Brian Little pens Aston Villa memories into new book

There are few people who can give so well-informed opinion on Villa as Brian Little.

Brian Little with his new book.
Brian Little with his new book.

From the pitch to the dugout and even the souvenir shop, he has seen the club from almost every conceivable angle.

Since first walking through the gates of Villa Park in 1969 as a 15-year-old apprentice, Little has collected more than half a century of memories.

Many of those are now retold in a new book, Brian Little - My Aston Villa, providing an insight into one of the club’s most celebrated figures.

Co-written with former Express & Star journalist and Villa supporter Peter White, Little charts his journey from the earliest days of his playing career when the club was languishing in the Third Division, right through to the present day and his role as ambassador and informal advisor to the board.

Brian Little and Ron Saunders.

Considered one of the finest players ever to grace the claret and blue shirt, Little was part of the Ron Saunders team which won two League Cups during the 1970s.

After injury cruelly cut short his career, he briefly worked in the Villa club shop before returning as youth coach and then manager. He guided the club to League Cup glory in 1996, to this day their last major trophy.

Though his career did take in stops elsewhere, since day one Villa have never been far from his thoughts.

Little said: “In this new book I chart my days as a Villa player, my England call-up, my enforced early retirement, working in the Villa club shop, being youth team coach, later the manager, and now club ambassador, informal adviser to the board, and even match day co-commentator for the Villa website.”

Brian Little with actor David Bradley.

Little runs the rule over every Villa manager from Tommy Docherty to Dean Smith; he discusses the merits and pitfalls of some of the top players he managed, and reveals for the first time the real reason why he quit as Villa boss in February, 1998.

He also talks about the best individual performance he has ever seen from a Villa player; and the worst Villa team he has ever watched, among many other insights.

Several other Villa heroes and team-mates have made contributions to the book, providing their memories of Little and playing for Villa. They include Andy Gray, Gary Shaw, Nigel Spink, Ian Taylor, Tony Daley, Stan Collymore and Garry Thompson.

Collymore reveals the private help Little gave him when he was going through his darkest days, while Gary Shaws reveals one of his most prized possessions, given to him by Little.

Famous Villa supporters including Harry Potter and Game of Thrones star David Bradley and TV presenter Adil Ray also talk about their claret and blue high spots, while White recalls some of his Villa memories, watching on from the press box.

Every one of the limited edition books will be signed by Little, and can be ordered by visiting the website officialbrianlittle.com

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