Chelsea boss Potter: I loved Aston Villa growing up before…

Chelsea boss Graham Potter admits growing up a fan of today’s opponents Aston Villa.

Potter comes from an Villa-loving family – but he insists he stopped supporting the club when he joined Birmingham City.

Solihull-born Potter grew up in a household of Villans and saw the club win the European Cup in 1982 shortly before his seventh birthday. But he ditched his claret and blue allegiances when he signed for fierce rivals Blues in 1992.

Potter only played one season for Blues, but he wound up back in the West Midlands in 1997 when he signed for West Bromwich Albion. He spent three years with Albion before dropping down the leagues and embarking on a unique coaching journey which has taken him from Sweden’s fourth tier with Ostersunds to Champions League powerhouse Chelsea – via Swansea and Brighton.

He said: “One of my first footballing memories is my brother sat with the European Cup in the British Legion in Shirley. It goes to show how far football has gone – you could take the European Cup to the Shirley British Legion!

“We had the picture at home with my brother with the cup with Ken McNaught and Peter Withe. So I liked that Villa team, Tony Morley, Gary Shaw. Then I started playing for Birmingham City and then you realise you can’t have allegiances to both of those, so in the end I didn’t support anybody.”

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