Aston Villa may have drawn Newcastle United 1-1 on Saturday, but that’s not what the hundred or Villans at the fourth annual North America Meet Up will remember about the weekend.
Supporters came from as far as Canada and California to join regulars from the Chicago group for a few days of fun in Chicago.
The first order of business was picking up Ian Taylor from the airport. Eight Villans, including two of the Lions Club chairmen (Rick and Simon), went to the airport, and returned with Villa’s former midfield maestro in tow.
Friday night with a soccer game against the local bar’s team, sadly ending in defeat for the Villa. Without Taylor, it would have been an ugly scoreline for us. But, beer cures all. Thankfully, it was provided by “Director of Hydration” Dan Peever for us during the match.
Following the match, we went to The Globe and got to taste the Yippie Aye Ale, a special brew for us from Two Brothers Brewery, located in the suburbs of Chicago.
Everyone got some sleep, but returned ahead of kickoff against Newcastle.
Our best moment may have been celebrating the goal that ended up being ruled offside, but fortunately Villa scored again later to at least take a point.
In addition to gathering at The Globe to watch the match and sing all the Villa songs, playing football or taking selfies with Tayls, $6,170 was raised for Acorns hospices in part due to a raffle.
The raffle featured some great items, like signed Champions of Europe and Ian Taylor shirts.
AVTV also had a video showing some highlights from the weekend. It wasn’t included there, but here’s Simon and Ian singing karaoke later on in the day.
Next year’s event is just in the planning stages now, but make sure to start planning to meet up with Villa fans from across North America around the beginning of next season!