One of the amazing parts about being an Aston Villa supporter is the friends and family you make along the way. A friend to all who meet him is our newest Featured Member, and Chairman of the Memphis Lions, Anish Patel.
A loving family man with a beautiful wife, Rita, and two awesome adult children, Anish is a diehard Villa fan through and through. As a Chairman of his local club, Anish organizes match viewings and plays host to the many visitors that pass through the Memphis area. In addition, Anish makes a point of attending as many large group meet ups as possible including the 6th and 7th Annual North American Meet Ups in New York and San Francisco respectively. When you are in the presence of Anish you are truly in the presence of what it means to be a Villa supporter. If Anish didn’t start the song you best believe he’s joining in! Between the singing and the balti bowl arguments*, you can be sure to be greeted with open arms and a giant smile.
*If you know, you know
How did you come to be an Aston Villa supporter?
I lived probably a couple of miles away from Villa Park and could see the old AV flood lights from my room and always heard the sound of the crowd cheering. That and going to watch matches as a kid made me a huge fan.
What is your most memorable moment as an Aston Villa supporter?
When Villa won the league and European Cup in 1982.
Who is your favourite Aston Villa player, past or present, and why?
Tony Morley and Jack Grealish. I just love the way both play football with passion, speed and flair. One of the reasons, growing up I wore and still choose the number 11 on my jerseys.
How does your Lions Club celebrate match days?
We usually go to either Celtic Crossing Irish Pub or The Brass Door in midtown or downtown Memphis. If the Villa win a match, we usually end up getting Irish Car Bomb shots to celebrate and end up with Up The Villa saying.
What does being an Aston Villa supporter mean to you?
The lifelong love and passion for the club, being part of the Pride and being a part of the North American Villa family. Being loyal throughout the good and bad times.
What does it mean to you to be a member of your local Lions Club?
Same as above.