Aston Villa

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Aston Villa
Aston Villa coat of arms
Basic data
Surname Aston Villa Football Club
Seat Birmingham- Aston, England
founding 1874
First soccer team
Head coach EnglandEngland Dean Smith
Venue Villa Park
Places 42,682
league Premier League
2019/20 17th place

Aston Villa (officially: Aston Villa Football Club ) - also known as (The) Villa and The Villans - is an English professional football club from the Birmingham district of Aston, which after 3 years in the EFL Championship has been back in the Premier League since 2019/20 . Founded in 1874, the club has played in Villa Park since 1897 . Aston Villa was a founding member of both the Football League, founded in 1888, and the Premier League, founded in 1992. Since the late 1960s, Aston Villa has been shaped by its chairman and millionaire Doug Ellis for many years before the takeover of the club by American entrepreneur Randy Lerner in 2006 ushered in a new era. After relegation from the Premier League in the 2015/16 season, Lerner sold the club to the Chinese businessman Xia Jiantong .

As one of the oldest English football clubs ever, Aston Villa has won the English championship seven times and the FA Cup seven times . In addition, Villa became one of only five English football clubs in the 1981/82 season to win the European Cup . Based on the sum of titles in domestic competitions, Aston Villa is the fourth most successful club in English football history with 20 trophies, the majority of triumphs dating from before World War II and the last title dating back to 1996.

Aston Villa has a traditional rivalry with its city rival Birmingham City . This is significantly larger than to West Bromwich Albion , which is geographically closer to Aston. The derbies between Aston Villa and Birmingham City are known as the "Birmingham Derby" or the "Second City Derby" and date back to 1879.

Aston Villa's traditional colors consist of burgundy jerseys with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and sky blue socks .


From 1874 to 1879: Founding of the “Villa-Cross” cricket players' association

The successful Aston Villa team in the late 19th century.

The Aston Villa Football Club was founded in March 1874 by members of the Methodist "Villa-Cross-Wesleyan" Church in what is now the Birmingham suburb of Handsworth. The founding of the soccer club was motivated by the fact that the cricketers from "Villa Cross" were looking for new ways to keep fit in the winter months and for this reason chose the then very young soccer sport. The four founding fathers of Aston Villa are Jack Hughes , Frederick Matthews , Walter H. Price and William Scattergood , with Price going down in the club's history as the first team captain. Finding a suitable opponent turned out to be difficult, however, as Birmingham was considered a rugby stronghold and the teams from Wolverhampton were rated as too powerful. In the first game, Aston Villa first played against the local rugby team Brook St. Mary’s . The two teams acted according to rugby rules in the first half before switching to the " Sheffield rules " of football in the second half . After the first half had ended in a point and goalless tie, Jack Hughes scored the club's first goal historically, which also decided the game.

There were no further encounters with other teams for the time being; only the next year did new games follow. "Aston Unity" and "St. George's Excelsior “became regular opponents during this time, and Villa even dueled with Unity in cricket every year well into the 1960s. The home games took place mainly in Aston Park and only a few in the nearby Aston Lower Grounds, where Villa Park is now. Football was not yet of increased importance in this area and so the area was shared with other athletes and sports. For example, the famous English cricketer WG Grace completed an international match against Australia with the English selection, which at the time was on a tour and defeated England in less than four hours.

A Scot appeared in Aston Park around 1876 with the 21-year-old George Ramsay , who from then on became the club's first star player. After he had convinced the young Villa players with his dribbling skills at an audition , the club took him on and handed him the role of team captain . From then on, Ramsay was also committed to the club outside of the field and independently looked for reinforcements for the team. This included Archie Hunter in 1878, another Scot whose reputation was still reflected over a century later in his appointment to the "Football League 100 Legends". In 1880 Aston Villa, led by George Ramsay, beat Saltley College 3-2 in the final in front of 6,000 spectators in the Aston Lower Grounds, winning the first title with the Birmingham Challenge Cup .

In the Perry Barr arena , which the club has been using regularly since 1876, there was now a significantly improved and professionally operating soccer team, which during this time developed a great advantage over the regional competition. The demarcated area in Perry Barr also enabled viewing income at a level that formed the financial prerequisites for the national rise of the club in the 1880s.

