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Aston Villa the A-Z guide...
04 December 2017 17:26 Post ID: #1562886
Legend MO
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A is for accent. It goes without saying that the Brummie accent is the worst in England, however, it is also strangely compelling – i.e. it is almost impossible to say ‘Villa’ not in that stupid sounding Brummie way. You know, like an inherently thick person who has also had a lobotomy.

B is for Birmingham City. Surely if you come from Birmingham you’d support the only club that bears its name? Aston Villa sounds like the kinda wanky name middle-class students would come up with for a Sunday League side to try and be clever and different – like Acton Villa etc.

C is for cups. Villa used to win a lot of these, although most were won before Franz Ferdinand became famous – the Austrian Archduke whose assassination started WW1, not the mediocre indie band! The last final they appeared in they managed to get spanked 4-0 and it should have been more, Arsenal taking their foot off the gas after an hour – and people say we were out of depth v Manchester United!

D is for debut. Millwall made their top flight debut at Villa Park on 27th August 1988. Tony Cascarino scored two quick fire goals to put us 2-0 up after just 22 minutes, before Villa fought back to go in at half-time 2-2. And that’s how it finished between the two newly promoted clubs – which would prove significant by the end of the season; Millwall finishing the season in 10th, Villa staying up by a point in 17th.

E is for European Cup. Villa won the European Cup in 1982 against all the odds, beating Bayern Munich by a single goal in Rotterdam. Ex Lion Nigel Spink making only his second appearance for Villa in goal as a 9th minute replacement for Jimmy Rimmer. No-one really remembers this, as it happened before 1992 – when football really started. Also, the European Cup was pretty easy to win compared to the current Champions League, crikey; even a Scottish side won it!

F is for first. Aston Villa were the first dominant force in English football, winning the league five times and the FA Cup three times between 1894 and 1900 – which included the double in 1897. Again though, like our domination of the Southern League, it doesn’t really count, as it pre-dates 1992. Besides, teams like Darwen, Bury and the Dog & Duck were the competition back then!

G is for Godber. Lenny Godber, the nice but dim-witted cell-mate of Fletch in Porridge was a Villa fan, and was based on the average Villa Park regular. He was often out-witted by his cockney cell-mate.

H is for Holte End. The Holte End is the most renowned stand at Villa Park and is traditionally home to Villa's most vocal and passionate supporters, including some Aston Villa hooligan firms (so says their wiki page!) – so watch out!

I is for ironed out. In 2013 Villa came to The Den for an FA Cup 3rd Round fixture on a Friday night. A few Brummies got a bit excited and started offering to fight all and every Millwall fan in the club carpark. It took them under a minute to find out this wasn’t Fulham or Palace away.

J is for for just. Villa won their last league title in 1981 using just 14 players all season. This was back when players had to cope with muddy pitches, hair-raising tackles and FA Cup replays. To be fair, this is pretty impressive.

K is for kit. Villa were the pioneers of that awful claret and blue colour scheme, adopted by a certain club from over the river. However, this was a slight improvement on the first colours they tried - scarlet and royal blue stripes.

L is for Lions. It was because of Villa that Millwall became known as the ‘Lions’. A newspaper christening the then ‘Dockers’ the ‘Lions of the South’ after Millwall knocked Villa out of the 1900 FA Cup with a 2-1 win in the quarter-finals. This is arguably one of the biggest cup upsets in FA Cup history given Villa’s dominance at the time. Villa had three goes at trying to beat us, but couldn’t tame the ‘Lions’.

M is for most. Villa scored 128 goals in the 1930/31 Division One season – a record for a top flight season that still stands (but finished second though – so what on earth was the defence like?!). Aston Villa v Everton is also the most played top flight fixture – but has never featured on ‘Super Sunday’ – which is what really counts.

N is for name. Not students after all – Christians instead! The club was formed by members of the cricket team attached to the Villa Cross Wesleyan Methodist Chapel - which perhaps explains why Villa fans are nice, but a bit dull and a little holier-than-thou!

O is for once. Millwall have only won once at Villa Park. But what an important win is was, coming in our promotion season in 1987/88. Millwall and Villa were both fighting for promotion to the top flight and the Lions came out on top 2-1 with goals from Cascarino & Briley. At the end of the season Millwall were champions, with Villa runners-up.

P is for Pike. Another nice but dim-witted fictional character that had an allegiance to Aston Villa – never seen without a claret and blue scarf wrapped around him in Dad’s Army. You can see a stereotype forming, can’t you, you stupid boy!

