By Paul Brown
Matthew Lowton hopes the upcoming Barclays Premier League season follows the lead of the Olympics in inspiring more kids to take up sport.
Lowton admits he was riveted to the 2012 Games in London as Team GB stormed to medals across a range of disciplines, with Jessica Ennis winning gold in the heptathlon his particular highlight.
He hopes children now take a keen interest in the top-flight campaign, which begins on Saturday.
He then urges them to join sports clubs to follow their dreams, insisting: "You can get to the very top, you might just not know it yet!"
He said: "The Olympics were fantastic for Great Britain. We did fantastically in organising it and executing it as an event in London but also from a sports perspective, we created some amazing stories - Chris Hoy, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah to name but three.
"The Barclays Premier League is coming up now and that's the next thing on the horizon for sports fans. Hopefully it's a good season, full of terrific moments. And hopefully Villa fans are very happy at the end of it!
"Jessica Ennis winning the heptathlon was the highlight for me, with her being from Yorkshire like myself.
"In fact I read that Yorkshire would have finished 12th in the overall medals table! That's something to be proud of.
"Mo's double gold was so special too. How they run that far that quick is unbelievable!
"That should inspire children and I hope stars from the world of football can do the same this season.
"I'd encourage more kids to get out and about and involved in sport.
"I know there's a real drive around to get more children participating more and I'm totally with that.
"My life is centred around sport. It's everything to me professionally. Sport keeps you fit and healthy and gives you a real good feeling.
"You never know, you might take something up and it's something that you're great at and you could get right to the very top! Dreams can come true.
"But if you don't get out and try something you'll never know!"
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