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[30] Stan Boardman, a "comedian", explains how he helped Villa beat MUFC in the FA Cup (seriously - he really thinks he played a role)

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  • [30] Stan Boardman, a "comedian", explains how he helped Villa beat MUFC in the FA Cup (seriously - he really thinks he played a role)

    by telling jokes and making inspirational comments on the team bus ... [pass the sick bucket]

    “Aston Villa were the underdogs and Manchester United had a fantastic team with players like Eric Cantona,”

    “I had a microphone and I was telling jokes. The Villa lads were laughing and cheering, and the time went dead quick.

    “Ron [Atkinson] had been on a lot of coaches when the nerves had sapped his players’ energy and he didn’t want that to happen with Villa.

    “It was either a masterstoke in sports psychology from Ron or a bit of luck – but it worked.

    “I was doing all the German gags and Ron said ‘Have a go at the goalkeeper – he’s called Mark Bosnich, he’s German’.

    “He isn’t actually, he’s Australian, but it was good fun!

    “When we got down Wembley Way we started being a bit more serious and I told the lads to look at the thousands of Villa fans who were outnumbering the United fans.

    “I told them how hard the fans had worked to be able to afford to come and support them. I told them how they had to go out there and win it for them – and they did just that!”

    “We had a walk out onto the hallowed pitch to soak up the atmosphere,”

    “We saw some of the United players who looked dead nervous, whereas our lot, the Villa lot, were bouncing in the dressing rooms and having a laugh.

    "I’ve been lucky enough to perform at some big places, but I knew my job was done when we got to Wembley. I felt part of the team and I was excited to watch Villa win and lift the trophy.

    “The party that night was at the Royal Lancaster hotel, I think. Ron was a proper champagne Charlie with the bubbly flowing, but I was messing around with a football in the foyer, taking shots at Bosnich!”
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