Q is for queer. As in that’s a bit queer. Villa’s first ever fixture was against a rugby club. In the first half they played under rugby rules, the second under association football rules. It was also 15 a side. Future Villa manager Graham Taylor later employed tactics from this game during his Villa Park reign.

R is for rampant lion. Villa’s badge has a rampant lion. It is often wrongly assumed that our own lion rampant is due to our strong Scottish roots; however, in Villa’s case it is true. One Scot in particular, businessman, William McGregor, played an enormously influential role at the club and actually went to Scotland to purchase the lion motifs that were subsequently sewn on to Villa’s jerseys. But, Villa lost the opportunity to become the ‘Lions’ of English football with that FA Cup defeat to Millwall.

S is for second city. Brummies often say that they are from the ‘second city’. They are wrong. Canterbury is officially the second city of England. Birmingham is simply the second most populous city, thanks to poor urban planning and the city’s suburbs being allowed to spread like a cancer over the lovely Warwickshire countryside. You cannot blame them I guess; if you came from such a bleak urban wasteland known only for an awful accent and some road junctions named after pasta you’d try and grab at a bit of prestige, no matter how inaccurate.

T is for Terry. John Terry may have the pleasure of playing his last ever game in English football at The Den - should Villa go up automatically / finish outside the play-offs and he retires. I wouldn’t hold out for a guard of honour this time if I was you though, John.

U is for unbelievable. Millwall came from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1 in the 2013 FA Cup. That’s not the unbelievable bit – the fact that it was the much maligned John Marquis who got the winner in the last minute is! You knew Villa were a club in crisis when that happened.

V is for victory. Millwall will be trying for their 9th victory over Villa in all competitions. Villa have beaten us 14 times, with 9 draws between the teams. In the last ten meetings (between 1986 and 2013) Millwall have won 6 games, drawn 1 and lost 3.

W is for walloping. Millwall’s heaviest ever defeat was against Aston Villa, a 9-1 defeat coming on 28th January 1946 in the FA Cup at Villa Park, as Millwall struggled to come to terms with the post-war era.

X is Xia. Tony Jiantong Xia is the current Villa chairman. From China, he became an Aston Villa fan after watching them at Villa Park during his time as a student at Oxford University – he must have been pissed on cheap Student Union beer!

Y is for years. It is now almost exactly 28 years since our last top flight win. The opposition? Yep, Aston Villa. Millwall beating the Villans 2-0 at The Den on 16th December 1989 to move up to a respectable 15th. Little did we know we wouldn’t win another top flight fixture – possibly ever again!

Z is for zoo. Millwall have not played a first team fixture at Villa Park for 27 years. No doubt the locals will view us as specimens to film and examine from their high horses. Especially as it managed to kick-off for an FA Youth Cup fixture at Villa Park in 2010 (our last visit in any capacity), with the headline ‘Drunk Millwall fans go on rampage’ appearing in the Birmingham Mail.
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04 December 2017 17:54 Post ID: #1562889 - in reply to #1562886
Legend MO
2000200010025
Another excellent effort Moody

No mention of Nigel Kennedy, David Cameron or Prince William.

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04 December 2017 19:51 Post ID: #1562904 - in reply to #1562886
GeroniMO
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Busy little bastard.
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04 December 2017 22:40 Post ID: #1562929 - in reply to #1562886
Supreme MO
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Thought he might have mentioned the burger bar boys, curry,
the arson on said FA youth cup tie, naked dancing on the pool
table in the Aston arms and nicking his outside furniture for
the back of the van, I could go on but I'm bored.......
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04 December 2017 23:06 Post ID: #1562934 - in reply to #1562886
Supreme MO
5000100025
Well done Moody.
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04 December 2017 23:40 Post ID: #1562939 - in reply to #1562889
Little Wacker
25
PurleyLion - 4/12/2017 17:54

Another excellent effort Moody

No mention of Nigel Kennedy, David Cameron or Prince William.



Kennedy is an annoying wee git with a largely affected accent whose infamous recording of the Four Seasons is truly appalling. His Elgar is ok though.

There was also no mention of Aston University which last time I visited provided one of the less inedible meals I have suffered through at Higher Education establishments.
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05 December 2017 12:04 Post ID: #1562952 - in reply to #1562886
Legend MO
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Excellent once again, Moody. Thank you.

