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Villa v Cardiff: Heroic Royal Marine Williams MC to lead teams out

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Villa v Cardiff: Heroic Royal Marine Williams MC to lead teams out

Royal Marine and huge Villa fan Mark Williams MC - who bravely saved the life of a fellow soldier in Afghanistan - will lead the teams out for the clash between Villa and Cardiff.

Villa will be paying tribute to the work of the armed forces at Saturday's game with a host of activities going on around the stadium.

The matchday is being dedicated to the troops doing their bit for queen and country at home and abroad.

Williams will take centre-stage, delivering the matchball on to a plinth for the referee before joining the 159 Supply Regiment's guard of honour in the minutes preceding kick-off.

Williams was handed the Military Cross earlier this year for his brave actions in May 2011.

The 23-year-old, from Nuneaton, was awarded the gallantry medal by Prince Charles at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Williams, of 30 Commando Royal Marines, was on his second tour of Afghanistan when his patrol was ambushed by insurgents who shot one of the lance corporals in the chest, leaving him lying helpless between the two opposing sides.

Taking no notice of the extreme danger he was in, Williams raced out to his colleague under a hail of bullets and began treating the wounds before dragging him 30 metres to what he thought was a safer position behind a compound wall.

Yet, as he continued to treat his colleague, the pair came under further attack from another firing position and, once the stricken marine was stabilised, Williams picked up his weapon and returned to the firefight.

Armed Forces

As well as the presence of this gallant soldier, a military events team will be on hand in the Indoor Academy before kick-off with a host of fun demonstrations and activities, including an inflatable assault course.

Villa's archivist Laura Brett will be in the Academy Building with the 'War Cup' - an interesting artefact from years gone by.

There will also be an army recruitment stand for anyone interested in a career in the forces.

Royal British Legion servicemen and servicewomen, supported by 159 Supply personnel and cadets from TS Vanguard, will be doing a poppy collection around Villa Park.

Supporters can take an up-close look at military display vehicles outside the Trinity Road Stand.

Soldier Magazine will be present and handing out copies of the November Remembrance issue while two Ghurkha Pipers will perform for everyone's pleasure - outside if the weather is good, inside the Indoor Academy if the weather is foul.

And before-kick-off, of course, the stadium will be still for a minute's silence in tribute to those who have lost their lives in battle.

After the match, our special-edition shirts, featuring a poppy, will be auctioned off on eBay.

The bidding will be begin at 11am on Sunday.

Snap up match tickets for Villa v Cardiff.

JE Jones

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 8th November 2013
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