Article by Lawrence Seale.
Aston Villa has undoubtedly the most celebrity fans in Premier league football. In quantity and quality. Their A list celebs include Prince Edward future King of the U.K; and Hollywood superstar Tom Hanks But to prove my point I must first define what I mean by an Aston Villa fan. You do not have,to have visited the stadium to qualify. You just have to have stated in public. On T V,radio,or newspaper. That you support Aston Villa football club. With this in mind we can provide quite an impressive list. Unless you have the Pope or Barack Obama supporting your team you just cannot compete.
Here is my list of famous Vllla fans.Enough to form a first and a reserve team.
1 Prince. Edward. Future King of U.K. and Commonwealth.
2 Tom. Hanks. Oscar winning actor.
3 David. Cameron. Could be a future Prime Minister.
4 Mervin. King. Governor of the Bank of England.
5 Ozzie. Osborne. Local lad and heavy metal rock star.
6 Lee. Child. Best selling author. Always uses ex Villa players names, as characters in his books.
7 David. Bradley, Plays grumpy hogwarts caretaker. Argus. Filch.
8 Simon. Le Bon. Duran Duran rock star.
9 Ian. Lavender. Private. Pike in Dads army.
10 Nigel. Kennedy. Celebrity violinist.
11 Floella. Benjamin. Ex B.B.C. Play school T.V. presenter.
12 Ian. Bell. England and Warwickshire cricketer.
13 Ian. Duncan. Smith. Former Tory leader.14 Jane. Sixsmith. Former England and Great Britain hockey player.
15 Pauline. Mc Lynne. Plays Father Teds housekeeper Mrs Doyle.
16 Emma. Willis. MTV presenter.
17 Martin. Shaw. Actor starring in Judge. John. Deed.18 Emma. B. Radio 1 D.J.
19 Richie. Neville. Boy band FIVE.
20 Mark. Williams. Fast show comedy actor.
21 Oliver. Phelps. Plays George. Weasley. in all 6 Harry. Potter. films.
22 Geezer. Butler. Original Black Sabbath member.
Although you will not find them at Villa park for every home game, clutching a pie and a programme. they all have stated publicly that they are Villa fans, so we will just have to take their word for it.
But did Aston Villa have another even more famous fan. the very first fictional detective character. No not Hercule Poiret, or Tin Tin, but Sherlock Holmes. His creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a fascinating man, who lived a long and eventful life.One of ten children born into poverty, and with an alcoholic father. he did not have the best of starts in life. He trained to be a doctor,was a novelist and lifelong traveller, all round sportsman, popularising ski-ing in Switzerland. And once bowling out W.G. Grace at cricket. he stood for Parliament twice, made a fortune and squandered most of it promoting spiritualism.
So how might he have been a Villa supporter. Here is the evidence.In 1879 Arthur Conan Doyle was a poor medical student. And as part of his training he moved to Aston in Birmingham working as an assistant to Dr Reginald Ratcliffe Hoare at Clifton House on the Aston road in Birmingham. He was paid a salary of two pounds a month, and was responsible for making house calls and dispensing medicines. In fact he and Dr Hoare,got on so well he returned to help out in the surgery many times, after finishing his training. And no doubt supporting his beloved Aston villa at the weekends. (Incidentally Villa first entered the F.A. cup in the 1879/80 season)
In 1879 Aston Villa were still an amateur side, playing at the Wellington road ground in Perry Barr. Birmingham. It is possible that Conan Doyle, a keen sportsman, could have known Villa`s early founder members and fellow scotsmen, such as William McGregor, Archie Hunter; and George Ramsay.and perhaps agreed to watch a game, or even play for Villa.
Some of my critics might suggest that it was Conan Doyle who lived in Aston not Sherlock Holmes But Conan Doyle received many letters from members of the public asking him to solve criminal cases. Some addressed to him, but many simply addressed to Sherlock Holmes at his Baker street address. And as most fiction writers base their characters on aspects of their own personality. I think it is highly probable that Sherlock Holmes was Aston Villas first celebrity football fan.
Below is the evidence you can make your own judgement.
1 Lived within a hansom cab ride from Villa`s ground at the time.
2 He was a keen sportsman excelling at football, rugby and cricket at school.
3 Aston Villa at that time had a strong Scottish contingent.
4 Sherlock holmes was a Villa fan would make a great chant, ringing around Villa Park.
5.And finally, I am sure at the final game of the season. I am certain I saw a man in a deerstalker hat. sitting in the seat in front of me, puffing away contentedly on his meerschaum pipe,engrossed in the game.Was he or wasn`t he, I had to find out, so I tapped him on the shoulder, and nervously blurted out “are you Sherlock Holmes and are you a Villa fan.” But just then the final whistle blew, he jumped up and disappeared into the departing crowd. So I will never know. But I am one hundred percent convinced that Sherlock Holmes was indeed Aston Villas first celebrity football fan.
About the Author
Lawrence Seale.is the author of an unbiased insurance advice website,with advice about all types of insurance, so why not visit my website at http://www.findukinsurance.com I also publish a website devoted to the luxury resorts of Taba and Taba heights on the Red sea riviera, in Egypt.To find out more click here. http://tabasun.co.uk