Also worth adding:

B - Buried. Millwall's second FA Cup Semi-Final appearance came in 1903 when the Lions met Derby County at Villa Park. In the previous round Southern League Millwall had disposed of First Division Everton. This time a one-sided contest ended in a 3-0 victory for the Midland side. However, County went on to receive the biggest-ever thrashing in an FA Cup Final at the old Crystal Palace ground when Bury walloped them 6-0, helping themselves to five second-had goals, and thus winning the cup without conceding.

L - Legless. That 9-1 defeat against Villa in 1946 which marks the club's worst-ever battering was the last time we played an FA Cup tie over two legs. In the previous round we easily disposed of Northampton 5-2 on aggregate but turned up at Villa Park already 4-2 down from the first leg.

P - Just prior to Millwall kicking off their first season in the top flight, Millwall agreed a deal with Crewe Alexandra for a midfielder the manager had been initially tipped off about by a friend living oop north. At the last minute Villa came in with a bid that marginally bettered Millwall's. Millwall were given an option of upping their bid by £10,000 to get their man. They declined. The player's name was David Platt.

R - Replay. Had Millwall not have been cheated out of the FA Cup Semi-Final against Sunderland at Huddersfield in 1937, the deserved replay was set for Villa Park.

S - Saward, Pat. The Republic of Ireland international made over 100 appearances for the Lions in the early 1950s under manager Charlie Hewitt before joining Aston Villa for £10,000. There, playing left half in the No 6 shirt, he won the 1957 FA Cup against against a Manchester United side of which more than half were to lose their lives a few months later in the Munich air disaster.


Also, Moody. Surely the first super powers in football had to be Preston North End, the Invincibles, who won the first two Football League titles. And Blackburn Rovers who won the FA Cup for three consecutive seasons in starting in 1884 - and from whom Millwall took their name when founded in 1885: Millwall Rovers.




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05 December 2017 12:50 Post ID: #1562954 - in reply to #1562886
Little MO
100100
Great work Moody. I'm guessing 'X' may have been easier than you thought given Villa's Chinese connections, but made up for by 'Z'. Would never have thought of Zoo but you've made a great case!
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05 December 2017 13:28 Post ID: #1562956 - in reply to #1562954
Legend MO
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CrawLion - 5/12/2017 12:50

Great work Moody. I'm guessing 'X' may have been easier than you thought given Villa's Chinese connections, but made up for by 'Z'. Would never have thought of Zoo but you've made a great case! :clap:



Actually not the Zoo I expected from Moody.

Villa Park is situated on a site that was once Aston Lower Grounds which during the 19th century attracted 200,000 visitors a year and among the attractions were a menagerie and massive aquarium. The pitch itself is on the very site of a large pond that was drained for football.
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05 December 2017 14:35 Post ID: #1562960 - in reply to #1562886
Supreme MO
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I too wondered if he'd forgotten Preston Whisky.
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05 December 2017 15:32 Post ID: #1562969 - in reply to #1562952
Legend MO
20002000500100100252525
whiskylion - 5/12/2017 12:04

Also, Moody. Surely the first super powers in football had to be Preston North End, the Invincibles, who won the first two Football League titles. And Blackburn Rovers who won the FA Cup for three consecutive seasons in starting in 1884 - and from whom Millwall took their name when founded in 1885: Millwall Rovers.



I just think Villa dominated an era, in a way neither Preston or Blackburn did. Preston got off to a flyer, but then declined. Blackburn were certainly the first dominant cup side. But, for me, Villa did it in both the cup and league (5 titles and 2 cups in 7 seasons), equalling Preston's double winning achievement too. Just in my opinion, there were the real first truly dominant force in English football. Also, Preston won the title in a division of 12 clubs, Villa won their first title when it was 16 teams.

I think Sunderland have a stronger challenge to Villa than either Preston or Blackburn - but, didn't win a double or indeed the cup until 1937 (as well all know the year they luckily beat us in the SFs).
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05 December 2017 15:36 Post ID: #1562970 - in reply to #1562886
Legend MO
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Always look forward to your ones too Whisky.

That David Platt one - surely The Den faith would have gone mad if we had dropped Uncle Les or Tel??!
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05 December 2017 15:46 Post ID: #1562973 - in reply to #1562886
MamMOth
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07 December 2017 11:54 Post ID: #1563117 - in reply to #1562973
MOrtified
0
Welcoming.
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07 December 2017 15:19 Post ID: #1563139 - in reply to #1562886
Supreme MO
50002000100025
Our history is full of might have beens, such as offering £ 25.000 for
Kevin Keegan when Scunthorpe wanted £30.000
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08 December 2017 17:02 Post ID: #1563291 - in reply to #1562886
MOrtified
0
S is for snow. Maybe?
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