12 years 441 games and 52 goals later...
Whether you boo, cheer or say nothing no one can deny he was a great servant to this mighty football club. He in total played 441 games scoring 52 goals for Villa and that in this day and age is a great achievement. He turned down Portsmouth when O`Neil came, he rejected Liverpool last year but he couldn`t resist the money of Man City, who could?
He offered so much to villa, he was versatile he started off at left back then moved to centre back and finished up as our captain and the drive in midfield. One example of him turning a game around has to be our demolition of Bolton in 2008 when he scored two and got two assists, the game finished 4-0. Surely only one of many games Gareth Barry singly won for us.
His letter reconfirmed to me that he still loves this club and although I still think that he moved for the money, his attitude has to be commended. In the Birmingham Mail he says "I want to thank them for the incredible support I have received over the last 12 years. This football club has been a huge part of my life. I joined a 16-year-old boy and 12 years later I am moving on as a 28-year-old man with a wife and two children." He wouldn`t be the player he was without Villa and O`Neil. Maybe a certain other Man City player should be just as thankful to Arsene Wenger. Interestingly in that letter he still refers to Villa as "we".
After 12 years, 441 games and 52 goals Barry finally left with a love for the club and respect for the fans, not many players in today`s game would react like this. Now let`s show that we as fans can be just as respectful, all I can hope is that we don`t. Silence would be better than ignorance.