Aston Villa - Those Were The (Villa) Day's
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Those Were The (Villa) Day's

Those Were The Day's

Not the Mary Hopkins song. I was just reminiscing and was thinking about the games I went to from the days gone by. I was brought up in Albert Road then Bevington Road after my dad died. I used to deliver the Evening Mail to old Herbert and Charlie Tabberner. I'd deliver to the Villa Café (corner of Nelson Road). There I'd get ribbed by Rioch, Ian Ross, Pat McMahon, Willie Anderson, Andy Lochhead.

I remember for the first time walking towards the Trinity and looked at that magnificent stand and that mosaic. It was awesome I stood there mouth agape looking in awe - so much so that even opposition fans would admire it and comment on it's magnificence. I remember the massive Holte End and the Bank on the Witton with the opposition fans getting drenched.

Standing near the back of the Holte looking at the blokes upside down with the legs in the V shape. The Left Side and Right Side Chants. The Songs sung so loud and proud - 'Francis Francis - I'd walk a mile and a bit to rub your face in the sh**' The words to the tune of Batchelor Boy!. Holte Enders in the Sky.

The floodlights with the unique AV shining on a match day and the noise from the biggest goal side stand in Europe. Standing with mates I grew up with from the age of 4 till they knocked down the Holte. The games I saw - Santos, Man U in the Semi, Liverpool 5-1, the local derbies with both sets of fans in the same ends. The loses the euphoria and the dejection - but still I came back.

As an Asian and one of the first coloured fans I felt so safe. Never got any racism and if anyone did say something - they got shouted down by fellow fans. True supporters. A real family. The games in Div 3. Travelling away with 1000's of Villa Fans and just the togetherness. Those were the days of 'real football' when you could play the game without some pansy rolling around as though they were shot. The atmosphere was unrivalled.

Who could forget the sit in on the pitch after the Preston game. The meeting at Digbeth Hall and turning up to Villa Park to paint and clean up the ground cos we were skint. The Doc - the fans booing Villa when we came on the pitch in our away kit - the Yellow and Blue. Once they approached the Holte we realised who they were and cheered!.

I miss that - I'm just sad that the new age fans missed out on so much. Just thought I'd write this. Sorry for the ramble but I'm feeling nostalgic in my old age.

The Villa cost me a marriage but I could never divorce my love for Aston Villa.


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The Journalist

Writer: NazVFC Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 29 2010

Time: 3:41PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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What great memories mate. My favourite times were the mid 70's to early 80's - Little, Gray, Gidman and Mortimer. Any of us lucky enough to be around in the Saunders era were truly blessed. UTV.
jake findlay
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29/11/2010 15:48:00

When I was young my Father said So I have something to say And what he told me I'd never forget Until my dying day He said Son You are a Villa fan And that's the way to stay Happy to be a Villa fan Until your dying day Thanks Naz - we must be about the same age!
Cheshire Villan
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29/11/2010 15:55:00

When I was young my Father said So I have something to say And what he told me I'd never forget Until my dying day He said Son You are a Villa fan And that's the way to stay Happy to be a Villa fan Until your dying day Thanks Naz - we must be about the same age!
Cheshire Villan
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29/11/2010 15:55:00

Not fair, I missed all that!
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29/11/2010 15:56:00

Bang on the same age then!! You old fart.
Cheshire Villan
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29/11/2010 16:13:00

Ha! Ha! Nice one godzvilla made me chuckle!!
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29/11/2010 16:28:00

Yes - JF - Can't help it if I still got the looks and the permanent suntan and you look like a milk bottle even after 2 weeks in the sun!
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29/11/2010 17:22:00

A milk bottle, his figure isn't that good Naz!
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29/11/2010 17:25:00

So So right voice - many a game the crowd gave the players a lift - nowadays it's a matter of going to the game have a drink before kickoff - down to the bar before half time for another drink then off before final whistle. I think you're right - the "Sky" fan is now the norm. Shame - at least us "old uns" can have some tales to pass down to our kids and their kids.
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29/11/2010 18:53:00

