A BLIND Solihull super-supporter was joined by an Aston Villa legend to celebrate the launch of his new book.
John Flanner MBE last week launched his book ‘Beautiful Game, Beautiful Memories’ – a book which celebrates 60 years of magical moments of football heroes past and present.
The book also documents John’s memories of legendary matches that he continued to attend even after going blind at the early age of 19.
Former Aston Villa star Tony Morley, Aston Villa CEO Keith Wyness, former Birmingham City player Malcolm Page, and author Colin Abbott joined John for the book launch at Villa Park.
John said: “I have been wanting to write this book for many years and can’t believe that so many people have turned out to support the launch.
“The book was launched 60 years to the day since Aston Villa won the Cup Final in 1957.
“With great commentaries from friends, I still feel the magic of Villa Park and continue to be hooked on the beautiful game.
“Not even being blind can take away the thrill and excitement of being at Villa Park on match days.”
The Rt Rev Dr David Carr OBE, who worked in football for many years and was marketing director for the Professional Football Association, also attended the launch.
He said: “The fact that John has been blind for the majority of his life has in no way diminished his passion for the game or Aston Villa.
“His book gives you insight from the man that hasn’t got sight.
“I recommend it to you – great book, great man, great club.”
Brian Atwick, who used to commentate on games for John after he went blind, added: “We have shared so many memories from about 11 years old when we played for the school football team together.
“We went down to the Villa collecting autographs – Peter McParland, Johnny Dixon – every player we could get our hands on.”
Copies of John’s book are available on Amazon and Kindle.