Tom Hanks shows his Villa colours
Tom Hanks is the latest in a string of celebrity Villa fans to come out of the closet. Add Amy Winehouse, Prince William, Simon Le Bon and it's our celebrity Villa fan dream team.
Hollywood star Tom Hanks has become the latest celebrity to announce his allegiance to an English football club after declaring his support for Aston Villa.
Celebs love the Villa
BBC WM’s Dan Wheeler looks at the other high profile Villa fans and works out where they all might fit into the team should they ever get the chance to wear their beloved club's claret and blue…
There are a million reasons why people end up supporting the football teams they do.
Most make up their minds in childhood. Whether it is the very first game they went to or as a result of being locked in a room without windows and food until the phrase "Steve Bull is King" is learnt off by heart.
Glory hunters and carpetbaggers
Then there are the glory hunters; football’s carpetbaggers who shun tradition, genetics and the Birmingham City baby bonnets in the favour of the popular vote and a life of constant winning and emotional sterility.
Ask a glory hunter who they support and they will probably reply: "Which year?"
Martin O'Neill, Aston Villa Manager
Not everyone falls neatly into these categories though. Some pledge their allegiance by aesthetics, some by accident and some by totally grabbing the wrong end of the stick.
Sweet Spa town
Step forward Tom Hanks.
The Hollywood star recently revealed his love of Aston Villa, but raised a few eyebrows among the diehard supporting fraternity when he explained his reasons.
"I'm big on Aston Villa. The name is just so sweet. It sounds like a lovely Spa."
No mention of 1982 and Rotterdam. Not a peep about the recent resurgence under Martin O'Neill. None of that.
Villa Park - "Sounds like a lovely Spa"
I could be wrong, but even the most staunch Astonians would struggle to describe the place as sweet and there most definitely is not a spa. A couple of gyms and a leisure centre, yes. But no Spa.
Maybe Tom got his wired crossed and was really thinking about Cheltenham, Leamington or Bath. They have all got teams. Or maybe he is just a glory hunter after all.
Hanks is the latest to join a growing throng of Villains – a group that will, daresay, grow if the club continues on its encouraging upward trajectory under O'Neill.
So where would Forrest Gump or the man who saved Private Ryan fit in to the side at Villa Park? And where would the other famous folk who follow the Villa play?
Here’s Villa’s Celebrity Eleven:
Floella Benjamin in her 'Playaway' days
Iain Duncan Smith (Ex Tory Leader) – Goalkeeper
Would need to swap his Conservatism for far more authority in the box but reflexes should be in good nick after years of being bombarded from all sides. Commercial Manager's dream with all those letters on his shirt.
Floella Benjamin (TV Personality) – Right Back
Versatility for the TV presenter, writer and actor comes as second nature so comfy anywhere across the back. Calm, collected and, after separating all those dusts-up between Humpty, Hamble and Little Ted, dealing with Villa's youngsters will be a piece of fairy cake.
HRH Prince William
HRH Prince William (Important Royal) – Centre Back
Tall and regimental, Wills would bring a regal air to the back four. Avoids the media like Giant Haystacks would a salad, so unlikely to give one's thoughts on one's performance. Knows where the good parties are and if anyone can get your name on the list…
Ian Lavender (Actor) – Centre Back
Dream move for Birmingham-born star who has grown immeasurably from callow youth to seasoned pro, shedding his "stupid" mistakes along the way. Only potential downside is that he may be, after living with Pauline Fowler, slightly deaf.
Amy Winehouse (Beehived Singing Sensation) – Left Back
Every team needs a flawed genius. And tortured, troubled soul Ms Winehouse fits the bill more snugly than a pilchard in a pelican. Tabloid fodder but has all the qualities to be a terrace legend and would make the club shop a fortune with her line in comedy wigs.
David Cameron (Leader of the Opposition) – Right Midfield
Has flirted with the centre but much more at home on the right. Enjoys running down the left too. Public image recovered from accusations that he once puffed on a doobie to become a real candidate to lead. Wears number 2 but covets number 10.
Tom Hanks (Movie Star) – Centre Midfield
Would bring trophies to Villa Park (well a couple of Oscars anyway) and real character (56 to be precise). Unlikely to be asked to write the best selling compendium "Great British Spa Towns" and would give anything to be playing alongside Meg Ryan. But you can't have everything.
Nigel Kennedy - the first!
Nigel Kennedy (Musician) – Centre Midfield
Longest club servant as he was, for centuries, the only celebrity Villa fan any of us could ever name. Bohemian, flamboyant fiddler would bring creative spark during the game and slip in a bit of Vivaldi at the break.
Pauline McLynn (Mrs Doyle in 'Father Ted') – Left Midfield
A canny, wiry runner with insatiable energy who would just go on, go on, go on, go on. Would get the teas in too.
Mrs Doyle will go on, go on, go on as a fan
Simon Le Bon (Lead Singer of Duran Duran) – Striker
The eighties icon can still cut it. Hungry like the wolf, and notorious in front of goal. Is there something he should know? Yes, keep him away from boats. Shouldn't be too difficult in land-locked Brum.
Jane Sixsmith (Ex Olympic Hockey Heroine) – Striker
Everyone needs a deadly marksman. No need for a book depository or a grassy knoll though for Sixsmith. Just the penalty area and a slide-rule pass. Bang.
Ozzy - Villa manager material
Mervyn King (Govenor of the Bank of England) – Owner
Today's modern club needs a rich sugar daddy – "The Guv" would be perfect. Has pockets the size of Paraguay. If you can't open the safe yourself, get chummy with the bloke with the keys.
Ozzy Osbourne (Rock Star) – Manager
No-one would understand a word but the legendary rocker's team-talks would be motivational gold. He ******* loves the club too.
last updated: 21/01/2008 at 10:57