Regular readers of the blog’s comments will know by now that Steamer, aka Gary Haddon, has passed away.

When Aston Villa Life came about in March of 2011, Gary was one of the originals who believed in what this site was trying to be – a place for friends to be part of the Villa family, who wanted to actually cultivate a place where we could all talk about the club we love and actually enjoy the company of the others around us.

Those who knew Gary knew that he was a very kind-hearted guy. Although I didn’t get chance to meet him personally, we used to text to catch up every so often and it was always good to hear from him. Whilst it would be easy to read Gary’s thoughts on Villa and think of him as an angry person, the reality of the man himself was far different – Gary was one of the good ones.

As we’re all aware, recent times with Villa have been trying for the fans, and Gary was always very forthright with his views – eager to hold those in charge to account, and wanting to ensure that our grand old club was held to the highest standards. Read through any of Gary’s comments and you’ll see that the driver behind his views was a strongly held passion for a club that he loved and one that he felt could and should be doing better.

So, in this moment of one of our friends passing, let’s take a moment to reflect on the role Steamer played in making this site what it was and aims to be – a place for friends to stop at to talk about the club we love.

Like any society, success only comes from those who want to see things get better and Gary’s efforts to comment when this site was barely a few posts helped me have the belief that this place could eventually become something special.

So, to that end, Gary, I’ll raise a drink to you to say thank you for being a friend to us all and for being one of the founder members of Aston Villa Life.

Till we meet again, and to your place forever amongst the Holte Enders in the Sky.

Comments 81

  1. You make friends in life and some of them gain a place in your heart. I never met Gary physically, geography does that but with the technology we have at our fingertips we became good pals. Football, music and dogs gave us a lot in common. Especially dogs.
    Good bye Gary I’ll miss your chats
    Ian

  2. He was always the first to wish new members on the site and though his expectations were always high, they were understandable. RIP.

    What a sad start to 2017.

  3. Our Gary

    I am – to say the least – shocked.

    I have been fortunate to meet Gary on 4 or 5 occasions when he and ’75 have visited us at our house, and I have always liked his wry humour and passionately held views (though always quietly stated when face-to-face), some of which we had in common.

    I had, in fact, come to regard Gary as a friend and so I shall miss him all the more.

    He is the latest of a long list of people whose company I have enjoyed and have passed on in the last 2 or 3 years.

    Thank you Gary! .. May you be happier in the world you have gone to.

  4. Shocked and saddened to hear this news. I never met Gary (or even knew his name was Gary) but had many a lively debate with him.

    When AVL started, there were only a handful of regulars for probably about the first year. He was one of them. I had a few run ins with him. We were at completely the opposite ends on the political spectrum, as well as often not seeing eye to eye on footballing issues. However, we got on well and never let our arguments turn into resentment. We were matey again the next day, always. No grudges.

    I am pleased to have known him (albeit in cyberspace). RIP Gary.

  5. Went to bed shocked, woke up shocked, a sad moment indeed. Steamer was the only person I have ever met that was from Kingshurst my place of Birth, a dubious honour for us both, Glad to have met you Gary a true gent R.I.P.

  6. I will struggle to put my thoughts into words, I was proud to be a friend of Garys for nearly 50 years and we constantly kept in touch by email the only form of communication he really got to grips with he was never a mobile phone type of person, Gary was a very complex character but his love of football and the Villa was unquestionable he just loved the club and sometimes he struggled to harness those emotions as some of you have already worked out.
    Gary could be angry one minute and then possibly the funniest person I have ever met the next, if I sat here and tried to write about the fun we had not just playing but watching football then I could be here for weeks, all I can say he was probably one of the nicest people I have met and kindest, Gary would do anything for you nothing would get in his way.
    In the early seventies when I got together with Gary and our little crew there was only one thing on our minds, work all week then come Saturday it was watch the Villa home or away come rain come shine nothing got in our way, we had so many fantastic days it just became our life.
    It was really clear from those early days that Gary had some demons in his life and for those of us who was very close to him knew he battled severe depression for most of his life but he tried to live life as normally as possible and never let it effect his friendships.
    There are too many stories to tell but I will give you one example, Coventry away now normally we would go on the train but this time we decided to drive, so off we set in his Triumph Dolomite and we duly got lost on the way to the ground, stuck in traffic we was behind a car with a sticker in the back that said Up the Sky Blues I said to Gary follow him, we followed this bloke for about four miles but unfortunately this bloke was not going to the game and we ended up parked behind him on his drive, Gary turned and looked at me and said “you effing twat” and then we just all collapsed laughing.