From 1879 to 1890: rise to a significant size

In the 1879/80 season, the club appeared for the first time in the FA Cup and should compete after a 3-2 win against Stafford Road in the then successful selection of the University of Oxford . Presumably in order to save travel costs and since their own team were only expected to have little chance of winning, the club's management decided not to play this game. At the beginning of the new decade, the club played a number of friendly matches against strong opponents. After a 4-1 win against the Scottish Heart of Midlothian in 1881, a visit to Glasgow at Queen's Park FC was on the program for the following season . The then "Primus" of Scottish football won 4: 1 and made such a big impression with his innovative passing game that this "passing game" shaped the way Aston Villa played in the future. The increasing importance of the club in English football was also made clear with the nomination of Howard Vaughton and Arthur Alfred Brown , who were the first Villa players to play international matches in England's 13-0 win against Ireland on February 18, 1882 , and together nine Contributed goals.

From 1883 at the latest, more and more professional players pushed into English football. First and foremost, Preston North End supported this development and attracted numerous top-class mostly Scottish footballers to the club. This development away from the pure amateur sport should turn out to be favorable for Aston Villa, since there was considerable potential for a large following in the industrial city of Birmingham. With comparatively high income from the entrance fees, the club was able to pay the new professional players appropriately. In the FA Cup, however, the great successes were largely absent and the club said goodbye in the fourth round with a clear 1: 6 defeat against FC Queen's Park - the participation of Scottish teams in the "English" FA Cup was common at that time .

After English football had finally developed professional structures from 1885, the club won the FA Cup for the first time in 1887, with the team being captained on the pitch by Archie Hunter in the 2-0 final win against West Bromwich Albion at The Oval Stadium . On the way to the final, the club first defeated Wednesbury Old Athletic 13-0 and thus achieved the highest competitive win to date. After a 6-1 win against Derby Midland , Villa needed four games - three replays - to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 . A bye and two more wins with 5-0 against FC Horncastle and 3-2 against FC Darwen was followed by the semi-final duel against Glasgow Rangers . Although the Rangers had strengthened themselves with loan players from Queen's Park FC and Hibernian Edinburgh , Villa won the game played in Crewe 3-1. In the final, Villa was underdog against Albion. Nevertheless, winger Dennis Hodgetts shot the Villans to a 1-0 lead after a goalless first half, with opposing goalkeeper Bob Roberts showing no reaction when shooting on goal himself because of a supposed offside position . The second goal for the 2-0 final result resulted from a deliberate foul play by Archie Hunter on Roberts. Such attacks against the goalkeeper were not forbidden according to the rules and so the shot on goal of the Hunter lying on the ground complied with the rules. The following Saturday, Villa defeated the Scottish Cup winner Hibernian Edinburgh 3-0 in Birmingham and unofficially claimed the title of best team in the world.

Cup winning team 1887

Aston Villa - West Bromwich Albion 2-0 (0-0)
venue The Oval , April 2, 1887, 15,500 spectators
Lineup Jimmy Warner , Frank Coulton , Joseph Simmonds , John Burton , Frederick Dawson , Harry Yates , Richmond Davis , Albert Brown , Archie Hunter , Howard Vaughton , Dennis Hodgetts
Trainer George Ramsay
Gates 1-0 Dennis Hodgetts (60th), 2-0 Archie Hunter (89th)

The subsequent season 1887/88 was less successful and the defending champions failed at home with 1: 3 in the fifth round of the FA Cup in front of the then record crowd of 27,000 spectators at Preston North End. Before this game of the then supposedly best two teams in England, Aston Villa had won the derby for the first time against their local rivals later known as Birmingham City with a 4-0 victory in the second round against "Small Heath" .

Despite the cup success in the previous year's competition, the Scottish club director and cloth merchant William McGregor was very dissatisfied. The game operations mostly consisted of one-sided friendlies and only the few FA Cup games occasionally guaranteed high audience numbers. In order to arouse further interest in the public, he suggested that all top clubs - like the baseball teams in the United States - should compete in a league. He wrote to the twelve leading English clubs in the north of England and in the Midlands and made them the proposal to form a joint championship round. Since McGregor originally wanted to include Scottish and Welsh clubs, the Football League was not referred to as the "English League". Some Welsh clubs such as Cardiff City later joined the Football League, unlike their Scottish counterparts.

Aston Villa was itself one of the twelve founding members of the Football League, founded in 1888, and finished the first season as runner-up behind Preston North End. A big disappointment this season was the clear 8-1 defeat in the third round against the Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup, which is still the highest cup defeat in the club's history.

