Fear Conquers All - The Aston Villa Years | Vital Football

Fear Conquers All - The Aston Villa Years

The Fear

A Wise Man (once sat next to him)
In 2019 I released a book, Fear Conquers All, about my life, my struggles with brain aches and operations (14 so far!) and how to face setbacks full-on and fight back. It has gone down so well, you can see from the 28 Five Star Reviews

The strapline is Get up - Get out - Live.

I guess in these COVID times, it should be Get up - stay in unless you have permission - live!

Anyway, I thought I would serialise the Aston Villa parts of the book here on Vital Villa.

The Villa part begins in Chapter 16, following numerous operations, a near loss of life, a total conspiracy to cover up the fact I had never been put on the hospital waiting list and all sorts of other fascinating occurrences. This is the part of the life story where I find myself devoid of things to do, devoid of health, and wondering what was next so..........


The Fear

A Wise Man (once sat next to him)
Part two:

A bit of political wrangling ensued; a few were keen, a few others were possibly less enthusiastic and it all went quiet. I nearly left it there, but decided to send just one email to see if anyone still had the desire. Buck contacted me separately thanking me as he said he was waiting for someone to try to take the bull by the horns. At this point a few decided to pull out. Not with any malice; I just think they decided against it. Others were totally behind the idea to push for change and so we started to look at moving forward. This was a major thing for me – it took far more time and effort than I had realised, not to mention the politics and arguments.

At times, it was a right pain if I’m honest. I tend to take something on then take it all on my shoulders and want it to be totally right. I was worrying that ‘I’ wasn’t bringing about a change, which is ridiculous; we were set up to agitate for change, not to be the saviours.


The Fear

A Wise Man (once sat next to him)
Part three now out... gis a read!


Howard is another, much like Carl and Buck Chinn, who also played a big part (I think without realising) in me getting my confidence back and finding my level. Howard is a very successful businessman and author. You may have heard of the American hit TV show Six Feet Under? That came from the pen of HH. We got on like a house on fire from the start and I always enjoy when our paths cross still. After this particular public meeting, he spoke to my parents about his admiration for me. They were only too happy to relay that back to me. I was full of self-doubt at the time and I just felt like I was just getting by. I would concentrate more on not falling over or passing out, forgetting my words or blanking than thinking what sort of impression I was leaving.

The Fear

A Wise Man (once sat next to him)
Chapter 17. Aston Villa

The Randy Lerner takeover:

August 2006. The final Aston Villa Shareholders Association AGM was held at the Aston Hotel. Our hero, Dennis Mortimer, who had long-since been made Patron of the AVSA, also attended. We’d done the formal bit of the meeting, taken the required vote to accept the bid formally and dissolve AVSA and Dennis was talking.

PING!. My phone alerted me to a text. Usually, I’d have my phone on silent, but I knew something might be coming that everyone would want to hear.

I read the text.

How rude! Sir Dennis is talking and I’ve got something more important to do? Then? Well. Sacrilege: I interrupted Dennis. Some of the members were looking at me as if I was a total ‘member’ for being so rude, but I assured everyone they would want to hear what I’d just been sent.

It was from one of the advisers for the takeover, David Bick, who had promised (if he could) to give me the news we’d waited years to hear.

‘It’s done. Agreement reached. Doug Ellis to sell his majority shareholdings. Aston Villa have a new owner’.