Ex-Spurs stars toast Argentina’s big day in Barley pub

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Ex-Spurs stars toast Argentina’s big day in Barley pub

Brian Farmer,BBC News, Hertfordshire

Chris Radburn/Fixed Point Media Ossie Ardiles (left) and Ricky Villa leaning on rail Chris Radburn/Fixed Point Media

Argentina and Spurs legends Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa celebrate Argentina Day on FA Cup final day at the Fox & Hounds in Barley, Hertfordshire

Two of England’s greatest Argentinian footballing imports have toasted their national independence day in an English village pub.

Football legends Ossie Ardiles and Ricardo Villa were guests of honour at the Fox and Hounds in Barley, Hertfordshire on Saturday, and even managed to catch the FA Cup Final on a big screen in the garden.

Pub owner Graham Smith-Bernal is a friend of the former Tottenham and Argentina stars – both now 71 – and his wife is from South America.

Ardiles also paid tribute to Villa’s winning 1981 FA Cup goal, adding: “We are absolutely delighted to be here.”

Brian Farmer/BBC Argentinian flag lying on pub menuBrian Farmer/BBC

Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa celebrated their national day at the Fox & Hounds in Barley

Ardiles, who lives in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, and Villa, who lives in Argentina and is visiting England, were joined at the event by former Tottenham Hotspur defender Ledley King.

They answered punters’ questions about football after watching Manchester United beat Manchester City at Wembley on a television screen in the pub garden.

Villa scored one of the most famous goals in Wembley history when Spurs beat Manchester City in the 1981 FA Cup Final replay against Manchester City – Ardiles was also in the side.

Ardiles and Villa both won the World Cup with Argentina in 1978.

Chris Radburn/Fixed Point Media Ricky VillaChris Radburn/Fixed Point Media

Ricky Villa scored one of the most famous goals in Wembley history 43 years ago

Mr Smith-Bernal, 66, who also owns the Newsells Park Stud near Royston, said he had got to know many former Spurs players through horse racing and supporting the club.

He said “a lot” of former Tottenham “legends” were involved with the stud and drank in the pub.

“May 25 is a special day in Argentina,” Mr Bernal-Smith said. His wife Marcela is Bolivian.

“I know Ossie and I knew Ricky was over here,” he said.

“We have the FA Cup. We thought, why not have Argentinian meats and sausages – and then a wine tasting and celebrate May 25.”

Chris Radburn/Fixed Point Media Pub signChris Radburn/Fixed Point Media

The Fox & Hounds in Barley turned Argentinian blue and white for a day

Brian Farmer/BBC  Invites to eventBrian Farmer/BBC

The pub laid on Argentinian food and wine for the celebration

Ardiles said: “We were absolutely delighted to be here. It’s a lovely, lovely Argentinian barbecue. Argentinian wine.

“All the people who support Spurs will be very happy to see Ricky Villa here.

“He scored a wonderful, wonderful goal.

“The best goal of the century they say, in Wembley, when we beat Manchester City 3-2.

“Ricky scored the winning goal.”

Brian Farmer/BBC Graham Smith-Bernal outside the Fox & Hounds pubBrian Farmer/BBC

Fox & Hounds owner Graham Smith-Bernal is a Spurs fan

Brian Farmer/BBC Ledley King outside pubBrian Farmer/BBC

Former Spurs defender Ledley King joined the Argentinian celebrations at the pub

Villa said: “It was a different goal – a South American goal.

“As soon as I passed one, then another, the goal was getting closer.

“This goal changed my life.”

Chris Radburn/Fixed Point Media Fox & Hounds pubChris Radburn/Fixed Point Media

Ardiles and Villa answered questions from fans at the Fox & Hounds in Barley on Saturday

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