Vital Villan Interviews: Still Skeggy
1 - How long have you been a Villa fan and how did you first get the Claret & Blue faith?
I grew up in a small Town just outside Skegness. As kids we played the game Wembley, I'm sure most are familiar with it. Anyway as I was the youngest I always got to pick what team I was going to be last of all. Of course the older lads picked the Liverpool's, Manchester United and Arsenals; amongst others. I could never decide who to be so some lad called George said'Be Aston Villa they aren't too bad!' So from the age of five in a small town in Lincolnshire some 140 miles from Birmingham a love affair that has so far lasted 34 years started! From that chance remark I went home later that day and there was an article about Villa in then paper from that moment on I was sold on the club.
2 - What was your first game?
My first game was about a year or 18 months later from that fateful day. My father's mate was a Villa fan and he took me along to a game. It was against Leeds and we lost 2-1. I was fascinated by Villa Park I had never seen anything so big in my entire life. I loved every aspect off that day the anticipation as we drove to the match was almost unbearable, the noise from the supporters both inside and outside was a joy to behold. I was going to see these players that I had only every seen on football stickers and the bubble gum cards they used to do in the Seventies. It was so different being a football fan in those days we never had the coverage of the game we have now and Match Of The Day only used to show a couple of games, so it was always a special treat to be allowed to stay up late and watch my heroes on TV.
3 - What is your most memorable moment as a Villa fan?
It has to be when we won the First Division in the 1980-1981 season. My elder brother was, and still is, a huge Ipswich fan and we were battling the Horses to win the coveted title off league Champions. I can remember jumping around the front room like a lunatic when the results came in on Grandstand, God bless the vidiprinter. The despair that I had felt a short time before as we were losing to Arsenal was quickly lost as I realised my team my beloved Aston Villa where at the pinnacle of English football. However my joy was short lived due to the fact my brother quickly gave me a dead arm, sibling love is a wonderful thing!
A few days after we won the title I was getting off the school bus carrying my Aston Villa bag when someone shouted at me 'Glory Hunter' that was quiet special as well!
4 - And the worst moment?
When we lost the 2000 F.A. Cup. A few younger viewers might not quiet grasp what the F.A. Cup once meant. As a youngster all my friends had the excitement of supporting a team that was in the F.A. Cup. My eldest brother an Ipswich fan experienced it as did my other brother a West Ham Fan. All the kids I knew where either Liverpool, Manchester United or Arsenal fans so the magic of the F.A. cup was there for them. When we, finally, got to the F.A. Cup final the whole experience was nothing but a huge disappointment. I was promised a ticket for £35 which then went up to £250, so that was a no no. I had waited for 26 years for our day in this Final and the huge disappointment I felt was immeasurable. A sad sad day.
5 - Who are your favourite current Villa players?
At this moment in time it would have to be Ashley Young and Martin Laursen. They truly are the calibre of player we all want to see at Villa Park.
6 - Which former player/s are your ultimate heroes?
When I was very young it was Andy Gray. I idolised him. He, in my humble opinion, was the greatest player in the universe at the time. Not only did my hero win the Young Player of the year he won the Senior prize as well. As I became a bit older it was players like Gidman and Withe who became my idols. My bedroom walls were covered in posters and pictures I had ripped out of Shoot, Tiger and Roy of The Rovers. Obviously Paul McGrath will always be up there with them as well. We have had some fantastic players at this famous club to idolise, lets hope the next generation of Villa fans will be as lucky as us!
7 - Which player do you think was the worst to ever put on the team colours?
I have always and will continue to support any player who pulls on that claret and blue shirt. I maybe vocal and, some might say, over critical off certain players but if they show the passion we on this forum give in our support of Villa whilst playing I'm more than happy.
8 - What is the best goal you have seen Villa score and which is your favourite game?
Favourite game simple 5-1 against the Noses, no explanation.
My favourite goal. There are so many to choose from. Merses last second lob to beat Everton. Dalian Atkinson's wonder goal against Wimbledon, Dean Saunders goal against Ipswich from the half way line. Juan Pablo Angel finally breaking his duck against Coventry. Peter Withe ensuring he would never have to buy a pint in a pub ran by a Villa fan again. All special for one reason or another and all equally difficult to pick against the others.
