Villa and Acorns
Villa first teamed up with Acorns in 2006 but since then the partnership has gone from strength to strength. The children's hospice trust originally became charity partner, with money raised through a variety of staff fundraiser events. But this vital bond was made more secure two years later when Acorms became the club's shirt partner to worldwide acclaim.
The unique deal saw Villa forgo a host of lucrative commercial offers to hand Acorns the chance to have their name emblazoned across the claret and blue kit.It represented the first time a charity had taken the coveted space on a top-flight club's team strip.
The bond between the two organisations grew stronger and stronger in the process as more events were organised and players visited the charity's three hospices in Walsall, Selly Oak and Worcester.
This tie was best typified by the friendship which grew between then skipper Martin Laursen and patient Luke Webster. They became the joint faces of the festive campaign called Fragile Lives and wowed the media cameras, posing in a sleigh alongside cute reindeer.
This, along with Martin O'Neill planting a tree in Aston Park to celebrate 21 years of Acorns, have been the major highlights of our ace association. As the relationship has developed, the club has also been able to inspire its corporate clients to back Acorns with various fundraising events.