Villa Noise: Model Ladies, Polar Bear Guzan and England support
19th Jun 2014
The special photoshoot in B6 was very appropriate since Villa Park is the only venue to have hosted England games in three different centuries.
Villa and England are inextricably linked - with the rich history of the Three Lions possessing a definitive claret and blue tinge.
Villa have supplied more players to the national side than any other club in the country - with 71 representing their nation.
Digger Brown and Howard Vaughton were the first - Brown scoring four goals on his debut while Vaughton hit five in the record-breaking 13-0 win over Northern Ireland.
They were soon followed by players like Oliver Whateley - who lived in a house called Aston Villa - and Howard Spencer, who had the honour of being Villa's first captain of England.
Then there was the late, great Billy Walker - the first England player to score at Wembley.
He was Villa's third England captain and Villa's most capped player until David Platt 60 years later.
Eric Houghton and Pongo Waring both wore the Three Lions shirt while Gerry Hitchens made a fast start to his England career, scoring within two minutes on his debut.
Brian Little, Tony Morley, Peter Withe, Nigel Spink, Gordon Cowans, David Platt, Gareth Southgate, Dion Dublin, Ashley Young and Darren Bent are just some of the other claret and blue stars to have impressed over the past five decades.
Our comic-book style kit launch campaign has been really well received - with advertisements appearing all around the city centre.
The special images of Ron Vlaar, Brad Guzan and Christian Benteke - modelling the home, goalkeeper and away kit respectively - have been seen in places such as the Bullring, Broad Street and the Aston Expressway.
The latest phase has been a huge store wrap - 8.2 metres high and 5.5 metres wide - for the City Centre shop, which draws attention to the new kits on New Street.
The feedback has been immensely positive, particularly since the player modelling the strip is Ron Vlaar, who is performing admirably in the World Cup at present.
Snap up the new home kit now.
You can also pre-order the new away kit too.
As well as the comic-book kit launch campaign, we have also produced regular campaign graphics featuring players in the new kits.
These include Fabian Delph, Ashley Westwood and Gabby Agbonlahor.
Brad Guzan is normally highly photogenic but he wasn't when he turned up for the kit photoshoot.
Guzan had injured himself at Tottenham several days earlier and sported a huge black eye.
Undeterred, the No.1 goalkeeper posed for pictures - and our design team eventually worked their magic - using Guzan's head from the previous season's photoshoot.
Villa Ladies have bought some added glamour to the kit launch campaign this week.
These model shots of players Dani Petrovic, Olivia Fergusson and Chloe Jones have been taken and will now appear in club stores, the online shop, fixture advertising material and our upcoming printed merchandise catalogue.
All three have been integral members of the team so far this term as they take part in their inaugural Women's Super League 2 campaign.
Ron Mellor's side finished the first half of the season with a cracking 2-0 win over Millwall Lionesses and are now on a mid-season break.
They resume away at Reading on Saturday June 28, kick-off 6pm.
Follow Villa Ladies on Twitter.
Thomas Hitzlsperger may be living back in Germany - but the former ace midfielder showed his loyalty to his favourite English city this week.
Hitzlsperger took to Twitter - username @ThomasHitz - to post a picture of himself wearing a 'Brummie' t-shirt.
The post enjoyed plenty of retweets from claret and blue fanatics who remember the awesome exploits of Der Hammer in B6.
There were incredibly emotional scenes several weeks ago as we all remembered the D-Day Landings.
It was exactly 70 years since one of the most audacious and heroic wartime operations in the 20th century.
Around 156,000 Allied soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy in the biggest sea-borne invasion in military history.
Known as Operation Overlord, the Allied mission was clear - to take back France from the invading Germans moving inwards from the coast.
Landing on five beaches designated with the codenames by which they are still known today - Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword - the soldiers stormed the coast from Saint-Marie-du-Mont to Ouistreham, taking thousands of casualties.
The ensuing Battle of Normandy lasted for 80 days as the Allies repelled the German forces.
Heads bowed at Villa Park as we all paid tribute to the heroism and dedication all those years ago.
It has actually come to our attention this week that the first recognised soldier killed in that mission played for the claret and blues.
Smethick-born Den Brotheridge played football for the Aston Villa Colts - the youth team of the era - and cricket for Mitchells and Butlers.
At 10.40pm on Monday June 5, 1944, six wooden gliders carrying 181 men from the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry swept into the sky from Tarrant Rushton airfield in Dorset.
Towed by Halifax bombers, they were heading for two small bridges over the River Orne and Caen Canal in Normandy.
The aim of the operation, codenamed 'Deadstick', was to land the gliders near the bridges and capture them from the Germans. In one of the gliders was Lt Brotheridge.
As Lt Brotheridge went back and forth across the bridge, a machine gun opened up and he was hit in the back of the neck. He died a short while later without regaining consciousness.
Lt Brotheridge received a mention in despatches for this action - and was granted an immediate award of the Military Cross by Field Marshal Montgomery.
Here's to the sacrifice he made - and all those brave boys who never came home.
Congratulations to Villa fan Ian Bell who has been named England Cricketer of the Year for 2013-14.
The 32-year-old, who has played 98 Tests and 146 one-day internationals, scored three centuries and two fifties in England's 2013 3-0 home Ashes win.
"It's a real honour to get this," said Bell, who made his Test debut in 2004.
"Some great players have won it."
Bell has supported the claret and blues all his life and was pictured in the England dressing room after their last Ashes win clutching the famous Urn in his Villa shirt.
Bell also paraded the Urn - alongside fellow Bear Chris Woakes - at Villa Park.
Brad Guzan has admitted his nickname this week - The Polar Bear.
Guzan revealed the moniker as he featured on a special USA World Cup video, giving an insight into his character to fans following the States in Brazil.
He said: "The nickname started with Jay Demerit - and it's just banter among the guys. It's funny.
"How it came about? I don't know. I presume it's because I'm pasty and I don't do too well in the sun - but size must come into it too."
Check out the 'My Story' video below.
It must be tough being away from home for USA Tour golfer Flic Johnson.
The 27-year-old, who turned professional in 2006, is plying her trade on the fairways across the Atlantic.
But she received a boost this week when she took hold of her new Footjoy golf shoes - which were purposely coloured in her favourite claret and blue.
Juan Pablo Angel clearly isn't getting into the BBC v ITV debate - because he's good pals with pundits on both channels.
Angel appeared in two photos on Twitter this week - first with the BBC legends Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker and Thierry Henry before posing with ITV aces Fabio Canavarro and Patrick Vieira - plus Luis Figo and Fernando Hierro for good measure.
In our book, Angel is the biggest legend!
Stan Petrov was at his cutting best as he lost it with AVTV this week.
Petrov was being interviewed by Jack Woodward when the presenter's mobile phone started ringing.
Woodward laughed it off - but Petrov, renowned for his acerbic wit, used the incident as an opportunity to hammer the TV frontman.
Check out the video below.
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