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Opinion

The truth about the Newcastle United supporters’ ‘rivalry’ with Aston Villa Fans

2 weeks ago
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Aston Villa Fans are set to welcome the supporters of Newcastle United on Monday night.

Amazingly, it is now over a decade since ‘that’ game on 24 May 2009.

A season where pretty much everything that could go wrong, came to its final conclusion at Villa Park.

It was quite fitting that it was an own goal from Damian Duff that was the decisive moment.

Whilst the sight of reluctant sub Michael Owen half-heartedly jogging around the pitch for the last 24 minutes reminded us of just how many bad decisions had brought us to this point.

Newcastle United’s then record signing and highest paid player, not even wanting to be there, only thinking about how quickly he could move on and stay on the gravy train elsewhere.

I think at this point, I have to say that to understand what came out of that day at Villa Park, in terms of rivalry, hatred, antagonism or whatever, you really had to be there.

I had been to many previous games at Aston Villa and it was always seen as a low interest trip, a real dump of an area, no decent pubs and indeed many of them no away fans allowed anyway, with Aston Villa fans seen as a pretty boring fickle fanbase. Filling the ground when doing well but thousands giving it a miss when mediocre/struggling.

So travelling down to Birmingham on 24 May 2009, little did we know what awaited us in terms of the Aston Villa fans and indeed, locals in general.

The first indications that something was off, was pre-match.

We went to a few pubs and on the walk in between, saw groups of Aston Villa Fans singing about Newcastle going down and appearing a bit too keen. After all, no connection or previous rivalry between two clubs over 200 miles apart.

This continued when having a drink, seeing a few heated conversations as locals were trying to wind up visiting supporters.

No previous rivalry and it wasn’t as though they were seeing the potential humbling of a Man Utd or Liverpool.

In the stadium a poor match and the wrong result but off the pitch all very bizarre.

Brilliant support from the Newcastle fans throughout the 90 minutes but Aston Villa fans were definitely more interested in seeing Newcastle lose than their own team win.

Some embarrassing clowns had even made up bed sheet banners in the home end, willing Newcastle to be relegated.

Back in 2009, could you honestly imagine any Newcastle fan doing the same for Villa if roles had been reversed? Sad doesn’t come into it.

The final whistle and Aston Villa fans were absolutely loving it that Newcastle had been relegated. Once again, if roles had been reversed in 2009, Newcastle fans would have just been bothered about getting to the pub. Speaking of which…

The really really sad bit, was when some time after the final whistle the away coaches were able to leave, the streets were absolutely packed with people on the paths waving and laughing as we passed. A mixture of Aston Villa fans preferring that than getting off to the pub and locals just coming out of their houses to join the celebrations.

I had no strong feelings about Aston Villa Fans or sense of rivalry before that match, there still is no rivalry in my eyes, I just have contempt for Villa fans.

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