Alternative History

A club with proud and ancient tradition, who are striving to bring the good times back again. The club was founded by a group of cricketers in Birmingham and initially played on an amusement park, sharing with (very) lacrosse players and trick-cyclists. People thought they were mad !!

The club’s name actually comes form a Shakespeare poem.  The Bard sauntered up form Stratford-Upon-Avon to view the building work in Aston Park, close to the area Spaghetti Junction (which didn’t exist in his day, but was called Spaghetti Crossroads then),  The poem read : – 

“The sight of such labours and burgeoning construction,
Beauteous result of that exquisite function,
As ton and as ton of brick
From deepest sunset orange to plain manilla,
Were assembled forsooth,
To createth a villa.”

The colours chosen by the new club reflected their attitude to the game. The claret picked to reflect the colour of the red wine quaffed by the carafe after playing and the blue, the sky behind as they raised their glasses high in celebration. And celebration figured large in the early days. They became the second team to complete the League and FA Cup “double” when men were men and footballers wore bloomers. Indeed, despite the success, they were labelled as “The Villains” of the piece, when in 1895, as holders of the FA Cup, they put the trophy on display in the window of a sports shop. The Cup was stolen and was never recovered. The Villa were fined £25 and had to pay an equivalent amount to replace the FA Cup. Luckily, they were insured and so was one of their players, Charles Athersmith, who played the whole of one match under an umbrella when it was raining. Anthony Smythe once played a match pursued by his butler carrying cucumber sandwiches and Tobias Larman wore the full regalia his position of Chair of the Cradley Heath Chamber of Commerce allowed during a game against Glossop NE. 

The club have, since the Second World War, fallen upon comparatively barren times. Villa did win the first ever League Cup, when only a few teams entered and won again in 1977, which is a little known fact, because the Final against Everton went to so many replays, most people forgot who took part, let alone who came out on top. This final had to be played on a neutral ground and after the initial game at Wembley, toured the country playing on 58 of the 92 League grounds at that time. A First Division championship in 1981 was achieved with an unbelievably low number of players (9, in fact) and then the following season, took the European Cup, despite losing their goalie very early in the match and hairy monster, Peter Withe, almost missing the winning goal from two feet out, but managing to guide it in off his shin pad. Unfortunately, Villa have slipped into a cycle where they appoint managers in rotation, on their personality or lack of it (Venglos, Atkinson, Taylor, Little, Gregory).  An excellent ground (a regular venue for FA Cup semis) needs a successful side to do it justice.  The successful sides at Villa Park these days are too often the visitors.

Villa did perk up in 1999-2000, by reaching their first FA Cup final for thirty-odd years, but lost to Chelsea and have now installed David O’Leary in the manager’s job, but his battles are mainly off the pitch to get money out of the chairman to buy new players.  All that changed when Randy Lerner took over and lo, he installed Martin O’Neill as the pop up in the dug-out, lavishing money on the Irishman to spend in a manner unseen in these parts since rationing ended.  However, that all ended in acrimony with the Irishman walking out on the club on the eve of the 2010-11 season, to be replaced with Gerard Houllier, who had heart problems and had to step down, eventually being succeeded in the summer of 2011 by former Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish, who had taken the Blues down the previous season.  Disgruntled Villa fans protested and with results and performances less than inspiring, it looked like the Villa supporters would be suffering with the Blues in more ways than one.

Having just avoided relegation after one season with McLeish, Villa brought in Paul Lambert – another dour Scot, to try and reinvigorate their fortunes.  When he failed, they turned to self-publicist Tim Sherwood, who suffered the same fate after just 28 games (20 of which were lost) and Villa were pinned to the bottom of the table.  Lerner decided to bring in the Old Garde in the shape of Remi, the former Arsenal player, but his failure to change the fortunes of the side saw the fans turn against the team and the owner, as his team headed down to the Championship.  A sad state of affairs for what was a big club.

A little name – Tony Xia, a Chinese businessman – bought into the Villa dream and wanted them to be in the Champions League within five years, but while money talks in China, in the West Midlands, it didn’t make as big a noise.  Sneaking back into the top flight through the play-off managed by Villa fan Dean Smith, the club scrapped survival in their first season and looked to push on up the table in subsequent years.

FAMOUS PLAYERS :- Gary Penrice, Ian Olney, Pongo Waring (who had his own dressing room), Brendan Ormsby, Perry Barr, Ian Ormondroyd.

