My Favourite Villan: Struts Addo on Big John Carew
It's fair to say that John Carew was the ultimate showman in claret and blue.
He was my favourite player and I loved watching him because he had just had the X-Factor! He was the man! You never quite knew what he was going to do.
I remember one game against Stoke here at Villa Park he kicked the corner flag after the goal into the crowd. I thought 'wooh, calm down John.'
I also recall him being dropped to the bench for a match at Wigan because he'd been spotted in a stripclub a few days before.
The esteem he was held in was demonstrated when he came on at the DW Stadium.
Instead of being booed, he was cheered like a hero and I remember there being a rather amusing female doll in the away section of the ground.
He scored in that game too - typical, brilliant John!
When he was on top form - which was most of the time at Villa - you always felt he'd have a massive influence on the course of the game.
He was big and strong but, considering his size, he had tremendous skill.
When he was absolutely flying, he could turn a game in the blink of an eye.
I remember the 4-2 win at Reading really well. That was John at his very best.
Villa were struggling at 2-0 down to the Royals and, if I remember right, Shane Long - like he did against us for West Brom a few months ago - scored both goals.
But this comeback was even better than at the Baggies - and big John was the catalyst.
He just took the game by the scruff of the neck and battered Reading into submission.
I thought they played very well in that first half but they looked like they didn't have a clue what to do with John in the second half.
He scored a wonderful hat-trick.
He did the same against Newcastle at Villa Park.
They led at half-time through Michael Owen but Kevin Keegan was definitely not 'lovin' the second half.
John hit another hat-trick and we won 4-1. Absolute class!
But what I liked about him most was the fact he played football with a smile on his face. He was always grinning and always quick with an autograph for a young fan if they wanted one.
You got the feeling that despite the huge status he had in football that he was very down-to-earth when it came to dealing with people, especially the fans.
He always used to applaud the fans when they clapped him and he always wanted to go and celebrate with the supporters when he scored a goal.
Remember his goal against Blues here at Villa Park when he picked up one of the ballboys and screamed his delight at the fans - absolute class!
If big John hadn't been a footballer, I am sure he could have been a film star - and it's no surprise that he has had a key role in two movies since retiring from the game.
I reckon he could have been an amazing band member too if he'd gone into my line of work - music.
He'd be a brilliant drummer. I can imagine him just absolutely hammering the drums!
As a musician, I can also appreciate a good football chant - and the John Carew Song was top quality!
I can remember screaming: "John Carew, Carew, he's bigger than me and you, he's gonna score one or two, John Carew, Carew."
I'd love it if we started signing it again on matchdays as a homage to the big man!
Snap up match tickets for Villa v Norwich.
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