Date: 5th December 2018 at 8:44am
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This particular topic rears its head about once a season in my mind – who are Aston Villa’s biggest local rivals, Birmingham City or West Bromwich Albion.

Both sides have a tendency to focus on singing about us in their games and that was ably demonstrated on Monday evening as West Brom fans could be audibly heard chanting about us as Brentford held them to a draw and we all know the same is true about Blues.

In fairness, a strong section of our own fanbase can’t get through 90 minutes without singing about the Alliance from Small Heath either – but unless we are playing the Baggies they never feature.

Chancing across these posts on social media got me thinking.

There were plenty more and I’m sure it’s a generation thing. Some of those wiser than me (the old) over the years have assured me that the Boingers are our more established rivalry purely down to the fact that when you look at their list of achievements in the game, it’s not Aston Villa’s copied onto the Birmingham website.

We competed and Birmingham rarely did.

But speak to people of my age and younger (the younger being lucky sods), it’s Blues all the way and West Brom only feature when we play them but really with no greater emphasis than Wolves, Nottingham Forest et al. Coventry usually rank higher but again that seems to be based on their obsession with us rather than the other way round.

It’s been a good few years since I saw this particular topic outside of a forum, so I thought I’d open it up to our younger fans now to pipe up and give their thoughts – especially as with social media more prominent these days I’m guessing there will be more of a variety of responses.

It’s just one of those topics that leaves me scratching my chin as I can’t see how it’s not Blues, I was surrounded by them growing up but it is West Brom next so it’s relevant.

Click for the forum

12 Replies to “So Aston Villa’s Main Rivalry – Who Exactly Is It With – Birmingham Or West Brom”

  • Its definitely a generational thing. My Dad, Uncles and Grandad all talk about the Baggies as being the main derby, Small Heath is the other derby to them. Blues had never had a team good enough for anyone else to be bothered about and from what I can tell it only started getting tasty between us from late 70’s early 80’s onwards. That has more to do with what was going on off the pitch than on it though.

  • Generational thing with Albion fans too. Many younger ones see Wolves as our main rivals. But older ones see Villa as the big one. Albion v Villa has far more history than games v Blues or Wolves. My grandad (Harborne born and bread Albion fan) said WBA v Villa was the main derby in the region.

  • Small Heath is the only Derby for me. West Brom don’t even know who they hate. Half hate Wolves, half hate Villa. The ground is in Birmingham, yet they think they are from the Black Country. A totally confused and Obsessed lot.

    • You’re so very thick if you believe the ground is in Birmingham it’s actually on the West Bromwich side of the boarder and the town is one of a number forming the Black Country.
      You are right in having an opinion but at least get the facts right!
      My opinion is Friday will end 3-1 Albion but both clubs will get promoted back to the greed league.

  • I’d say half of us West Brom fans are from Birmingham and don’t even know any Wolves fans. I personally don’t like the wolves because of the well known reputation of thier fans but that’s about it.
    Also can’t really find hatred for Blues either, only briefly in our history have they ever been a better team than Albion. Added to the fact all the struggles they’ve faced over the last decade I find it hard to count them as a rival. Same goes for Wolves up until this season we have had the upper hand for almost 20 years.

    Albion aren’t ‘obsessed’ with Villa, you were the top dogs in these parts from for many years and let everyone know about it too. Fans don’t forget. And as for this twitter out pouring from villa fans about Albion singing on Monday, the Birmingham Mail said were singing ‘west bromwich albion we’re coming for you’ against Boro. We were singing ‘Aston Villa we’re waiting for you’ against Brentford.

  • it all depends on which side of the city you were born in. I grew up in Great Barr closer to Albion than Blues so Albion were always the team to beat. Blues never having had a good team our derbies against them are normally for top dog in the city but with Albion its for the top team in the West Midlands. Our derbies with them go way back including three F.A. cup finals. For me Blues derbies are full of hate with Albion its who is the best team.

  • The ignorance of History and Geography is disturbing. However isn’t what we are talking about is about who hates you the most and who do you hate the most? Looking forward to the Witton/Sandwell conflict. Hoping for a nil-nil draw.

  • There only one derby for that’s small heath, Albion and wolves are obsessed with villa I don’t know why maybe there jealous of villa’s history and size of our great club.
    It’s just another game Friday for us and another 3 points

  • Ha, wish that was true jbd656, the modern fan seems to have an obsession with ‘them’ as well, never used to be like that. If we aren’t playing them, for me, they don’t count.

  • My rare visits to Villa Park mean that I stay a few nights in an hotel. Usually on the Alcester Road, close to some lovely pubs. City pubs. I didn’t get the Villa/City rivalry until one night when I popped out for a smoke and was joined by a large, bearded and tottooed bloke who rolled up his sleeve to show a City tattoo. My first words were, good luck against Reading tomorrow. That took the winds out of his sails. He turned out to be a nice fella. Especially when a mate of mine pitched up out of the blue who is a dog face. No problems. There could have been some Baggies there, bet your bottom dollar there were some Mancs and ‘Pules too. The point is that these rivalries get pumped up, like us and Newcastle a few years ago. We sent them down, then they came back and stuffed us. So be it. The old rivalries go back, they go back to things best forgotten. Celtic and Rangers are a good example of this. Villa are the biggest club in the West Midlands by far, our rivalries are many and they are ours to choose. Manure, Pule, Spuds, Wet Spam, and a few others I could name should be our rivals. Let it be so. Was that a handball?

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