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From the Archives: Villa Park hosts British Superbowl
American Football comes to B6.
9th Sep 2013
From the Archives: Villa Park hosts British Superbowl


Brown

As US broadcaster NBC Sport take a keen interest in English football, it's been interesting to delve into the claret and blue archives to find out about B6 attention for gridiron.

Back in 1985, senior club officials made a pledge to ensure Villa Park was used more effectively as a multi-purpose arena.

One of the early pilot projects was Summerbowl - the final of an American Football competition staged in the country between English teams who play the sport.

Then chairman Doug Ellis signed the agreement alongside officials of the American Football League and Villa commercial manager Tony Stephens.

And a photoshoot was organised on the pitch, with Ellis rather awkwardly posing alongside hulking players to preview the big event.

A total of 35 teams fought it out in the early stages before London Ravens and Streatham Olympic made it through to the showpiece event in B6.

Transatlantic razzmatazz and marching bands arrived at Villa Park in full force on the Bank Holiday Monday for the final of the gridiron spectacular.

Entitled Summerbowl, the high-octane match saw the Ravens beat Olympic 45-7 on August 26.

The only issue was that a rather meagre 8,000 fans turned up, meaning that it was a one-off novelty rather than the start of something big.

Of course, Villa Park was used in the subsequent years for many other non-football activities.

We have held music concerts with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Belinda Carlisle, Rod Stewart, Robert Palmer, Take That and Bon Jovi.

Religious leader Desmond Tutu also addressed the masses in B6.

Snap up match tickets for Newcastle.

 

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