Hundreds of new fans as entire school starts supporting Villa
Villa have hundreds of new fans - after an entire school in Northern Ireland elected to start supporting the club.
Staff at Ampertaine Primary in County Londonderry wanted to use the power of football to help educate the kids in a range of subjects.
So headmaster Garry McIlwaine organised a draw in assembly one morning to pick a team to get behind.
Villa were selected at random - and it was very apt as the school uniform is claret and blue! Now children will improve their literacy, maths, ICT, PE and study a subject called 'World Around Us' courtesy of Villa facts and figures.
For example, 'World around Us' will see them learn about all the Lions Clubs around the planet and also the birthplace of our first-team stars.
Kids from the school wrote to club chiefs at Villa Park this week to wish them well for the rest of the season and show them their new-found knowledge of the club.
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan took collection of the letters, read them thoroughly and then posed for a picture with them - a photo which will be used on the school's new 'Villa Noticeboard'.
This will be a super supporter area where children will show their ongoing allegiance to the team.
As well as that, year five/six teacher Jacqui Speers emails into the club on the eve of each game to wish the team the best of luck - and she was quick to send a 'well done' note after the great performance and result at Liverpool.
Marketing Manager Dan Meredith said: "It's great to think that we have a whole school following our fortunes - that's kids and staff too!
"When we found out about their scheme, we were delighted to get involved.
"Not only do we have more fans now but we're helping children develop their learning for the coming years. That's very fulfilling.
"We have some exciting future plans for the school. They don't know about them yet - so we're keeping schtum for the moment!"
Teacher Jacqui Speers added: "We felt football's popularity to boys and girls alike could prove useful in connecting with the kids in their learning projects.
"So we selected a club and we're really pleased with hindsight that it's Villa.
"There's no question Villa have a rich history and is an immensely traditional club.
"Having dealt with the staff at the club, now, we appreciate it's also a very friendly and warm club to be involved with.
"The kids are certainly enjoying the football-based education - and if we're honest, so are the staff!"
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