Aston Villa cup winner Shaun Teale who was a painter and decorator in his non-league days, has lifted the lid over his abrupt departure in the summer of 1995. He has revealed how Brian Little wanted to replace him with Chris Coleman – but never managed to sign him.
Shaun Teale said “Yes I was (sad). I spoke to my agent in London. I was big-time then, I had an agent! My agent sorted a new contract with Brian and it was all sorted basically, all the bits and bobs of the finances. They were at least going to give me another year and then everything changed because Brian decided to buy Chris Coleman from Crystal Palace. Chris was going for a club-record £3million and Brian was 99 per cent sure he was going to get him. It would have left me as the odd one out. Ron Atkinson had me on the transfer list at £3million and there wasn’t a chance in a month of Sundays I was going to go for that. Brian came to me one day and said you probably won’t be interested but Tranmere have been in touch. I knew (manager) Johnny King at Tranmere and had known him a long time. I said I’ll speak to them and he looked at me like, ‘Are you for real? ‘I said yep, I’ll speak to them’. My agent said to me a day later, ‘You’ve got to talk to them, you won’t believe it. They’re putting a fortune on the table for you to leave Villa.’. They’re putting their hat on it really. If you go, you won’t have to worry about money again. I was like, Oh! I don’t really want to leave Villa but… I’ve got nothing in my pension and this would overload it and support my family. I had no choice and I decided to leave. I’m not disappointed I left because I secured my family for the rest of my life.”
Teale spent four successful years at Villa Park alongside Paul McGrath but lost his place to Ugo Ehiogu a year after Little took over in B6. Centre-back Coleman was snapped up by Premier League champions Blackburn Rovers for £2.8million instead, with Villa moving in for Coleman’s teammate at Crystal Palace, Gareth Southgate.
Brian Little said, ‘You can stay, we’ll give you a new contract. We’ve got no qualms about keeping you – but you might not play much. The shout is yours. Do you want to stay?’. I said, ‘To be honest Brian I’d rather look elsewhere. I’m at that age now. I don’t want to be sat in the stands at 31 going on 32, I want to be playing football.’. True to his word, Brian said I’ll get you out of this football club as cheap as I can.”
Teale dropped down a division after receiving a money-spinning offer from Tranmere Rovers.
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