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Walsall FC to host Aston Villa in 125th birthday bash

Sport | Published:

Walsall FC have announced a friendly with Aston Villa as part of their 125th anniversary celebrations.

Dean Smith's side pit their wits against Paul Lambert's Premier League outfit at the Banks's on Wednesday July 31, three days before the start of the League One season.

It is a re-match of the club's first fixture after the merger of Walsall Town and Walsall Swifts in 1888.

That game, the final of the Lord Mayor of Birmingham Charity Cup, was played at Perry Barr and ended goalless after bad light and a lack of floodlights meant it wasn't possible to complete extra-time. Villa also provided the opposition for the official opening of the Banks's in 1990, following the Saddlers' move from Fellows Park.

An excited Smith said: "It's fantastic to get a club as esteemed as Aston Villa to face us in our 125th anniversary game. It is fitting they should come here on this occasion. It will be a good test for us in front of what promises to be a large crowd just a few days before the season starts."

Tickets, priced at £12 for adults and £6 for concessions, are on sale. Season ticket holders have until July 26 to claim their seats.

Walsall's pre-season schedule also features a home game with Forest and trips to Kidderminster, Halesowen, Chasetown, Rushall Olympic, Burton and Alfreton.

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