My first memory of going to Villa Park ended with a packet of sweets and no football. Dad took my brother and me down to see a game only for us to see the signs as we got there ‘Match off – Frozen pitch’. We didn’t have a radio in the car back then, even if we did, I’m not sure there were football shows on? We walked around the beautiful place and went home. Gutting for dad who had hyped us up all week!
We had a more successful time on August 27 1977, albeit the team didn’t! because we were beaten by Everton, having gone one up, courtesy of Andy Gray.
First game the North Stand was open too. Andy got the first goal pic.twitter.com/Nf053G2kZ2
— David Summers (@davidsummers64) August 3, 2018
Have a look in our Aston Villa Memory Lane Forum Thread as fans share their obsession and memories of our glorious club.
And for those of a certain generation, who can forget the AV floodlights? Truly a thing of beauty.
— AVFC Archive (@AvfcArchive) November 3, 2020
A little excerpt from my book Fear Conquers All:
My love affair with Aston Villa started when Dad took my brother Andrew and I to our first (well, second, the first time we got there and it was called off due to the icy pitch) game in 1977. August 27th to be exact. We lost 2-1 despite scoring first. I don’t think I’ve ever forgiven Everton for this heartbreak.
For those who share the love of Villa, the team that day:
Andy Gray (scored)
Brian Little (he walked on water)
Gordon ‘Sid’ Cowans (bench, on for Gray)
I remember sitting in the Trinity Upper, the beautiful old stand, when the fans started stamping their feet on the floor. I couldn’t believe the noise. I am not sure how many times I asked my Dad, “When are they going to do that again, Dad?”, but it probably ran into the hundreds (poor man!) Oh, and then the old man by me shouted so loud that his false teeth fell out. It was love. A love that’s never left me, even though sometimes, the love/hate line is very blurred! Hey, I have no more hair to rip out at least.
So that was my first game, what was yours? Tell us in the forum, or on our social media doo dahs (official title)
(I’m making a tentative return to writing, something I’ve done for 20 years now, following yet more brain ache issues and my 14th operation. I was close to hanging up the keyboard, but I’ll see how it goes. Hopefully this article is error free! Right now, the lights are on but no one is home so to speak!)
The Villa part begins in Chapter 16, following numerous operations, a near loss of life, a total conspiracy to cover up the fact I had never been put on the hospital waiting list and all sorts of other fascinating occurrences. This is the part of the life story where I find myself devoid of things to do, devoid of health, and wondering what was next so……….
Chapter 18 Part 2: A Moment, At Villa Park, That Brought Me To Tears
Chapter 23 Part 1: A Most Unusual Aston Villa Kit Model