Aston Villa assistant coach John Terry has described his feelings from the time he faced Lion’s biggest rivals Birmingham, when playing for the club.
Terry, who had a successful career at Chelsea, joined Villa in 2017 and faced Birmingham two times.
Terry remembers how a fan approached him before the derby and told him they rather got relegated then lose Birmingham.
“It’s huge, actually. Just the whole buzz around the place.” Terry said during a Q&A session (cited by the Birmingham Live)
“I remember a guy coming to the training ground. He usually asks for your autographs. I pulled in my car and he said: ‘Listen, whatever happens, we’d rather get relegated than lose – we do not lose to these. Just letting you know as a footballer as it’s your first year here’.”
“The whole build up, in and around the city for the week or two weeks before that game, was really intense,
“It’s right up there. At Chelsea, I had Spurs and Arsenal and West Ham, which were big London derbies. They’re of the same comparison, for sure.” he added.
That season, Villa played a goalless draw against their city rivals and won 2-0 at Villa Park. During the second match, former England national team captain John Terry was involved in an altercation with Birmingham player Cheikh Ndoye, who eventually got a red card.