Joleon Lescott: Relationship with Aston Villa soured by infamous tweet
Former defender Joleon Lescott says his relationship with Aston Villa was soured following his infamous tweet during the club's relegation season.
Lescott, who turned out for Wolves, West Brom and Villa in a career spanning 17 years - was heavily criticised by fans after tweeting an image of a car following Liverpool's 6-0 thrashing of the Villans back in February 2016.
The club were in the midst of a dreadful league campaign, resulting in relegation to the Championship, and many fans were left furious with the centre back seemingly lacking commitment to their side's plight.
Lescott went on to claim that the tweet was sent accidentally as he was driving, going on to apologise for the performance.
Speaking on Sky Sports this week, the 37-year-old admitted that the infamous tweet has soured his relationship with Villa - and explained how the picture, which is still visible on his profile, was shared.
"People talk about that tweet." Lescott said.
"We just lost to Liverpool, I was driving back home and it went off, my phone went off in my pocket.
"At the time there was a player that was due to get a car and he asked me my advice on that. Having not passed his test I advised him to get a similar looking car, but for insurance purposes not to get that and that picture was just in my phone.
"I didn't have that car at that time. Yeah, I would want the car, it's a nice car. But that wasn't the case.
"I think the fans still hold that against me now and also the club kind of used it as a little bit of a way out, to make me the scapegoat for things going wrong.
"I played my part in that - I hold my hands up. But there were a lot of components to the reason why Aston Villa went down that year."
"I've left it on my feed for the fact that I know the truth. The amount of stick I've got and my family received off the back of that - that will never be deleted.
"That's the reason I don't have the best relationship with Villa now. Because that led to circumstances why my family couldn't go to the games."
Lescott went on to leave Villa at the end of the season, joining AEK Athens before a short spell back in England at Sunderland.
Having grown up a fan of the club, he said the club's relegation was a 'devastating' blow having dreamed of playing for the side as a youngster.
"Growing up as a Villa fan from Birmingham, that was the ultimate dream. The dream wasn't to play for England or to win the Premier League, it was to play for Aston Villa like every boyhood fan.
"When it led to that, to take them down was devastating. But then my supporting family and friends would support me through my whole career - and not to go to games through stick they were receiving.
"I can take it, I'm used to it. But to hear things said to my family members and kids, no."