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ALFRED ‘BUCK’ CHINN - A TRIBUTE

27-04-2010

Dave Woodhall pays a personal tribute to former Villa Shareholders Association chairman Buck Chinn, who died yesterday.

It’s not long ago that I was writing about Buck when his illness was first diagnosed – and I hoped this sequel would remain unwritten for a long time but sadly, it wasn’t to be. Buck died on Monday morning, at home, with his family close by.

There isn’t a lot to be added to my previous story. Buck was a Villa supporter, which is of course how we first met. He was passionately keen on representing and articulating the views of the ordinary fan. He would help anyone who asked him, he was a regular thorn in the side of the club’s directors – and one in particular.

But that was just one side of Buck. He was devoted to his family, who all adored him. And the more you got to know him, so the more you realised what a great influence he was on Carl’s work.

Buck cared passionately about Birmingham and the region. In fact the last thing he said to me was about an award Carl had recently been given for his efforts to keep manufacturing in the West Midlands alive. He was proud of that, he was proud of all his family.

Buck was one of the pioneers of what Adrian Goldberg christened the Alternative Football Network, and he did much of his work at a time when clubs didn’t even pay lip service to the idea that supporters should do more than pay their money at the turnstiles and be grateful. He inspired me and the rest of my generation who believed that the most important people in the game are supporters.

I hope we did him justice and that we’ve inspired the next generation in the way he did. We owe him that, and much more besides.

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