There is a good story behind this picture of Matt in the Villa Family Suite, holding up the trophy in April 1994.
And now they are in the League Cup (Carling) Final again, playing Manchester United again!
I remember quite well when we watched the match on television. The highs and lows, the nail biting, the cat disappearing fast when we all shouted and threw cushions in the air! Each goal celebrated with whoops and cheers!!
When Villa brought the trophy back to Villa park, they paraded it round the ground, for the fans to see.
It was a night match and I took Alan along with us. He was 10 years old and Matt about to become 18 years old.
We were in the Doug Ellis Stand, near the front. But we found our view restricted by a huge net of balloons on the pitch, as the players walked around the ground, in front of the baying Holte end, then on to the Trinity Road stand opposite, but having completed their walk at the North Stand, for some inexplicable reason they did not come along the ( what was then) the Witton Lane side. So having been there early and also got very wet as it was raining, and Alan not feeling too well(!) we did not even get a glimpse of the cup.
I decided to write to Doug Ellis, (known as Deadly Doug to afficianados!) the then Chairman. I simply told him that we had waited in the rain and with great anticipation, only to be denied the pleasure of seeing the Coca Cola (League Cup) Trophy that night.
To my astonishment I had a reply.
Doug Ellis apologised and said if I were to take Matt and Alan to the match on April 23rd, Saturday, tickets provided, we could all got to the Family Suite before the game and have photos with the cup!!
What a result!
It was Matt's 18th Birthday that very day!!
How proud he was and thrilled and excited all at once as he lifted that trophy for his photo.
Mum and brother also have photos.
A wonderful present!!
Sadly no ticket for dad.
But we all went out to dinner that night for another celebration.
Matt actually got to play on the hallowed Villa turf with his works' team. He came to have his photo taken by us, and you can just see him at the front of the picture!! he always fancied himself as Frank Lampard!! He did have a likeness to him! But they lost. Not before his mum had bawled and shouted during the matches. (It was a 7 a side knock out.)
One Chris Rankin and his sister were with us, and Chris had never seen us shout and whistle before. He said it was a revelation! (;-))
And it was Chris's birthday this last week.
We miss him too.
Hasta la vista Señor Pasta Creese!
God be with you both till we meet again.