(Updated: 5/11/2015)

He may be a Manchester United fan, but did you know that Mani, the bass player of The Stone Roses and Primal Scream, can name the first 11 of Aston Villa’s 1982 European Cup winning team?

Chatting football over a few late-night beers at a hotel bar with MOMS a few years ago, as soon as Mani found out I was ‘Villa’, the first thing he did was embark on naming the infamous first 11 of the 1982 triumph. Even at 3am, after a few drinks, he nailed it. Top man.

Another member of Primal Scream, I’ve also happened to have had late-night drinks with at the same hotel bar a few years later (see the theme that’s developing?) is Birmingham-born keyboard player Martin Duffy, who is a massive Villa fan.

Our first meeting was during the Alex McLeish era and once the Villa connection was made, the drinking soon switched to spirits, as we began drowning our sorrows over McLeish’s management. Duffy told me about his battle to keep his young son a Villa fan, after he’d started to show interest in supporting Chelsea. Chelsea’s European Champion’s League win at the time of Villa weakness, wasn’t good timing…

We met again, a year or two later, and I reminded him of his son’s potential defection. The good news is he’s still very much claret & blue.



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