Really enjoyed you're memories Naz. And they mean a lot to me as well because like you I was an Aston lad and in fact, lived very close to where you lived! I feel like an old fart saying this, but no one can take those special Villa memories away from us and that makes me feel sorry for the younger guys who haven't seen Villa as League Champions and then hold the title of being the best club team in the whole of Europe by winning the European Cup.......Happy days?!
Thomas Holte
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29/11/2010 19:18:00

Happy Days indeed. So many memories - I could go on about the matches - just walking to the ground and the street was packed - the old buses where you got on the back - no fancy doors. Running after the bus and jumping on and the conductor goin ballistic. Used to go to the Cinema at 6 ways - watch the matinees and get to the ground for 2.00. Bovril and a pie. Got older standing in the Holte -packed to the rafters - couldn't move ended up with ***** down your leg cos no-one wanted to lose their place as trying to squeeze passed 20,000 in the Holte - no chance. Mum would think I'd *****ed meself with excitement!!
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29/11/2010 19:30:00

Great article. Yes, us old un's were lucky in a lot of ways. Wouldn't have missed the Div 3 experience for anything and it made Peter Withe and 1982 even all that more special remembering the mud banks at Rochdale etc. Where we had come from to be European Champions. Woolly hats and scarves with star badges, then silky scarves around your wrist, long hair and awful sideburns. How times changed, but the Villa family was always together. Travelled everywhere in our thousands. Still see a lot of the old faces at the place of worship
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29/11/2010 20:02:00

If you want to go to heaven when you die, If you want to go to heaven when you die, wear a claret and blue bonnet, with the Villa written on it, if you want to go to heaven when you die. Willie Anderson the leader of the team, the best left winger that the world has ever seen, the boys on the holte are harder than the Kop, and if anyone wants to argue, we'll smash the ****** lot. Batchelor Boy was a great Villa song, but I was amazed to hear Rotherham fans still singing it at a match about 4 years ago (Son you are a Millers fan) We'll sing a son of victory as Villa win Division Three. The City fans will never mock, when they remember Bruce Rioch I was born under the Holte End stand (Wandering Star) Stompy Stompy Stompy - Stomp Stomp Stomp. Sha La Zigger Zagger Mitchinson. Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na hey hey hey, Andy Lochead. The bells are ringing for the Claret and Blues etc. But at least Holte Enders in the Sky survives as a Villa song alone. And I have to admit one of the best is (relatively) recent and deserves re-adoption. If the Mancs can still sing for Keano and Cantona, then why can't we sing "Its up to you Dwight Yorke, Dwight Yorke". 12 years at the Villa, and he was a legend - although I doubt I will ever see anyone as majestic as 'Ooh Aah Paul McGrath '. Apologies for all that, but I plead grounds of encouragement from what was written above, and the best grounds of encouragement ever - Villa Park!
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29/11/2010 20:19:00

As i walked down to Villa Park one dark and dusty day....I spied a poor old City fan a running far away...I said to that poor City fan it looks like you must die...Cos you have seen the glory of...HOLTE ENDERS IN THE SKY...........We chased him down the terraces, we chased him through the gate....And little did that Blues fan know that death would be his fate.....Cos Villa fans rule Birmingham, and City fans know why....Cos they've all seen the glory of....HOLTE ENDERS IN THE SKY...Yippee eye aye (I think you know the rest)....Shame it has violent overtures, otherwise a great Club Anthem.
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29/11/2010 23:01:00

I enjoyed your article, Naz, and it brought back some happy memories of ‘those days’. Although I’m a bit younger than you (seven years), I also recall: The Holte End; The AV floodlights; Seeing Villa Park for the first time as a young child; Standing on a milk crate on the Holte End with my dad and uncle. I can still visualise that very first moment when I saw the pitch. It was like a shimmering emerald. So green and perfect. From a child’s perspective it was a cauldron of noise, smells, colour, and excitement. It is still a vivid memory for me (thank God); Santos; Absolutely destroying L’pool on a snowy evening (I should have been in the school choir for a Christmas concert that night); The Villa players who lived near to me (in Sutton) and who drove the same car as my dad – no Ferraris or Lamborghinis in those days; Crying myself to sleep when we got beat by small heath; Getting the ***** taken out of me by two older neighbouring friends who supported small heath & WBA (the only ones I might add) when we were in the third division; Taking the ***** out of two older neighbouring friends who supported small heath & WBA when we won The League; Taking the ***** out of two older neighbouring friends who supported small heath & WBA when we won the European Cup; Giving two older neighbouring friends who supported small heath & WBA a good caning when they tried to take the ***** out of me for supporting Villa; Standing on the LHS of a half-empty Holte End during our sojourn in the second division; Standing on the LHS of a rammed-full Holte End back in the top-flight… …The memories seem endless. I also agree with your comment Naz regarding, “Those were the days of 'real football' “. Mate, I think I'm feeling nostalgic in my old age too! Cheers!
Australia Villa
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30/11/2010 01:29:00

