Writer: Turkish Penguin
Date:Monday April 23 2012
You were a twinkle in the eye many years ago now. You craftily tunnelled your escape after 9 months of isolation since your creation. Sure you had some help, what with contractions and pushing and all, but take some credit for your part in the procedure.
From an early age, you made a choice. It may have influenced you since the day you tipped your dinner over your head and mother had to change your once- clean babygrow for the "Daddy`s No.1 Villan" one she`d been trying to avoid putting you in for as long as possible, or when you were 5 and your uncle used every piece of colourful language possible to describe Birmingham City. Whichever it was, and however you came to be, we`re grateful for you.
You may or may not realise it, but you have made one of the bravest decisions you`ll ever make in your life. For anyone who ever said that you shirk responsibility or lack mental/emotional strength and ability, they need their eyes testing and their heads looking. They don`t see that you have been a committed and passionate individual for longer than they give you credit for. They make light of the simplest but most gratifying pleasures you enjoy as well as persecuting you for your continuing efforts when times are bad. Even through the roughest of times, though you grunt and grumble, rant and rave, mope and moan, you remain devoted and unwavering in your faith and confidence; a feat that transcends humanity.
You could have changed your mind about your decision at any time. You could have wormed your way out and taken a different option. You could have been like the rest, the flag-wavers in London, Manchester, Liverpool, but you didn`t. You saw that jumping on a bandwagon was a sign of extreme conformity, a mindless act that reeks of recklessness and irresponsibility. You proudly turned your back on a life that could have been so much easier for you, a life where you could have been a part of glory and success regardless of how it came to you. You could have looked down your nose at your fellow man or woman for the seemingly-poor choice they made when God was handing out football clubs. Instead, you nailed your claret and blue colours to the wall and promised never to take them down as long as there is breath in your body, fire in your heart and essence to your soul. Whether they tell you or not, they will always love you for that.
With such responsibility, your heart has been broken several times. You don`t understand why, after all the time and effort you put into making this thing work, you still feel betrayed and hurt by endless choices and decisions that are made without asking you. The levels of trust and belief you show every day are phenomenal, as you know that one day you`ll be greatly rewarded for your resolute support. It is always long overdue, and always will be, but it will come. It has to. You`ve worked too hard for too long now to quit at this and you know it, so you persevere with optimism and hope. They will always love you for that, too.
You might not fully understand the happiness and pride that senior patrons mention. The FA Cup win in 1957. The First Division title in 1981. The European Cup in 1982. The 5 League Cups. This is irrelevant because you are still a part of this history, and will be for years to come. You will get the chance to become a rambling octogenarian, complaining about today`s music and the attitude of the kids while mocking the namby-pamby approach to a now non-contact sport in which young playboys are paid £400,000 a week at Wigan to proudly go to ground for a penalty, after the black-painted robot blows his whistle for a shot which the goal-line technology disallowed even though the ball broke the net. You`ll remember the first-ever sextuple that was completed in 2022. You`ll remember that our top scorer stayed with us til the end of his career. You`ll remember the tremendous heart and courage that those boys showed to demolish Manchester United at Old Trafford, even with 35 minutes injury time. Even if you don`t remember these things, the nurse will still smile and nod politely just before giving you your medication.
You are a very special part of something enormous. You always will be. Never think otherwise. The neighbours are noisy, probably always will be, but it`s not easy being a big fish in a small pond.
Be proud of who you are. You are a Villan. You are a hero.
Date:Monday April 23 2012
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|15. Aston Villa||34||9||8||17||-14||35|
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