up every word of that!
The Fear
brilliant Glensider, lapped up every word of that!
The Fear
I think there first feelings would be, what the hell is an internet thingymebob? its true, you gotta think a group of men running around after a little ball has turned into this, quite amazing really with the fans money etc...and it is still based on a group of men running after a ball!
Upthevilla_83
I think there first feelings would be, what the hell is an internet thingymebob? its true, you gotta think a group of men running around after a little ball has turned into this, quite amazing really with the fans money etc...and it is still based on a group of men running after a ball!
Upthevilla_83
Very good read that. I would just be impressed that in one day they learnt how to use a computer and browse through a website but then that's just being pedantic for the sake of it, I mean if I got into stuff like that I'd never have enjoyed an episode of Red Dwarf! Seriously though grand stuff though mate, I enjoyed it very much.
Sheriff Kimbo
Very good read that. I would just be impressed that in one day they learnt how to use a computer and browse through a website but then that's just being pedantic for the sake of it, I mean if I got into stuff like that I'd never have enjoyed an episode of Red Dwarf! Seriously though grand stuff though mate, I enjoyed it very much.
Sheriff Kimbo
Great article. Most enjoyable during my coffee break! Thanks.
krfeskivilla
Great article. Most enjoyable during my coffee break! Thanks.
krfeskivilla
I bet they all had W.G. Grace-esque beards too. The image of a bunch of those hopping about after a ball in the Victorian twilight is ace.
Mancuni-villa
I bet they all had W.G. Grace-esque beards too. The image of a bunch of those hopping about after a ball in the Victorian twilight is ace.
Mancuni-villa
I think they'd be right at home in the Holte End although they might find some of the language a bit hair-raising. (Indeed, if we knew they were there, we might actually tone it down a bit out of respect and reverence for them!) In spite of what I consider to be an act of vandalism in relation to the redevelopment of the Trinity Road stand, I still have a huge sense of history and tradition each time I come to Villa Park. Seeing that red-brick facade come into view is just a tiny bit spine-chilling (in the best possible way). Obviously, the ground has been altered a fair bit in the 46 years since my first ever visit but in a curious way it hasn't changed at all. Beautiful evocative piece, Glensider. I can see why your customers cannot help but give you big, substantial orders!
BBJ
I think they'd be right at home in the Holte End although they might find some of the language a bit hair-raising. (Indeed, if we knew they were there, we might actually tone it down a bit out of respect and reverence for them!) In spite of what I consider to be an act of vandalism in relation to the redevelopment of the Trinity Road stand, I still have a huge sense of history and tradition each time I come to Villa Park. Seeing that red-brick facade come into view is just a tiny bit spine-chilling (in the best possible way). Obviously, the ground has been altered a fair bit in the 46 years since my first ever visit but in a curious way it hasn't changed at all. Beautiful evocative piece, Glensider. I can see why your customers cannot help but give you big, substantial orders!
BBJ
Brilliant read. Sir, you have a way with words that I, for one, really enjoy.
Obediah
Brilliant read. Sir, you have a way with words that I, for one, really enjoy.
Obediah
Lovelly read, that history sets us aside of the "others." Villa park is the home of English football.
Fletch
Lovelly read, that history sets us aside of the "others." Villa park is the home of English football.
Fletch
beautiful...
bazzah
beautiful...
bazzah
Well put, Fletch. You've expressed in eight words what I was getting at in my previous post. Much more clearly too. IMO, besides Villa Park, only Highbury would have been a contender for the accolade "home of English football" and now of course they've knocked it down!
BBJ
Well put, Fletch. You've expressed in eight words what I was getting at in my previous post. Much more clearly too. IMO, besides Villa Park, only Highbury would have been a contender for the accolade "home of English football" and now of course they've knocked it down!
BBJ
Good to have GS back on the site doing what he does best, Looking forward to this seasons match reports.
young_jonah
Good to have GS back on the site doing what he does best, Looking forward to this seasons match reports.
young_jonah
Glad you all seem to have enjoyed the article gents, thankyou for the kind comments. Thought it might provide a brief respite from the usual transfer talk etc. etc. that has been dragging on all summer long. I do actually have it on very good authority, that the signing of Stewart Downing was only completed after he read my piece, which resulted in him not only signing on the dotted for AVFC, but also immediately becoming a member of Vital Villa.
glensider
Glad you all seem to have enjoyed the article gents, thankyou for the kind comments. Thought it might provide a brief respite from the usual transfer talk etc. etc. that has been dragging on all summer long. I do actually have it on very good authority, that the signing of Stewart Downing was only completed after he read my piece, which resulted in him not only signing on the dotted for AVFC, but also immediately becoming a member of Vital Villa.
glensider
Will he also be growing a W.G. Grace-esque beard?
AVFC4ME
Will he also be growing a W.G. Grace-esque beard?
AVFC4ME
 

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