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Sir Buck Of Chinn - Unsung Villa Hero

There are plenty of people over the years who have been unsung heroes for Villa. To be honest, I think most heroes are unsung and one of the biggest unsung, unheralded and for many of you unknown (mostly because he never asked for recognition or praise for what he did) Villa heroes is Buck Chinn. And no, I don't use the word hero lightly. I know how difficult it is to try to campaign for what you believe to be right, people by their very nature will either agree but just nod from the sidelines and not join in or they'll do nothing but criticise. That never stopped Buck from doing what he thought was right for us, the Villa clan.

Some of you know doubt will know local presenter and all round good guy Carl Chinn or to give him his full title, Professor Carl Chinn MBE phd, but only a certain generation of active Villa fans will remember Buck.

Sadly at the moment Sir Buck of Chinn is currently suffering from stomach cancer, but the guy is a fighter, a true gent and I'm sure he'll not let a thing like that stand in his way. So this article is really to say that you are in my and many Villa fans thoughts and many of us appreciate what you did over the years.

I spoke with Carl the other day, very briefly he gave me an outline of his dad's love of Villa.

'Dad (Buck) started going down the Villa in the 1940s shortly after the war. He wasn't able to go as much as he wanted to because Granddad was a street bookie and Dad worked for him. He started going down again regularly in the late 1960s when me and our kid (another top Chinny, Daryl) were young. Mom, Sylve, is a big Villa fan from Whitehouse Street, Aston and the four of us would go with our Mom's Mom, Lil and a crowd of family and friends.'

'When Ron Saunders resigned in 1982 there was real uproar because in the previous season he had led us to the First Division title - the first for decades - and we felt he had been pushed out by the board. Dad called a meeting of protestors at the Royal Oak Sparkbrook and he became chairman of the Aston Villa Democracy Group which arose from that meeting. The aim was to get a fan elected democratically on to the board and for the fans to have more say in the running of the club, as well as for the club to think more about the fans.'

'This was a pioneering group. A couple of years later Dad became chairman of the Aston Villa Shareholders Association and he led it with passion and pride for over 20 years until a year or so before it was wound up after Randy Lerner became the owner of the club.'

As Carl added, Buck was one of the few who would raise his head above the parapet and try to stand up for the grass root fans via the press and at the Villa AGM's.

'On one occasion he was voted on to the board by a big majority of the large crowd at the AGM. However Doug Ellis overturned the vote by demanding a count of the actual shares. The small shareholders had voted for Dad but had few shares, the large shareholders stuck by Doug Ellis.'

As Chairman of the Shareholders Association, Buck used to organise a sports forum each year when the manager would attend, meet the members and answer questions etc. This was something that I was sadly unable to continue when I took over from Sir Buck, mainly because our manager was David O'Leary and despite telling the press (the ........ insert your own word) that he'd never been invited to any forums, I had a written letter from the git refusing, as he had also done with Tom Ross... I digress.

Buck, as well as arranging many away trips for members, campaigned tirelessly for years for fans including getting ticket costs spread across the season and pushed to try to get them to be interest fee. He fought for concessions for students and the unemployed and continually tried to promote the need for lifts at the ground for the elderly, disabled and infirm... I could go on and on.

As Carl said: 'Dad always spoke up for the ordinary fans. He is a true Villa fan.'

Amen to that and you can add a true gentlemen whilst you are at it. I was lucky enough to get to know Buck and the real boss of the Chinn clan, his lovely wife Sylvia via my association with Carl (through he VFC campaign group). It was an honour and a privilege to be involved with Buck and is an even bigger honour now to count him as a friend. Many an afternoon we'll ring each other, sort out the formation and players for Villa before moving on to fixing all the woes in the world. If only all the other buggers would listen to us eh Buck?

One of the biggest honours I've ever had in my life was at a Shareholders Association meeting when Buck said he was stepping down and that 'obviously the best candidate to take over the Chairman role is Jon'. I was sitting there nodding saying I agreed before realising he meant me (I rarely get called Jon to be fair, so I wasn't being totally thick!), not the other Jon (another gent, John Holder of the Cheltenham Lions Supporters Group) I felt a right big head sitting there nodding saying yes...! lol But once is sunk in just how long Buck had led this group and what he had done, I was deeply moved and grateful for what at the time was a massive confidence boost at a strange old time in my life op etc wise, so personally I have much to thank him for.

So Buck, you keep fighting mate, my thoughts and love are with you. Your attitude is bang on, your kindness in life shows through with your fantastic wife, son's and grandkids, I know they are all proud of you and so are all those who have been associated with you over the years.

Up the Villa and up the Chinn clan!






