Whereas Grealish and his family sat behind the Wembley goal supporting their beloved team back in 2010, this time the 19-year-old will be on the pitch in the thick of the action whilst his parents, brothers and sister watch on.
The Ireland U21 winger was just 14 when part of the entourage that travelled down the M6 from Birmingham to see Villa, then under the management of Martin O’Neill, lose both the League Cup final and an FA Cup semi-final in quick succession. “Wembley is a wonderful stadium and I’ve some memories of being there as a fan,” said Grealish.
“Those two defeats were hard to take but, if I’m lucky enough to be selected on Sunday, I’ll try give the Villa supporters a day to remember.”
Yesterday, Villa’s goal machine Christian Benteke lauded the emergence of the Academy product, insisting Grealish can have a decisive bearing tomorrow. “Jack Grealish has really stepped up and helped me,” said Benteke.
“We needed a player behind Gabby Agbonlahor and me to give balls between the lines and Jack is doing really well.”
Grealish, who opted out of international football this season but has vowed to return to the Ireland fold in September, last month claimed the FAI’s U21 player of the year award.
Joining his parents at the ceremony in Dublin was his grandmother Margaret Grealish, originally from Sneem in Co Kerry, and she returned to England with a special memento.
“My Nan has been a great influence to me, so I decided to let her have my FAI award,” explained Grealish.
“I’ve got my U17 Player of the Year award in my parents house but it was brilliant for my Nan to be in Dublin this time and I was delighted for her to have the award.”