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Thoughts of a foreign fan on breaking the top 4


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I follow my local LoI teams and i go to games in the summer time with my mates, but its just not the same as following Villa, i've seen championships won and lost in front of me following City and Ramblers but its just not that important.

I wonder did Ramblers claret and blue kit have any influence on your choice? :lol:

I got into Villa through seeing them play on tv and thinking hmmm I like the style of this team, stadium looks amazing and finally... feck they've got Paul McGrath! Going through school was interesting with the banter of how the season was going. In my group of friends there was an Everton, a Leeds and a Notts Forest fan so I'd say we were an odd bunch amongst the Liverpool and Man Utd herd.

My time as a villa fan has seen some memorable highs and in fairness not so many lows rather mid table anonymity. This feels like the most exciting time I've experience in following this club. I didn't even contemplate a downside of being labelled a glory hunter and frankly I would relish such an insult if it meant Villa were flying high. I love what Lerner and MON have brought to the club. It reminds me of why I went for Villa in the first place and the joy it is to follow not just the team and results but the sense of a club with a proud and distinct history reclaiming it's place in the footballing world.

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It is nice to hear of someone who follows a club not because of success. I am born and bred brum and followed the villa from an early age with the 1975/76 leage cup, being my first experience of success (was actually at Wembley when Ray Graydon scoring the rebounded penalty). But success has been few and far between. Anyway getting to the expat business. I have lived overseas (Middle-east) for the past 12-years where everyone and his dog support the mainstream teams (except other expats). So it will be interesting to see if a few arabs start walking around in Villa shirts in the near futute. If so then this would indicate the level of our progress and to be honest the more the merrier.

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So, is there anyone else out there who can relate or has similar thoughts on what it means as a foreigner to support Villa? You've been that one jersey in the pub. You've taken the abuse. You've brushed it all off. But you've secretly loved supporting Villa as much for Villa as for the fact that no-one else did! Will it be the same now supporting one of the elite?


Absolutely yes. Remember all the years in Dublin sitting in a pub on my tod during the O'Dreary years. Didn't get much abuse just ManUre and Liverplop "fans" laughing at me. Last year was great when all us Dublin(Irish) Villans started getting together in numbers in The Duke et al.

This year I have had untold fans of other teams stopping me in a pub and saying how great Villa are playing. Seeing "KIWIVILLAN" on the back of my shirt and asking how does a Kiwi come to support Villa. I've been hugged in the street a few times by Brummies over in Dublin on a Stag after a good result.

More than makes up for the rough years and I'm only supporting Villa since 94' because of the 5 Villans in the Irish WC team(a reason a lot of Irish people confess to supporting Villa)

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Very nice article mate.

I supported the Villa for 2 reasons:

1) Their name simply stands out and is different to any other

2) Their shirts aren't the standard red, blue or white

Stupid reasons I know, but for 5 year olds it maybe not so.

I too didn't have any family to follow after, and was also proud of the fact no one else supported the Villa.

Personally I dont really care if people will one day start saying I'm a glory hunter. I know the truth, you know the truth... what others thinks matters not at all.


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good article mate, share the same feelings really....

lived just outside dublin all my life til i moved to sydney over 2 years ago....

best villa game i was at 3-1 v blues wen cahill scored the overhead.. i was in the holte that day and its still the best moment of my life....

its a lot more awkward to follow the prem/villa now although more villa games are televised which is handy- how i miss those sat and sunday afternoons watchin the footie in the boozer.... its a bit harder now, wen sometimes im watchin matches at 4 o'clock or even 7 o'clock in the mornin..... i've lost 2 jobs thus far for takin days off for villa games.... but i guess i just know wats important....

however- if we get to istanbul i'll be there and if we win the league i can assure u you'll see me in the holte pub!!!!

up the villa.....

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Last year was great when all us Dublin(Irish) Villans started getting together in numbers in The Duke et al.

was in there with the villa crew once, for the birmingham defeat yrs back, wen dion got sent off etc....

never went back after that ......

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First up, I've really enjoyed reading this post and its comments. I've been following Aston Villa from the football wasteland of New Zealand since 1981, when as a football mad eleven year old I decided to choose a team to be exclusively "mine."

I had started playing football for my school team a few years previously, and had become aware that playing football was considered slightly left field in 1980's New Zealand where you were expected to play Rugby, and were often taunted for playing football, a fact that has negatively coloured my perception of rugby ever since, to the point where I not only do not support the All Blacks, but routinely hope for their defeat every time they play.

But I digress. My Dad then worked at a mill that made cardboard and other paper products. They also used to recycle magazines and one day my father brought home a whole lot of Match Weekly and Shoot! magazines. I can still remember poring over those magazines and been utterly fascinated at just what a huge sport football was outside the insular world of 1980's New Zealand. The names of the teams seemed so alien and exotic, but what really struck me was the live action photographs of football games, the beauty and strength implicit in those still images. Two particular images I can still recall, one was Peter Shilton diving to get a hand to a free kick with the defenders in the wall

all turning around and the other was Leeds United's Alex Sabella with his socks around his ankles running at a defender with the ball.

One of my best friends at school, whose family I used to often spend the weekend with were expat Scottish and huge football fans. My friend supported Manchester United, and his other two brothers Arsenal and Liverpool. I then began to notice that people who followed football in NZ always seemed to support one of these teams, or strangely enough, Tottenham Hotspur. Being inclined to wanting to be different I decided I needed to follow somebody else.

One afternoon in the school library I was reading one of those old boys own books with all kinds of different stories in it when I stumbled across chapter that was devoted to football. This book informed me that the three biggest and most successful teams in England were Aston Villa, Arsenal and Blackpool. It was, as you can imagine,

quite an old book. I decided then that I would support Aston Villa, because I didn't want to support Arsenal, Blackpool weren't in the first division and I liked the sound of their name. I didn't even know what city they were from.

Also, I have to admit that I noticed that they were currently top of the first division, and that year they went on to win it and my devotion was secured. Guys like Tony Morley, Gary Shaw, Peter Withe and Gordon Cowans were my personal heroes. And it was awesome to not only support somebody different from everybody else, but then the next year they won the European Cup as well!

Anyway, I just thought I would share with everyone my own personal story of how I came to support the Villa, and how great it has been to see them getting back to where they belong as one of the biggest teams in England. One day, God willing, I hope to visit the UK and make the trip to Villa Park to watch them. For now though I content myself to

getting up at ridiculous hours in the morning in my replica top to watch them play on SkyTV, and hopefully next year in the Champions League as well!

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Great stuff Evergreen. I enjoyed that :) And you reminded me that I too had no idea that Aston Villa were from Birmingham when I started to follow them all those years ago :) I had forgotten that til now!!

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