Last weekend saw Aston Villa set up an event with both the kit manufacturers Under Armour and the club’s new shirt sponsors Unibet, inviting 20 Villa supporters to play a mini-tournament at Bodymoor Heath, with some ex-Villa players captaining the teams.
MOMS was away at the Football Supporters Europe congress in Gent, Belgium, but rather than rush back for the tournament, it was a perfect opportunity to give one of our readers an opportunity for a jolly good day out, where they’d also walk away with a free new Villa kit and of a pair Under Armour boots.
So Simon Guttridge, who has also supports My Old Man Said as a MOMS Patron, got the chance to dazzle on the pitches of Bodymoor Heath.
MOMS just asked him one favour, to knock up a little diary post of the day…
Kit Fan Launch BMH Event Diary
By Simon Guttridge
The day started off with around 20 lucky Villa fans boarding a coach at Villa Park to Bodymoor Heath. There was plenty of banter flying around as to who was going to get which ex-Villa player on their team, with all of us expecting Darius Vassell to be among the ex-player options, as he had been announced by the club in the weeks building-up to it.
Upon arrival at Bodymoor Heath the excitement went up a notch as we were greeted by film crews and obviously the sight of Villa’s training complex. We made our way into our designated changing room and received our new kit and boots (both of which we got to keep ).
Now it was time to make our way to the canteen for a quick briefing from the guy’s at Unibet and to be introduced to the ex-Villa players.
I was lucky enough to be selected onto the same team as Stiliyan Petrov, whilst the other team captains were Dion Dublin, Emile Heskey and Dean Saunders (scorer of the winner on my Villa Park debut, as I told him multiple times through out the day).
Having met the players it was now time to make our way to the pitches so the action could finally get underway.
After watching some dodgy warm up techniques from my Team Petrov teammates and some wise words from Stan, it was time to line up to face the team of Dean Saunders & co.
Our team was setup with myself playing as a striker with Stan playing behind me (I never thought I’d be able to say that).
During the opening minute, I was able skip past Saunders before getting a shot away that was destined for the top corner, until out of nowhere, Saunders showed the pace of Usain Bolt to get back in time to get a block it (I maybe exaggerating a little there).
He was sure to get his own back on me, as he nutmegged me just moments later. We went on to lose the match 5-2, with Stan getting both our goals and hitting the woodwork three times.
Stan wasn’t too happy and went bananas at his fellow teammates for not showing enough quality with and without the ball.
We were now due to play in the 3rd & 4th place play off against Dion Dublin & co.
Dion had actually tweaked his groin in his game against Heskey’s team, so he had his excuses all lined up and was letting everyone know.
Stan again gave us all instructions pre-match, having calmed down from losing the previous game. He was all smiles as we were about to kick off.
Again during the opening moments, Stan put me through one-on-one with their keeper, but this time I put the ball high over the bar and over the fence.
Again, Mr Petrov wasn’t a happy chappy. Stan gave me an earful, and for some reason I decided to blame it on the pass that he had made. Big mistake and something I wouldn’t be doing again!
Moments later, I was lucky enough to have a chance to win back his favour, by scoring two quick-fire goals to give us a lead that we wouldn’t let slip, as we ran out 7-4 winners.
Emile Heskey’s team won the final, the score was 5-1 at half-time and I’m pretty sure we had all lost count of how many further goals went in. Some lads cheekily blamed Saunders for the hammering, with Stan also winding him up from the sidelines.
— My Old Man Said (@oldmansaid) July 9, 2017
Actor Oliver Phelps of Harry Potter fame, arrived to hand over the trophy to Heskey whose team milked every moment of their victory.
Afterwards, all of the Villa ex-players were happy to sign all the new kits and take photos with everyone, as they also had clearly enjoyed their day.
Just going to Bodymoor Heath was on my bucket list, I couldn’t of dreamed of the day I had just experienced. Here’s to hoping it’s a yearly event and Stan gives me a call next year!
Follow Simon on Twitter – @simonavfc