By Paul Brown
Richard Dunne and Marc Albrighton provided happy half-term memories for holidaymakers as they paid a visit to Thomas Cook Sport in Sutton.
The two Villa stars took part in an exclusive signing session to celebrate the club's partnership with our official travel provider - and the event caused plenty of cheer for the claret and blue fans who turned up to greet their heroes.
Irish international Dunne and England U21 winger Albrighton chatted to fans, had their photos taken with a lucky few and signed footballs, T-shirts and other memorabilia.
Albrighton, fast becoming a cult hero, still struggles to believe he's asked for autographs - but he's more than happy to do so.
He said: "I think it's brilliant that the fans get to meet the players. I am delighted to do things like this.
"It's still very strange. I'm still the same Marc Albrighton that I was as a really young lad. It is bizarre but if it makes fans happy then I'm delighted."
The free event was arranged as part of Thomas Cook Sport's Official Holiday Club partnership with Villa, which allows fans to buy anything from charter flights and hotels to complete holiday packages, all at guaranteed discounted prices.
Branch Manager Dan Barber, a Villa fan himself, was thrilled with the duo's presence and the incredible turnout, which saw hundreds flock to Sutton.
He continued: "It was fantastic. We were really looking forward to it. We were delighted to have the players here and the fans too. It was just terrific.
"Thomas Cook Sport are one of the key sponsors of Aston Villa and it's a proud association. We work alongside them on things like match breaks, which include hotels and tickets - home or away.
"It's just been tremendous to work with Villa. Wherever Villa travel we can book it for the club. It's a great relationship. We are the number one travel provider in the UK so we always pull the stops out to make sure Villa get wherever they want to go.
"It's been absolutely fantastic and it just keeps growing and growing. We're getting more and more Villa supporters booking holidays with Thomas Cook Sport too.
"If Villa fans come into our store and tell us they support the claret and blues, Thomas Cook will look at discounting their holiday for them."
Dunne, meanwhile paid tribute to the work Thomas Cook Sport put in to ensure the players are happy on overseas trips.
He added: "Every time we go away, we travel well and end up staying in very good hotels. That's great credit to Thomas Cook Sport.
"All the hotels we have stayed in have been absolutely top-notch. It's been brilliant."