Villa Noise: Vlaar's visit, Hanks on Villa and Benteke kidnapped
Paul Brown on quirky B6 matters.
2nd Oct 2013
Villa Noise: Vlaar's visit, Hanks on Villa and Benteke kidnapped

Ron Vlaar couldn't quite believe his ears when he answered his phone last Friday evening.

"Hello young man," said the voice on the line. "Happy birthday!"

Now Vlaar's next birthday isn't until February, but he quickly recognised the caller.

It was Villa programme editor Rob Bishop, who had had intended the greeting for his son-in-law but had called the Villa skipper's number by mistake.

An embarrassed Bishop quickly made his excuses and hung up, but felt the need to apologise again when he saw Ron after the amazing 3-2 victory over Manchester City the following day.

"That's no problem," replied Vlaar. "In fact, do it again before the next game!"

Who says there's no place for superstition in football?


Hollywood actor Tom Hanks revealed that he 'relishes' Villa victories during a 'Ask Me Anything' session on Reddit.

The 57-year-old answered a series of questions from fans on the website, one coming from someone based in the UK.

He asked: "One quick pointless question but are you really nice as you seem. Tell us one thing that shows the dark side of Tom."

The Forrest Gump actor replied: "I relish Aston Villa victories."

Hanks revealed his allegiance to Villa back in 2001 before taking part in an exclusive AVTV interview about his support during the last pre-season tour.

Christian Benteke is the best header of the ball in Europe, according to statistics site fanatix.

Benteke came in first place, with figures showing that he wins on average nine aerial duels per game.

Benteke, described as an "absolute colossus, on the site, came in ahead of No.2 Lasse Sobiech of Hamburg [6.8], Daniel Ginczek of Nurnberg [6.3], Marouane Chamakh of Crystal Palace [6.3] and Olivier Giroud of Arsenal [6.3].


Nicklas Helenius isn't the first claret and blue star to lose his shorts during a game.

When Helenius found himself in the headlines following the infamous incident against Tottenham, it brought the memories back for Stan Collymore.

He told the Villa News & Record: "It reminded me of when I was playing in an U11s game and I was running towards goal.

"My shorts were too big for me because the elastic had gone - and they started to fall down.

"I must confess though that I've never seen anything like what happened to Nicklas in a professional game.

"Amazingly it went totally unpunished, probably because Nicklas attempted to shoot despite having his shorts around his knees.

"I have a feeling that the bizarre incident will feature in many a pub quiz over the next few years - and don't be surprised to see it on 'A Question of Sport's What Happened Next' spot."


Lifelong Villa supporter Pete Espin couldn't have had a better 63rd birthday gift - a signed copy of the book in which is one of the characters.

Pete, from Lichfield, won a competition in the Villa News & Record and his money-can't-buy prize was to be featured in the new Jack Reacher thriller, Never Go Back.

Best-selling author Lee Child - himself a Villa fan - duly included Pete as a military policy warrant officer - and sent a copy to Villa Park, signed to "the real Pete Espin."

"I couldn't get over it when I saw my name in the book, even though I knew it was going to happen," said Pete.

"I must admit it gave me quite a thrill. Now I can't wait to see who is going to play me if they make a film of it."


Coventry University's plot to kidnap Christian Benteke was foiled this week.

Villa's enthusiastic fan squad visited the educational institution - as well as many others in the area - for their various freshers fairs to sell tickets and encourage support for the team.

As the likes of Hannah Hogben and Mags Mitchell [pictured] chatted to students, the university's rugby team attempted to steal the huge cardboard cutout of our famous striker.

The strategy - part of a dastardly dare - was foiled immediately and Benteke was returned to his loving home.

Andreas Weimann was feeling flamey this week - as he received congratulations on his Man City goal from Celebrity Juice.

Celebrity Juice is a comedy panel show, starring Keith Lemon, and Weimann's favourite TV programme.

After hitting the winner against the men from the Etihad Stadium, the show tweeted the below.

Weimann, naturally thrilled, said a big thank-you for their words of praise.





Sad to see Bobby Bridgeman leave Villa Park this week - but he was thrilled with his send-off.

Bridgeman has been the club's cameraman and video editor for the past six years, working tirelessly for the marketing and communications department over that period.

As Bridgeman received his presents, skipper Ron Vlaar walked in to hand the 30-year-old a signed cornerflag.

Bridgeman was almost struck dumb but recovered his composure to deliver an emotional final speech.

And all this after commentator Jack Woodward alongside his backing band of Elizabeth Burrows, Dan Harrison and Mags Mitchell sang him a version of The Everly Brothers classic 'Bye Bye Love'.

Good luck as he heads off to work for Cure Leukaemia. Sure he will do a fine job.


Manager Paul Lambert suddenly found himself with two new assistants when Villa's players and staff assembled at Bodymoor Heath for the annual photo-call.

Josh Moore had won a competition on the club's official website so he and his mum Sarah Latham stepped in for Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa for a special version of the group line-up.

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Well done to Jonathan Tinsley who is the latest Fantasy Football winner.

Tinsley - team name Jonos Jokers - scored the highest number of points on the Aston Villa Official league throughout the month of September with 233.

That means he's won a £50 voucher to spend in the online store.

In fact, he's eighth overall.

Paulo Goode is winning the season-long competition and is sitting at the top of the table on 412 points.


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