Roll along Aston Villa Roll along, to the top of the league where you belong, there'll be cup and trophies too, for the boys in claret and blue, roll along Aston Villa roll along. Roll along ****ty city roll along, to the bottom of the league where you belong, there'll be cups and saucers too, for the **** in royal blue, roll along ****ty city roll along (to the tune of she'll be coming round the mountain). A little piece of heaven fell to earth one day, it landed in Aston so football they could play, then they put up floodlights to help us see in the dark, and now that little piece of heaven is called Villa Park! (to the tune of the laughing policeman). Rioch Rioch, Rioch Rioch, born is the King of Villa Park Rioch Rioch, Rioch Rioch (to the tune of Noel). 6 foot two eyes of blue Sammy Morgans after you la la la la la la la la la five foot eight, not much weight Alex Cropleys flippin great la la la la la la la la la la 6 foot two eyes of blue Rihard Dunne is after you la la la la la la la la la five foot eight, not much weight Barry Bannans flippin great la la la la la la la la la la
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30/11/2010 10:19:00

He's up, he's down, he's in the Rose and Crown, Barry Hole, Barry Hole.

Who's that knocking at the window, who's that knocking at the door, Freddie Goodwin and his mob, selling Francis for a bob, and they'll never beat the Villa any more.

Driving to Shrewsbury and getting stuck in a traffic jam about a mile from the ground (Gay Meadow) then abandoning the car (everyone else was doing the same) to get to the match. First away game in the third division at Chesterfield. Happy Days? Or were we all just younger then?

chocolate teapot
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30/11/2010 17:18:00

Already one down when i got in the ground at shrewsbury. Alf Wood (lived in Streetly) scored for them then I'm sure it was Chris Nicholl (on debut) who equalised for Villa. Then went to rotherham on the saturday and won there 2-0 from memory. Had to get into Notts County ground three hours before kick off. Thousands locked out. Estimated of the 36,000 at Gay Meadow at least 25,000 were Villa fans. took over the whole ground and won 3-0 (McMahon (20 and Graydon??) Wasn't it over Easter we went to Wrexham, won 2-0 (with a rare Willie Anderson penalty miss) and we came up with the WORST song ever..Butterfingers in goal...! That was bad, but funny...could go on for ever..Chocolate Teapot, we were younger, but very lucky to experience what we did, as Mary Hopkin said 'Those were the days my friend, we took the Stretford End, we took the Kop, we took the F*****g lot, but now those days are through the Tilton Road will do, those were the days oh yes those were the days!
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30/11/2010 19:01:00

Guys, so many fond memories. Can't remember clearly but I seem to recall Dave Peach was it who said he wouldn't mind playing Villa and losing every week as long as they had the crowd. We broke record attendances every match. They hadn't and have not since seen the number of fans we took! We took more away than the blues had at home and they were in a different league!
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30/11/2010 19:12:00

Great read naz, and your comments certainly bring the memories flooding back. I still cant get over the fact that we both made our Villa Park debut for the same game, February 1962, the F.A. Cup fifth round tie, Villa vs Charlton Athletic. A 2-1 win for the claret and blue, our winner being scored very late on, probably about five minutes from the end of the game if I recall correctly. Blood brothers of sorts, that's for sure. We've both witnessed some exciting times since that late winters afternoon eh naz? Tremendous memories that no one can ever take away from us.
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16/12/2010 06:23:00


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