Aston Villa fans urged to remember ‘generous and caring’ Holte Ender in the Sky vs Crystal Palace

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Aston Villa superfan and season ticket holder Mick Ward passed away from cancer just eight weeks after diagnosis.

Aston Villa supporters are being urged to take part in a minute's applause this weekend in memory of Holte Ender in the Sky Michael 'Mick' Ward.

Mick passed away from Mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused by working with asbestos when he was younger, at the end of August just eight weeks after his diagnosis. The Villa fan was just 58 years old and his daughter Natalie is asking match-goers to clap in his memory during the 58th minute against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

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Suporter groups online have shared the initiative as the community around the club unites to help a fellow Aston Villa loving family.

Mick became an Aston Villa fan at a young age, growing up in the area and choosing a team within travelling distance. A season ticket holder, that love for the club was shared by his family and passed down through generations.

Famously, while on holiday one year in New York and proudly wearing the claret and blue, Mick bumped into Villa legend Nigel Spink at the Hard Rock Cafe before later crossing paths on a cruise ship during the same trip. Natalie labelled that memory a 'dream come true' for her father.

Mick famously bumped into Nigel Spink in New York.Mick famously bumped into Nigel Spink in New York.
Mick famously bumped into Nigel Spink in New York.

Natalie herself remembers being bought all the Aston Villa kits as a youngster and owning merchandise from a swimming costume to pencil cases.

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The family were also in attendance when Aston Villa secured promotion back into the Premier League at Wembley Stadium in 2019 and took part in the club's Part of the Pride campaign in 2018.

Explaining what a minute of applause would mean to Mick, Natalie said: "If Dad could see the clap he would be beaming with pride to see his fellow Villains celebrating his life in unison.

Mick raised a family of Aston Villa fans.Mick raised a family of Aston Villa fans.
Mick raised a family of Aston Villa fans.

"Dad was a generous and caring man always willing to help a friend in need, his funeral had over 400 attendees, a testament to what a wonderful man he was.

"We have been overwhelmed and so humbled by all the love and support from what we consider our claret and blue family. The outpouring of kind words have been of great comfort to us all."

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