Up the Villa – Tom Hanks supports Aston Villa at Premier League game

Oscar-winning US actor Hanks appeared in a box at Villa Park stadium in Birmingham to watch his team play Liverpool, whose manager Jurgen Klopp returned to the ground for the final time as manager of the Reds.

Ahead of the match, Hanks said in a video posted on the club’s social media: “Hello Birmingham, Tom Hanks here celebrating the penultimate match here in Villa Park. Looking forward to it.

“Good news on the horizon, lets hope so. Up the Villa! Forever Villa.”

Hanks was delighted as Jhon Duran scored twice in the final 10 minutes to earn Villa a 3-3 draw, moving them closer to Champions League qualification for the first time.

The draw means they will be guaranteed a top-four spot if Tottenham Hotspur fail to beat Manchester City on Tuesday night.

Hanks decided to support Aston Villa when he spotted the name in a list of results and thought it sounded “like a place you’d go on holiday in the summertime”.

He previously said: “I’m an adopted fan but I love the team as though they’re my own.”

Tom Hanks celebrates a goal from Aston Villa’s Youri Tielemans (Bradley Collyer/PA)

It comes as US stars have had a bigger presence at British football games in recent years.

Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney took full ownership of Welsh club Wrexham AFC in February 2021 and created a documentary series, Welcome To Wrexham, chronicling their journey with the football club.

While Creed star Michael B Jordan became a minority stakeholder in AFC Bournemouth and NFL star Tom Brady invested in Birmingham City.

Earlier this month, Will Ferrell became the latest Hollywood star to invest in an English football club, buying a stake in the owners of Leeds United Football Club, 49ers Enterprises.

Ferrell is also co-owner of Major League Soccer side Los Angeles FC and revealed he was a big fan of English football during a trip to watch Manchester City beat Aston Villa 3-1 last season.

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