    I would like you all to spare a thought for Dean ( ST75 ) who found Gary yesterday but unfortunately it was too late, I didn’t get much sleep last night so I can only guess what Dean was going through, since Dean rang me to tell me of Garys death I have felt empty only comparable to when my own mother died, it has left a massive hole in my/our lives, some people are irreplaceable and Gary was definitely one of those I will truly miss him and feel angry I was going to see him for the Villa v Bristol City match at the end of the month but now it will not happen.

    I wanted to write and give those people who had not met Gary face to face an insight into the character and the person he was, all I can say is if you was a friend of Gary Haddon you would have felt privileged to have known the man, it will leave a massive hole in my life now he has gone.

    We lost another close friend some years back Geoff (Boots) Broomhall and he and Gary were very special mates but now they are together again wherever they are there is going to be a lot of fun and possibly a bit of trouble.

    Once we know what the arrangements are for Garys funeral we will post the details.

    RIP Gary Haddon a true friend who will never be forgotten.

  7. SWV,

    A wonderful account – many, many thanks for that.

    “… all I can say he was probably one of the nicest people I have met and kindest”.

    Amen and amen again to that.

  8. SWV and Dean if your out there, I can’t put into words how I feel at the moment apart from a sence of loss.
    The last time saw Gary was at Witton cemetary at the funeral of Bob’s wife.
    My life and career changed a lot in the early eighties and I lost contact with the old firm but Gary recognised me straight away and shook my hand. Everyones got a story about Gary and his wry sence of humour, simply a great person to be with, I first met him in the White Swan, Edmund Street 1970 and ended up with a crew of lads who followed our great club home and away from division three to Rotterdam.
    I shall be at Gary’s funeral once arrangements have been posted.
    P.S At VP one evening game I asked Bootsy where Gaz was, why hadn’t he come tonight. The reply,
    Gone to watch the reserves play at Coventry!!…….that was Gary. RIP

  9. south west a great tribute to a true friend i also knew Garry for 50 years from his old football days at the Broadway watching the villa never forget the Mansfield game with the late geoof BOOTS as well Garry went on the pitch he thought it was the final whistle to go up from the old 3rd div but it was only a free kick it was pissing down and Garry turned to run off having mobbed Bruce RIoch the game was still going on he slipped and went on his arse and ruined his new sheepskin me and boots and the rest just could not stop laughing i still have a chuckle now writing this he was as you say a great guy used to be in our quiz team with geoff barry coles and him sadly now all 3 have gone to the big quiz in the sky he took me and ny greyounds to meny a race meeting and we used to run them with his beloved bluey RIP mate and south west will meet you when we lay a great guy to rest RIP a great guy Garry Haddon

  10. i could hardly sleep last night thinking about steamer – for someone i had never physically met it has hit me hard hearing of Steamers passing and that for me says a lot about the man

    ST keep your head up and please give massive hugs from me to his friends and family
    steamer is someone i have a lot of respect for and was clearly not your average bloke

    Love and respect to you Gary Haddon aka Steamer -absolutely gutted

  11. Great posts about Gary. Interesting to hear about the man from people that knew him so well. It seems like he was the same guy in real life as his online persona. Some people can be very different.

    I guess that’s what you call genuine.

