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Aston Villa fans get calls from heroes

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

A host of Villa heroes – including numerous European Cup winners – have been phoning elderly season ticket holders to raise their spirits during the coronavirus lockdown.

Tony Morley has been making calls

Club legends including Dennis Mortimer, Tony Morley and Nigel Spink have been making surprise calls to check in with supporters and make sure they are OK during a time when many may be feeling isolated.

The scheme, similar to that run by Albion and Wolves, was set up by the Villa Foundation in partnership with the Former Players’ Association.

Most of the fans contacted are aged over 80, while calls have also been made to members of the club’s Dementia Cafe, a group which met at Villa Park every Wednesday prior to lockdown.

Mortimer, Morley and Spink have been joined on the lines by Des Bremner, Gordon Cowans, Pat Heard, Kenny Swain and FPA chief Ken McNaught.

Ian Taylor, Tony Daley, Shaun Teale, Andy Blair and Brian Little have also made calls.

European Cup-winning goalkeeper Spink explained: “We were each given a list of about 12 fans to contact. It was really good. I’d like to think the calls brought a little positivity to people but on a personal level I also found it quite rewarding too. It was uplifting.

“I’m pretty sure there were at least a couple who didn’t believe I was who I said I was when I first introduced myself. There were others who straight away started reeling off their memories of famous matches and occasions.

“There was obviously a lot of talk about the current situation and everything that has been going on, including what is happening with the football season. I think it important we keep in touch with people as much as possible at this time.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
@mjmarr_star

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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