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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday November 25 2009

Time: 7:06PM

Your Comments

Good luck to you Buck, my brother was chatting to Carl only the other day, I know he would send his best too
trekker
Good luck to you Buck, my brother was chatting to Carl only the other day, I know he would send his best too
trekker
Good luck Buck, a legend among fans and a real fighter, truly one who stood up and got counted, admirable.
steff_the_villan
Good luck Buck, a legend among fans and a real fighter, truly one who stood up and got counted, admirable.
steff_the_villan
Best wishes Buck ( what a great name as well! ) He spoke at the AGM's ( when allowed! ) and gave Ellis and his brown nosers a hard time by simply asking questions that had to be answered on behalf of true Aston Villa Supporters. If anyone can fight cancer then your that man......Good luck.
dekatee
Best wishes Buck ( what a great name as well! ) He spoke at the AGM's ( when allowed! ) and gave Ellis and his brown nosers a hard time by simply asking questions that had to be answered on behalf of true Aston Villa Supporters. If anyone can fight cancer then your that man......Good luck.
dekatee
I used to enjoy reading of Buck in the the Evening Mail when I lived in Bromsgrove. His speech at the end of a Villa shareholders' meeting that ended with him imploring Doug Ellis to, "Fall on [his] sword," was particularly memorable. The likes of Buck Chinn helped to make Mr. Ellis realise it was time to go and helped to remind us all that Aston Villa, historically, should be second best to no other club. Thank you Buck. Wishing you and your family all the very best - great Villa people.
donegalvillan
I used to enjoy reading of Buck in the the Evening Mail when I lived in Bromsgrove. His speech at the end of a Villa shareholders' meeting that ended with him imploring Doug Ellis to, "Fall on [his] sword," was particularly memorable. The likes of Buck Chinn helped to make Mr. Ellis realise it was time to go and helped to remind us all that Aston Villa, historically, should be second best to no other club. Thank you Buck. Wishing you and your family all the very best - great Villa people.
donegalvillan
Top, top man is Buck. I remember the VFC days, in the Sports Centre him taking the time to just talk about Villa, Carl, the weather - everything to little ol me and the missus who were complete strangers to him. The fact we were fellow Villans was more than enough justification to carry on the conversation for another 20 minutes even though the missus kept earholing me about leaving for our train - I still remember Carl saying 'let the poor kid go dad' which brought smiles from everyone. I was happy to stay there and let the missus leave though! lol

Best Wishes Buck!
mike_field
Top, top man is Buck. I remember the VFC days, in the Sports Centre him taking the time to just talk about Villa, Carl, the weather - everything to little ol me and the missus who were complete strangers to him. The fact we were fellow Villans was more than enough justification to carry on the conversation for another 20 minutes even though the missus kept earholing me about leaving for our train - I still remember Carl saying 'let the poor kid go dad' which brought smiles from everyone. I was happy to stay there and let the missus leave though! lol

Best Wishes Buck!
mike_field
cheers buck, without men like you, we wouldnt be where we are now. Get Well.
Stig
cheers buck, without men like you, we wouldnt be where we are now. Get Well.
Stig
Heck!, Hope Buck fights this - honoured to also be a friend (got togther during the VFC stuff). Wish him well - Always had time for me - and both he and Carl spoke out when at a meeting with doug ellis when he kept referring to my ethnic group all the time. What a guy and gentleman.
nazvfc
Heck!, Hope Buck fights this - honoured to also be a friend (got togther during the VFC stuff). Wish him well - Always had time for me - and both he and Carl spoke out when at a meeting with doug ellis when he kept referring to my ethnic group all the time. What a guy and gentleman.
nazvfc
Only met him a few times at an old place of work and we`d talk about Villa for ages,great fella and i wish him and family lot`s of love and luck.
ASPINALL
Only met him a few times at an old place of work and we`d talk about Villa for ages,great fella and i wish him and family lot`s of love and luck.
ASPINALL
Quality person at the heart of a quality club. I hope he can get well and live out his remaining years of retirement looking on at a club that is only now getting the leadership it deserves....
gmvillan
Quality person at the heart of a quality club. I hope he can get well and live out his remaining years of retirement looking on at a club that is only now getting the leadership it deserves....
gmvillan
Sorry Naz, meant to email you and totally forget (I'll blame my brain aches, my memory is shot I'm afraid!) These comments have been passed on to Buck, he'll appreciate them.
The Fear
Sorry Naz, meant to email you and totally forget (I'll blame my brain aches, my memory is shot I'm afraid!) These comments have been passed on to Buck, he'll appreciate them.
The Fear
I was at school with Carl and Daryl - Spud if you're reading this Carl! Buck used to come over to Springfield Rec on Sunday afternoons and organise us into a proper game of football. Really used to get on my pecks as I wasn't very good and he was so competitive!! However I did really like the bloke and admired all the work that he did for the true supporter. Sorry that I am using a past tense here but when I moved away from Brum I lost contact with a lot of people. Last saw Buck holding audience with a group of supporters after the FA Cup final outside Wembley. I could see that none of the passion had been lost. Good luck mate!
cheshire villan
I was at school with Carl and Daryl - Spud if you're reading this Carl! Buck used to come over to Springfield Rec on Sunday afternoons and organise us into a proper game of football. Really used to get on my pecks as I wasn't very good and he was so competitive!! However I did really like the bloke and admired all the work that he did for the true supporter. Sorry that I am using a past tense here but when I moved away from Brum I lost contact with a lot of people. Last saw Buck holding audience with a group of supporters after the FA Cup final outside Wembley. I could see that none of the passion had been lost. Good luck mate!
cheshire villan
Darryl and Carl send their best wishes and thanks for the really kind comments folks, all will be passed on to Buck.
The Fear
Darryl and Carl send their best wishes and thanks for the really kind comments folks, all will be passed on to Buck.
The Fear
Good luck buck. Alright Naz - hows S. Africa Treating u?
leelindsay
Good luck buck. Alright Naz - hows S. Africa Treating u?
leelindsay
 

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