Villa Park home to Aston Villa FC. One of the oldest stadiums in Europe and it has hosted many of classic game, with my Club Manchester United involved in some of them.
There was the classic fa cup semi final with Arsenal and THAT GOAL from Giggs. Not forgetting the thumping we took on the first day of the season where "You don't win anything with kids". The 2001-02 third round FA Cup come back from 2-0 down to 3-2 up with Van Nistelrooy scoring some crackers ad a friendly pitch invasion.
It's sad that they don't hold FA Cup semi final here anymore, as a neutral ground it was an ideal venue. Villa Park has hosted more FA Cup semi-finals than any other stadium, having hosted 55 matches in total.
The stadium was built in 1897 and nowadays it is all-seater ground with a capacity of 42,788.
The away section is currently the corner of the Doug Ellis Stand.
I came to Villa Park, home of Aston Villa Football Club, on Sunday 12th August 2012, for the Community Shield which offically opens the new football season in England.
We (my beloved Manchester City Football Club) were playing Chelsea (a club from London) for this piece of silverwear.
Traffic was terrible due to the sheer volume of the 36,394 fans that attended, so we arrived a little after kick off. But this way I got to see the ground without being crowded! (There's always a positive!).
The surrounding area (from where the coaches park to the ground) is a bit of a tight squeeze. Inside, on the concourse of the Trinity Road Stand (the main stand), there are four huge bars and foods kiosks for soft & alcoholic drinks to coffee & hot chocolate, crisps, chocolate bars, pies, pasties burgers and chips.
The toilets were about average - clean, don't smell, stocked with toilet roll and lockable doors (some football clubs don't rate these things as priorities!!).
Where we sat, we had a good view of both goals. There were two large screens which showed the time played, who was playing, what the score was and who scored in what minute.
We had a police escort there and back from the motorway (so we got in and out quicker, causing less congestion in the city). The stewards were all friendly and helpful, and to top it off, it was an exciting match with 5 goals, a red card, numerous yellow cards and added time! The presentation of the shield was very enjoyable and the organisation to do this was great.
Manchester City won 3-2! I love you City!!! Brilliant experience!
Equipment: A ticket
Whilst in Birmingham you can watch a football (soccer) match if you want to. During the football season when the matches are on (and at home) it can make a great day out because the atmosphere is a great thing to experience
Wolverhampton Wanderers play at the Molineux in Wolverhampton. Their support is mainly from the Wolverhampton area. They are about the same size as West Brom, but have a more significant history being one of the founding members of the original Football League. Leeds also lost to Wolves 1-0 this season :(
West Bromwich are the third club of Birmingham playing at the Hawthorns. Their fiercest rivals are Wolverhampton Wanderers. Their stadium and support is large, although not as big as Birmingham or Villa
Aston Villa are the biggest club in Birmingham with the biggest support, biggest stadium and most prestigious history. The team famously won the European Cup in 1982. They play at Villa Park, which is visible from the M6 motorway.
Birmingham City are probably number two in terms of support within Brum. They play their home games at St. Andrews, just off the ring road - about 1mile from the city centre. The ground is of a great standard and large by Championship standards. I saw my team Leeds lose here this season 1-0.
The football teams of the area have been doing relatively well of late with three teams in the English Premiership, after several years in the doldrums.
Aston Villa, is by far the biggest of the teams and is based at Villa Park which you cannot miss seeing from the Motorway spur as you drive into the heart of Brum. They still have failed to capture top honours in the past few years and normally end up about mid table.
Both Birmingham city and West Bromwich Albion cling (precariously at times) to Premiership status. Japser Carrot (a city fan) used to tell the story of standing on the terraces at city, and he turns to the man next time and said "OI YOU OVER THERE"
The real sleeping giant is however Wolverhampton Wanderers (the 'Wolves') who despite a good ground and a massive fanbase have failed, one again, to hit the big time.
There is also Walsall - of which I know nothing.
Whilst in Brum visit the fantastic St Andrews home of the Blues. A fantastic stadium, Premiereship Football and a great afternoon or evening for all. for details see
and enter the official site
League Play In
League Cup Winners 5 times
FA Cup Winners 7 time
Football League Division 1 Winners 7 times
European Cup Winners
European Super Cup Winners
Claret and blue shirts, white shorts, Claret and blue socks.
White shirts, blue shorts, white socks
Equipment: To watch the match the only equipment you really need is a good strong voice to sing your club`s songs and encourage the team and your eyes to actually watch the game, some people do take a pair of binoculars if they sit far from the pitch.
Apart from the above the club s encourage you to buy their merchandise to enhance your matchday experience, you can buy virtually anything from hats and scarfs to the full blown replica kit, which generally is updated annually.
Professional football can be seen at several venues within a short distance of the city centre during the season (August-May). These can be reached by short bus, taxi or train trips.
Aston Villa (my favourite) are one of the most famous teams in British and world football. They are steeped in history and have a trophy cabinet that is only surpassed by a handful of teams in England and are founder members of both the Football League and Premier League. Some of the worlds best players can be seen playing for and against Aston Villa on regular occasions during the season in league and cup matches.
Equipment: Your eyes to watch of course.
Midland Sailing Club was the first in the West Midlands when it was formed in 1894 and now has the reputation of being the friendliest club in the Midlands.
The Club Sails on Saturday afternoons all year round, and on Wednesday evenings in summer.
Visitors are always made welcome.
MSC is a RYA approved training centre, and the home of the Midland Windsurfing Centre - tel. 0121 454 1997
Equipment: We sail RS 400s, Fireballs, Merlin Rockets, GP14s, National 12s, Solos, RS Fevas, Toppers and Optimists.
You should try to watch Aston Villa play, at Villa Park.
One of the best teams in the country (not going by last seasons standards) and certainly my favourite, Aston Villa's supporters are some of the most faithfull in the game, and you are sure to have a great time at any of the matches you see.