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BBC:  The Villa fan living in Warsaw

An Aston Villa cousin’s wedding, in 2003: Harvey Nicks’ rooftop garden in Knightsbridge.

Former Villa manager Ron Atkinson is guest speaker. After his speech, Big Ron works the crowd. 

Gathered in awed clusters around him, he casually asks me where I’m from. Just arrived from Poland, I tell him: “Warsaw.” He proceeds to quiz me about streets I’ve not heard of. 

I struggle to process what Big Ron is on about, but it slowly dawns on me he is talking about Walsall. The Walsall Uprising of 1944?

My mate Gav and I have been the claret and blue army in Warsaw since the mid-1990s. We’ve waited a long time for Villa to be back in Europe, so when we heard they would be visiting our adopted city first up in the Europa Conference League group stage, we were, well, Holte Enders in the sky.

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