|Myself & Reza during the World Cup|
reza: It began in the womb mate! :-) Well, when i was 4 years old i played in an under 6 league in Fietas for a team called Aston Villa. My dad told me the real ASTON VILLA were from England. I guess the rest as they IS history.....
I will add that i am not the only massive Villa fan in SA. There are quite a few like me.
One just has to walk in a shopping mall and the amount of people that come up to myself and my kids, is amazing. I've travelled SA quite extensively and find Villa fans all over. I even came across one in Fochville a few years ago!
Swoosh0018 met you during the World Cup and because of you I met many footballers.You are indeed connected.How connected are you with Villa..
I am fairly connected with Villa and this is historical mainly. Apart from being part of a global Villa network (yes believe it, we are GLOBAL), i have many good contacts at the club itself. In 39 years of supporting Villa i have never paid for a match ticket. I am in regular contact with our CEO who is a friend and our club secretary. A lot of the players are personal friends too. In terms of the footballers you met with me, a lot of them i've known for many years and some of them are my coaching colleagues having been part of the same FA and UEFA coaching classes.
Youve obviously been to Villa Park?Whats it like
|Reza & Martin O Neil|
How would you describe Villa fans as opposed to the rest.Is their an element of holliganism.Are they full of passion ?
Villa fans are very passionate. Arguably because we know we are the most under achieving big club. We're always there and thereabouts but just dont seem to have the full season mentality.
Like most clubs there is a hooligan element and i've come across a few of our fans, especiallyw hen we play local derbies against Birmingham City, West Brom and Wolves.
You have obviously mey Villa Legends.Tell us more
Phew....yes..i have and still do.
I've met on a a few occassions the legendary Peter McParland who scored Villa's goals in the 1957 FA CUP FINAL when we beat Man Utd. There have been dozens and dozens of Villa legands since than but the one who stands out for me is the former England international, Gordon Cowans. What a player, what a man and what a good coach. We're very good friends. He is now Villa's first team coach having been appointed by Gerrard Houllier.
|Reza Junior with Jose Mourinho|
|Members of UB40 who are huge Villa Fans|
You bet ya - a good few times when watching the Villa play down in London. West Ham fans are brilliant but dont get on their backs. Local derbies in the UK is always fiery and i've seen a few kids and women involved in some of teh unfortunate skirmishes.
What are your highs and lows as a Villa Fan.Your greatest moment and lowest moment ?
High = Villa winning the champions league in 1982 (it was called the European Cup in those days)
Low = being relegated in 1987 just 6 years after winning the league title. (We did bounce back immediately tho)
Is there a massive following here in SA toward Aston Villa ?
I think there are more Villa fans than we think. Most ex-pats mind you. We have three supporters clubs Jo'brug, Durban and Cape Town.
|Young SA VILLA Academy team|
If you could pick out one of the greatest Ever Villa games.Which would it be?
Ooooooh we've had so many of those - But winning the European Cup was great and loved the way we beat Leeds at Wembley in 96 when we won the league cup (our last trophy mind you!!!)
Who would you say is the greatest Aston Villa Player past and present?
Unfair question !!! - i'll name a few tho...... Gordan Cowans, Paul McGrath, Charlie Aitken, Pongo Waring. They all wore the claret and blue with destinction. there might be one or two in the present team that could become Villa greats.
What are some of the Villa songs directed at the big opposition like Liverpool,Man uTD and the likes ?
I'm on a public forum, kids read these pages - giz a break man ? :-)
I will however tell you that we have some of the most beautiful songs for our neighbours, Birmingham City!!
If there was one thing you could change at Aston Villa now what would that be ?
Hmmm - well huge investement comes to mind. We should be competing with the bigger boys, no doubts. The present owner, i feel, has done a sterling job to be fair. He has invested a lot of his own money into teh club, created some great facilities both at Villa Park and our world class training centre, Body Moor Heath.
Lastly Reza tell our readers what are the steps required to join the Aston Villa supporters club here in SA?
Simple - pop an mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks Reza.All the best with Aston Villa