Welcome to the monthly e-letter from Aston Villa Former Players Association, keeping you up to date with the news, events and happenings within the organisation. W: www.astonvillafpa.org
‘ASTON VILLA OLD STARS` FIXTURES
Mainly due to the World Cup Finals, it has been a quiet June & July for the Aston Villa Old Stars football team, which is normal in a world cup finals year.
However, the team is back in action as follows –
Sunday 1st August
KO 12 midday
Boldmere St Michael`s FC
Sunday 8th August
Burntwood Rugby Club
The Sports Way
WE`RE NOT SO GOOD AT CRICKET!
Although the Aston Villa FPA team scored more than 200 runs off of 30 over`s against Lapworth Cricket Club on 4th July, it was not enough to win.
However, scoring over 7 runs per over was a decent effort from the lads who last played a game of cricket in 2008, or in Steve Staunton`s case, never. And as Steve didn`t get to bowl or bat, we and he still don`t know if he can actually play!
Good weather and a great attendance ensured the chosen charities were the real winners.
SAD FAREWELL TO TWO GREAT ‘FRIENDS`
On 14th and 20th July respectively, many Aston Villa former players paid their respects at the funerals of two great friends of the Aston Villa FPA who both suffered with Cancer.
Firstly Judy Mee, a lifelong fan of Aston Villa who despite her crippling illness organised two terrific and very successful fundraising fixtures with the Aston Villa Old Stars, in addition to a host of other fundraising events. She was without doubt, one of the most kind-hearted and best organisers we`ve ever dealt with.
Next Graham Woolgar, another lifelong Aston Villa supporter whose love of everything ‘Villa`, intelligence and humour made him a friend of everyone he met. He was always first in the queue to attend Aston Villa FPA events and we had the privilege of his company on our football & golf ‘tour` to Cyprus last September.
Both Judy and Graham will be sadly missed, not only by the former players but also by many, many others, as ‘standing room only` at both funerals bears witness.
LEGENDS Q&A NIGHT A GREAT SUCCESS
On Friday 16th July, Aston Villa football club staged ‘An Evening with Legends` in the Directors Lounge at Villa Park, which included an excellent 3-course dinner and the opportunity to meet, chat with and question Villa legends Gordon Cowans and Chris Nicholl.
The evenings host and MC was Neil Rioch and the formal Q&A session lasted well over 2 hours. Questions from the audience to these two legends covered everything from their schooldays, their careers as players, their coaching and management experiences, and their opinions on the current and future situation of English football and Aston Villa FC in particular.
Both Chris and Gordon were in top form and frequently had the audience ‘in stitches` with their humorous anecdotes.
‘PAUL BIRCH TRUST` GOING STRONG
The independent ‘Paul Birch Trust` that was established by the Aston Villa FPA in 2008 when the Aston Villa legend was diagnosed with terminal cancer, has been very successful and is still attracting funds.
The Trust was set up to provide essential support to Paul prior to his sad passing on 2nd February 2009, and thereafter at Paul`s request, it is providing funds for the welfare and educational needs of his only daughter Olivia until she reaches 18 years of age.
The Trust has received nearly £40,000 to date from a wide range of dedicated events and individual donations, the latest being a sum of £361 raised by Rob Elmes, assistant manager at Halesowen Town FC, who ran the ‘Manchester 10k` in May 2010 with Paul Birch`s name on the back of his Halesowen Town FC shirt.
Rob Elmes and ‘Birchy` were teammates at Halesowen FC in the 1998-99 season and it`s a measure of the affection and respect in which Paul is still held by Rob and so many others who have contributed, and continue to contribute to the ‘Paul Birch Trust`. The Aston Villa FPA will continue to make an annual donation during the lifetime of the Paul Birch Trust.
Donations can be made by cheque payable to ‘Paul Birch Trust` and sent to Aston Villa FPA, Villa Park, Birmingham B6 6HE.