Villa Noise: Fast Show love, B6 Big Dave and Weimann's beard task
Paul Brown on quirky B6 matters.
20th Nov 2013
Villa Noise: Fast Show love, B6 Big Dave and Weimann's beard task

Andreas Weimann is hoping to be the last man standing in the Bodymoor battle of the beards.

Weimann is in competition with Fabian Delph and Jordan Bowery for the best facial fuzz during charity month Movember.

Weimann's gruesome growth was described by boss Paul Lambert as "horrendous" earlier this month but the fab forward is proud of his chin shenanigans.

The player with the worst-looking effort will be forced to do a forfeit - and Weimann is confident it won't be him.

He said: "I am trying my best with it.

"I don't want to do the tache because I will look stupid so I am just letting it all grow.

"We have said whoever shaves it off first will have to do something as a forfeit. There's not long left now so I think all the lads will last the pace. So the worst one will be the one who loses!

"Fabian's is decent. Jordan has stuff on his neck but can't grow anything round his face.

"I grow beards pretty regularly to be honest. I trim them usually - a grade 3 - but this one must be a grade 7. It's getting longer and longer.

"I remember Brad Guzan having one three years ago in the run-up to the League Cup final.That was horrific! He had more hair on his chin than he did on his head! I don't want to be looking like that.

"Saying that, I have heard the manager thinks my beard is terrible but I'd have to disagree. I don't think it looks too bad."

Weimann also told me of his delight at getting a congratulatory tweet from TV show Celebrity Juice after his winning goal against Man City.

Flamey Weimann watches the Keith Lemon programme regularly so he was thrilled when his football efforts in the 3-2 victory were recognised.

He added: "I like using Twitter. It kills a bit of time too. I like reading the updates. It's fun. I don't sit there thinking 'I haven't tweeted for two days.' It's just great giving opinions when I see things that interest me.

"I received a tweet from Celebrity Juice the night of my City goal. It's one of my favourite shows. I was buzzing. It was really exciting.

"I can appreciate fans being thrilled when their heroes tweet them but it was the same for me when the programme messaged me."


It would be heresy to utter these words at the Hawthorns - but West Brom hero Darren Moore grew up as a big Villa fan.

Big Dave preferred playing football to watching it when he was a youngster but was persuaded to get down to Villa Park on a free weekend by his friends - and the rest is history.

He told us: "When I started playing for the county team, a lot of the boys were Villa fans.

"A weekend came free when we didn't have a game and one of the lads had a couple of tickets to go down Villa Park. They said 'Come on Daz, let's go and watch the Villa.'

"There was Tony Cascarino, Tony Daley, Paul McGrath and Sid Cowans. I thought 'Go on then. I'll have a bit of that.'

"I came down and I really enjoyed it but then my own career took off. If that hadn't happened, I was going to get myself a season ticket.

"Funny enough, that season I watched Villa at home but my dad wouldn't let me travel with the team away. So what I did was watch the Albion play those weeks.

"Playing for Albion at the time was Don Goodman, Colin West, Richard Sneekes, Paul Raven and Daryl Burgess.

"It was quite ironic when I was growing up that I went to watch both clubs. I had a full season of watching Villa and Albion.

"But Paul McGrath was my hero. I was a centre-half obviously and watching him really was a joy.

"He read the game so well and was total no-nonsense too. He had a deft touch but blimey, he was ferocious.

"I was able to hear him because I was pitchside in the Trinity Road. I heard the shouting, demanding, tackling, organising.

"Well-known strikers used to come down Villa Park looking for goals and he'd swat them like flies. What a player!

"I remember loving Macca in that era. He was just immense. I looked up to him.

"When my career took off my brother David, who was at Villa Park as an apprentice, saw Paul in the gym one morning and told him: 'My brother absolutely loves you. He idolises you!'

"Paul asked what size boots I wore, found out I was the same, and said: 'Give your brother these.' "He came home and gave them to me. I reckon he'd have kept them if they'd fit him but he wasn't a size 10!

"I'm not exaggerating when I say I wore them the following season until they fell off my feet. I taped them up and all sorts. They were brilliant.

"They had his initials on the bottom. I treasured them.

"Honestly, one game my feet were coming out of the sides. They were great memories."


Ron Atkinson sprinkled his magic dust on Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion in two separate but equally unforgettable eras.

He built a team full of pace, grace and flamboyance at the Hawthorns in the 1970s.

In 1992-93, he came within a whisker of delivering the Premier League title to Villa Park before striking silver in the League Cup a year later.

The aforementioned teams rank among the finest this region has seen - and it would be a close-run battle for the tag of great entertainers.

But that is a debate for another day.

When it comes to selecting a fantasy XI made up of greats from both clubs, few people could do it with the same insight as Big Ron.

It is a task the former boss carried out with relish, although you could sense a tinge of disappointment in his voice when he struggled to accommodate the likes of Brendan Batson, Andy Gray, Tony Daley, Gordon Cowans, Dalian Atkinson and Willie Johnston.

Nevertheless, his line-up makes fascinating reading.