FAMOUS FANS : – Nigel Kennedy (Violinist), Floella Benjamin (Children’s TV presenter), Mark Williams (Actor – The Fast Show (TV), One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Film), John Taylor (Musician – Duran Duran), Jane Sixsmith (England Ladies Hockey player), Sir Norman Fowler (Former MP and Chairman of the Conservative Party); Tom Hanks (Film Actor – Castaway; Big; Philadelphia); Prince Harry, David Cameron (Conservative MP).

 


Club Records 


Formed 1874

Turned Professional 1885

Became a Limited Company 1896

Previous names

Previous grounds Wilson Road & Aston Park & Aston Lower Grounds   1874-76
Wellington Road, Perry Barr      1876-97

Nickname “The VILLANS”

Club Colours HOME :

AWAY :

THIRD :


Record Premier League Win 7-1  v Wimbledon   Home        11.2.1995

Record Premier League Defeat 0-8  v Chelsea   Away        23.12.2012 

Record Football League Win 12-2  v Accrington Stanley   Div. 1        12.3.1892

Record Football League Defeat 1-8 v   Blackburn Rovers   FAC R3        16.2.1889

Record Cup Win 13-0  Wednesbury Old Athletic   FAC R1      30.10.1886

Record Fee Paid £28 million (rising to £33 million) to Brentford for Ollie WATKINS  (9 September 2020)

Record Fee Received £32.5 million from Liverpool for Christian BENTEKE (22 July 2015)

Record Football League Appearances 561 –  Charlie AITKEN  (1959-1976)

Record Appearances 657 –  Charlie AITKEN  (1959-1976)

Record Premier League Appearances 365 – Gareth BARRY (1998-2009)

Record Premier League goal-scorer 74 –  Gabriel AGBONLAHOR (2005-2018)

Record goal-scorer in a Premier League season 19 – Christian BENTEKE (2012-2013)

Record goal-scorer in a season 50  –  Pongo WARING  Div.1         1930-1931

Record goal-scorer in a League season 49  –  Pongo WARING  Div.1         1930-1931

Record all-time goal-scorer  244  –  Billy WALKER  (1919-1933)

Record all-time League goal-scorer  215  –  Harry HAMPTON  (1904-190)

Most goals in a match 5 – Harry HAMPTON   v Sheffield Wednesday  Division 1    05.10.1912
5 – Harold HALSE     v   Derby County  Division 1   19.10.1912
5 – Len CAPEWELL  v  Burnley   Division 1     29.08.1925
5 – George BROWN  v  Leicester City    Division 1      02.01.1932
5 – Gerry HITCHENS  v  Charlton Athletic     Division 1     08.11.1959

Record Home Attendance (all-time) 76,588 v  Derby County    FAC R6       02.02.1946

Record Premier League Attendance 45,347

Record match receipts £1,196,712  Portugal v Czech Republic  (Euro 96)  23.6.1996

Record total of goals in a Premier League season 57 –   1992-93, 42 games

Record Premier League points total 74  –  1992-93, 42 games

Record total of goals in a  League season 128  –  Division 1  1930-31

Record  League points total 3 points for a win :  83  The Championship  2017-20182 points for a win :  70  Division 3  1971-72

Most Capped player while at the club Steve STAUNTON  64  (Republic of Ireland)

Youngest Player Jimmy BROWN   15 years and 349 days  v  Bolton Wanderers  (Division Two)  17.09.1969

Oldest Player Brad FRIEDEL  40 years and 4 days  v  Liverpool  (Home)   22.05.2011

 

Stadium details 

Address : – Villa Park, Trinity Road, Birmingham B6 6HE

Telephone : 0121 327 2299
0333 323 1874  (Ticket Office)

Capacity :   42,749
Pitch size :   105m x 68m  (114.8 yards  x  74.4 yards)
Official website : Aston Villa


Honours


FA Premier League Runners-up 1992-93

Division One Champions 1893-1894, 1895-1896, 1896-1897, 1898-1899, 1899-1900, 1909-1910, 1980-1981

Division One Runner-up 1888-1889, 1902-1903, 1907-1908, 1910-1911, 1912-1913, 1913-1914, 1930-1931, 1932-1933, 1989-1990

