Blog: Select your region's football royalty in legendary line-up
Pick your area's aces in ultimate XI.
27th Apr 2011
Blog: Select your region's football royalty in legendary line-up


Everyone likes a good list. There's those '100 Greatest' programmes that always appear on Sky One or Channel 4. There have been greatest movies, greatest comedies, greatest movie heroes, greatest movie villains and greatest albums to name but a few.

On my Facebook page, I am currently doing a '30 Day Movie Challenge', where I select a different genre for each day.

These various inventories got me pondering on the topic of football. Let me explain further.

AVTV has gone 'legend crazy' this week - with the in-house media team interviewing a host of heroes - Paul Merson, Peter Withe and Ron Atkinson to name but a few.

They even interviewed my dad, Tony 'Bomber' Brown of WBA fame and European Cup hero Ken McNaught for the pre-match show as we all look ahead to the derby this weekend.

Seeing stars from various clubs across the region got me thinking even more.

Now, we've done the ultimate claret and blue dream team on AVFC.co.uk before, with a plethora of fans, former stars and even celebrities giving their ultimate Villa side. But how about crossing the various divides in the area - and coming up with the Midland All-Time XI. Players from Villa, WBA, Wolves and Blues.  Even more appropriate given that all four teams have a chance of playing top-flight football again next season.

The criteria is often stars you've seen yourself in person but I'm also inclined to select based on amazing tales of heroism from yesteryear too.

To that end, I asked a host of my followers on Twitter to give me their team - and it's blossomed from there. The tweets never border on arguing but there's great debate about the various choices. I've spent many hours this Bank Holiday weekend chatting to my mates about their dream team - and we never seem to agree. But therein lies the fun.

My team - in a 4-2-1-3 formation - leans two ways - my deep affection for the claret and blue and my family ties to the blue and white.

Nigel Spink is my goalkeeper - not for his European Cup exploits but because of his longevity when I was following the club as a kid under the stewardship of Big Ron.

My full-backs are Albion stars - Brendon Batson and Derek Statham.

Brendon is a close family friend while my dad always says Derek should have won more England caps.

In central defence, we have Paul McGrath - the most accomplished player I've ever seen - and Billy Wright for his exploits for club and country.

Marshalling the midfield area are Gordon Cowans and Bryan Robson and I can't think of two better players to guard the back four and support the front two.

In the hole behind the front three is Tony 'Bomber' Brown. He's my dad but also the leading scorer and appearance-maker at West Brom, so I don't think you could put my selection purely down to nepotism.

The front three was very tough to select. Eventually I opted for Dwight Yorke, Cyrille Regis and Gary Shaw.

Smokin' Joe would lead the line with Yorkie - my all-time favourite player - and Shawy picking up the pieces.

Missing out were Peter Withe, Brian Little, Jeff Astle, Trevor Francis, Steve Bull and John Richards.

Please feel free to email me your picks or give your opinion on mine - click here.

Oh, and for those who were wondering, my favourites:

Movie: Rear Window
Comedy: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Movie Heroes: Indiana Jones
Movie Villains: Darth Vader
Album: What's the Story Morning Glory

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