Blog: The day I saw new boss Lambert face Villa
8th Jun 2012
But I'm one of the few people who can claim to have watched Paul Lambert play against Villa.
As the Birmingham Mail's Villa correspondent, I headed north of the border in 1988 for the club's pre-season tour of Scotland.
Newly-promoted to the top flight, Graham Taylor's team recorded friendly victories over St Johnstone and Greenock Morton.
But sandwiched in between, on the afternoon on Saturday August 6, they were outsmarted in Paisley by Lambert and his colleagues.
Villa's new manager was then just one day short of his 19th birthday and playing for St Mirren.
And on that sunny afternoon at the Saints' old Love Street ground, he helped his team to a 1-0 friendly success over the boys in claret and blue.
As I say, I'm struggling to recall much about the game, and I would be staggered if any of the small band of diehard supporters who made the trip can honestly say they remember Paul Lambert.
For me, the only moments which have survived the mists of time are Paul Chalmers' early goal, following Martin Keown's misplaced back-pass, and Villa striker Warren Aspinall being sent off in the second half for stamping on Dave Winnie.
Aspinall's petulant act was a step too far for manager Taylor, who immediately placed him on the transfer list.
On our way back to the hotel on the banks of the River Clyde, Graham told me I could have the story exclusively for the following Monday's Mail, but unfortunately someone leaked it to the Sunday papers.
That's one "scoop" I missed out on. But nearly 24 years later, with the help of statistician Frank Holt - who confirmed Lambert's inclusion in the St Mirren line-up - I have an unexpected exclusive about Villa's new boss!
rob bishop, blogs,
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