  12. i like a few on here never met steamer gary ,but he was a friend ,had his view which i agreed with nearly 100 percent,
    st 75 my thoughts are for you and his family, absolutely guttted

  13. RIP Steamer. I followed him from TVB to AVL along with others and even though I don’t comment anymore I loved to come on here and read his comments. His humour was brilliant, he never minced his words and made everyone feel welcome on here. My heart goes out to all that knew him as there will be a big void now he is gone.

  14. Still in shock over last night’s news from ST75 about Steamers death, a man with a lovely sense of humour and a great Villa fan, who I loved the exchanges with on here.

    I had sort of gathered in previous times that he had connections with KIngshurst for many years, but until I read the posts here, I had not realised that I could have come across Steamer in the seventies, as I lived not far from Kingshurst, on the extension estate for Chelmsley Wood, and in those days, hardly missed a Villa home game, and went to quite a few away games, as well as working behind the bar in the Toby Jug and later the Bell Inn in Coleshill.

    I am sad that I did not knowingly meet him, as I would have been very proud to do so and share a drink and chat about the Villa, but I willl not forget the fun times on here, and the banter.

    RIP to one of the greatest Holte Enders in the Sky..!!!

  15. As a more recent addition to the AVL family, and not having had the honour of meeting any of the contributors to AVL yet, I’d like to express my gratitude for the warm welcome I received from Steamer and others on joining. I’d never bothered with Villa blogs or forums up to that and found most of them soul-less, but AVL was and is different.

    I absolutely loved his sense of humour and I loved the way you could visibly see in his words he wrote, the passion he had for Villa and the pain having to watch it’s decline.

    Great tribute Matt!

    To that band of brothers called the Steamers my condolences on your loss. Stay strong for each other.

    RIP Gary ‘Steamer’ Haddon

  16. I do love how we sing Holte enders in the sky.

    Every time I sing it in the Holte End I always think of my old man and his villa mate also passed. Steamer will now be added to my thoughts.

    Lets hope we can have a team to be proud of for them all soon!

  17. Lads,

    Many thanks for your thoughts and well wishes towards Gary I can tell you he would be absolutely thrilled by everyones response, all I can say is that no matter how long AVL runs you will never come across another character like Gary he was unique absolutely staunch resolute in his beliefs, if Gabby had scored two hat tricks against the vermin he would have still called him the wage thief, If Bruce won the champions league he would still be calling for Spud to be sacked, that’s what the guy was like and we all loved him for his views right or wrong.

    John, Archie and anyone else that turns up to pay their respects to Gary I will see you there unfortunately not the circumstances to meet new faces.

    RIP Gary Haddon.

  18. SWV,

    I’ve asked Deano to let me know when the arrangements are made for so I can see if I can get out of work to pay my respects.

    As you say, less than ideal circumstances to meet up, but Gary was a good man and it feels only right to be there if I can.

    Are you on Facebook yet by the way? I’ve got Deano and some of the other lads on there so let me know if you are mate and speak soon.

  19. its great to read these posts about Gary , thanks lads/lasses and you swv , at the moment lm numb so l wont put anything up yet about Gary ,
    But l will put a post on here what my daughter put about him as she proved what he was like ,
    all the best all

    R.I.P Gary

  20. Jessie Miah
    14 hrs · Coleshill ·
    First of all I’m gonna f**king miss you Gary. My uncle Gary. He wasn’t my uncle by blood but he came into our family. He was family. He picked me up from school/college when I was ill. He picked me up from the station and would walk right to where the train pulled up to make sure I got off safely. He held my hair back when I got my ear pierced so that I could clean it and we laughed about how much it hurt. He always put newspaper down on his car seats so that I wouldn’t get dog hair on my jeans. I’m gonna miss going out with him and people staring at me thinking I have two gay dads. I’m gonna miss going to the car boot sales with him and seeing all the cr*p he brought home. I’m gonna miss coming home and seeing the cr*p you dropped off and left at ours. I’ll always remember the time me and dad searched B&Q top and bottom for a good half an hour looking for him and he was outside waiting for us . I’m gonna miss you so much. You really were the kindest person. I’m gonna miss you coming to see my shows. I’m so happy you came into our lives and blessed them. Rest in peace uncle Gary. Love you loads ❤️ xxx

