My late random sporting fact for February 27

To cut a long story short, I was at the Manning Club Championship Singles all day, and I was so dog tired I went to sleep at 7:30.

It feels strange going to bed that early…. How do people do it.

So cutting to the point, here is the Random Fact:

On February 27, 1999, John Gregory’s Aston Villa fielded an all-English starting XI in their Premier League match against Midlands rivals Coventry City at Villa Park.

Goalkeeper Michael Oakes, Steve Watson, Riccardo Scimeca, captain Gareth Southgate, Alan Wright, Paul Merson, Simon Grayson, Ian Taylor, Lee Hendrie, Dion Dublin and Julian Joachim.

Sticking to the theme, all 3 substitutes that came on for Villa were English; Mark Draper, Gareth Barry and Stan Collymore.

As for the result, Villa lost 4-1 (Dion Dublin scored the lone goal), with City claiming their first league win at Villa Park after 24 attempts over 63 years, and the match stands as the 55th and final time that a Premier League team fielded an all-English starting XI…. Villa were responsible for 19 of them.

You’ll notice an Australian cult hero John Aloisi scored a brace

Coincidentally, the first Premier League match without an English player in a starting XI occurred in October that same year (October 23), against Villa at Villa Park, as Egil Olsen’s Wimbledon side featured three Jamaicans, two Scotsmen, two Welshmen and one player from Guyana, Iceland, Norway and the Republic of Ireland respectively.

It finished 1-1.

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