As most Brazilians I enjoy football pretty much and as in Brazil, going to a football game is a nice way for having fun here in the UK. Last night was one of these moments, Aston’s International Office invited some International Student Ambassadors to watch an Aston Villa football match playing against Southampton for the Premier League (the top English football league) at the Villa Park Stadium in Birmingham.
Although I have been at the stadium twice before, this time the occasion had a more special flavour because the International Office awarded us with VIP tickets and access to the Centenary Club Lounge. We arrived early at the Villa Park and visited the official Aston Villa store where you can find many types of souvenirs. Further, we went into the Centenary Lounge where we made a quick stop waiting for the game’s initial whistle.
Aston Villa Football Club are a professional football club based in Witton, Birmingham. The club was founded in 1874 and they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Such tradition can be seen along the walls of the Centenary Lounge where pictures from past days in the Villa’s history are exposed. Another interest aspect is the passion of Villa fans to their football team, even if the club has not been doing well in the championship. At any game, at any time and with any weather, good or not, it is easy to hear fans signing one the most famous Aston Villa’s chants “Yippi Aye Eh, Yippi Aye Oh. Holte Enders in the sky…” this song was inspired at an original version – (Ghost) Riders in the Sky – a cowboy-styled country/western American song written in 1948, and was recorded by more than 50 performers, including Johnny Cash. Since the 1960s, it is a terrace song of the Aston Villa Football Club. The words have been modified to include the line “Holte Enders in the Sky,” a reference to the occupants of the vast stand behind the goal at the southern end of the Villa Park stadium.
It was a cold night and the game had a tie result in the end, with one goal for each side, but the result did not mitigate the fun we had over the night. Among our group there was Robin, who works for the International Office at Aston, he is a Brummie (colloquial term for local inhabitants from Birmingham) and a huge Villa fan. It was nice to learn more from him about the team and see him performing a supportive role to the team during the whole game. Moreover, two of the ambassadors have never been in a football game before in their lives, so it was nice to help them understanding the rules of the game. I am looking forward to the next game, even without VIP seats, it is always a good way to have fun in the UK and it makes me feel a little bit more like home in some way.
Thanks for reading.