Date: 11th July 2012 at 5:45pm
Written by:

claretstrat is next for the Vital Villa interview.

claretstrat is next for the Vital Villa interview.

1) When did you become a Villa fan and why?

I really don`t recall anyone in my family ever mentioning football, as far as I was concerned it was only something that was played in Ward End park. Until one day circa 61/62 in Thornton road junior`s, I was skipping gaily ( for younger readers, gaily: old English meaning: happily…and nothing else as far as I`m aware ) across the school play ground when two bigger lads pulled me to one side and asked me rather nicely ; ooo d`yow support mate? Aston Villa or Birmingham City? An` if yow don`t tell us the roit ansa we`re gonna smash ya f….face in! So I gave it some consideration and came with Birmingham City,( God forgive me) that being the place where we all lived, well made sense…didn`t it? Besides, I`d never heard of the other one with the funny name. The two chums didn`t look best pleased and said they`d give me till playtime at dinner to come up with another answer which I duly did…..the one with the funny name, just to get rid of them and off they went happy as Larry to press gang some more kids. However, that wasn`t the defining moment, that came when I was given a ‘hand-me-down` football shirt and immediately fell in love with the strikingly beautiful colour`s of this ‘v` necked, short sleeved Claret and Blue garment, although I probably called it red and blue at the time. When I proudly wore it at the playing fields everybody was telling me it was an Aston Villa shirt….that team with the funny name, well loved the colours so that did it for me.

63/64 season and Blackpool was my first trip to Villa Park, I went with a friend. Spent most of the game looking around in amazement at this incredible place then a deafening roar went up as the Brylcreem splattered ball hit the back of the net off Tony Hateley`s head. We won 2-1. So in a nutshell, thats it.

2) Paul Lambert? Your opinion please?

Like everybody else, got totally caught up with the OGS thing, all that cloak and dagger stuff was brilliant and then typical Villa it all went ‘pop`. Out of the three most likely candidates that were left, Lambert, Rogers and Martinez, Lambert was the one for me and the more I`ve thought about it I think with a bit of luck and a fair wind he could be the best thing to happen to us for years. Be interesting to see what Rogers does at Liverpool, and as for Martinez, did we really want to trust Aston Villa to a man who was on the short list for the biggest jobs of his life and made the decision to…..stay at Wigan!?! I really hope Lambert can kick us into shape so we can eventually become a force to be proud of again like the other bloke who came via Norwich the one and only Ron Saunders. Somebody wrote somewhere that Ian Holloway would`ve been a great manager for us!!!

3) Best and worst moments of last season?

The worst moment: First kick of the ball!

The best moment: The last kick of the ball!

4) Your opinion of Randy Lerner and the board, can a decent season next season make up for last season?

I think thats how things work, if we have a great season all will be forgiven. Even one slightly better one will be a great achievement. I think in hindsight last year had to happen. Getting rid of a lot of deadwood on massive wages and sending out a team with what you had left was a dangerous game to play, we almost paid the price. Next season is the start of a bright new future….er…..think somebody said that before, oh yeah, it was the board. Anyway, I think they`ve got it right this time, bless.

5) Which player/s should Villa sign this summer?

I really don`t know on this one. By the sound of things we`ll be going for virtual unknowns, maybe outside of the Prem. I`m ok with that If these players want to die for the cause and make names for themselves….while they`re dying. Anyway, it`ll make a change from some of those ‘Big Time Charlies` on humungus wages arriving for one last payday!

6) Which player/s should Villa get rid of this summer?

The whole back line. I still think Gabby could do it if played as a striker alongside of DB.

7) Favourite current player?

Don`t have one. Although Petrov always put a shift in and scored a couple of screamers. All the best Stan.

8) Favourite all time player/s?

This question highlights what a huge club this is. I could be writing till doomsday and still miss out some great players. I`ll have go:

Tony Hateley, Charlie Aitken, John Sleewenheok ( might not be how its spelt but you know who I mean) Willie Anderson, Ray Graydon, Alex Cropley, Brian Little, Andy Gray, as others have quite rightly done: the whole team of 82, Dean Saunders, Dalian Atkinson ( when he could be bothered),God, Olof Mellberg, Martin Laursen…oh this is ridiculous, there`s just too many…Paul Merson, No that`ll do….Oh, James Millner…so on and so on. I could start again and come up so many other names.

