Villa Noise: Petrov mischief, 1887 medal returned and Steer's snaps
Paul Brown on quirky elements of life in B6.
18th Sep 2013
Villa Noise: Petrov mischief, 1887 medal returned and Steer's snaps

Time and tide wait for no man - even if he's only popped off for a picnic in the sun.

Because when Villa fan Andy Laird returned from a picnic to collect his car, he found his Vauxhall Corsa submerged in the sea.

The teenager had failed to check the tide times before leaving his car at the beach in Burnham-on-Sea.

The 19-year-old claret and blue fanatic returned from a walk up the nearby Brean Down to find the vehicle caught in the tide.

The beach warden and a team from rescue charity Burnham Area Rescue Boat were called.

They ensured no-one was stuck inside or putting themselves at risk trying to reach the vehicle, while helping with its retrieval. It has now prompted a warning to visitors with cars to check tide times before driving onto beaches.

Laird, from Walsall, said: "I was up on the Down enjoying a picnic and forgot about the tide coming in. It was a shock to come back and find the car had been surrounded by the sea. I am grateful to BARB and the beach warden for their help."

He had parked on Brean beach which became engulfed by the incoming tide shortly after 5pm on Saturday.



Villa have already been presented with the club's first medal of 2013-14 - and it's one we will treasure.

It was won by full-back Frank Coulton when he helped Villa to the club's first FA Cup triumph in 1887, a 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.

The medal was inherited by Coulton's son Frank and then by his grand-daughter Averil - who called into Villa Park to hand it over to Villa's chief financial officer Robin Russell.

"My father always wanted the medal to come to Villa Park," said Averil, who was 90 last month.

"My grandfather died in 1929, when I was only five, but I remember how proud of it he was. He had it mounted on a watch chain and always wore it.

"I also had his 1894 League Championship medal but I gave it away. Now I wish the club could have had that one as well."

Coulton, a 5ft 6in full-back, was with Villa between 1886 until 1894.

He played a total of 55 official games for the first team - 35 in the league and 20 Cup-ties - plus a host of friendlies before the formation of the Football League.

He played alongside some true Villa legends, including Howard Vaughton, Archie Hunter and Dennis Hodgetts.

En route to the 1887 final, Villa beat a diverse range of opposition - Wednesbury Old Athletic, Derby Midland, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Horncastle, Darwen - and Glasgow Rangers in the semi-final at Crewe.

Check out our Hall of Fame.


The annual photocall is always a good-natured event at Bodymoor Heath, with staff and players coming together for the official team picture.

The banter always flies and it was no exception this season as Paul Lambert's side gathered on a chilly morning at the training ground.

But Matt Lowton warmed up proceedings by pulling faces behind Fabian Delph as he posed for an individual picture.

It was fantastic to see Jores Okore, too.

Okore had discovered about his injury but still insisted on taking part in the photoshoot, showing in the process he's a real team man and already an integral part of the dressing room.

The players, minus Okore, were out on the training field later that afternoon, as they worked their socks off to prepare for Norwich at the weekend.

You can download our wallpaper of the week now, featuring the team group.

You can watch the best bits of the day on AVTV.


Talking of Stan Petrov, he ripped me to pieces this week at Bodymoor Heath.

Joker Petrov was asked to help out as interpreter for my interview with his countryman Aleksandar Tonev.

But when I arrived at the training ground, Petrov smiled and shouted over: "Oh it's you. I didn't realise it was you. You always ask the same boring questions.

"I can give you the answers now because I already know your stupid questions."

After promising Stan that I had thought long and hard about the questions, he agreed to help out.

On completion, he turned to me and added: "I was right. They were boring!"

Typical Stan. Always up for a spot of mischief.

I have enjoyed reading the matchday programme this season.

It's always a great product but I think Colin Abbott's column has been very interesting so far.

Huge fan Colin has conducted Q&As with a host of former stars and their answers will be revealed each week in the Villa News & Record.

The Villa v Newcastle edition featured Alan Wright and I found his answers extremely engaging.

Not much has been said about his departure at the end of the 2002-03 season so it was nice to hear his thoughts on the hasty exit.

He said: "Graham Taylor had a remit to reduce the wage bill and bring the younger lads through. Obviously I was older and on good money.

"I spoke to Doug Ellis who said: "I'd love to keep you but for what we could offer you, I would only embarrass myself." So that was it really.

"I drove through the gates at Bodymoor with tears in my eyes because I felt so much about the place.

"I moved to Sheffield United and ironically we played and beat Villa in the FA Cup.

"I got man-of-the-match that day, playing centre-half, believe it or not.

"I passed Doug Ellis on the stairs and he said: "You know what? I made a mistake letting you go." That made me feel a bit better."

Watch out for the latest 'Villan on the Spot' in the Villa v Tottenham cup programme, featuring 1970s hero Chico Hamilton.

The Villa News & Record is an essential part of your matchday experience, but for those supporters who can't get to every game, we offer a subscription service at £66 for the season, including postage.

European postage costs an additional £39 and worldwide postage an extra £64.


Chris Woakes and Ian Bell were welcome guests in B6 to give their thoughts for the AVTV pre-match show.

But they had a shock as they faced the cameras in the dressing room.

Bell was mid-sentence when the door opened and chief executive Paul Faulkner and manager Paul Lambert walked in.

Faulkner and Lambert were delighted to meet the Ashes stars and chatted about the epic series before heading off.


Nice to see Jed Steer and Libor Kozak at Villa Park, too, for a signing session with fans.

The pair were in B6 to meet-and-greet supporters in the shop store.

But before heading there they popped into the North Stand and chatted to marketing and communications officers - including myself - in the weekly content meeting.

There was a reason for their arrival, picture editor Nadine Lees being told by head of media Brian Doogan that Steer wanted some snaps of himself in action.

Steer quickly retorted: "They're not for me. They're for my mum!"


Was shocked - and delighted - to see Nigel Kennedy at the BBC Last Night of the Proms in his Villa shirt.

Having already played 'Lark Ascending' exquisitely in more conservative attire, Kennedy returned to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall resplendent in a claret and blue classic from 2009-10.

Kennedy performed the Vaughan Williams masterpiece before heading off stage to wow at Proms in the Park in Hyde Park.

It was there that he changed into his Villa top before heading back to the Great Hall for more violin brilliance.

He charged in with a cup of tea to wet his whistle, turned to the audience, smiled, and pointed to 'Agbonlahor 11' on the back of his shirt.

And an audience member made him feel at home by shouting 'Come on Villa' just before he launched into The Czardas, a fiendishly fast number - somewhat appropriate given Gabby's place of honour on his top.

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Finally, it's amazing where you find references to Villa.

Communications HQ were sent a rather studious extract from a comprehensive legal book - written in Italian.

The passage in question explained what a website domain name was, using as an example.

But, we must admit, this wasn't by chance.

Stefano Armellini, who runs International Business Lawyers Associated and wrote the hardback, is a huge Villa fanatic.

Armellini is, in fact, the chairman of the Latin Lions supporters club.

paul brown, blogs,
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