Aston Villa shirt sales in Dublin exceed Birmingham’s

Fiona Hunter, left, and David Olden, model the latest Aston Villa shirts outside Villa Park

Fiona Hunter, left, and David Olden, model the latest Aston Villa shirts outside Villa Park

Aston Villa have always had a fairly loyal following across the Irish Sea but it would appear that support is now stronger than ever.

A recent study has revealed that more Aston Villa replica shirts have been sold in Dublin than in Birmingham so far this season.

In a survey carried out by sportswear retailer Sports Direct, it emerged that almost a quarter (24.46 per cent) of shirt sales in the UK and Ireland, took place in Dublin.

The next most popular place for buying Villa shirts was London with 18.71 per cent, followed by Birmingham at 15.834 per cent.

Strangely, Preston also featured highly on the list with 7.91 per cent of sales, while High Wycombe and Southend each accounted for 5.04 per cent of sales.

The survey looked at the 2014-15 season so far.

A Sports Direct spokesman said: “Out of all eight clubs that we analysed, Aston Villa was the only one where London didn’t top the list.

“It appears as though ‘the Villans’ have a strong Irish backing, with Dublin being the chart-topper of choice this time around.

“Birmingham was unsurprisingly up there, while a lot of other regions in the Midlands such as Coventry, Alcester and Wolverhampton made up the ten.”

Aston Villa’s Irish support has stemmed from the fact Birmingham has always had a large Irish population.

Added to that many Irish players have played for the team over the decades.

Perhaps the most notable highpoint was when a host of Republic of Ireland internationals were part of the Aston Villa squad in the 1990s.

At that time the club’s first team included Paul McGrath, Steve Staunton, Andy Townsend and Ray Houghton, all of who formed part of Jack Charlton’s legendary Ireland team.

The full breakdown of the best-selling locations for Sports Direct’s Aston Villa shirt sales was as follows:

  • Dublin 24.46 per cent
  • London 18.71 per cent
  • Birmingham 15.843 per cent
  • Coventry 7.91 per cent
  • Preston 7.91 per cent
  • Alcester 5.04 per cent
  • Barnstaple 5.04 per cent
  • High Wycombe 5.04 per cent
  • Southend 5.04 per cent
  • Wolverhampton 5.04 per cent