Barnsley’s Tom Bradshaw celebrates at Villa Park
Aston Villa slayer Tom Bradshaw has told the Star how he was forced into supporting the club as a boy.
The Barnsley striker scored twice as the Tykes inflicted a 3-1 defeat on Steve Bruce's side on Tuesday, much to the dismay of his Villa-supporting uncles.
"All of my uncles are Villa fans," said Bradshaw. "I’ll definitely be giving them a bit of stick.
"It was such a special night for me because most of my family are Villa fans. I was forced to be a Villa fan as a kid, but I started to swing towards Manchester United when I was about seven.
"There was always the pressure to be a Villa fan from the family when I was younger. I probably went to 10 or 15 games with my uncles in their glory days when they were finishing in the top half of the Premier League."
Rarely in their history have Villa been further away from that point, despite falling out of the top flight as recently as last year.
The Villans have yet to win a single Championship fixture since Boxing Day and sit bottom of the division's 2017 form table, despite bringing in eight new faces at a cost of as many figures in January.
Ironically, two of those new recruits - central midfielder Conor Hourihane and right-back James Bree - arrived from Bradshaw's Barnsley, which will have only increased the Welshman's desire to win at Villa Park.
Ex-Barnsley man Conor Hourihane
Before his move to Oakwell last summer, Bradshaw spent two seasons at Villa's local rivals Walsall, where he scored 40 goals in 86 appearances.
Where do Aston Villa go from here?