Even since writing and publishing the Aston Villa Chronicles, the drive to find more and more on Villa's earlier days has gone on. For this and for the purposes of my new book (The First Superclub) I go off to do some research three days a week usually, and today something popped out of the newspapers to fill in one more little puzzle ... and it was to do with what went on in the very first year: 1874. Not only that, but a photo of three of Villa's first players, a photo that has probably not received a Villa supporter's gaze for at least some decades. It is one not in Villa's archives.
This search for what went on is (some day) going to cease to produce returns, but until that time when the stream runs dry I will press on. From what I have now gleaned, the actual facts of the origins of the club are a little different to what has hitherto been understood. The tale of the four men under the gaslamp will, in The First Superclub, be redefined.