Popular Aston Villa pub The Sacred Heart is closing its doors.
The Aston-based pub is a popular destination for Villans before and after a Villa Park clash of a weekend and the News hasn’t been taken well.
A post on The Sacred Heart’s Facebook page this morning read: “It’s with a heavy heart I write this status. After seven years of fun, good times and great support we are finally closing the doors of The Sacred Heart.
“This decision hasn’t come lightly and it’s come to a point where the decision was taken out of our hands and made for us.
“We have done all we can and brought the club as far as we possibly could and hopefully someone new can continue and carry the club on.
“I would like to thank all of the staff and most of all you the customers that have supported us through it all. Thank you.”
Fans, who will now have to find a new place for their match day tipple, are saddened by the news.
Stewart Coniff: “Very sad news to hear of this although I never went last season I loved the atmosphere and great service received at the heart. I stopped going because of health reasons alone and feel awful that Dec and Kaz have to let it go and for the staff who worked so well that are now without work. Bless you all.”
Christine Brolan: “Oh my that’s so sad to read. The Heart has been a place close to our hearts and we have celebrated good times and gathered for sad times here. Wishing you all the best of luck with whatever you all go on to do next.”
Sue Park: “We only came the one time as we live in Bristol. We came up to see the Young Wolf Tones and had a great night. Sorry to hear your news. You have a great club and we met lots of friendly people.”
Brendan Mcilduff: “Oh no. So sorry to hear this. You know The Heart is one of our most favourite places to play. End of an era, we will certainly miss the craic. Good luck to all the staff, bless you all.”
Findings from Kiddy
A 1-1 draw with Kidderminster Harriers won’t live long in the memory of Aston Villa fans.
It might even have been erased by the time the claret and blues take on Walsall on Tuesday evening.
But that’s not the point. Saturday’s double-header against Kidderminster and Telford was purely for fitness.
The players have eight days of Steve Bruce’s gruelling Portugal training camp in their legs, not to mention the jet lag. Villa have more pressing pre-season fixtures and just wanted to emerge from the clashes without any additional injuries.
The non-league ground allowed us all much closer access to the players with fans virtually sitting with their heroes in one part of the ground.
While the game itself wasn’t thrilling, the day was enjoyable. Here are some findings from Villa’s pre-season match against Harriers:
Super Jack is irreplaceable
He gets better every time you watch him.
Jack Grealish walked out onto the pitch knowing he was the best player on it – a luxury very few players ever experience.
Such was the difference in class between Super Jack and his opponents, he used the match to entertain supporters who’d made the trip down to Aggborough praying the Holte End’s darling would be there too.
He was, despite his decision to Travel by car and not on the team bus leaving more than a few spectators gutted for a short while.
Grealish’s run and pass for Knibbs’ goal was breathtaking and precisely the reason why Tottenham Hotspur will soon firm up their interest in him.
It wasn’t just that, though. He can run, dribble, pass, shoot – and his tackling isn’t bad. This kid has got it all and it’s been a pleasure to watch him mature over the last 12 months.
A new captain
If James Chester stays he’ll wear the captain’s armband again next season.
However, with Stoke City having opened the bidding – and Villa only wanting £10million – that looks unlikely.
Bruce’s other options to replace John Terry as skipper include Alan Hutton and Tommy Elphick, both of whom played at Kidderminster.
Hutton, who signed a new contract in the summer, proudly wore the armband at Aggborough. But if Bruce needs reminding of Elphick’s leadership qualities, every member of the Kidderminster crowd will only be too happy to oblige.
Elphick had the loudest voice on the park, telling his team-mates where to be positioned and anticipating their next move.
He coached rookie defensive partner Easah Suliman through the match and looked every bit the leader Villa signed from Bournemouth two years ago.
Even if Elphick doesn’t reclaim the armband, he could have a crucial part to play in Bruce’s revamped Villa side.
Villa fielded three youngsters from the start at Kidderminster with the aforementioned Suliman playing at the back, Jack Clarke deployed in midfield and Knibbs leading the line.
England under-20 defender Suliman and Clarke were involved in Villa’s pre-season training camp in Portugal and want to taste life in the big time next term.
Knibbs, meanwhile, was often utilised from the bench by under-23 supremos Kevin MacDonald and Mark Delaney last season.
The lanky forward was given a starting berth at Kidderminster with Scott Hogan, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy and Harry McKirdy sidelined through injury.
And he took his chance with a goal 10 minutes into his first senior appearance as he swept home following a fabulous run from man-of-the-moment Grealish.
Albert Adomah could yet leave Villa Park this summer if an attractive offer arrives in Dr Tony Xia’s pigeonhole.
The Ghana international enjoyed the best season of his career last time out and could fetch a decent fee in the current transfer market.
If he was to leave, supporters would be gutted. The dancing winger was last off the team coach after it arrived at Aggborough yesterday, but he created the biggest furore.
Fans flocked to the gates as Adomah casually stepped off the bus and waved their pens and mobile phones in his face.
Adomah, being the gentleman that he is, signed every pad and posed for every picture before finally heading into the stadium where he was redirected after trying to head towards the directors’ box.
The former Boro man was then mobbed after the match as the players emerged to grab a bite to eat courtesy of their hosts’ hospitality.
Fans waited by the tunnel for Adomah and he was only too happy to sit down next to them and have pictures taken as chants of ‘Ohhhh Albert Adomah’ broke out.
With an unassuming nod and a grin, he wandered off to get something to eat.
Why was Bruce at Telford?
Bruce’s decision to watch the match at Telford is interesting.
You may assume that the players on show at New Bucks Head have more to prove, hence Bruce’s decision to take a closer look at them.
But with Elphick, Neil Taylor, Gary Gardner and Henri Lansbury – all still to prove themselves at Villa – at Aggborough, that theory loses its substance.
In reality, we probably shouldn’t read too much into Bruce’s decision to head to Telford.
It’s where he went last year (when Villa played the exact same matches) and it has easy access to the M6 so Bruce could dash back to Cheshire once the game finished.
Source : BirminghamMail