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My Favourite Villan: Paul Brown on Tony Daley
New summer feature series continues.
5th Jun 2012
My Favourite Villan: Paul Brown on Tony Daley


We continue our new summer feature series on AVFC.co.uk. We have asked members of the claret and blue family - celebrities, fans, journalists, staff - to give us their all-time hero. Villa official website editor Paul Brown discusses Tony Daley.

Your dad is West Bromwich Albion's record scorer. Your dad's also the record appearance-maker for the Baggies. Your dad played for West Brom for 20 years. Your dad still follows the Baggies home and away as a radio pundit for BRMB, such is his devotion and dedication for the Throstles. So who do you decide to support? Yes, Aston Villa!

They say your parents love you unconditionally. I think that was put to the test when I declared as a nipper to Tony "Bomber" Brown that I wanted a claret and blue kit for my birthday.

The look of horror and shock on his face was a picture - and one I wish I'd captured. How I wish the iPhone had been created years earlier!

My face was one of dismay weeks later when I opened a "kit-shaped" present only to find it contained the latest Baggies strip.

Not to be outdone, I stuck a Tony Daley poster on my wall to declare war on my dad. The battle lines were well and truly drawn. Nothing could stop me - well, except the period of each day when I was at school and a time when Bomber could simply walk into my room, my abode, my claret and blue den, to remove said poster of the wing wonder.

"No son of mine is going to support the Villa," I could see him thinking.

Albion men from my dad's era were brought up to see Villa as their rivals, the Villans [literally] so any dissention or defection in the family camp was viewed with disdain.

That mood changed, thankfully, when Big Ron became Villa boss. Tony and Ron are big pals, and Ron always said The Hawthorns should have a statue of my dad in the centre-circle, maintaining that Bomber was always one of the first - if not the first - name on his team sheet every week.

So when Ron was announced as Doug Ellis's latest signing in the Villa Park hot seat, following the boys in claret and blue became moderately acceptable.

Dad still speaks incredibly highly of the man known as Mr Bojangles. Always fun, dad loved working with the larger-than-life boss and put him up with Alan Ashman and Johnny Giles as the finest gaffers he had the pleasure to work with.

More importantly, Bomber knew Villa would be exciting under Big Ron.

My hero - wing wonder Daley - was still in wondrous form under the leadership of Ron and I remember being in awe of him as he glided effortlessly down the flank week-in and week-out.

It was the excitement he provided which thrilled me. I can still remember thinking "give it to Dales" as midfield maestros like Kevin Richardson looked up for help.

Under Big Ron, following Villa suddenly was accepted by Bomber, dare I say even encouraged? No, maybe that's an exaggeration.

Many years later, I moved to Villa to work in the media department, my tasks including contributing to the official website and the programme.

I was never going to follow in my dad's footsteps and become a footballer but I can still see the pride in my dad's face when I told him I'd secured a job in the game - even if it was with the old enemy!

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