Vital Villan Interviews: Glensider
1 - How long have you been a Villa fan and how did you first get the Claret & Blue faith?
Since 1962. First went to Villa Park with my uncle and cousin. Funnily enough, the week before my first Villa Park visit I wanted to go to St Andrews with my friend and his dad (Blues vs Ipswich, Blues won 1-0), but my mom thankfully said 'no'. If she hadn't, who knows? I would no doubt have been posting on Vital Blues now, singing the praises of the boys in royal blue.
2 - What was your first game?
February 1962. F.A. Cup Fifth Round. Villa vs Charlton Athletic. We won 2-1 (scoring the winner just five minutes before the end) to reach the quarter-final, where we lost 2-0 to the holders Spurs at White Hart Lane. The following Wednesday (after the Charlton game) was my first ever league game, funnily enough also against Tottenham. We drew 0-0.
3 - What is your most memorable moment as a Villa fan?
Rotterdam, got to be, although the semi-final second leg in Belgium against Anderlecht runs it close. Two great occasions. Just glad that I can look back and say that I was there on both occasions. An AVFC Travellers Club steward too on both occasions, which means I got the flights free of charge. Very nice.
4 - And the worst moment?
The first relegation I experienced from the top flight. Late 60's. It had been on the cards for a few seasons, the club was in decline. Everton came to VP for our final home game of the campaign, beat us 4-2, and sent us down. The following weekend, our final game of the season, Southampton hit us for six at The Dell. They'd only just escaped the drop themselves. I thought our demotion was the end of the world. I was crushed!
5 - Who are your favourite current Villa players?
I don’t really have any. There's those I rate more than others, those whose faults I perhaps overlook more than I ought to, but as for any set favourites, no, not really.
6 - Which former player/s are your ultimate heroes?
In no particular order, Colin Withers, Harry Burrows, Tony Hateley, Willie Anderson, Chico Hamilton, Pat McMahon, Bruce Rioch, Morty, Alex Cropley, Andy Gray, Johnny Gidman, Peter With, Gary Shaw, Tony Morley.
7 - Which player do you think was the worst to ever put on the team colours?
Got to watch this one. I once made disparaging remarks about a certain Mr Charlie Young on the forum, and lo and behold, the guy put in an appearance to respond to me. I'll pass if you don’t mind, gutless being my middle name. Add Charlie to my list of ultimate heroes if you would, that might pacify him!!
8 - What is the best goal you have seen Villa score and which is your favourite game?
Best goal I think would be Chris Nicholl's brilliant effort at Old Trafford, against Everton, in the second replay of the '76/77 season. It came about ten minutes from time, drew us level at 1-1 (a game we went on to win in the last minute of extra-time), and was an absolute stunner hit from about 30/35 yards. When he let fly I began to yell 'no', showing my annoyance at him attempting an effort from such a distance, but before I could finish the ball was in the back of the Everton net, and the joyous celebrations were in full swing.
Favourite game, Rotterdam. No explanation needed I guess. The ultimate. The last twenty minutes were the longest twenty minutes of my life, but when that final whistle blew. Well, you can guess.
9 - Best away ground visited?
Barcelona's Nou Camp stadium. We lost the game 2-1, but what a superb setting. Great stadium, great facilities.
10 - Who would you like to see Villa sign this summer?
I'd simply like us to prove our brave words aren't just hot air, by bringing in genuine quality in numbers to give us every opportunity to continue the growth, development, and improvement of the last two years.
11 - What are your predictions for us this season in the:
a) League between 7th and 12th, depending on signings between now and the end of August.
b) Europe Its going to be tough, we've been away too long. Group stages of UEFA Cup at best.
c) Carling Cup Carling Cup - Luck of the draw dictates.
d) Fa Cup F.A. Cup - ditto.
12 - What is your opinion of Martin O'Neill?
He's in my bad books right now, solely down to the lack of positive action in the transfer market again. It could be his undoing. Overall, best manager seen at Villa Park since Mr Ron Saunders. He's transformed the playing side of the club, but just when you expect us to make that extra step forward, he dithers in the transfer market, and an opportunity is lost. Until he speculates more, we'll remain as one of the also rans.
13 - What is your opinion of Randy Lerner and the new board?
I was so desperate to witness the end of the Ellis years, that looking back I think that I'd have accepted anyone as our new owner. I had reservations initially about Mr Lerner's involvement, still maybe have one or two, but overall he and his board have been a breath of fresh air. They are professionals, experts in their field, something you could never apply to Ellis and his cronies.
14 - Where do you sit at Villa and are you a season ticket holder?
As a family we have season tickets in the Trinity Road stand, and the Doug Ellis stand. Bought my first season ticket back in '74, sat in the old Trinity Road enclosure.
15 - And finally if you could invite 4 people connected to Villa, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would they be? And you can add one bit of top totty as well to make the party go with a 'bang' ;o)
George B Ramsay
and the top totty - my good lady (She reads this!!!)
With thanks to Glensider
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