9 - Best away ground visited?
I thought Pride Park wasn't too bad. Filbert Street was an experience. However it's the lower division teams grounds I enjoy the most. They really make you appreciate what a wonderful ground Villa Park is. I think this fact was brought home more after my recent visit to Sincil bank. At Villa Park we have all the mod cons we have the food stalls the drink stalls the bookies, inside flushing toilets. Places like Sincil bank and Glanford Park are a world apart from the facilities we enjoy, sometimes it's good to witness these grounds.
10 - Who would you like to see Villa sign this summer?
A right back would be nice. I would have liked to have seen us go in for Arthur Boruc, a truly class act, however that ship seems to have passed. Shaun Wright Phillips would be more than welcomed by me. He has lost his way at Chelsea but I'm sure if you scratch the surface the player that seemingly destroyed us single handily at Eastland's is still there. Anton Ferdinand would be a good addition as well, a couple of seasons back I thought he showed more potential than his brother.
11 - What are your predictions for us this season in the:
c) Carling Cup
d) Fa Cup
We will win them all surely? However seriously we are more than capable of going along way in all the Cup competitions, as so much in life it all depends on the breaks we get and the hand we are dealt. Get the right players in and they bond with the players all ready at Villa Park and gain a rapport we could enjoy some much needed, and much wanted, cup runs.
The Premiership is always a hard one to predict, unless you live in The Home Counties( little dig at Manchester United there). So much depends on luck regarding injuries. Luck regarding decisions tends to pan out over the season. If we play to the ability we are capable off I fully expect us to qualify for Europe via our league position.
12 - What is your opinion of Martin O'Neill?
Martin O'Neill infuriates me and fills me with untold joy and hope in a matter of minutes I can be pulling my hair out over him one minute and singing his praises the next. We all know he is hard to read, slight understatement, regarding transfers. I feel we all sing from the same Hymn sheet over that matter. We want him to hurry up and sign players but at the same time we know Martin will do what Martin believes is right for the football club, after finishing 6th last term I'm not in apposition to be critical off him. I honestly feel he is passionate about the club. Martin O'Neill is a winner and will strive to do all he can to succeed in any tasks he undertakes. Some of the football we have played under him has been a joy to see. Beautiful passing and a passion reborn at Villa Park.
13 - What is your opinion of Randy Lerner and the new board?
When Randy Lerner was first linked with taking over at Villa Park part of me was upset. I was upset because I felt here comes another money bag Yank who wants to make a Premiership Club his latest plaything. However after about a minute I started to feel happier. When he 'walked' away when Doug Ellis was playing him up I was devastated. I didn't want this man to turn his back on my club. I believed, after talking to a few Cleveland Brown fans at the Dawgbones.com Lerner was a man who would only give his full commitment to the cause. I personally believe the money is there for Martin O'Neill to spend. Lets face it Randy Lerner bankrolled the money for a kid from Watford that hasn't turn out half bad. Then we come to the General well I can't think off many directors who would come onto a forum to 'chat' to fans let alone go to a pub to meet them! I might not always agree with what the General says but at least he comes on Vital and says it. and that from a director ain't to be sniffed at!
14 - Where do you sit at Villa and are you a season ticket holder?
Unfortunately health, family and location prevents me from having a season ticket. One day it'll change and I'll have that precious prize. I'll sit anywhere in Villa Park as long as I can see the pitch that's all that matters to me. I try to get to as many games as possible. Last season I got to 7. This season hopefully it'll be more. However I have a band of roving reports who are always on hand for match updates, to them I'm thankful.
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)
I would like to break bread with Eric Houghton last Villa Manager to win the F.A. Cup and a Lincolnshire boy as well. Doug Ellis because what ever anyone feels about him his stories would be more than amusing. Martin O'Neill so he could tell ghost stories as he is such an avid fan off the grizzle murders that have happen in this fair land and his knowledge of the club of today would be fascinating. Finally I would invite William McGregor and if you need an explanation of why I would invite him what are you doing on this forum.
I wouldn't need any totty there I would be too immersed in the stories being told and the laughter being shared to have time for her.
Right now Mrs Skeggy has stopped reading over my shoulder I want Hallie Berry there.
With thanks to Skeggy
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