  21. I haven’t logged on for a while due to personal circumstances, I am deeply shocked and saddened to read of the passing of a true Villa Legend. I only met Gary a couple of times, but on each occasion found him to be a true gentleman, with a razor sharp but very dry sense of humour. I hope those who had the privilege of knowing him far better than I, are coping, especially ST75 who found him. ST75/SWV if you need anything lads just shout.
    RIP Gary Haddon

  22. Everything you need to know about Gary Haddon is in that piece by Jessie, I am not ashamed to say it made me laugh and cry in equal measures, he cared and put other people before himself that was Gary.

    RIP Gary Haddon.

  23. Forgot to say thank you Matt for a very fitting tribute, and Jessie’s piece really paints a wonderful picture.!!

    JG,

    Knew what you meant straight away, and why I added mine..!!

    Villa and Dr Tony have gone very quiet, which gives me a very uneasy feeling, and have to feel the same as Nigel Spink, that Bruce will have to sell before he buys….Possibly selling Ayew to fund the Rhodes purchase.

  24. its so strange to think a man i never met,meant so much to me and others,had really missed him on here last few weeks
    some really good tributes here today

    pp
    i thought that

  25. Paul,

    I think us selling to buy is fairly self-evident – there’s no guarantee we can get out this season, and if we don’t, I wholly expect little to no spending next season to comply with FFP targets.

    On a related note, as I wrote that I half thought I’d be able to look forward to Steamer cutting Xia’s approach in half and asking what this club has come to but alas, I’ll never get to see one of his uniquely acerbic responses anymore 🙁

    RIP Gary

  26. jessie you made a grown man cry such lovely words and every one so true he was a great guy and would have helped anyone will be so sadly missed again RIP Garry Haddon

  27. ST such classy actions from steamer as described by your girl — not the average was he

    Matt – i was thinking a similar thing re steamer – i feel so gutted that i will never be able to login again and find his rants . jokes and music on here again – and i feel robbed that i didn’t get to met him in person

    perhaps once the dust settles we can trail through the many outstanding posts he made and remind ourselves of the fella we could never replace

  28. Aye, he was a good man John – I used to always get an invite down “the caff” but due to personal issues with my health, I never got round to it.

    He’ll be missed, that’s for sure as the testament of everyone above illustrates, especially Jessie’s words that Deano posted.

  29. That could a fitting tribute for Steamer, to publish some of his best vitriol and comments, to remind us just how much he brought to the site..!!

    I still feel that Bruce’s failings started after he dropped Gollini and brought in Bunn. The defence had become very solid with him and they worked well together. It is also the only position which greatly affects the whole team, more than any other. Remember Freidel leaving…

    He at the same time, started messing with the midfield. PNE could be hid downfall…just like RDM..Will the good Dr accept a home defeat now?????

  30. will carry on steamers wishes in that i want bruce sacked worst football ever seen worst tactics and coaching paul i agree about the keeper but for me the down hill spiral started when Calderwood was brought in when bruce started he was at BMH every day doing the coaching and training billy bunter was not included he was sent to fat club we won at reading beat cardiff by 3 and where playing a lot better then calderwood was brought in just look at the results since and whats so much worse is the style and performance and for me we are just so unfit its a joke so for me the rot started with calderwood have been told that bruce is only at BMH twice a week and that calderwood takes all the training and now does the free kicks and fitness training and this has got far far worse so for me sack the pair and get rowett a guy who has built a team for 4 mill that is above us and the top paid player gets 6 k we need a complete clere out and a new man and he is the man

  31. What tremendous comments from all – just shows what a special person Gary was and how well thought of he was. Not many football blogs can bring tears to your eyes like this has done today – both in sadness and respect and also in smiling as memories resurface.
    Rest your bones Gary, you WILL be remembered.

