By Paul Brown
Marc Albrighton today spoke of his pride at scoring the 20,000th Premier League goal - and his delight at being able to pledge the cash that goes with it to Acorns.
Barclays handed over to Albrighton a cheque for £20,000 for achieving the monumental scoring feat which he has donated to the club's official charity partner.
Acorns chief executive David Strudley [pictured] was on hand at Bodymoor Heath to congratulate Albrighton - and thank the wing wonder for his generous act.
Albrighton said: "It's great to have been able to achieve that record.
"To then be able to donate the money that goes with it to such a worthy cause is brilliant. I am thrilled, I truly am.
"Of course, we went to Acorns just a few days ago as part of the annual Christmas visit and there are people doing great things there.
"The staff are unbelievable. They keep the kids smiling. That's great to see. It's such a warm, friendly place and I am thrilled they are getting this money in the run-up to Christmas."
Brian Deane set the ball rolling when he scored the Premier League's first goal in 1992. Les Ferdinand grabbed the 10,000th goal for Tottenham in 2001.
Albrighton added: "I can't remember Brian Deane scoring the first - I was only two at the time so you'll have to let me off with that one!
"But it's incredible when you think of all the great goals that have been scored in this amazing league and I have bagged a landmark one.
"To score in front of the Holte End was brilliant too. But obviously it was heartbreaking we didn't get something, which I thought we thoroughly deserved."
Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner continued: "It's an really nice bonus for Acorns.
"We knew Barclays had put this prize up and we had discussed it internally and the entire squad were very happy to donate the money to Acorns if one of our players scored the landmark goal.
"I was caught up in the game and didn't have a clue we were close to it until I was jumping around celebrating the goal - and then saw the announcement on the scoreboard!
"It's an unexpected bonus - but a fantastic one."
Acorns chief executive David Strudley added: "The players came to see us as part of the annual festive visit earlier this week and we were saying then how tough everything is - and how every single thing makes a difference.
"This donation shifts the emphasis because this money will pay for all the care across the whole trust for a day. It's amazing.
"To come out of the blue and just before Christmas when the children are wondering what their festive period time is going to be like because it can be a vulnerable period, it's just brilliant.
"To come out of the blue and just before Christmas, when the children are wondering what their festive period time is going to be like because it can be a vulnerable period, is amazing."
It's not too late to support the club's charity partner Acorns this Christmas. To donate simply text AVFC12 £1 to 70070 or click here. You can make a difference! Just £32 could pay for one hour of care.