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McParland is desperate to hand over his mantle.

Byline: MAT KENDRICK

Aston Villa's FA Cup folk hero Peter McParland has repeated his annual request for a modern-day successor to unburden him of an impressive distinction.

Villa go into Saturday's semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley still looking for a genuine pretender to McParland's th rone as the club's last final match-winner.

McParland famously scored the brace which clinched the claret and blues' last of seven FA Cup successes in a 2-1 triumph over Manchester United in 1957.

More than half a century on, the 75-year-old, who regularly returns to Villa Park, still enjoys reminiscing about his crowning glory with adoring supporters. However, the former Northern Ireland international outside left hopes this season's march to the last four will continue will Villa going on to lift the cup.

"It was the day that your dreams come true," recalls McParland. "Every boy that plays soccer wants to play in the FA Cup final when your playing in England. I was lucky enough to be in the team that made it to Wembley and was successful on the day, which was very nice.

"Part of the dream is that if you can score the winning goal that would be great - and I brought that dream to life as well because it came true for me. It's still with me."

McParland has endured Villa's FA Cup false dawns, most recently the 2000 final defeat to this weekend's opponents Chelsea in the last showpiece at the old Wembley.

"Unfortunately as regards Aston Villa I'm still the same man and the same character who was the last to score the winning goal in the cup final for the club," he adds.

''So I'm hoping that can be broken soon, this year hopefully, and that someone comes along and scores the winner for Villa in the cup final. The supporters have always been great to me and still now when I come back I feel privileged that they think of me so much.

"Villa is a great football club and the FA Cup is a g r e a t competition so it's such a s h a m e that the two of them haven't gone together for such a long time."

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Peter McParland
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 8, 2010
Words:371
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