From 1890 to 1915: The golden age of the Victorian and Edwardian eras

Harry Hampton scorer in the 1905 FA Cup final against Newcastle United .

Little time passed before Aston Villa became English champions for the first time in the 1893/94 season . This was also the beginning of a "golden era" and until the outbreak of the First World War , the club won a total of six championships and five FA Cup titles, including the double in the 1896/97 season, which no other club in more than 60 in the following years Years more repeated. The team captain at the time was John Devey .

As Aston Villa regularly attracted large crowds, a new venue was needed from then on. Around 25,000 spectators usually attended championship games at a time when only about 20,000 people were attending the FA Cup final. With Frederick cattle finally the Financial Secretary, the negotiations led the club in 1897 to purchase a new stadium at the "Aston Lower Grounds" that the term "until around 1900 Villa Park " took under which it is still known today. The name was born from the language used by its own followers; an official naming by the association never took place. The purchase itself continued into 1911.

From a sporting point of view, the 20th century began again with a championship for Aston Villa, but the gap between the record champions at the time and the competitors was increasingly closing. With the steady growth of new teams, the performance density in top English football became tighter. Villa remained a driving force in England from then on, but after four victories at the beginning of the season, the Villans only finished fourth from last place in the 1900/01 season . Two years later, however, Villa was runner-up again with a final spurt of twelve wins in the last 15 games. In front of over 100,000 spectators, Villa won the FA Cup again in 1905 at the Crystal Palace National Sports Center with 2-0 against Newcastle United ; in the championship, however, Villa had to wait for the sixth title until the 1909/10 season . Ten years after the last trophy, a 7-1 win over reigning champions Manchester United was an expression of new strength. The title defense was already within reach the following year, before a defeat against Liverpool on the last day of the game ensured that Manchester United won the championship with a simultaneous win against Sunderland FC on the home stretch. The next success was in 1913 the meanwhile fifth cup triumph.

From 1919 to 1939: phase between the two world wars

Although the club continued to be one of the leading clubs in English football after the First World War and won the sixth FA Cup in its history in 1920, a slow sporting downward trend began in the period that followed. This was largely due to the fact that a certain carelessness spread over past successes at Aston Villa, which bottomed out in 1936 in the unlikely relegation to the second-rate Second Division . Before that, the club had always produced a number of national players in the 1920s and 1930s - in the 1933/34 season, no fewer than fourteen selection players were in the service of Aston Villa - and often took part in the title race. Aston Villa had moved into the FA Cup final in 1924, where they lost 2-0 to Newcastle United . A sixth and tenth place in the two subsequent championship rounds then prompted the club to adopt a more intensive transfer policy, including Jimmy Gibson and Eric Houghton in 1927 and one of the most famous goalscorers in English football history a year later. For 4,700 pounds Villa signed by the Tranmere Rovers the hitherto largely unknown striker Tom "Pongo" Waring , who contributed 49 goals to the 128 league goals of Aston Villa in the 1930/31 season alone . Eric Houghton scored 30 hits.

In the years 1931 and 1933 Villa won the English runner-up again, before a negative trend announced itself with two midfield places in the following seasons up to 1935. When the club was relegated from the First Division for the first time at the end of the 1935/36 season, Aston Villa decided to hire a full-time and professional coach for the team for the first time. Before that, the team was always determined by a club committee and the training was directed by the "club secretary". The new sporting director should ostensibly remedy the misery in defensive behavior, which had led to the team conceding 110 goals in the previous season - including seven goals from Ted Drake in the 7-1 home defeat against Arsenal . Under Jimmy Hogan succeeded after a ninth place in the first season of the club in the Second Division in the season 1937/38 the second division championship. Until the outbreak of the Second World War , Aston Villa played again in the English elite class.