9) What do you expect us to do/finish this season assuming a decent transfer window with £25m or so spent?

Prem: Mid table would be acceptable this season.

FA cup: Beat Man U in the final, Oh how sweet would that be?

Carling cup: I don`t think anybody would care if that last one comes true.

10) You can ask yourself any question you want to about Villa and what is your answer?

What was the Daftest most life threatening thing you ever did in the name of Aston Villa and live to tell the tale?

Well, whilst do my ‘Time` at Duddeston manor Bilateral school ( whatever that meant) my mate, a bluenose, bet that if I went with him to one of their games I would be instantly converted…no really, he meant it. I said ok but the following week he had to come to Villa Park. He said ok and the bet was on. The night of the Birmingham game we stood in the Skip End or whatever it`s called and wait for it…..I pulled out my Villa scarf and put it on……I can`t believe I`m even writing this let alone actually doing it….but I did! All around me the place was in uproar and my mate begging me to take it off in case he got beat up as well. In the end I was asked for my own safety to take it off or leave the ground by a couple of stewards. I hastily took the second option. I swear I don`t know what I was thinking but I lived, I lived! Hang on, I`ve just got to wipe the sweat off my keys… needless to say that was my way of telling my mate: never in a million years me old son! The next week came and it was Villa Park. It was only a reserve match against Bolton, only about 100 fans there but he was so stunned by the ground he became a Villan there and then. Thank very much. Now the date for the dinner in my honour?

11) Just to change the theme slightly, a snap shot of you outside of football, answer or ignore at your leisure:
(based on our WHO ARE YOU thread!!!)

a) Which celebrity/s would you most like to meet and why? Jimi Hendrix…..yeah, thats not gonna happen is it? So, er, Leo Fender…not quite got the hang of this have I? Oh I don`t know, Simon Cowell so I can tell him what jerk he is…..what a rich jerk he is!

b) Age 59 and a bit

c) Location: North Weald, Essex

d) Favourite alcoholic drink: Nice cold lager while I`m waiting for my Indian takeaway.

e) Favourite non-alcoholic drink: Tropica and soda water

f) Favourite Film/s: Mike Leighs Grown Ups

g) Favourite TV Show/s: Family Guy, most history docs

h) Music?: Blues, John Mayall, Stones up to 76, Chuck berry, Steeley Dan

i) Best ever moment in your life: Meeting my wife at Wembley for the Everton cup Final…..she wasn`t my wife when I met her, it`s too complicated

j) Ambitions: To see Aston Villa finally win the bloody FA cup before everybody but Villa fans couldn`t care less

k) Wise words: ‘What the hell are you doing in the bathroom day and night? Why don`t you get out of there and give someone else a chance?` As said by Igor in Young Frankenstein

now your turn, how to submit an interview: click here

Other interviews:

Stephen Jay Hawkings
we`re not fickle
Turkish Penguin
Draig Cymraeg
Carew AV Legend
sid is god
Green Villan
The Fear
McGrath For Pope
Steven Green
Matt Herbert
Mike Field
Mister Saxon
Bob Moore
Revd Pete
Sheriff Kimbo
Smell the Glove
Pride Of Lions
Angus Baskerville
Deaf Dean
Sir Dennis
Nick Shale
Proud to be a Villan
Steff The Villan
McGrath’s Dodgy Knees


7 Replies to “Vital Villa Interviews 2012: claretstrat”

  • Epic, love that interview! That trip to St Andrews… very very good! And a great conversion to the righteous path for your mate as well.

  • Just think, if I’d have been killed in action back then my gravestone would have read ‘ He didn’t know what he was doing, bless him, but he did it anyway! UTV

  • Lol… loved it Claretstrat, an excellent read. I too loved trip to the sty, you was either brave, daft or both…Lol UTV!

  • lol, I’ve seen worse epitaphs to be fair! I might publish that answer as a stand alone when I’ve finished

  • d’you know what, I’ve just realised, I’ve wrote my own epitaph, it’s as true today as it was then!

  • Quite brilliant. I don’t know if you’re already a comic writer but if not then you should embark on a new career as such – its never too late! The best part for me is how you became a fan. It strikes a chord for me as, growing up on the southern side of B

Comments are closed.