    oldvilla

  32. So sad to log on at lunch and read the sad,sad news. I used to run along behind the lads as a kid screaming my little head off down Gresty Road going to a div3 game against Crewe, and i remember hanging on behind them crossing Putney Bridge going to the Cottage against Fulham. I still think those third division days were the most fun, as i think did Steamer from my chats with him. It was real then, players were playing for the honor, and the pride of wearing the shirt. Lads like Frank Carrodus and Chico Hamilton would run through a brick wall for the Villa, not the most skillful bunch, but it didn’t matter, the effort and enjoyment was visible in their faces. So although I’m Agnostic, if there is a heaven and a place for us Holte Enders in the Sky, then i hope the pearly gates are open wide to welcome Steamer on his final away game.

  33. Hi everyone.I only met Gary the once…but the sense of loss I feel today is awful,I hardly slept last night.He was witty,sharp,well read and stubborn in equal measure.Feel for you Deano.In a world of me,me ,me,facebook and twitter narcissism,he came across to me a a genuine fella,no bull,nothing fake.We will all miss him.Gutted.

  34. Words are inadequate in times like this – but reading through the posts after the incredibly sad news of our Gary, gives you an idea of what an impact he has had and what a really lovely man he was. It is with shock that I write this now and I thank you for the tributes to Gary from old friends and more recent ones. I shed a tear when reading Jessie’s moving piece and I still am.

    I met Gary with ST75 a few times and even watched the Villa in the local pub in Worcester. We shared a love for the old soul music – he sent me CDs that he had recorded for me. He was also pretty clued up on politics, history (though he was much more learned on both of these than me) and bless him, he bough me a tin of Quality Street for Christmas 2015. He was such a kind, gentle, witty funny man.

    St 75- you were a wonderful friend to Gary as were Tracey and Jessie. It is thanks to AVL that you and he caught up after so many years and you made him laugh – the best gift you can give anyone. Gary had a fantastic sense of humour – being in the company of you two was like sitting with Pete and Dud . I still can’t believe it. RIP Gary x

  35. Some sort of a meet up would be great to honour a great friend and fellow member of our wonderful Villa family. Perhaps we could, as I suggested before organise a meet up and enjoy one of his favourite dishes of curry goat, rice n’ peas somewhere he would appreciate.

  36. Hi All, Windows 10 crashed me and lost my password, but fortunately i found an old e-mail from Matt confirming my log in and password so i’m back on-line.
    S75 and SWV did you guys ever travel to matches in an old van, may have been a Bedford, no windows and wooden benches in the back for seats? I remember me and a mate hitching a ride to a Forrest game and getting picked up by a real crazy gang and we were told you can ride with us a long as you agree to pee in the rad as we have a slow leak, one of the guys in the van was named Gary that’s why i ask, it would have been around 75 or 76, Little scored a blinder that day and Cloughy was not a happy camper.

  37. Jenny
    Yes, Darren is right. You guys should meet up while you can.
    Funny enough, I did actually meet Steamer once at VP. I didn’t formally introduce myself, only knew it was Steamer by a picture published later on AVL in 2013. Steamer sat next to me at a Villa vs Southampton match in January 2013. He knew his football. We sat in the Trinity about 6 rows behind Lambert in the dugout. Wish I had introduced myself. Also I have been to Birmingham multiple times since posting on AVL. Be a while before I can return, so do have a meetup.
    Nice to see all the great tributes for Steamer from all. It is also nice to see the likes of Ian, B62, Brazil et al keeping in touch.

  38. Sad news indeed; I just heard from Trinity who is on line around the same time as I am being mid-afternoon while I am mid-morning.
    I never knew Gary ‘Steamer’ Haddon in person but came to know him and delight in his thoughts here on AVL. Thank you southwestvillan, ST75 and, best of all,Jessie for portraying the man behind that passionate poster.
    He will be missed by everyone on here but especially missed by those who knew him personally. RIP Gary, I’m sure Matt will be posting something on the site’s Holte Enders in the Sky page

  39. I read about Steamer’s passing about 5:30am here in Colorado. Matt messaged me the deeply saddening news. And the tribute being paid to the man here is truly heartening. It’s good to see so many familiar faces—reading this thread brought tears to my eyes.

