Aston Villa: 150 Years Squads & Souvenirs

The latest commemoration of Villa’s anniversary gets the H&V seal of approval.

This has been published for a while but sloth has always been the watchword at H&V Towers (our latest round-up, The Lambert Years, will be out any decade now) so it’s only now that anyone’s got round to typing up a few words about this weighty addition to your coffee table.

To write a book about a football club you either have to be a supporter or been around for a long time and the authors fit the bill nicely. Jon Farrelly’s got a season ticket and a 200 mile round trip every time he uses it while Rob Bishop has been covering the Villa since the days of quill pens and printing presses. What they don’t know about the club probably never happened and this publication proves it.

There are plenty of words, no great insight but then again there isn’t a lot more that can be said. Where it does win out is in the images, which are incredible. There’s a team photo from every season plus plenty more. There are old match tickets, Christmas cards, invitations to celebration banquets, everything that could possibly be kept and catalogued by collectors with a love of the subject and a knowledge the rest of us can only guess at. It’s fascinating, unputdownable and you’ll lose count of the times you remember you had one of them and wonder where it went and what it might be worth now.

£30 might sound a lot, but quality costs and in any case, it’s not much spread over 150 years.