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Dave Woodhall was at the Emirates where Villa were beaten by Arsenal yesterday. But he saw one incident to gladden the heart.

There I was, standing outside the ground and as usual, there were plenty of Villa fans looking for tickets. None were available, then up popped Nigel Kennedy.

Celebrity supporters usually come in for some stick and quite rightly so. Most of them wouldn’t have known one end of a football from the other before the ‘beautiful game’ got fashionable, but Nigel isn’t like that at all.

Anyone who, like him, stood on the open sewer that used to masquerade as Chelsea’s away end, or always sits with the Villa supporters on away trips when he could be in the directors box, is a genuine fan, whether they’re famous or not.

“A’right mate?” he says. “Can you get rid of these for me?” He hands over a small package, which I see contains six tickets.

It turned out that Nigel’s mother died last week so the family party who were going to the match had been reduced to him and his wife, hence the spares. And he wouldn’t take a penny for them.

So on behalf of the six very fortunate Villa fans who thought they had no chance of watching the game, and the Salvation Army collector who had a windfall when one of them insisted on giving something for his ticket, thanks Nigel.

Your mother must have been very proud that her son became one of the world’s great musicians. She’ll be equally proud that you're a good man as well.



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