This might go down as a bit self indulgent and I usually try to keep my brain ache side of things away from the site, but hey, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to show who and what you are, it might make more sense of some of my rantings and ravings, some of my passion and love of Villa and why sometimes I go off the edge when us fans are criticised in any way or if players aren’t giving the 100% that we all give.
As said, the danger is this might go down as self indulgent, it isn’t my intention, however if it ends up me being eaten by a lion, maybe it will bring everyone some peace!
That biggest fan award doo dah that I helped promote (and got entered in to)
Got this today….
Following your submission to Continental`s Big Game competition, just wanted to let you know that the quarter finalists have now been selected and you are one of them!
In the next step, a judging panel will whittle the ten quarter finalists down to four semi-finalists – to be announced after the 12th May. The winner of an amazing holiday to South Africa for two will be announced after the 4th June.
The forum thread: Click Here explains a bit further and also I hope doesn’t illustrate the ego some think I have, just that I owe the club so much, it is Villa and those attached to it that helped re-build one very broken young man.
The post I make is a bit fractured, it wasn’t meant to go into such a ramble but sometimes those are the best sort of posts I think, so here goes…
I was told there was a thread slating me elsewhere but I didn’t enter this so to speak, I was contacted by Continental as a director of Vital Footie to see if I knew of any stories about fans to promote their comp. They liked my story so it was entered, I think that is fine myself and a holiday would be superb as I won’t get one this year !
I feel I have to justify my comments for those that just can’t resist disliking me just for the sake of it or because the rest of the sheep tell them how evil I am! I don’t of course consider myself the biggest fan, I’ve lost two stone recently! All it was, was an extreme fan thing, don’t think anyone could argue with that, looking back it was a bit mad really but then, what else have you in life (or at the time maybe death!) if you don’t go mad every now and then.
I could never understate what Villa have done for my life to be honest. I was just talking to Ian Robo by email about Buck Chinn’s funeral and stating what he did but Villa also. I was busted, broken and done. I had lost my ‘place’ in life because everyone I knew was working and doing this and that, for me, I was on the floor and unable to go out unless taken etc. You get asked in your 20’s ‘what do you do’ how do you answer? I was never going to say ‘I’m ill’. I had a brain disease, I wasn’t THE brain disease (if that makes sense, anyone who knows illness will know that is all others want to talk about and you sort of become that and that alone) so it wasn’t an easy time, I went from passing out with a degree in Gov and Politics to just passing out!!!
Anyway, I started on the computer (wasn’t working, couldn’t work and didn’t know if I could find any use for a computer would you believe..! But got one and boy did I find a use!) Slowly the Villa Times was formed, Fieldy and me got involved on Holteenders and I started to get vocal. I was then asked to go on the Villan radio by Dave James. To start with I was horrified, at the time my speech used to get mixed up or I’d blank out (as some of you know, I sometimes do that still, one minute I’m there, the next minute I’m ‘gone’ and then I pop back! LOL) but then thought fuck it, that was my parachute jump in life so to speak as I couldn’t do anything physical to challenge myself so I’d do it via the brain, the thing holding me back!
It just grew and grew. Villa not only gave me the challenge of just getting down there, it is the one thing that apart from the time it was impossible after the brain op, that I will not be beaten illness wise. Some things I will have to concede and ‘no, can’t make it, too dizzy etc’ but Villa I go. No question, it is the one where NO isn’t an option, that is just a personal thing for me. But also it gave me my place. Buck Chinn, when he handed over the Shareholders Association to me, despite me then getting even more slating’s and personal insults, was a massive moment in my life and again filled me with pride but also, this was the clan of Chinn, a very intelligent and fabulous family so to get their endorsement, well, wow basically. I thank God I had this conversation with Buck, nothing sloppy but he had to know what it meant. Erod on here also helped greatly, something I’ve only just found out.
Then the public meetings, I’d had a brain tap not long before the second one and was told not to go out. I’d got this thing booked with all the others and so again I went against doctors orders and did it. Those who were there will remember the frail doddery figure I cut but by Christ I had my say and whether it helped or not, at least we stood up and did something.
That led to the tv and radio stuff, again a challenge but again massive building blocks to my confidence. I can now do the interviews without any fear (ha! wrong name for that really!) whereas after my brain op, because of how family and friends had been I was ‘scared’ to pick up the phone or answer the door, I was closing down to the world. I’d stand on the doorstep looking out and that outside world was no longer anything to do with me.
The march we did was interesting, I’d made the mistake to park where I usually do, so had to walk down to the Aston Church then walk back up. That was the furthest I’d walked in 10 odd years, again this is sometimes then where my frustration comes from with those that wouldn’t join for what would have been to most an easy walk. It put me in a state for the week after but again, sometimes some things are just worth it, sometimes you have to knock yourself out a bit in life to try to achieve something – and that isn’t meant to sound as self indulgent as maybe it looks, just not everything comes easy in life, if it did we’d all have what we want when we want it. To fight is no bad thing.
Also got back in touch with a great school mate Nigel from that public meeting, which was a real gain (he spoke at the end when it went to questions, he hadn’t seen me in 15 odd years since school, was in London, saw a meeting was on, said he saw my name and ‘so knew it would be important’ so he drove up on the day. I could have cried when I heard that to be honest. There aren’t many bigger compliments to be paid)
Also met the Carson clan who are now a great part of my life. Real mates and all through Villa. All re-building me. (Sounds selfish maybe that but I know what I mean) The one at an AGM when I asked if he wanted to ask one of our questions said ‘no, you are the one with the balls’ He didn’t know just what that sort of compliment meant either, maybe never has as I don’t think I’ve mentioned it to him.
Also taking the fight to the AGM’s v Doug. The first time I was petrified but swallowed that and had my say. Again, some liked what was done by me and those like me (and Buck before us – that contest became a thing of history !) and others slated it but it was a really important thing for me and something I’m proud of, albeit so happy not to be doing anymore. All the protests etc some said was about ego but we disbanded as soon as Randy was bidding, everything ended, no further involvement etc. We all kept to our word and maybe shocked ‘others’ who suggested I’d lined up a job or had been bought !
Also because of that have been lucky enough to meet some Villa greats, Ian Taylor is as lovely a person as you would hope, Tony Morley (whose show it was on the Villan) is a laugh and a genuine bloke and then there was the friendship and support to what we were doing from Dennis Mortimer. I’ve said this before but the final game of the season when we played Sheffield United, the team of 82 did the parade with THE Cup and then had photo’s taken. Dennis (who used to come to some games with me before taking a role in the corporate area for some box holders) saw me and brought THE Cup over. I am not an emotional sort but I was struggling not to choke up. Things like that, from where I’d been in life are just so very special and not something I’ll ever forget.
It has also given me a living, I started doing the Villa site with Mike, we then set up an independent and that led to Vital Football, our record traffic is 1.7million unique users, it made the top 10 (7th) football sites in the Telegraph last year, beats many of the massively funded media empires and in my biased opinion, is a fantastic community of real fans! And to think when I first bought a computer, I didn’t know if I’d find a use for it!
That is why sometimes my passion over spills when ANYONE including managers, players and fellow fans moan about us fans. This club and us fans are just too important, too precious and should never be the victim of negative comments. It is also why I get angry when a player who can offer so much strolls around like they don’t care.
I care, you care… I demand they care.
Ramble over, but God bless the Villa and whether we finish 1st or last, they’ll always be the greatest team the world has ever seen.