Here, in his own words, is Big Ron's definitive combined Villa-West Brom XI.


"I've said many times Bozzie is not only the best goalkeeper I have ever worked with, but on certain days he might even be the best goalkeeper I've ever seen. Some of his performances in the year that we won the League Cup were as good as any of the all-time greats. Whatever happened later on in his career, during that period at Aston Villa he was phenomenal. There was nobody better in the Premier League at the time."



"It would be a very close call between Earl Barrett and Brendan Batson but Earl would just about get the nod for his defensive qualities. He was one of the first names on the team sheet and Ryan Giggs always said he was the toughest full-back he played against."


"If Ally Robertson had been playing for one of the bigger clubs he would have won many, many caps for Scotland. Later on in my career I had Gordon McQueen and Martin Buchan who did win lots of Scottish caps and I tell you Ally was comparable with either of those two."



"Paul McGrath was the best central defender I have seen since Bobby Moore. That says it all really. When you're talking about all-time Villa XIs he would be the first name in most people's starting line-up."


"Derek Statham was a wonderful player. Steve Staunton can consider himself unlucky not to be in the side as he was a terrific player who won over 100 caps. But Statham was up there with the best in his position. If you think of Ashley Cole now, he was as good as that if not better."


"The midfield is a real tough one because I could have gone with wingers like Tony Daley and Willie Johnston. But Ray Houghton was a very, very underrated player on the right-hand side of midfield. He knew how to play the position and he would give us a real balance in the midfield. Ray was a really cunning, crafty player."


"I have been lucky to work with some great players but there were none better than Bryan Robson. He is an all-time great in the manner of Dave Mackay and Duncan Edwards and people like that. He could do absolutely everything."


"Bomber Brown was quite simply the best finisher I ever worked with in my life. He scored nearly 300 goals even though he spent a massive part of his career playing in midfield. It was a guarantee that in every game he would make at least three good chances for himself and he would put a fair percentage of them away."


"In terms of modern football, Laurie is the closest thing I have seen to Thierry Henry. He had great balance, he could beat a man and he could create chances. Unfortunately he never had as long a career as he should have done. He had wonderful ability."


"Cyrille Regis was simply awesome. He played for both teams too which makes him a clear choice for a Villa-Albion XI. Big Cyrille was powerful, had great pace and frightened the life out of defenders. If he had a weakness it was that he didn't score enough 'bad' goals. Every goal he scored you could start Match of the Day with."



"I was tempted to go for Dalian Atkinson as my other striker because he had similar qualities to Big Cyrille. But for his goalscoring ability and all-round work rate, Deano gets the nod. He and Dalian were the best front two in the league and I am convinced if Dalian hadn't have got injured when he did in 1992-93 we'd have gone on to win it."


It must be horrible to be the manager of a team that loses the Villa v West Brom derby - but if you leave the game early and the result leads to your relegation you're really in the doghouse!

That's exactly what happened to Villa boss Joe Mercer.

Villa needed to beat Albion in April 1959 to make sure of avoiding the drop from the old First Division.

They were 1-0 up late on but Ronnie Allen equalised to send us down on goal average, saving Man City in the process.

Mercer knew nothing of this late twist as he had left the ground - with his side still in the lead - to attend a dinner in honour of Wolves and England captain Billy Wright.

Mercer arrived at the venue for the dinner - the Midland Hotel in Birmingham - completely unaware of the dramatic finale to the season and was visibly shocked to be told upon his arrival that his club had been relegated.

He had previously managed Sheff Utd to relegation and, when arriving at Villa Park the following day, he was met with a telegram from a Blades supporter that read: "Congratulations Mercer. You've done it again."


Interesting that two of our most-famous celebrity fans turned down West Brom to support Villa.

Fast Show's Mark Williams - who also starred in the Harry Potter series aswell as Shakespeare in Love - followed the lead of his uncle Roger by becoming a Villa fan...which is nice.

The actor told us: "My dad was Baggies but uncle Roger was a big Villa supporter and I took it on from there."

Best-selling author Lee Child - whose hero Jack Reacher was played by Tom Cruise in a Hollywood blockbuster - has been hooked on Villa since the early 1960s, yet he might easily have supported Albion.

He said: "Where I lived was almost equidistant between The Hawthorns and Villa Park. I was about eight or nine and I had a friend called David Harris. He and his dad were Baggies fans.

"There was a run of games where David's dad was working overtime on Saturday afternoons so I used his season ticket.

"On my third or fourth visit it was Albion v Villa and there was just something about Villa that captured my imagination. They were like a swaggering bunch of pirates!

"From that point Villa were the team for me and I went to Villa Park all the way through primary school and high school."


The oldest football in the club's history - from 1914 - is now on display in the Villa Park McGregor's Suite.

The leather ball, typical of the type used in this period, is from the FA Cup third round clash here against West Brom.

It was played on February 21 in front of a record-breaking crowd of 65,000.

Villa won the game 2-1, thanks to goals from Joe Bache and Harry Hampton.

The cup holders eventually went out at the semi-final stage to Liverpool.

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