Villa Noise: Cool hand Given, Beast Guzan and Megafind Benteke
Paul Brown looks at the quirky tales from Villa Park.
15th Feb 2013
Villa Noise: Cool hand Given, Beast Guzan and Megafind Benteke

Shay Given may have lost his place but he certainly hasn't lost his sense of humour.

Given joined Darren Bent and Matt Lowton for an exclusive photoshoot at Bodymoor Heath with Harvey Nichols.

Harvey Nichols are our official formal wear supplier and part of the link-up is the chance for the luxury retailer to photograph our star names in snappy suits, with the pictures syndicated out for a lifestyle magazine as well as matchday programme use.

Given was centre-stage in the picture-perfect session and he was asked to pose with just one hand in his trouser pocket.

He looked worryingly at snapper Neville Williams before smiling and adding: "I'm not sure I can pull off that look."

Bent also had plenty of fun, larking about in between shots as Williams chased the ideal finished product.

At the end of the day, the players as well as the photos looked very sharp!









Villa Ladies welcomed back one of their own this week - but not just anyone!

Sally Walton was a star left-back for Villa Ladies in the early 2000s before turning her attention to hockey.

It certainly paid off.

Walton, who lives in Solihull, made her international debut in 2005 and has gone on to win over 100 caps.

Her proudest moment was helping Great Britain to bronze at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

In her spare time, she loves doing inspirational speaking and this was the purpose of her visit to B6.

She chatted to the girls from the centre of excellence about her success - but, more importantly, how failure can help spark remarkable strength of spirit.

She chatted about her desolation at missing out on the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing due to injury and how that drove her on to make the team the next time.

The girls sat spellbound as they listed to her remarkable tales and Walton hopes the session will inspire them as they look to forge successful careers in sport.


Nathan Baker has won two 'star man' plaudits over the past few days.

Paul Lambert hailed his young defender as "outstanding" after his colossal performance in the 2-1 home win over West Ham.

Then he was handed 10/10 from pupils of Braidwood School for the Deaf in Hodge Hill.

Baker visited the educational establishment alongside Stephen Ireland as part of the club's epic community work.

Baker impressed the kids immensely after picking up signing very quickly, with one lad commenting: "Nathan was brilliant. I'd give him 10/10. He was a natural and he was very, very clear too."

Ashley Westwood certainly "bigged up" Brad Guzan in Match magazine this week, calling him an "absolute beast."

One of the key attributes for a goalkeeper is a good frame between the sticks - and Westwood knows Guzan has this in abundance.

He said: "He's just an absolute beast!

His arms are huge - the biggest I've ever seen.

"You certainly wouldn't want to get in his way if he's going for the ball."

It was somewhat ironic that in the same week Guzan was being hailed as a hulk of a man, former stopper Stefan Postma was commenting on the small size of a former adversary in 'The Big Interview'.

When recalling his Villa Park clash with Man Utd from March 2003, he said of Fabian Barthez: "I remember standing next to him in the tunnel before the game. What a small guy he was! He came up to my shoulders."

It is good to see the efforts of 19-year-old striker Michael Drennan being acknowledged this week.

Followers of our reserves and youth sides will have been aware of the Kilkenny-born hotshot's predatory skills for some time.

But Drennan's stunning 12-minute hat-trick against Sunderland in the Barclays U21 Premier League on Monday earned him a few column inches in the national media too.

The Irish edition of The Sun newspaper ran a small piece on Drennan's goalscoring exploits.

Meanwhile, the Republic of Ireland U19 international also featured in a FourFourTwo article highlighting players to look for in the knockout stages of the NextGen Series.

Drennan, who has scored 12 goals in all competitions this term, is currently joint top of the NextGen scoring charts with Liverpool's Conor Coady.

Let's hope he can add to his tally when Villa's young guns face Ajax in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

Delighted that Lee Hendrie has agreed to be the next Cult Hero here on

Hendrie certainly packed in a lot during his twelve years in claret and blue and you can quiz him on any element of life on and off the pitch in this latest instalment.

I'm just hoping I can get hold of him when I need to ask him the questions.

In-house media reporters like me nicknamed him 'The Artful Dodger' during his playing career in B6 because he was regularly found sneaking out of back doors to avoid interviews!

Get your teasers in on Twitter now using the hashtag #AskHendrie.

#VillaFilmFriday returned this week on Twitter after an absence of a few weeks.

The social media feature asks supporters to Villa-rise the movies of a famous actor or actress.

This week it was comedian Will Ferrell and there were some real cracking answers.

See below.












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