By Chris Wright
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has replied to the young fan who he beat in the running for the Villa vacancy in February.
Shortly after Paul Lambert’s canning, six-year-old Charlie Pye threw his hat into the ring to take over at Villa Park, officially submitting his application to club chief executive Tom Fox.
Writing in his covering letter, Charlie promised to deliver great team talks and stop Villa shipping goals while also mentioning that he’d be willing to accept “a signed Villa football, a WWE wrestling figure and some sweets” as payment, with an added win bonus of one Twix per victory.
Charlie also stated that he was more than happy to drop out of school to focus full-time on the role while appointing his mum and dad as assistant managers to make sure he had a lift to the training ground every day.
Unfortunately, Villa eventually plumped for the (only very slightly) more experienced Sherwood, pipping Charlie to the post at the final round of interviews.
Sherwood has since written an open letter to his rival applicant, as posted on Villa’s official website this morning:
“From your letter it is clear to see that you would indeed be an ideal candidate for the job due to your knowledge of the game – and your very capable backroom staff, of course!”
“Hopefully you’re not too disappointed at missing out and I’m informed that I just managed to pip you to the post so you were very close to being offered the job.
“Our chief executive Tom Fox has informed me that the club would like your permission to keep the letter on file ‘just in case’ – although I’m hoping I will be successful at this great football club. I will certainly be aiming to make you and all the other supporters happy.
“In terms of your football career, I want to wish Norton Lindsey (Charlie’s Sunday League team) every success this season. Well done on being appointed captain. I was a captain during my own playing career – it’s a special honour.”
Charlie told the Villa site:
“I never expected a letter from the manager but I was absolutely delighted to get one.
“What he wrote was brilliant – it meant a lot to me. Even the stuff about congratulating me on being a captain was really special.
“I was really happy when he got the job because of his passion and I love him even more now.
“I think he will do brilliantly for the Villa. He already is!”
Ain’t that just grand?