In person and on Facebook, Todd Butler is a bit of a cut-up, one of the only guys I know who can get away with referring to himself in the third person. (For example: “Todd is buzzing. Not because of alcohol but because of Villa’s three points! Todd has already emailed work saying Todd won’t be there Monday due to celebrations!!!”) Yet when asked to be my Villan of the Week, he presented a thoughtful side that is purely first-person. Get to know him, and, if you know any Villa supporters in his area, let him know!
The Starting Eleven
Where were you born, where do you live now, and what do you do for a living?
I was born and raised in Welland, Ontario, Canada. It’s about fifteen minutes from Niagara Falls. Apart from a couple of years in Ottawa for university I’ve lived in the area my whole life. I’m a truck driver. All local driving so I get home every night.
How and when did you choose Villa?
I ended up choosing Villa the way I chose all my sports teams: whoever was doing well and being televised at the moment. My dad loves sports but only had one true team love which was the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. He passed that on to me but all others were up to me. I watched the 1982 European Cup at my uncle’s via his satellite dish. If I was a couple years older I might have been a Nottingham Forest fan! You might say I’m the first glory hunter!
What was your happiest moment as a Villa supporter?
One of my happiest moments was during the F.A. Cup of 2012 when, at halftime, we were beating Arsenal 2-0. I was at the stadium and tried to call my dad just to explain the experience that I was having. He couldn’t hear a thing over all the singing and chanting that was going on. The happiest full time moment would be our 7-4 aggregate win over Blackburn to send us to the League Cup Final. Absolutely EPIC!!!
What was your most painful moment?
My most painful moment is a toss-up between the aforementioned Arsenal game, where we lost 3-2, and the League Cup Final loss to Manchester United. I was sitting in a pub across from Wembley that is owned by Black Danny and they ran out of beer. Most of the game Man U should have played with ten men.
Which team would you most like to see Villa beat this year?
Truthfully I’d like us to beat all the teams we’re supposed to but if I had to pick one I’d say Chelsea. They’ve hammered us too often of late.
Who is your favorite player on the current squad?
I know this is going to be a popular answer, but: Christian Benteke. To find a pure striker such as him is Paul Lambert’s best move ever.
Who is your favorite player of all time?
This is a toss up between Olof Mellberg and Martin Laursen. Both were pure quality for Villa and gave it their all. I had the privilege of being at Villa Park last year on a cold, rainy Tuesday night when Laursen showed up and the crowd wouldn’t, couldn’t, stop singing, “Give us a wave Martin, give us a wave.” We kept singing it and he kept waving.
What are your favorite sources for Villa news?
I rely on AVTV, Facebook, and Mat Kendrick on Twitter. I don’t tweet myself but he’s on top of everything to do with the club. I also read all the major London papers to see what they’re saying.
Rate yourself as a fan. What are your best and worst qualities?
I would say my best quality is that I make the trip over to England twice a year to watch and support the boys in person. My worst quality is I expect too much against the lesser clubs and not enough against the bigger clubs.
Where do you usually watch games?
I would love to say I watch most of the games at the Oxley in Toronto, where the Toronto area supporters go. I do go there a few times a year. Unfortunately, since I’m a four-hour round-trip away from there, I watch the first half at home and the second half at my local pub, Ye Olde Squire. Ontario Liquor Laws say no alcohol until eleven a.m. That’s why I watch the first half at home.
What are you usually drinking?
At home I’m drinking Brava. At the pub I’m drinking Strongbow or whatever cider they have on tap.
Finish this sentence: “Being a Villa supporter in Welland is like being a . . .”
. . . needle in a haystack. There are a lot of footy supporters around but most are Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool. I do know a couple of guys who support Newcastle and Leeds, though. I’d love to find other Villa fans in Niagara.