Date: 16th November 2009 at 11:58am
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As Christmas approaches, the goose is getting fat, and the Villa supporter begins to dream of former glories. The 50th anniversary of Villa’s 21 goals in three games is now with us, and some of us remember that time. But how about the more remote times?

The Aston Villa Chronicles Volumes 1 and 2 (1874-1924 and after) amply cover those remote times and are awaiting your indulgence in both the Villa stores. If you wish to order by phone for postal delivery, then ring the Villa store’s direct line on 0121 326 1559.

The book contains a foreword written by famed social historian and Villa supporter Professor Carl Chinn MBE, who writes in the tail-end of his foreword:

The task that John Lerwill set himself is one from which most historians would have blanched. He has gone through thousands of newspaper reports, programmes and other forms of evidence to let the people from the time tell the story of Aston Villa. So many books on football are compendia of facts and figures. This Chronicle is so much more than that. The facts and figures are here but most importantly so too are the lives of the footballers, the directors and the others intimately bonded with the Villa. They reach out to us through long-forgotten speeches, notes and entries. Without John they would have remained hidden from view. That is the true measure of John’s labour of love – he has brought to life the early folk of Aston Villa and rescued them from obscurity. He has set the bench mark for other club historians. I hope that others take up the challenge.

Carl Chinn’s comments are echoed by Ontario-based Norman Crandles, a life-long Villa fan of 60 years standing, and a former university football coach:

The history of Aston Villa pre-dates that of organised professional soccer. John Lerwill has merged the crafts of author, historian and chronicler to produce the superbly integrated and beautifully written volumes I & II of ‘The Aston Villa Chronicles’ He has disentangled the dense strings of his topic with elegance and clarity to deliver comprehensive, luminous, and absorbing accounts of all aspects of one of the most storied soccer clubs in the world, from its inception in 1874 through 1924 and beyond.


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