    Like so many of you have eloquently said, it’s astonishing how much the loss of someone you’ve never met in person met can affect you. For all of you who did know Gary, I can only imagine the void he leaves behind. As well as the wonderful memories.

    Because I bloviate by trade, I’ll want to say more once I collect my thoughts. Gary occupied a special place in my Villa heart.

    For now, I can only say RIP, Gary “Steamer” Haddon.

  40. I am truly taken aback at how shocked I felt when I read the sad news on here about Steamer.
    I’ve not met him and have rarely agreed with his views but I read every one of his comments and respected the man who wrote them.
    His integrity and sharp, uncompromising wit came through whatever he wrote. We may not have got on as he seemed to have little time for those who fell into his category of ‘happy clappers’ and yet I often felt I would have liked to meet him.
    Seeing his real name in the headline brings home that behind every ‘user name’ on here is a real person with a real life. Along with everyone on here I was missing his comments and feel a real sadness that he won’t now be popping back to ‘put us right’ about the world.
    RIP Steamer.

  41. It’s a great credit to the man that around 40 have posted their deeply felt condolences and memories on this page. This site is living up to its name … Aston Villa Life!

  42. When we go we can’t take anything with us so possessions are useless but you can take a piece of someones heart

    the most valuable thing in life is people and we have lost an absolute gem

  43. nicely said runtings.

    All the above comments re affirm why this site is number 1 for the villa.

    The Dr has been back on twitter last night. basically saying patience is required, get the impression clubs aint that willing to sell to us and trying to keep there players as long as poss.

  44. Its amazing the effect this man who a lot of us never met had on us . He was a fascinating conversationalist and often kept the chat going on here when the football was providing no inspiration . I remember debating with him over his favourite Russian world war 2 general and his knowledge was encylopaedic . I’ve even tried to wind him up but to no avail , he was always above it.
    I had planned to drop in to “the caff” when I was in brum next to see if I could pick him and S75 out before introducing myself . Unfortunately , that wont happen now . I have no doubt that he’s left a massive hole in a lot of peoples lives with his passing and I wish them the very best in these days.

  45. Gary would have been touched by all the comments since he left us, he never ever would set out to gain any respect from people he just concentrated on being himself, Christ I had some rows with him but it never harmed our friendship we just got on with it and had a beer.

    Was lying in bed and all these memories of Gary keep flooding back, we played football together for lots of clubs we tended to follow each other about, it was a sunday morning and we was playing for the Punchbowl in the sunday alliance premier, we used to play our home games at Chelmsley Hospital which some people may remember was a hospital for people with mental problems.
    On the mornings of matches when the weather was fine the residents would come out to watch the game and there could have been up to 40 on the touchline, Gary played centre back and I was playing right back, at the final whistle I was mobbed / surrounded by all these residents and they was all shouting “Well done” at me and slapping me on the back some even asked for my autograph, I couldn’t move and I thought it very strange because I had played bloody awful.
    I looked over my shoulder to see Gary absolutely pissing himself laughing with the rest of the team around him in hysterics, once I had freed myself from the frenzied pack I said to him what did you say.
    He said I told them our No2 had just signed for Aston Villa and at that they all took off after you, still laughing he said ” Come on the Villa are f**king abysmal but they ain”t that bad that they would sign you up”.
    He had a wicked sense of humour and nothing pleased him more than to take the p*ss out of his best mates and the beauty of it was he could take it all back, the banter was non stop.
    Moral of the story was if you was with Gary you had to have your wits about you.

    RIP Gary.