Division Two Champions 1937-1938, 1959-1960

Division Two Runners-up 1974-1975, 1987-1988

Division Three Champions 1971-1972

FA Cup Winners 1887, 1895, 1897, 1905, 1913, 1920, 1957

FA Cup Finalists 1892, 1924, 2000, 2015

League Cup Winners 1961, 1975, 1977, 1994, 1996

League Cup Finalists 1963, 1971, 2010, 2020

European Cup Winners 1982

European Super Cup Winners 1982

World Club Championship Runners-up 1983

Intertoto Cup Winners 2001

FA Charity Shield Winners 1981 (shared)

 


Managers


George RAMSEY 1 August 1884 – 31 May 1926

W.J. SMITH 1 August 1926 – 31 May 1934

Jimmy McMULLAN 1 June 1934 – 31 October 1935

Jimmy HOGAN 1 November 1936 – 1 September 1939

Alex MASSIE 1 August 1945 – 31 August 1950

George MARTIN 1 December 1950 – 31 August 1953

Eric HOUGHTON 1 September 1953 – 30 November 1958

Joe MERCER 1 December 1958 – 31 June 1964

Dick TAYLOR 1 July 1965 – 31 May 1967

Tommy CUMMINGS 1 July 1967 – 30 November 1968

Tommy DOCHERTY 1 December 1968 – 1 January 1970

Vic CROWE 1 January 1970 – 6 May 1974

Ron SAUNDERS 4 June 1974 – 9 February 1982

Tony BARTON 9 February 1982 – 18 June 1984

Graham TURNER 16 July 1984 – 14 September 1986

Billy McNEILL 22 September 1986 – 8 May 1987

Graham TAYLOR 18 May 1987 – 14 July 1990

Dr. Josef VENGLOS 22 July 1990 – 28 May 1991

Ron ATKINSON 7 July 1991 – 10 November 1994

Brian LITTLE 25 November 1994 – 24 February 1998

John GREGORY 25 February 1998 – 24 January 2002

Graham TAYLOR 5 February 2002 – 14 May 2003

David O’LEARY 20 May 2003 – 19 July 2006

Roy AITKEN  (Caretaker) 19 July 2006 – 4 August 2006

Martin O’NEILL 5 August 2006 – 9 August 2010

Kevin MacDONALD  (Caretaker) 9 August 2010 – 21 September 2010

Gerard HOULLIER 21 September 2010 – 1 June 2011

Alex McLEISH 17 June 2011 – 15 May 2012

Paul LAMBERT 4 June 2012 – 11 February 2015

Scott MARSHALL/Andy MARSHALL  (Caretaker) 11 February 2015 – 11 February 2015


Tim SHERWOOD 17 June 2015 – 25October 2015

Kevin MacDONALD  (Caretaker) 25 October 2015 – 3 November 2015

Remi GARDE 3 November 2015 –  30 March 2016

Eric BLACK  (Caretaker) 30 March 2016 – 2 June 2016

Roberto Di MATTEO 2nd June 2016 – 3 October 2016

Steve BRUCE 12 October 2016 – 3 October 2018

Kevin MacDONALD  (Caretaker) 3 October 2018 – 10 October 2018

Dean SMITH 10 October 2018 – 

 


League Record

The Football League structure has historically been as follows …

1888-1892 1892-1920 1920-1921 1921-1958 1958-1992 1992-2004 2004 to date
First tier Football League Division One Division One Division One Division One Premiership Premier League
Second tier Division Two Division Two Division Two Division Two Division One Championship
Third tier Division Three Division Three
(North) and (South)
Division Three Division Two  League One
Fourth tier Division Four Division Three League Two

 


Founder Member of Football League 1888

Division One  (Tier One) 1888 – 1936

Division Two  (Tier Two) 1936 – 1938

Division One  (Tier One) 1938 – 1959

Division Two  (Tier Two) 1959 – 1960

Division One  (Tier One) 1960 – 1967

Division Two  (Tier Two) 1967 – 1970

Division Three  (Tier Three) 1970 – 1972

Division Two  (Tier Two) 1972 – 1975

Division One  (Tier One) 1975 – 1987

Division Two  (Tier Two) 1987 – 1988

Division One  (Tier One) 1988 – 1992

Premier League  (Tier One) 1992 -2016

The Championship  (Tier Two) 2016 -2019

Premier League  (Tier One) 2019 –