Villa Noise: Lambo on McGregor, Petrov giggles and chatty Luna
2nd Aug 2013
Child moved up to Manchester from Birmingham with his family after getting a job with Granada TV.
His daughter Ruth moved to secondary school there and her friends - Man Utd fans - thought they'd use her nepotism to acquire places to watch the Red Devils in training.
Due to Granada's strong relationship with United, this was organised and Child found himself driving to The Cliff, their former training ground.
Child takes up the story: "We pulled up there and the attendant waved me through. I parked my car and the girls ran off to watch their heroes while I stayed back and chatted to some old guys about the season.
"All of a sudden, about ten minutes later, the apprentices came out to wash the first team cars.
"There was Mark Hughes's Range Rover. There was Peter Schmeichel's Mercedes and then my Vauxhall Astra.
"They didn't stop. They washed my car too. This young, skinny, blonde kid was there scrubbing my wheels.
"The old guys were pointing all of them out. I asked 'who's doing mine?' "One of them said: "That's David Beckham - he might be quite good." He did okay didn't he?"
Antonio Luna got his wish this week.
Luna has formed a good friendship with fellow newboy Leandro Bacuna and the pair travel to and from the training ground together.
Luna was forced to wait last week as I interviewed Bacuna for the official website.
Looking over to the left-back at the end of the discussion, Luna pointed at himself as if to say: "My turn now?"
I shook my head at which pointed he frowned.
But I assured him he was next up on the rota.
And the interview happened on Tuesday - with Luna polite, cordial, humorous and engaging.
He chatted about his new Tony Moon nickname, his impressive beard, competition with Joe Bennett, facing Malaga, playing at Villa Park for the first time and working under Paul Lambert.
Let's hope all the newboys are as ebullient as Luna.
Stan Petrov may have retired from football but his powerful character is still very much in evidence at Villa.
Petrov is assistant development squad coach and works full-time at Bodymoor Heath.
His office sits next to the interview room we use to chat to players after training.
On hearing the dulcet tones of Fabian Delph in his interview with AVTV, Petrov made his way next-door.
Delph was in hysterics as Petrov made faces through the window before coming in and stressing: "Fabian Delph is a bad, bad man."
Petrov also showed his caring side this week, sitting among fans for the Walsall v Villa game.
We're not sure Stan saw much of the game as he was posing for pictures and signing autographs throughout the 90 minutes.
This didn't bother the former skipper as he smiled and signed with the grace he shows all the time.
Ian Bell revealed his football idol in a Twitter Q&A held by the ECB this week.
Bell was the star guest as the cricketing organisation's media team asked for questions to be submitted to the batting ace with the hashtag #AskIan.
Bell is a big favourite as he continues to excel for England in the Ashes.
One of the very first teasers was who Bell's all-time Villa hero was.
Bell, from Coventry but a huge Villa fanatic, picked out 1980s pinup Gary Shaw.
We've got plenty of celebrity fans - Tom Hanks, the Duke of Cambridge and David Cameron to name but three.
But clearly athletics ace Usain Bolt isn't one.
It was a bit of a bolt out of the blue when the 100m and 200m legend appeared in The Sun this week advising the Duke of Cambridge on football matters.
As everyone in the world knows, the Duke and Duchess became parents when Prince George was born.
Villa chiefs acted quickly and immediately sent the Palace a new claret and blue shirt with 'HRH and 1' on the back for the newborn.
But Bolt spoke his mind this week, insisting: "I hope he doesn't follow in his daddy's footsteps and become an Aston Villa fan. It isn't fair to put a child through that - especially not a prince.
"When the prince is old enough, I'd love to take him to Old Trafford."
We're sure he will be watching the Red Devils one day as he cheers an Andi Weimann hat-trick in a stunning 6-0 victory!
Samir Carruthers has been picked out as Villa's "young gun to watch".
The Daily Mail has compiled a guide to the best starlets at each club.
The national newspaper picked out Carruthers ahead of Janoi Donacien and Jack Grealish.
It said: "The NextGen captain's energetic performances in the continental competition have earned him a two-year senior contract.
"Carruthers could be ably assisted in Paul Lambert's young side this season by countrymen Graham Burke and Michael Drennan."
Lambert, however, has sounded a note of caution at the promising players coming through the ranks.
He said: "I don't think anybody can get too carried away about the young ones and all of a sudden think they're going to be big players for us.
"They're developing and you have to try to develop them. They've done fine. That's part of learning. It's a job now for them, not a hobby. When you're asked to play you've got to do your best.
"They're still a good bit away from it. They're only young kids that are developing and they'll need time."
It was the perfect backdrop for Sky Sports this week as Paul Lambert was interviewed in front of the statue of William McGregor.
It was a brilliant mixture of past and present as the television channel hosted their 92Live show, with presenters visiting every ground in the Football League.
Pioneer McGregor, of course, was the brains behind the invention of the League, writing the now-famous letter which heralded the arrival of modern football as we know it.
Lambert is the man charged with continuing his claret and blue legacy.
He told Sky Sports presenter Pete Colley: "As a fellow Scotsman, I am proud that he helped set up the Football League 125 years ago.
"I hadn't seen the statue itself before today, but looking at it now, it's a great, great thing."
Well said gaffer!
It has been broken 41 times over 120 years to the total cost of an astonishing £411,964,490.
And that could soon go over the half a billion pound mark if Tottenham's Gareth Bale breaks it again to become the most expensive player in history signing for Real Madrid for a mind-boggling fee.
Real Madrid have broken the transfer record four times in succession - for Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Spanish giants want to do so again by signing Gareth Bale from Tottenham for £85million.
But did you know that Scot Willie Groves was the very first player to be transferred for a three-figure sum when he moved from West Bromwich Albion to Aston Villa for £100 in 1893.
Fast forward to 2013 and multiply that amount by 800,000 and the record is still Cristiano Ronaldo's £80m move to Real Madrid in 2009.
It's worth pointing out the news that the Premier League have appointed a firm of corporate investigators to carry out spot-checks and investigations into pubs and clubs showing live matches on Saturday afternoons.
Pubs can access the matches using foreign satellite systems which are often considerably cheaper than the British systems.
The Premier League has now appointed Glasgow-based firm ID Inquiries and will step up the number of pub visits and investigations to a higher level than any previous season.
Just goes to show that the best place to watch the Premier League claret and blue action in comfort is here at Villa Park.
Snap up match tickets for Liverpool.
A big welcome to four new Villa Ladies, who have joined the club for the Super League season.
From left, we have left-back Lauren Walker, striker Natasha Baptiste, right-back Hannah Williams and centre-back Emily Owen.
Owen and Baptiste have joined from West Brom while Walker and Williams link-up from Wolves.
Boss Joe Hunt said: "We're thrilled to bring four really good players in to boost the squad."
Check out for a full report on their arrivals on the official website later this afternoon.
Every Tuesday, we will post some impressive claret and blue quotes from the archives.
Each Thursday, we will host a quiz where you've got to guess the identity of a hidden player.
And today sees the return of #AVFCFilmFriday, where you have to Villa-rise famous movies.
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