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  1. OriginalLondonLion
    OriginalLondonLion March 12, 2014 at 1:09 am . Reply

    I went on the team plane again, but since I had a customer in Brussels to visit and a decent boss, I was able to book the whole trip to expenses. I remember going up the Atomium in the afternoon, disappointing because it was actually empty, just escalators up the tubes between the spheres and good views out of small windows. Anderlecht’s ground was a two mile walk from the centre of Brussels and there were a lot of local yobbos plus our mob looking for a fight. One of theirs fired a pistol into the air above the Villa outside the ground. As Oohah said there were plenty of other English hoolies, It seems daft now but rent-a-mob yobs would spend all that money going to a game that their team was not playing in – just for a ruck.

    I got inside to be pounced on by a frantic Sue Walker (the fans liason officer at VP) “You speak French don’t you? I need help explaining a ticket problem”. On instructions from police the seated Villa fans were moved from an East block to a West block and Anderlecht simply overprinted the tickets as we went in. but there was a row missing for a gangway in the West block so about 30 fans had no seat. By the time it was sorted my seat had gone so they put me in the press box.

    Trouble kicked off. Some Local yobs had distress flares or some big fireworks and fired them across the corner of the ground into the Villa behind the end. One hit and injured an Army guy’s girlfriend and he went ape, knocked aside the stewards jumped onto the pitch and ran over to the locals with the launcher and started beating them up until he was hauled away by four cops. Meanwhile I am listening to and reading the report a Belgian reporter is recording on his Dictaphone and typing. I asked him in French if he was the war correspondent, and started haranguing him about the bias, He had omitted the rocket squad and described the Army guy’s revenge as unprovoked.

    Fortunately Anderlecht were on EUFA’s list of clubs with a big hooligan problem of their own and this counted against them when they demanded Villa be thrown out, or the game be replayed behind closed doors. On the plane home to Brum the Villa brass were really worried – this was pre Hysel, had it been afterwards the consequences might have been different.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath March 12, 2014 at 11:15 am . Reply

      Good post OLL. So true I remember a soldier running on the pitch when they were about to have a clean run at goal. I never knew thats why he did it though. As I went with travellers club we were put in a corner of the ground but to the left of us a load of other villa fans who travelled independently were in the next section and me and my mate climbed over to go with them as there was more atmosphere. We were sort of behind the goal then. The Anderlecht fans above us singing Argentina and it went off. Those fans that travelled independently were definitely not all Villa like you say they were a rent a mob and a load of National Front went for the ruck and to support the english team allegedly. We were dropped of in the centre and walked to the ground and there was a sea of claret and blue everywhere outside the ground. There was a load of yobs going round in Villa colours walking past anyone that they thought was foreign and punching them. As im dark haired they went to have a go at me and I told em to do one they said oh sorry mate didnt realise you were English in cockney accents!! Says it all.

  2. Bill Pearson.
    Bill Pearson. March 12, 2014 at 7:00 am . Reply

    Originallondonlion, I was their I took the supporter club , I also knew Sue lovely girl, yes it was an experience to have and remember, you would have known Arthur Moseley assistant secretary Plus Steve Stride ? I still have photo of them from them days.

  3. OriginalLondonLion
    OriginalLondonLion March 12, 2014 at 1:24 pm . Reply

    Hi Bill, I did not know Arthur Moseley, but I certainly knew Steve Stride. I have a tale about him “forgetting” the European Cup at Elmdon Airport and the team departing leaving me and Harry Lawrence holding the trophy, I have the photo to prove it. But hey there will be other weeks with no match to fill the blog, that can wait.

    1. Bill Pearson.
      Bill Pearson. March 12, 2014 at 1:42 pm . Reply

      Sorry OLL, yes I did hear that , god was it you then, that caused massive panic for a while-.then I was assistant chief steward. Bill Pearson.

  4. Bill Pearson.
    Bill Pearson. March 12, 2014 at 1:38 pm . Reply

    Hi originallondonlion, so do I it was on show in the Villa club room that was mysteriously burnt down with the office’s. Terry Weir took it, me Bill Pountney, and Steve, that story? I know two things of Steve, he married the receptionist after he divorced his first wife. The other was about him and Deadly, could that be it?.

  5. OriginalLondonLion
    OriginalLondonLion March 12, 2014 at 10:19 pm . Reply

    This was at the airport Bill, on the return from Rotterdam. At about 2am. The following season I heard from Steve Strde how it happened. The EC came with a heavy travelling case. That case was put on the coach taking the team back to Villa Park, but nobody looked inside it. The EC itself was still in the airport foyer where fans who had been on the team plane were taking their pictures with it. Nigel Spink was supposed to be in charge of the cup but he just got up and boarded the coach with the rest of the team. Muggins as usual was last in the queue so when I turned to hand the cup to the next guy – there was nobody left.

    I ran out of the Airport holding the EC past a journo who snapped my photo for a front page scoop (shades of the FA Cup being nicked while in Villa’s hands). Thankfully the team bus had pulled away but was still in sight before making a turn and somebody on board was looking out of the back window. Otherwise the EC would probably be sitting on top of my TV now.

    1. BWS
      BWS March 13, 2014 at 1:53 pm . Reply

      Good Post OLL, it made a refreshing change and you single handedly changed the whole perspective of the site, mind you give it a day or two and normal service with it’s usual back biting bitching and bickering will no doubt be resumed.

  6. Bill Pearson.
    Bill Pearson. March 13, 2014 at 7:22 am . Reply

    Bloody good post OLL, I did hear about that, you jammy sod to have a history in the name of Aston Villa and the EC . Bring it on With other news on your closeness to the Villa in them days.

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