Best-selling Jack Reacher author Lee Child visits Villa Park
It was the day two true artists came together as the master of the pass met the master of the pen.
Best-selling author Lee Child's books may have sold 70 million copies worldwide but he described meeting Gordon Cowans for the first time as a dream come true.
Child's latest Jack Reacher thriller is called A Wanted Man - and Cowans was the man he most wanted to meet.
Our legendary midfielder was only too happy to be introduced to the American-based author when Child called in at Vila Park en route to a book launch in Milan.
The duo posed for photos and Child was interviewed by AVTV before they headed off for a private stadium tour.
Child now lives in New York, but he grew up in the Midlands and made his first visit to Villa Park for the famous 8-3 victory over Leicester City in 1962, when he was seven.
In more than half a century of following the club, Lee's number one player is Cowans, and has even written about the man we call Sid in a My Favourite Villan feature for the Villa News & Record.
"Gordon is far and away my favourite," he said.
"We have had some great players, some great individual performances and great spells, but overall we have had one player who could have played in any team in the world at any point - and that's him.
"I even had his name as my password on my computer at one point. To meet him is fantastic - a dream come true. It's amazing to think I'm walking around Villa Park with him."
Cowans, now Villa's U21s coach, chatted with his guest about Villa's glory days as they looked around various areas of the stadium, including the dressing room, the various suites and the directors' box.
They recalled the glory days of the early 1980s but it's a game from a decade later that stands out most in Child's mind - the 2-0 UEFA Cup victory over Internazionale in October 1990.
"I was wearing a big yellow coat which was warm and waterproof," he said.
"When Kent Nielsen scored the first goal, I jumped up into the aisle and you can actually see the coat on the TV footage.
"That was a great goal but even better was Gordon's pass to David Platt for the second. There have been equally good passes down the years - but never a better one."
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