  46. south west how true you are about him always taking the p*ss out of everyone i remember on one occasion at black pool there was a nutter cant remember his proper name now but we called him the loon and Gaz kept winding him up about the black pool fans taking the p*ss out of him any way this was in the pub we went outside and gaz kept it up saying this big fu cker in orange had been pointing at the loon and he would not stand for it the next thing we saw the loon run across to the black pool fans grab the big on and jump off the pier into the sea we ran to see him surface still nutting the black pool fan in the water so some times he could go over the top but that was gaz we had to recuse the black fan or the loon would have drowned him and we got wet d but that was gaz

  47. I only had the pleasure of meeting Gary once for a short period with S75, but it was wonderful to meet him. I wish now I’d met him more times.

    Even if I hadn’t I’d still be as gutted as I am now. His comments over the years on this site were nothing short of fantastic.
    Devastated for s75 and his family

    RIP

  48. Every time we sing Holte enders in the sky, I always think of a person we use to go to Villa games with for about 8 years. A lovely man

    I will now always also think of Gary for his massive influence and love he had on this site, all the story’s that he told.

    Swv- wonderful story

  49. John,

    He was a bloody character the like of which you will never meet again, I remember the Loon very well blimey did he live up to his name.

    Frem,

    Good to hear from you albeit in very sad circumstances.

    RIP Gary

  50. fingers crossed could be some signings soon. reports of bid for Rhodes, hourihan wants to come. reliable chap on twitter says medical booked for tomoz.

    Bruce had houohan at sunderland but he was out of contract and opted to go to Ipswich where his hero keano was managing.

  51. Andrew- hourihan could not get a game at Sunderland didn’t fare any better at Ipswich but appears to be doing it for Barnsley lets hope its not the overall management and team at Barnsley that make him stand out especially with our record of signings not living up to the billing.

  52. Hi l think l need to let you know what happened ,
    on monday night l had a call from Garys (steamer) sister saying no one could contact him , and that the dog he was looking after , the owner had been 4 times to the house but no answer and dogs not barking , so l went over and garys brother was there trying to ring him , , l shouted throught the letterbox and both dogs came to the door , but no sign of Gary , l climbed over the gate and went round to the lounge window and l could see him lying on the floor and at this moment l went back to my car and grabbed the hammer and went back and just smashed the door down , the dogs knew something was up as they both just sat down near him and not a whimper , l checked on Gary and he was gone , i can only think it was an heart attack , but l have to wait on the coroners report, l will post when the funeral is as soon as l hear , l did think about him going all alone but he had one of the best things he loved with him at the time , His Dog Bella ,
    at the moment lm totally drained and lm not answering my phone , but l have put up a similar post on my facebook as l only think its fair people should know the circumstances , its just l cant talk to anyone at the moment , lm heartbroken and numb and lm dreading the coming days , only today l was going through dates with jessie and automatically said ” thats ok Gary can pick you up that day ” ,
    i think these comments you have all put would have shocked Gary , but he held his beliefs and l respected them even if l didnt agree , only last friday we were talking about the coming game , he had no time for Bruce but to compound it the gabby issue done it for Gary and thats when he decided to call it a day , me !! l dont trust xia , but will wait and see, and hate the thought of Gabby playing , thats why Gary never came with me and wizza on saturday even for his birthday drink , which was on the 17th the day after he passed ,
    i think my daughter said it all with that f/b post and thats why l put it on here so those who hadnt met him got an inkling into the man, l had 6 years of Garys company again , Jenny called us “The Odd Couple ” once and as jessie put it we looked like a gay couple of dads to her , l did get that feeling sometimes when l noticed people looking at us arguing over the cr*p in poundland , why we went in there l will never know ,
    you all are a great gang on here whatever your thoughts although l know i did get angry sometimes but the comments you have all left have really touched me , thanks all
    he’s left a massive hole in my life and l do dread the coming days .
    well thank you all and maybe someone can sort a meet up as D.O.R , said . just give some time ,

    all the best (and as Gary called me ) Nob xxxxxxxx

  53. ST75,

    Speaking just for myself, that was a great communication from you but one that must have been difficult to write.

    Thank you so much for that, and for the thought in wanting to express it.

