Villa Noise: Inter ace Pagliuca reveals support/Duke socks it to Harry
30th Dec 2013
The Duke joined Prince Harry in their regular festive football encounter, which eventually ended 2-2.
The Duke wore the No.8 - donned by El Ahmadi - and a pair of claret and blue socks, given to him when he attended the Villa v Sunderland match a few weeks ago.
Prince Harry showed a touch of sporting prowess with a goal in the 25th minute, with the Duke being heard to call for him to be booked for his "backchat".
Both played a full 90 minutes at the game on the Norfork estate, with the Duke's team wearing red and white hooped tops and Prince Harry's in white.
Another famous Villa fan has come to light - and he just happens to be one of Italy's best-ever goalkeepers.
Former Sampdoria and Inter Milan keeper Gianluca Pagliuca has revealed in Italian football magazine Gurein Sportivo that he still has a VHS video of the 1982 European Cup final and can remember all the squad from that night in Rotterdam.
He also revealed that in 1999, at the age of 33, he was thinking over a possible move to Villa Park from Inter.
Instead, we signed David James from Liverpool and Pagliuca moved to Bologna.
"It was my dream," says the man who faced us in the dramatic UEFA Cup-tie in 1994.
Pagliuca saved Guy Whittingham's kick in the penalty shoot-out but was then beaten by Phil King's winner.
The magazine cutting was sent to us by Italian Villa fan Silvano Busoli, who is hoping to contact Pagliuca and persuade him to attend the Latin Lions annual lunch next year.
When Gabby Agbonlahor threw his shirt into the crowd after our opening day victory at Arsenal, he never imagined it would end up in a frame in Essex.
The blackberry-and-white quartered away shirt was caught by 25-year-old Alex Blanchard from Chelmsford, who decided to get the garment framed and hang it on a wall at his home.
First, though, Alex managed to get Gabby to sign his unique souvenir - and donated £50 to Acorns to show his appreciation of an autograph that makes the shirt even more special.
"I couldn't believe it when I managed to catch the shirt," said Alex.
"And the fact that Gabby has signed it makes it priceless."
Dalian Atkinson became accustomed to signing his autograph during his playing days with Villa, and he's still doing it.
The prolific marksman has signed the 1992-93 shirt in which he scored his sensational goal against Wimbledon, and it's on offer to supporters taking out the Aston Villa Rewards credit card, in association with MBNA.
A signed shirt is on offer to fans who successfully apply for the credit card and make a £200 financial transaction on their card within 90 days of their account being opened.
There are also plenty of other benefits to being a Villa credit card holder, so check out the details, plus full terms and conditions here.
Former Villa secretary Steve Stride's role as a UEFA delegate took him back to Turkey - and he discovered that we were the inspiration behind Trabzonspor's claret-and-blue kit.
During the official lunch ahead of the Trabzonspor v Apollon Limassol Europa League match, the host club's president gave Steve a special mention.
Ibrahim Haciosmanoglu pointed out that when his club were formed in 1967 they were so short of money they had no kit.
They contacted a number of clubs in Europe and Villa were the only ones to respond, sending a full set.
"I have seen theories on why Trabzonspor wear claret and blue but I'd near heard this, even when we played them in the UEFA Cup in 1994" said Steve.
"But the president assured me it's a fact."
The club also presented Steve with a shirt.
The number, by the way, is associated with the city of Trabzon. All cars registered there have the prefix 61.
We have just said farewell to a man who has played a vital role at Villa Park over the course of four decades.
Mick Clark was the St John Ambulance duty officer for the final time at our game against Sunderland.
And it was perfectly fitting that he should retire that day because his first match at Villa Park for the UK's leading First Aid charity was against the Wearsiders in 1972.
Now 63-year-old Mick is looking forward to returning as a spectator - and being able to watch 90 minutes of football.
"In all the time I've been here I've never seen a full match," he said.
"There is invariably someone needing First Aid at some point."
He may be 94 but Jack Watts is as dedicated as ever to Villa - and to the Royal British Legion.
The Dunkirk veteran, who has been coming to Villa Park since he was four, still helps to look after corporate guests on matchdays.
And he was proud to hand over a cheque for more than £3,700 - money raised by the club during the annual Poppy Appeal - to two soldiers before our match against Sunderland.
One of the club's off-the-field highlights of 2013 was the appearance on BBC Radio's Desert Islands Discs programme by Sir Mervyn King.
A staunch Villa supporter, Sir Mervyn's selection included Rotterdam 82, a long- lost song about our European Cup triumph.
Now the song's composer, Doug O'Brien, has put together a discography of all the Villa songs he has written, including the festive Father Christmas is a Villa fan.
The songs can be found here where you can listen to the tracks and download them in a format of your choice.
Great to see so many Villa fans showered with claret and blue goodies this festive period.
Supporters sent in their excited Christmas Day images via our social media sites - Facebook and Twitter - and here are a selection below.
As you can see, our Villa onesies were a smash-hit!
Check out the full gallery here.
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