The Academy Award-winning actor attended Tuesday’s game between the Portland Timbers and his beloved Aston Villa, according to the Portland Tribune.
Hanks has been a Villa (and soccer) fan for over a decade, but had never seen his favorite team play in person. So the 57-year-old made the trek to Portland, Ore. to get a first-hand look at Villa under new manager Paul Lambert.
Hanks, who starred in great films like Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan and Big, played a leading role in Tuesday’s production. Before the game, he mixed and mingled with players, coaches and famous fans on the turf at Jeld-Wen Field. He also performed the ceremonial coin flip as Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler looked on with envy.
Hanks then moved to Timbers owner Merritt Paulson‘s luxury box, where he watch Portland and Villa play out an entertaining 2-2 draw. The game was decided by a penalty shootout (Villa won 5-4), but there is no word if the famous Premier League fan watched U.S. international Brad Guzan stymie the local team.
The Tribune reports Lambert told the Mail that he enjoyed meeting Hanks.
“He’s a really humble guy,” Lambert said. “There’s not many times in your life that you actually meet people of that stature, and I was very fortunate to meet him. Very nice guy.”
Hanks rivals Prince William in the running for the crown of Villa’s most famous fan. He may consider becoming a Timbers fan as well, but Timber Joey — he who saws stumps of wood after Portland goals — might not give up his crown so easily. However it plays out, this “summer of soccer” thing is catching on in high place.
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