Date: 27th April 2018 at 9:12pm
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Aston Villa confirmed earlier tonight that our very own Harry Houdini would receive a ‘Special Service award’ prior to tomorrow’s game against Derby County.

Gabby Agbonlahor will be leaving the club at the end of the season and he will be presented with the award by Academy mentor Kevin MacDonald.

Homegrown having progressed through our Academy, Gabby is our longest serving player and his Claret and Blue curtain comes down with the 31-year-old having made 340 starting appearances for the club. He added a further 51 showings from the substitutes bench and in that time he returned 87 goals.

The one time pacey forward’s better memories are ingrained on us all. Part of Martin O’Neill’s better days before he seemingly wanted a 60 man strong first team even though he wouldn’t use 45 of them, his goals against Birmingham City in particular and for some fans that’s what they choose to focus on.

Fair to say he departs as our all-time top scorer in the Premier League.

For others, issues over the past few years take precedence as they remember his contribution…or maybe fairer to say, as per the title, the Houdini routine where he escaped making any contribution whatsoever whilst continuing to pick up his weekly reward.


Fans on that side of the coin will, unfortunately, have their personal favourite.

So this doesn’t turn into a sour rant, let me leave it by saying Gabby had it within his grasp to become a true legend, a one-club man suiting his fan status. The fact he doesn’t depart on that basis is a shame we all share in, albeit, not of our making.

Presumably, this award for his extra ‘Special Service’ in recent times answers the question of a Testimonial.

I guess I’m not the only one who wishes this wasn’t the goodbye it’s become, and I include Gabby in that himself.

Fans are naturally mixed.

I can’t publish some of the tastier responses.

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