From 1946 to 1961: mediocrity towards the middle of the 20th century

Since the war interrupted the game, a total of seven seasons were not played. As a result, many player careers ended prematurely, which Aston Villa also suffered. The club's first post-war game at Villa Park ended in front of 50,000 spectators with a 1-0 defeat by Middlesbrough FC . Former player Alex Massie started a new squad in the remaining 1940s and the first signing was 23-year-old Welsh international Trevor Ford for £ 9,500 from Swansea Town . Ford eventually scored 60 goals in four seasons before moving on to Sunderland for a record £ 30,000 . Massie continued to invest in his squad until the early 1950s; In the championship, however, the team initially only occupied midfield. With Danny Blanchflower followed in 1951 for 15,000 pounds another important player purchase and after the first eight days of match Aston Villa drew new hope at the beginning of the 1951/52 season with second place behind Manchester United. With the best start in 19 years, the club finished in sixth place. After another season in mediocrity, the ex-player Eric Houghton returned to the former place of work as a coach. Among other things, this led the 19-year-old junior player Peter McParland to the first team. Despite mixed results in the league, the club started an unexpected winning streak in the FA Cup in the 1956/57 season and in the final, after two goals by Peter McParland, the team defeated the then celebrated "Busby Babes" of Manchester United with 2 :1. With this ninth cup triumph, the club won a trophy for the first time in 37 years.

However, winning the cup turned out to be a deceptive sign of true performance and the club only finished fourteenth in the table in the subsequent championship season . When relegation became apparent in the 1958/59 season , coach Eric Houghton was dismissed after he had previously rejected his own resignation. His successor Joe Mercer could not avoid going into the second division with the team - the second relegation in the club's history - in 1959. Once again, a certain carelessness, which had crept in after the seventh cup win in the club's history last season and was promoted by moving into the FA Cup semi-finals this season, ensured that the club was too good to be relegated . As a second division champion, however, succeeded in returning to the elite class in the immediately following season. With a new generation of young players, known as "Mercer's Minors" (German: "Mercers minors"), the club held its own respectably in the championship round and also won the first league cup in the 1960/61 season .

From 1961 to 1974: The first fall into third class

The club's slow relegation continued despite a seventh place in the 1961/62 season and had further lows in its development in the 1960s. About 15th place in 1963 , the team occupied only the fourth from last position after the end of the 1963/64 season . In July 1964, Mercer resigned from his coaching post, although health problems had led to this decision. Under Dick Taylor , the club narrowly secured relegation in the two following seasons with 16th place each, but a 2-4 defeat against Everton on the last day of the 1966/67 season sealed the third relegation to the second division. The club management dismissed Dick Taylor and made Tommy Cummings his successor.

The sporting downturn, however, was not exclusively due to the coaching performance. The club, led by a five-member board of which three members were already over 70 years old, failed to adapt to the increasingly modern football business. This manifested itself primarily in the lack of a functioning scouting network and in training that had not developed significantly in the past 40 years. The club's management then decided to sell the two most important players , Phil Woosnam and Tony Hateley . When Villa set in motion a threatening downward spiral even in the second division with the 16th place in the final table, the pressure from the supporters on the board of directors grew ever greater. The events reached their preliminary low point when Aston Villa was at the bottom of the Second Division table in November 1968. Tommy Cummings was fired, and George Robinson, a board member with his resignation, took responsibility for the sporting misery. As a result, the entire management of the club was under such public pressure that they announced their resignation in a press release. The club was effectively up for sale, and after a series of speculations, a financial expert from London, Pat Matthews , bought Aston Villa. Matthews installed Doug Ellis as the new chairman and two days later presented a successor to Cummings in Tommy Docherty .

There was now a fresh wind in the club, which was reflected in an immediate series of five wins in a row and relegation in the Second Division. In addition, during Docherty's short tenure, audience attendance increased significantly, and the issue of new shares - the first since 1896 - washed £ 200,000 into the club's clammy coffers. 140,000 pounds of that was invested in new players, but the subsequent 1969/70 season started devastating: Aston Villa needed ten league games to win their first season. At Christmas time, the Villans were second to last, and Docherty had to vacate his seat. But his successor Vic Crowe was ultimately unable to avert the first fall in the third division in the club's history. After all, the club saw a glimmer of hope when they knocked out Manchester United in the semi-finals of the League Cup and only lost 2-0 in the final against Tottenham Hotspur due to two late goals. The return to the Second Division was delayed by fourth place in the championship.

The club managed to return as a third division champion at the end of the 1971/72 season, with Aston Villa recording record numbers of visitors to their home at Villa Park at the end of the season and a third division record with 70 points. In the board of directors at the same time internal disputes degenerated until the fall of 1972 so that four of the five directors enforced the expulsion of Doug Ellis. However, with the support of the largest shareholder, Pat Matthews, and his own supporters, Ellis returned to his chairmanship after 43 days following an extraordinary general meeting. At the same time, the directors had to vacate their seats by resolution of the members. In sporting terms, the team only narrowly missed the second promotion in a row and finished the 1972/73 season in third place in the second division. In the second year after returning to the second division, Villa jumped out only 14th place, and Ellis then dismissed Crowe. The new coach was Ron Saunders, the former sports director of Manchester City .

