Million-selling author, Lee Child (Jim Grant), best-known for his Jack Reacher series and Simon Inglis, world expert on football stadia recently got together in aid of Aston & Nechells Foodbank to talk about their 58 years of support for Aston Villa.
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On Saturday, April 21st 1962, two seven year old schoolboys from opposite ends of Birmingham went to Villa Park for the first time.
Villa were then on the rise in Division One and would finish 7th, their best season since 1955. Leicester, the visitors, had the great Gordon Banks in goal.
Jim Grant, from Handsworth Wood, stood on the Witton End. Simon Inglis, from Moseley, sat in the Trinity Road Stand. There were 24,184 others present, but for those two boys at least the day proved to be the start of a lifelong addiction, and not only because of the freak result (Villa won 8-3).
Fifty eight years later, Jim and Simon meet for the first time via Zoom and look back on that goalfest, and at the many long and testing afternoons and evenings that would follow, following the Claret & Blue.
Jim would go on to write 24 best selling Jack Reacher novels, under the name Lee Child. Simon also took up the pen, but focused on the heritage and history of football grounds, swimming pools, billiard halls and the like.