Aston Villa fan's banner asking for Moussa Diaby's shirt binned by steward, leaving him tearful until player steps in

27 October 2023, 11:44 | Updated: 27 October 2023, 12:08

An Aston Villa fan was left tearful after a steward took away his banner - but he was rewarded with a shirt from Moussa Diaby anyway
An Aston Villa fan was left tearful after a steward took away his banner - but he was rewarded with a shirt from Moussa Diaby anyway. Picture: Twitter

By Kit Heren

A young Aston Villa fan was left in tears when a stadium steward confiscated his banner asking for a player's shirt, until his hero stepped in himself to save the day.

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The boy had brought a large home-made banner to Villa's Europa Conference League away clash with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night, asking for winger Moussa Diaby's shirt.

But a steward at the AZ Stadion came up to him and confiscated the banner, before appearing to throw it away.

Dutch sides have banned fans from bringing banners asking for players' shirts - a trend that has become increasingly common in recent years, and which has divided opinion.

The boy was caught on camera in floods of tears at the exchange with the steward. Another stadium staff member consoled him.

Read more: Prince George gripped as dad Prince William takes him to watch Aston Villa beat Nottingham Forest 2-0

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At the end of the game, Diaby, 24, presented the boy with a shirt with his name on the back, leaving the young fan beaming.

Some fans thought the stewards were being unnecessarily harsh with their enforcement of the no-banner rule.

One person said online: "All the hours this kid have spent making it, looking forward and having his hopes up, brought the sign and then some man throw it in the bin."

Another added: "Steward needs sacking." A third said: "Everyone boo the fun police".

But others thought the stewards' actions were more praiseworthy.

"To be fair all signs begging for shirts should be thrown in the bin." one said.

A second fan said: "All signs asking for shirts should be banned".

A third said: "Rules are the rules sadly, But Diaby is still a classy man for giving the kid his shirt later!"

Villa beat AZ 4-1 thanks to goals from Leon Bailey, Youri Tielemans, Ollie Watkins and John McGinn, leaving them second in their Conference League group.

Moussa Diaby in action on Thursday night
Moussa Diaby in action on Thursday night. Picture: Getty

The Birmingham side are having a strong season on the domestic front, currently sitting fifth in the Premier League after nine games.

French player Diaby is new to the club, having joined from German side Bayer Leverkusen in the summer.

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