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It was the best £70 my Dad ever spent


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Or subtitled "And the Germans shot at us!"

Richard remembers...

In the build up to an upcoming event I thought I'd get my Rotterdam story in first, no doubt there will be others!

"I'd rather win the European cup than the league this year" my mate had said to me at the start of the season. In those days it seemed we had a choice you see! For me I wanted us to win anything and everything but the prestige involved in winning Europe's top knock-out trophy (when it really was the Champions Cup!!!!!) surpassed everything. Although I have to say it was during an era when English teams were dominant so it would have been easy to expect to turn up just to win!

We weren't doing too well in the league at the start of the season. Maybe expectations were on a high due to our previous seasons exploits (we won the league you know!). It took us till our third game to register our first victory and that's doing my best to gloss over the ignomy of a first game home reversal against newly promoted opposition.

So the European Cup proved to be a welcome respite, certainly in the first few rounds when we recorded a comprehensive 5-0 and 2-0 (it was two legs then for all our younger readers!) over Valur. But it soon turned into fantastic European nights at VP and nights in sitting in fornt of the radio listening to tales of the lads in far off countries. Hearing the goals in words rather than watching them made them no less enjoyable, such was the technology those days and TV coverage that not every match was covered live.!

So we trundled along and despiet a home defeat to Berlin in round two (second leg), we soon felt that this could be our year.

We safely negotiated Kiev (despite some "troubles") and next up were Anderlecht (quite a huge side in those days). 1-0 at VP, we feared the worse. Was it enough? We thought not. A nervy 0-0 draw away from home, under immense pressure and we were there. Rotterdam.

We had to go, we could not stay away. It had to be my first sight of a Villa game on foreign soil. "Come on Dad we have to go". Truth is he didn't take much persuading. He'd seen Villa in the old third division some ten or so years earlier and for them to now be at the pinnacle of Europe, well he had to go too. School were remarkably accepting of the situation, they had little choice!

So it was £35 a piece for a two day coach journey (1 day there and overnight trip back) including ticket!! Dear days, but it had to be done. So me and my old man went to see Villa. Never any doubt that we were going to win, even though it was mighty Bayern Munich. Those were the days, being a kid helped I think, when you never feared a defeat. You never felt that you'd watch the Villa Lose (oh for their return)

We turned up in Rotterdam and from what I remember it was packed, every bar seemed to be overflowing with footie fans but we had a few hours before kickoff so got ourselves something to eat before turning up at the ground. I had never seen us play in any stadium like it. Fecking huge. I also remember that there seemed to be about 5 different match programmes, all proclaiming to be the "official one", I had to get them all.

We made it to our seats way up in the gods, sitting next to Villa fans that started as strangers and finished as comrades in arms (quote literally as it turned out). So kick off, the team was as we expected. No need to "rotate", a phrase never even heard of in those days. No need to "rest", these were the cream of England even if our leage position didn't quite show it. The subs were the same as they had been for a while, hardly called on especially the goalie a lad called Spinks who was to be turned by the Sith Lord in later episodes. No worries. But something was up, what was it, hang on it cant be can it , whats happening. Jimmy Rimmer is coming off. Oh ***** what now? It's Spinksy, he's hardly played not he's against Rummenigge et al. Oh shit.

What transpired, as we all know, was that we were to wtiness a quite magnificent display of goalkeeping. Which was one of about 6 things I remember from the match.

If truth be told we didn't have many chances in the game and Bayern should have won (2nd thing I remember), but one of the few chances we had we took. What a stupendously brilliant goal and top class finish it was (3rd thing). After that we hung on for grim death and the last 5 minutes were the longest of my life, the clock never moved at all (item 4 on the remember agenda). But it was all over and we had won. We saw grown men cry that night. I saw my Dad cry (5), no matter as everyone was doing it ***** brilliant.

We hung around a bit but had to get back as the coach was leaving The Germans were none too happy and they fired at us (6), bastards.

We made the long drive home, everyone was knackered but didn't care. I got held up in customs as I was asleep on the coach when everyone got off , but it didn't matter and we walked through Brum City Centre about 4pm the next day with smiles so wide on our faces. It was truly magical

The best £70 my old man ever spent.

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When I was little I remember getting a 'history of Aston Villa' video. It was around 1989.

The European Cup run & League title season review sections, I must have watched around a thousand times (well it feels like it), the tape is pretty weary these days!

Always nice to get a view from someone old enough to remember it though... No offence Richard :winkold:

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Each time i read another view on that match it always brings back the memories.

Each fan had their own story their own tale, their own experience.

Each one is memorable, each one full value for money.

It cost me much more than £70 but I couldn't have enjoyed it more than any other Villan, no matter the cost, it was the experience that counted and Richard did the telling proud

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