From 1974 to 1987: European successes and setbacks

Tony Morley was one of the players in the English championship of Aston Villa in the 1980/81 season.

In the 100th season of Aston Villa, the club celebrated two great successes. In addition to the renewed victory in the League Cup with a 1-0 final victory over Norwich City by a goal by Ray Graydon , succeeded after an eight-year absence by the runner-up in the Second Division, the return to the top English division. Saunders had changed the face of the team only slightly with the purchases from Frank Carrodus and Leighton Phillips . With the cup success, Aston Villa even qualified for the first time for a European club competition. There, however, the club lost in the first round to the Belgian club Royal Antwerp with 1: 5 goals after the return leg. At the beginning of the 1975/76 season , there was rumbling again in the club's management and so Ellis resigned from the chair - but he remained on the board. The sporting trend was clearly upwards and Aston Villa took a good fourth place at the end of the 1976/77 season . In addition, Villa won the league cup again after two replay finals against Everton FC and reached the round of the last eight teams in the FA Cup.

In the subsequent 1977/78 season, Villa reached the quarter-finals in the second UEFA Cup attempt, where the club was defeated by the Spanish top club FC Barcelona . In the Camp Nou stadium, however, the club clearly demonstrated with a narrow 1: 2 defeat that the way from the third English division to the European football elite had succeeded within ten years. In the domestic league, the results were mixed and so Saunders rebuilt the team in crucial places. When Saunders began rebuilding in the summer of 1979, it was again Doug Ellis who tried to push through a resolution that should be filled with numerous director posts. Ellis failed and resigned from the board. Among the newcomers that Saunders brought in included some players who then developed into long-term pillars in the team; these included the defensive players Allan Evans , Ken McNaught and Kenny Swain , as well as Des Bremner in midfield , who from then on acted alongside Dennis Mortimer and Gordon Cowans . Tony Morley and Gary Shaw presented the new striker a couple and as even Peter Withe of Newcastle United came in the summer of 1980 to the team was complete, which provided in the early 1980s caused a sensation.

In the 1980/81 season , Villa won the English championship again after 71 years, with the team mainly keeping their competitors Liverpool and Ipswich Town at a distance. It was noteworthy that the number of players used this season only comprised 14 players. The 1981/82 season was ambivalent. At home, Aston Villa was only midfield around Christmas and in the European Cup, the team rushed from success to success. Here Villa defeated in the first round Valur Reykjavík with 7: 0 goals by home and away and beat and then press the away goals rule to BFC Dynamo from East Berlin. The European triumph was in contrast to the weak performances in the English championship, as a result of which Saunders announced his resignation in February 1982. It was later revealed that then Chairman Ron Bendall had offered his coach a revised, shorter-term contract that Saunders was unwilling to accept. Instead of Saunders, the calm Kotrainer Tony Barton took over the position of head coach of a team that had just reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup, but was only 19th in the championship. The Villans finally formed the round of the best eight European teams after a 0-0 first leg with a 2-0 win at Villa Park and with a single goal by Tony Morley against RSC Anderlecht , the team secured their place in the European Cup final the Bayern Munich in Rotterdam .

Peter Withe scored the decisive goal in De Kuip in the 67th minute. However, the 23-year-old substitute goalkeeper Nigel Spink , who had only played one competitive game five years earlier since signing for Chelmsford FC, became a key player . The goalkeeper Jimmy Rimmer suffered a shoulder injury and had to be replaced after just ten minutes. Spink found a very good performance through a series of saves and fended off several high-profile chances of the offensively strong opponent, in whose ranks there were players like Karl-Heinz Rummenigge . With the 1-0 win against the favorites from Munich, Villa was only the fourth English club to win this most important European club competition, today's “ UEFA Champions League ”, after Liverpool FC, Manchester United and Nottingham Forest .

