The night Pele played at Villa Park, Villa vs Santos

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This may have been covered before


But I was reminiscing after reading about it in the Mercury this month

I was talking to the old man at the weekend about it I had just gone 14 years old  (what the hell was I doing at Villa Park on my own at that age, he said I went on my own before then)


I caught the coach from Cannock, There was a company called Harpers, they always ran coaches to Villa, Wolves and the baggies. Never to the blues


70p to get in the crowd was 55,000 people, my hands were stuck in my pockets for ages as I was squashed against the barriers in the Holte. I had forgotten that it was during the strikes and electricity was short. We had brought in a generator, but it was only powerful enough to power three flood lights (when they used to be in the corners and formed A V with the lights). The staff had to keep putting out warnings, asking Fans to stop climbing up the lights and the stand for a better view.


We were in the old Third division at the time and we won 2:1 (McMahon, Graydon and Edu) , But who cared we had seen Pele (In my memories I thought he had scored, well it was a long time ago)


Villa team. Cumbes (also fast bowler for Warwickshire), Mick Wright, Charlie Aitkin, Bruce Rioch, Curtis, Turnbull, Ray Graydon, McMahon, Andy Lockhead, Hamilton and Martin


The only atmosphere to equal it was at Arsenal, when we lost but won the league because Ipswich couldn't beat Borough




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Before my time but it has bought back memories of going to Villa Park on my own as a teenager. 2 buses from Kings Heath and paying at the turnstile. Being squashed in the Holte and always ending up in a totally different part of the Holte than where I started the game.


Biggest crowd I have been in at Villa was 48000 v Liverpool, FA cup 4th round when in Div 2 under Graham Taylor with Spinksy and Birchy and Alan McInally. Lost 2-0 though. John Barnes scored a header I seem to remember.


Those floodlights need bringing back. Were unique and lighting up Birminghams sky line with A V is class.

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