This blog’s focus on North American Villans means that we meet a lot of newer fans who chose to follow the team as adults. I don’t think there’s a single thing wrong with that (after all, I am one of those newer fans). But it’s important to me to hear from supporters with a lifetime’s perspective, too—those who, if not born in claret and blue, were certainly swaddled in it from an early age. David Dervit Lockwood, born in Brum and living in Louisiana, has a lifetime of memories to draw on, starting with a rescue, by his sneaky grandpa, from a household of Birmingham City supporters. He’s seen the biggest ups, and the biggest downs, and has never wavered in his support of the Villa.
The Starting Eleven
Where were you born, where do you live now, and what do you do for a living?
I was born at the old St. Chad’s hospital in Edgbaston in 1957. I now live in Louisiana, north of New Orleans, where I work as a senior HVAC technician.
How and when did you choose Villa?
I chose Villa because my late grandfather took me to my first game (against Burnley, I think) when I was three. He loved Villa and wanted to raise his first grandson the right way. He was the only Villa fan in the family. The rest were all Bluenoses and he took great delight in my joining him, much to the annoyance of my parents. I continued to attend Villa games with my grandfather until he passed away. By then, I was old enough to attend games myself. My fondest memory of him was a Boxing Day derby at the Sty: all the rest of family in with the Bluenoses, me and Grandad in with the Villa fans. We won 3-1.
What was your happiest moment as a Villa supporter?
My happiest moment is a choice of two: either winning in Rotterdam or beating Manchester United 3-1 in the League Cup final. Both times we weren’t given a chance, and both times we proved them all wrong.
What was your most painful moment?
Relegation to the old Division Three at the end of the 1969–70 season. I remember crying all the way home. We had beaten Sheffield United, but results had gone against us. I couldn’t even eat my chips on the bus home. (The 74 to Dudley then the 125/126 to Coseley.)
As the season is nearly over, which team did you most enjoy beating this year—or which team do you most wish we had beaten?
Who is your favorite player on the current squad?
At the moment it’s Brad Guzan. He gave us a second chance and has shown he is Villa through and through.
Who is your favorite player of all time?
There are so many to choose from, but I have to go with Charlie Aitken. He could tackle, organize the defense, and, in my opinion, was the best left back we ever had. He was claret and blue through and through—561 games speaks for itself! That’s loyalty you don’t get these days. Why he was never capped for Scotland more than once remains a mystery. He was an ever-present with an impeccable conduct record, excellent distribution, and a cooler head than I’ve seen on any defender since.
What are your favorite sources for Villa news?
The AVFC official site and social-media Villa sites.
Rate yourself as a fan. What are your best and worst qualities?
Best quality is that I’ve followed them all my life, through thick and thin, and never jumped on the Man United, Arsenal, etc. bandwagon. Worst quality is that I’m sometimes too critical without giving the boys a chance.
Where do you usually watch games?
I currently watch every game on NBC Sports, much to my wife’s dismay.
What are you usually drinking?
Normally drinking coffee or tea . . . its 9 a.m. here!
Gaze into your crystal ball . . . where do you think the team will finish this year, and what do you think next year holds?