Villa Noise: Long-range Lowton, postman Emile and Child's play
A sideways look at Villa life over the past week.
10th Apr 2013
Villa Noise: Long-range Lowton, postman Emile and Child's play

The talking point this week has inevitably been Matt Lowton's wonder strike in the 3-1 victory at Stoke City.

As the full-back demonstrated with his two Villa goals against Swansea and Stoke, he has perfected the art of the long-range blockbuster.

But during post-match media duties at the Britannia Stadium he let us in on a secret. It appears striking a football from long distances isn't his only speciality.

The 23-year-old is a dab hand with his driver on the golf tee - and has even managed to drive the famous tenth green at The Belfry near Villa's Bodymoor Heath training ground.

It is a feat that was first achieved by golfing legend Seve Ballesteros in 1978.

Asked about carrying the tenth on the Ryder Cup course, Lowton replied: "Yes, with a three wood. I was in for three but took a six.

"I can maybe drive it 300 yards but when I get near the green, I'm horrific!

"If a hole is 320 then I'll be 20 yards shy with one and in for eight.

"I'm all right driving but I can't do the rest!"

No doubt there'll be plenty of keen observers when long-range Lowton tees off at the Villa golf day later this month.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan managed to steal the show from cartoon hero Wreck It Ralph at this week's JV-Life Easter event.

Although the Wreck It Ralph film was the main feature for youngsters at the event at the Giant Screen Cinema in Millennium Point, Guzan proved to be the star attraction when he turned up with on-loan attacker Simon Dawkins and NextGen Series star Janoi Donacien.

The trio were in great spirits as they signed autographs and posed for photos with young fans.





Programme editor Rob Bishop is used to seeing his byline on Villa's various media channels.

But at the weekend he made the news at one of Serie A's biggest clubs.

Bish and European Cup legend Peter Withe visited the Italian Lions along with Lions Club officer Alan Perrins.

The club representatives received a typically warm welcome from our Italian supporters.

And it was a similar story when they were invited to watch Sunday's 2-2 draw between Fiorentina and AC Milan at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence.

Fiorentina rolled out the red carpet for their Villa visitors, with Bish and Withe even getting a mention on their official website.

Officials from La Viola even complimented the matchday programme Villa produced for our pre-season friendly against them at Villa Park in August 2009.

Lee Child

Award-winning author and ardent Villa supporter Lee Child has encountered many big-name stars following the success of his Jack Reacher novels and the subsequent film.

But this week during a flying visit to the UK from New York he got the chance to meet his all-time hero Gordon Cowans.

Child's claret and blue passion has shone through in his books, with many of his characters being named after Villa players.

The award-winning author revealed recently that he could never use European Cup-winning midfielder and current Villa U21 coach Cowans' name in one of his stories.

He explained: "I could never use Gordon. He's too important to me.

"The character would have to be better than Reacher and we can't have that!"

But at least he finally got the chance to meet the man affectionately known as Sid at Villa Park.

It's amazing who you bump into while popping out to post a letter.

AVTV's Bobby Bridgeman had a surprise encounter while visiting family in Manchester last week.

Bobby was at a local post office when he bumped into none other than former Villa striker Emile Heskey.

With the Australian football season now over, the Newcastle Jets star is spending some time back in the UK.

And Heskey told our media man that he hopes to pay a visit to Villa Park before the season draws to a close.

TalkSport radio presenter Adrian Durham is always very forthright in his views on the beautiful game.

But in his latest Daily Mail column, Durham was glowing in his praise of Villa's philosophy under Paul Lambert.

"We should all stand up and applaud what Paul Lambert is trying to achieve at Aston Villa," he said.

"He has a team made up mainly of young players - eight of the starting XI at Stoke on Saturday are 23 years old or under, and six of those eight are English.

"If you haven't seen Villa this season, that's a shame because this is a team that tries to play football."

He added that while Lambert's project still has a long way to go, Villa fans should feel proud of what their club is trying to achieve.

Speaking of national media praise, two Villa players made it into Garth Crooks's BBC team of the week.

Gabby Agbonlahor featured in attack after equalling Dwight Yorke's club record of 60 Premier League goals in the win at Stoke.

And there are no prizes for guessing which of his claret and blue team-mates also made the cut.

Crooks unsurprisingly lauded right-back Lowton for the quality of his decisive Britannia Stadium strike.

Snap up match tickets for our clash with Fulham.

dan harrison,
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