Dean Smith has been appointed head coach of his boyhood club, Aston Villa.
He’ll be a popular choice with the claret and blue family due to his allegiances but what else do we know about him.
Find out below with some bitesized facts.
1] Dean Smith lifted the European Cup when he was only 11 years old – because he used to babysit for one of Aston Villa’s Rotterdam heroes. He said: “My old man was a steward at Villa Park for years, and I used to clean the seats at the Holte End. He took us to the European Cup final in 1982 – my cousin grabbed a Union Jack from somewhere, we jumped on the ferry and, of course, it was a fantastic experience. We were very fortunate because, around that time, my brother and I used to babysit for Pat Heard. Each player was allowed to take the trophy home for a while, so I spent a day round Pat’s house with the European Cup.”
2] Dean Smith went to watch his beloved Aston Villa as a fan with his son as we defeated Birmingham City 1-0 in the Second City derby of April 2017. Gabby Agbonlahor bagged the goal much to the delight of the Smith family, who are all of claret and blue persuasion.
3] One man who will know Dean Smith well is Scott Hogan. Hogan played for Smith for just over a year for the Bees. Before his move to Villa Park in January 2017, during the 2016/17 campaign Hogan bagged 13 goals in 18 games including his first hat-trick for the Bees in the 5-0 win over Preston North End. He also earned the September 2016 Championship Player of the Month.
4] Dean Smith had “the ultimate pleasure” of playing alongside one of his heroes, Gary Shaw, at Walsall. Shaw’s time at Fellows Park was short-lived but Smith admits he was in awe of him. He said: “I watched Shawy when he was in his pomp at Villa. He was unbelievable. He came to Walsall and eventually had to quit through injury. But we used to have a kick around in the old car park at the back of the stadium and I’ve never seen a touch as good as his and a finisher as good as him.”
5] His favourite film is 1970s classic ‘Papillon’ starring Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen. In it, a safecracker - portrayed by McQueen and nicknamed "Papillon" because of the butterfly tattoo on his chest - is wrongly convicted of murder. His favourite band is U2. He went to watch them at the O2 earlier this year for their ‘Experience and Innocence Tour’. That was 32 years after his first gig seeing them for the ‘Unforgettable Fire Tour’ at the old Cardiff Arms Park. “To have that durability as a band shows how good they are”.