The perfect day and moment to share a love story is Valentine’s, and a devoted Aston Villa supporter Ronan has wasted no time in sharing the tales of how he met his wife Charlotte Keary at a rather awkward scene.
Ronan’s romance story started when he attended a Manchester United pre-season friendly match with Chicago Fire alongside his Red Devil pals five years ago.
Ronan moved to USA in 2010 to take up residence in Chicago. Little did he know that his beloved team would lead him to love in the Windy City.
Ireland-born Ronan will be raising a toast with Charlotte in appreciation of Villa on Saturday after the Claret and Blues played a big role in their falling in love. The couple tied the nuptial knots in September last year.
“I have been a huge Villa fan for as long as I remember,” Ronan said.
“It began in the days of Paul McGrath, Steve Staunton, Ray Houghton and Andy Townsend and has continued to this very day.
“When I moved to the States, my love for the club travelled with me. Throughout the years – and those ups and downs the club has given me countless hours of entertainment which I am extremely thankful for.
“However, I never expected I would have to thank Aston Villa for helping me meet my now wife.
“It all started with me, in absolute fear,
worrying that someone would mistake me for a Man Utd fan as I travelled to the pre-season match between the Red Devils and Chicago Fire in 2011.
“I made sure to wear my claret and blue jersey with pride among the sea of red. Although the game ended 3-1 to United, my abiding memory of the 90 minutes came right at the end when Ashley Young, who we had just sold, walked past the countless United fans to sign my Villa shirt.
“Amazingly, that was not to be the highlight of day, however. That occurred not long afterwards when I was enjoying a drink with my friends in a nearby bar.
“All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a girl
approached me to enquire if I was from England. That girl, Charlotte, was from Sutton Coldfield and had moved to Chicago with her family a number of years before.
“While admittedly not a big football fan
herself, Charlotte had recognised the distinctive colours of the shirt from her days at home with parents and grandparents. They were all big Villa fans.
“We chatted for a while, exchanged
numbers and looked forward to our first date.
“By pure coincidence, a year almost to the day later, it was Villa who came to Chicago to play Fire. Again I pulled on the claret and blue shirt but this time it was just Charlotte and I that went to the game together as boyfriend and girlfriend.
“The rest as they say is history. Charlotte and I got married on September 27, 2014.
“Aston Villa remains one of the greatest loves in my life but it now has to settle for a place very much behind my beautiful wife.”