Jody O’Reilly – 14.5.1991 to 15.12.2013
As some Aston Villa supporters will already be aware, in the early hours of Saturday night before Villa’s fixture against Manchester United, Villa supporter Jody O’Reilly was tragically killed in a hit and run on Broad Street ( BBC news story of the incident ). Sadly, Jody never made it to the United game which he had a ticket for. He was aged 22.
A week previous, Irish-born Jody had been ‘Caller of the Day’ on Call Collymore on Talksport. Eloquently and intelligently putting across his spot-on views about the Villa after the Fulham game.
In the intro to the call, he joked with Stan about his preference to Irish music over jazz, and when Stan asked him if he was going to have some of the ‘black stuff’ for Christmas, Jody was genuinely enthusiastic about the Christmas he would unfortunately never see, being only two weeks away.
Jody’s friend Tom Worth connected MOMS via the Football Supporters Federation regarding organising a tribute for Jody at Villa’s Boxing Day clash with Crystal Palace. He had this to say about his friend:
‘[Jody] was pretty much your standard die-hard football fan, pi**ed off for days if villa lost, great mood if you won. Proudly loyal and obsessed with all things Villa. He even picked Wolverhampton University so he could get close to the Villa after moving over from [Leixlip] Ireland. He was the life and soul of every party and his ability to chat to anyone was incredible – even managing to our talk Paul Merson in a Walsall kebab shop at four in the morning.’
We are currently working with other Villa groups to try to organise a Villa Park tribute in time for the Boxing Day game.
In the meantime, we support his friend’s attempts to get a minute’s silence before the game in honour of Jody, which would be fitting, considering the last thing he was looking forward to before his life was tragically taken was his trip to see the Villa against Manchester United. Check out the almost 11,000 strong Facebook group campaigning for minute’s silence in the link below.
A tribute in the programme for the game has already been planned by his friends and family.
Boxing Day Aston Villa Programme Tribute
‘Joseph O’Reilly age 22 was a young man with great ambition and great character. Originally from Ireland, he moved to England to study sport at university and he made sure he chose a university in the midlands so he could be close to his beloved Aston Villa who he supported all his life. Speaking on behalf of everyone who knew him he was a kind, loving and respectful person who always valued what he had and the people closest to him. He made a big impact on everyone’s lives and for everyone that had the pleasure of knowing him will agree. We all loved him very much and miss him dearly. May he rest in peace and will always be in all of our hearts.15.12.2013’
Come Boxing Day, if you get chance, raise a glass of the black stuff to honour Jody O’Reilly. Villa through-and-through. RIP
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