    I am sure all are with you in your sorrow. For those close to the departed, it’s not at all easy.

  54. Thanks ST75, as JL said – that must have taken some writing. I can’t comprehend how you must have felt finding Gary like that.
    And I can understand you dreading the coming days but you do have your family and also your friends around you for when you need them, so don’t be afraid to talk to them. You have been through a huge trauma with more to come in the coming weeks – be as strong as you can but if you can’t then let it out, no-one will expect anything less.

    And remember those good times with Gary both back in the 70’s and more recently ……. you and he were a special partnership.
    Take care mate and you know that you have the thoughts of many people helping you through this.
    oldvilla

  55. ST75
    Thank you for posting what you have with so much honesty despite what you must be feeling.
    I read the posts on AVL for 2-3 years without posting, & steamers were usually the highlights for me & often made me laugh when I was down & reminded me of realities when I had lost them.
    The thing that shone through for me was the love he had, which shone through despite the contents of the post sometimes.
    When he started threatening to leave it jogged me into finding the confidence to start to post as like all of us I wanted him to stay.
    The posts in the last couple of days with all the old names again have touched me deeply also, & AVL is very much a family & we are here.
    And if you need anything you only have to ask mate.

    RIP Gary

  56. Evening each, Just waiting for she who must be obeyed to return from work….well someone has to keep me in the manner to which I’m accustomed .
    Oo er…she just arrived must get the food started. call in later…
    Archie

  57. Thank you for sharing st75. Keep all your loved ones close by and slowly let time heal.

    Mark

    Hourihan was class for plymouth, live down these parts and had rave reviews.

    But yesh we will prob make him crepe if signed!@
    10 mill bid rejected for rhodes, not sure id go higher tbh

  58. Back again, put a hot dinner in front of the working woman and given her a cup of coffee and left her to watch Location Location…..what can you say….
    This Jordan Rhodes thing its not going away. The problem is, we’re not providing the service for the front man whoever it is. Ross Mac had one chance to score from the only decent delivery he received all afternoon. Nobody else is going to do any better while we’re unable to string a pass together.
    Does anyone think Ross will get the goals given the service.
    We need to go back to basics at BH. And get these bunch of useless donkeys to learn to play.

  59. Re; ffp
    The maximum permissible net loss is £13m unless there is a cash injection from the owner. With championship clubs this is assessed over three years. Assement window is March.
    As I see it as long as the owner props up the club financially there’s no problem. But it’s not the way to run a business, totally unsustainable.
    We received £50 m in parachute payments and we have a current net spend of £20m , so we should be ok. But I would think from a business perspective Dr X would want to see money recouped from the duds we have bought rather than have them sat on contracts and not contributing to the clubs progress. Therefore Bruce has most likely been tasked with getting rid of non performing signings at the first instance, not easy.
    This is our dilemma and why I think this season is now a dead rubber and a summer is required to overhaul the squad and bring on board Bruce’s preferred playing staff.
    Well that’s how I see it, off to the gym now, look in later.
    Link to ffp rules
    http://www.financialfairplay.co.uk/financial-fair-play-explained.php
    Later…..Archie

  60. Andrew/Archie/Mark

    My understanding is that because Villa had spent 2014-2015, 2015-2016 in the Prem and 2016-2017 in the Championship, Villa is permitted an £83 million loss over the three years to March 1, 2017 before FFP affects the club.
    I don’t know how much loss Villa has had 2014-2017, and how that could affect expenditure for transfers etc. I don’t think FFP is a problem at the moment.
    I’m still smarting, though, at just how stupid the Lerner administration was to strip Villa to the point of relegation in 2015- 2016 of all years.

  61. “Gary Haddenham is a badun” tralalalalala. Sang at the back of holte every home game from 1968 and most away games as well. Cracking mate , one of the best. Hadn’t seen him for a few years but kept in touch via email. One of the original Dougal boys, will be sadly missed by many. RIP mate
    Noggin & Jonah

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