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From the Archives: Sunderland fan calls house 'Aston Villa'

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From the Archives: Sunderland fan calls house 'Aston Villa'


If Villa need any more inspiration for the upcoming clash with Sunderland, they only need to look back a century ago this very week.

It was 100 years ago that Villa defeated the Black Cats 1-0 in the FA Cup final - and there was a very unusual story surrounding the wondrous win.

One Sunderland supporter bet his house on the outcome of the 1913 showpiece - which is why the property bears the name 'Aston Villa.'

You will find the building in Front Street, Quarrington Hill, County Durham and it once belonged to businessman Albert Gillett, co-owner of the G & B bus company.

Mr Gillett, an avid follower of the Wearside club, was so confident his favourites would lift the trophy that he publicly declared that his new home would be named after the winners.

He was as good as his word, reluctantly calling the house 'Aston Villa' after Tommy Barber's late goal secured victory over a Sunderland team who would go on to become league champions.

It was Villa's fifth cup triumph and the second time in a decade that they had beaten that season's champions in the final, having also denied Newcastle United the double in 1905.

If the 1913 final deserves its place among Villa's greatest moments in terms of achievement, however, it certainly was not a contest noted for attractive football.

A record crowd of 122,000 at the Crystal Palace witnessed what was, at times, a brutal confrontation between two of the country's leading clubs.

Villa's prolific scorer Harry Hampton was among those singled out by the Wearsiders for harsh treatment, while goalkeeper Sam Hardy had to go off for a spell, leaving Villa down to ten men as Jimmy Harrop took over between the posts and Hampton dropped back into defence.

It was a testing time, with Sunderland clearly intent on making the most of their numerical supremacy.

But, as the Villa News & Record pointed out: "The fort was held successfully and when Hardy returned it acted as a tonic for the boys, who literally swept all before them."

Apart from Hampton's injury, Villa had also suffered a blow early on in the final when Charlie Wallace shot wide from the penalty spot after Clem Stephenson had been brought down.

But Wallace made up for his miss when he produced the corner which led to Villa's winning goal. With all his team-mates closely marked in the goalmouth, Wallace played his flag kick behind them - and Barber met it with a header which left goalkeeper Joe Butler helpless.

How we'd settle for another 1-0 win on Monday!

Snap up match tickets for the Sunderland game.

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 23rd April 2013