A day before Aston Villa’s play-off final clash at Wembley, it just happens to be ‘Rotterdam Day’, the day that back in 1982 the club lifted the European Cup – it’s finest moment.
Below are a candid collection of Aston Villa fans’ memories from the greatest night in Aston Villa’s history, when the club was crowned Kings of Europe in Rotterdam.
It’s all here. From 100 bus toilet breaks in France, a pre-final supporter’s friendly match, the ferry-boat pi*s-up, father and son bonding, and being stuck in your mum’s uterus when the biggest game of Villa’s history was on.
Enjoy and thanks to all that shared their stories on the My Old Man Said Facebook page.
26th May 1982 – Aston Villa 1 Bayern Munich 0 – European Cup Final
Gary Lennon I was 17. Bought tickets in a hotel on the day of the game in the Bayern end!
We played their fans off the park in a ‘friendly’ match beforehand. Two of us were in the Bayern bar just before kick off , wearing a Union Jack T-shirt, which went down well!
Walked out onto the Bayern end and it was like we were celebrities….can’t think why?! Anyway, Villa fans were louder at the other end, so we came out and went all the way round to the Villa end.
Magic night, Pete the Greek decked a kraut at the train station afterwards and 250 Bayern fans backed off….capped off the best night of my life!!
Gwyneth Jones I remember saying……as the tears ran down my face, we can’t get any bigger than this, how little did I know!! We will be there again…Rotterdam folk were all so kind to us, fabulous night.
Michael McDonald I was there with my dad, still remember thinking the worst when Jimmy Rimmer went off, but we then saw the birth of a Villa Legend with Nigel Spink. What a night, what a night !!!! That Villa team never really got the credit they deserved. Remember this was when it REALLY was a European champions league !!!!
Kerry Furber I was there! What a trip that was! I’ll never forget the sight of about 100 Villa coaches taking a p*ss stop by the side of a road in northern France – with thousands of us Villa fans enjoying a jimmy in a roadside ditch after the mad ferry crossing piss up. Drink was banned on the buses, so the standard order at the ferry bar was 10 cans of bitter/lager, which then got downed in less than two hours! On the piss my Lord, on the p*ss!!! There were so many of us, that if we’d taken two steps forward, France would probably have surrendered.
Karl Fisher I was there. I was 15. It cost was 26 quid train, ferry and coach. Party on ferry was amazing – want it again.
Mark Waring A night that I shall remember for ever.
Julie Maxwell I was 15. I remember it as if it was yesterday. My whole family crammed around the radio listening to commentary because we couldn’t afford to go. Happy days
John Reidy I was there and missed an A level.,.It was worth it !
David Webb Was there too, but suffering from food poisoning so couldn’t drink. The last 25 minutes was probably the “longest 25 minutes in my life” – every time I looked at the clock it appeared not to have moved. A fantastic night and I have incredible memories of returning back to the UK the following morning and walking along the road back to home, big grin and silly hat still on. Magic!Embed from Getty Images
Bernie Scriven I was 16, and my friend and I, could have got tickets but as 2 females we weren’t allowed to go because of the trouble in Anderlecht. We were gutted. But we ran around the streets of Sheldon celebrating and rubbing all the ‘noses’ noses in it. Happy happy days.
Mathew Murray I was born July 14th 1982. I’m still gutted I missed the final. I couldn’t make as I was still a foetus in my mothers uterus!
Chris Jay I was 13. If I remember right, it was a Thursday night and the pools man would come to collect the coupon. He was a big villa fan and I ran to the door to say we had scored. I still remember the dance he did on the door step!
Ian Nicklin I was the best night ever. 28 minutes from the end of the game, the villa fans really cranked up the volume. It was not a clear chanting, more like a roaring not long after we scored and the noise kept getting louder and louder till the moment Dennis lifted the cup – great, great night.
Tony O’Neill The last 15 minutes I walked my street outside, my sis said, Bayern Munich had scored. I started to cry. She waited about 20 seconds, then said the goal was disallowed. What happen next, I can’t say, as the police could be involved!
Jason Kilkenny I was 12 and I remember it like yesterday. I ran and jumped on my dad and cried, “We’ve done it dad!” Those were the days.
Stuart Ward I can remember drinking cans of Shandy Bass watching it with my mates at my mum’s, and when we scored the light got smashed with us all going mental!
Jason Ward I was 11, and when we scored, I jumped so high, my hand hit the ceiling (not bad for a 11-year-old!) . The goal that Tony Morley made (my all-time favourite Villa player).
Tim Smith I was three, but my old man was there. He keeps reminding me too!
David Michael It was two days before my birthday. I remember being home alone as a kid, watching the game lying on a green couch. Its colour isn’t important. When Rimmer went off, I remember my stomach turning with the feeling it was curtains for Villa’s hopes. Then I remember cheering every Spink save. Withe’s goal was greeted with a slide across the front room and celebrating, which my border collie dog joined in with, barking. The final moments were a killer as you felt if Bayern scored, they’d probably go on to win it. Spink was a boyhood hero from that night.
Colin Hughes I was there. I was 17. Last all British team to win the European Cup. We will never see that again.
Mick Chambers I was there with James Heavey all the way from Longford, Ireland. Great memories.Embed from Getty Images
Glen Bennett Wow. I was a season ticket holder. Only 14. Was not allowed to go. I had a season ticket from aged ten. Amazing days. The song sticks in my mind back then from the boardroom turmoil. “We won the league, we won the cup, we won the league, we won cup, we won the league and we won the cup, now Ronny Bendall has fukked it up!’ LOL. All because they stopped Ron Saunders rolling three-year contract. Good times. The right side!
John Birt Never forget the honesty of Jimmy Rimmer.
Dan Leytham It was the day before my 7th birthday and I watched the match in my (early) birthday present of a full Villa kit.
Ross Edmonds I was ten years old sat watching it with my dad as he cried like a baby! First time I had ever seen him cry. Get goose bumps today thinking about that magical night. Everyone of them a hero
Snake I watched it at St Margarets social club in Great Barr, aged 8. They had it projected onto a big screen, the club was set in the grounds of a Mental Hospital, about right as the place went berserk. I remember me and my uncle jumping round like looneys when the goal went in. Great days never to be repeated.
Jimmy Bradley I watched the final on TV in Ireland. When Peter Withe scored I ran up and down the stairs. Its a night I’ll never ever forget.
Andrew Lutwyche Reading all these comments have brought a tear of joy to my eyes! I wasn’t even a sparkle in my dad’s eye when we won this great trophy but f*ck me, I’m glad I was brought up to support the right team.
This article originally appeared on MOMS back in 2012. If you want to add your own memory to this article on that night in Rotterdam, please leave a comment below. Thanks to everyone above for their contributions.