A VILLAGE in Ghana is the unlikely home of a 700-strong Aston Villa fan club, whose founding father revered Paul McGrath as a god.
It might be 5,000 miles away from Villa Park but that doesn’t stop the devoted ‘Villans’ from Juaben getting together before each game to sing terrace chants and dance in the street in support of their Midlands heroes.
The football bug bit when Owusu Boakye Amando’s grandfather, Daniel Aboagye, began regaling villagers with tales of the feted Villa side of the 1990s, which included talented Irish centre-half McGrath.
Mr Aboagye fell in love with the club while living with a Villa-supporting family from Birmingham who came to Africa. He always dreamt of seeing the team play live but died ten years ago without realising his ambition.
His grandson carries on his legacy by leading the Ghana Lions supporters’ club, whose members gather to watch games on TV and run their own youth football teams, with 200 players.
‘When we were kids, my grandfather used to tell us more stories and history about Aston Villa, and he used to talk about a certain player called God,’ explained Mr Amando.
‘So one day me and the kids went to him and asked him grandpa who is that God you are talking about because we all know that there’s only one God and he is in Heaven.
‘He was laughing and he told me that there’s a God in football and his name is Paul McGrath.’