Wow! 1000 fans in this small Ghana village supporting Aston Villa
In the tiny village of Juaben in Ghana, they absolutely love football and one Premier League team in particular: Aston Villa
Residents of Juaben wake up at 5am to begin their procession through the streets
They march, chant and dance in support of their beloved Villa team.
A small town in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, the locals love their football and one team in particular. Not Manchester United, not Chelsea or Liverpool, but Aston Villa.
When the day their team plays comes around, much of the town wakes up at 5am, dons their claret and blue attire and begins marching, dancing and singing songs through the streets to passionately declare their love for the Midlands team.
A small town in the Ejisu-Municipal District, a district in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, Juaben is located over 5,000 miles away from Villa Park and has a population of 48,338, with at least 1,000 Villa fans.
At the heart of it is 21-year-old Owusu Boakye Amando, founder of the Ghana Lions, who estimates there are now over 1,000 Villa supporters in the town. And that number is growing after he convinced supporters of the big names to move towards the team in claret and blue.
Owusu told Sportsmail: ‘Every Sunday morning it is our routine. We have to be fit and more active so that we can chant, so we do exercises and after that, we will chant and chant and go on for more than three hours.
‘When we come back we start the chants using the names of the footballers who play for Aston Villa, and we chant against the opponents we come to play against. We do some chants and we all watch them play together.
‘Most people were Chelsea fans, Man United fans, Barcelona fans. They are all joining us as Aston Villa fans now! Because what we are doing is amazing.’
So just how exactly did a town so far away become such avid supporters of a side who have not won a major trophy since 1996 and have spent recent years in the Championship? Owusu explains it is down to his grandfather and one Villa icon in particular.
‘My love for Aston Villa started when we were kids. My grandfather used to talk about lots of players, but there was a certain player he used to talk about most. He always talked about “God, God, God”.
‘So one day, I asked him, “Grandpa, who is this God you always talk about?” He said “there is only one God, but there is also a God in football and his name is Paul McGrath”.’
I know Villa. Villa till we die.Up The Villa pic.twitter.com/5JjQARQ0ka
— Ghana Lions AVFC (@AvfcGhana) February 9, 2021
The supporters group’s carnival-like videos have proved popular on social media with domestic fans. Former Villa player and current youth coach George Boateng visited the village last year and wants to host them for a trip to Villa Park when they are able to. A petition was also set up by fans last year to get them to a game, with stars Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings donating to try to make it happen.
It proved not possible at the time, with the Aston Villa Foundation sending masses of shirts instead, but Owusu has not given up his dream of getting to the stadium one day.
‘It is our dream to go and see Villa Park. We want to see a game. All of my friends at the Ghana Lions say that.
‘When we finally get a chance to go to Villa Park, we are not going to sleep in any hotel, we are going to sleep in the Holte End because that is our home, that will be our room!’