European Cup winning team 1982

Aston Villa - FC Bayern Munich 1-0 (0-0)
venue De Kuip , Rotterdam , May 26, 1982, 46,000 spectators
Lineup Jimmy Rimmer (10th Nigel Spink ) - Kenny Swain , Allan Evans , Ken McNaught , Gary Williams - Des Bremner , Dennis Mortimer ( C ), Gordon Cowans - Gary Shaw , Peter Withe , Tony Morley
Trainer Tony Barton
Gates 1-0 Peter Withe (67th)

Barton looked after the club in the two subsequent seasons after this great success and was dismissed at the end of the 1983/84 season after reaching tenth place in the championship and an additional semi-final in the league cup. The team had passed its zenith and in October 1982 at the annual general meeting a debt level of 1.6 million pounds was announced. This was mainly due to the excessive increases in player salaries and the construction costs for the north stand. Ron and Donald Bendall resigned from the board of directors in November and an old friend returned with Doug Ellis, who bought the 42% stake from Ron Bendall. In January 1983, Villa ensured one last triumph of this era with the 3-1 win after a return leg against FC Barcelona and the associated Supercup title . Graham Turner , who had been signed by Shrewsbury Town , succeeded Barton as the new coach.

The negative trend that the club overtook again during this time was not stopped by Turner and in 1986 Aston Villa only barely managed to stay in the league. When the club started poorly in the following season, Turner was sacked in September and inherited by Billy McNeill . McNeill's tenure was even shorter than Turner's and Aston Villa was relegated from bottom of the table just five years after their great European success. McNeill left the club for Celtic Glasgow immediately after the end of the season and club chairman Doug Ellis managed to lay the foundation for a return to better times with the signing of Graham Taylor from Watford FC .

From 1987 to 1992: Taylor, Vengloš and Atkinson

In his first coaching season, Taylor led the club as runners-up in the Second Division behind Millwall FC back in the major league. A key player in this promotion team was 22-year-old David Platt , who had previously played in the Manchester United reserve team and was transferred from Crewe Alexandra for £ 200,000 only shortly after Taylor signed . With the help of Platt's scoring danger and Taylor's coaching skills, the league was retained on the last day of the match and only a year later in the 1989/90 season the surprising intervention in the championship race. Villa even led the table for three weeks in the second half of the season and finally finished the round nine points behind Liverpool FC in second place. Taylor then took over the position of English national coach, and with the Slovak Jozef Vengloš , a foreigner from outside the British Isles took over for the first time a coaching position in the top English division

Vengloš only spent the 1990/91 season at Aston Villa. By winning the runner-up, Villa qualified for the UEFA Cup and was one of the first English clubs to return to a European competition after the five-year ban for English football clubs due to the Heysel disaster in 1985. In addition, Aston Villa was the first club to return to mainland Europe in the first round match against Baník Ostrava . In the second round of the competition, the club faced the club Inter Milan, which was studded with many top players, and won what is probably the best performance since the cup triumph in 1982 at Villa Park with 2-0. However, the club was eliminated from the UEFA Cup after losing the second leg 3-0. When Villa finished the season just two places above the relegation zone in the championship, Vengloš resigned as coach. Aston also sold David Platt for five million pounds after 68 goals in 145 competitive games at AS Bari and signed Ron Atkinson, a sporting director who had previously celebrated success with West Bromwich Albion , Manchester United and, shortly before, Sheffield Wednesday , as successor for Vengloš . The performance of the team consolidated again, which led to the fact that they secured themselves with sixth place in the table to participate in the 1992 Premier League .

From 1992 to 2006: Aston Villa in the Premier League

The Holte End was converted into a pure seating grandstand in 1994.

Atkinson made significant investments in the team in the first 18 months of his tenure, hiring Earl Barrett , Dean Saunders , Andy Townsend , Dalian Atkinson , Kevin Richardson , Ray Houghton and Shaun Teale . This brash transfer policy almost led to great success when Villa won the first runner-up in the history of the Premier League behind Manchester United - Atkinson's former club. Above all, Saunders and Atkinson formed a highly effective pair of strikers who regularly scored goals in their home country Villa Park and were among the best offensive lines in the English elite class. In the 1993/94 League Cup , the club had already retaliated in advance on March 27, 1994 with a 3-1 final win over Manchester United. In the following season 1993/94 Villa finished only tenth place in the championship, with the club completed its last game in the old Villa Park, which was then converted into a complete seating stadium based on the specifications of the Taylor report . When the 1994/95 season began moderately, Atkinson was released 18 months after winning the League Cup.

The new coach Brian Little , who had come from Leicester City , managed to straighten the demoralized team. After relegation in the 1994/95 season , he initiated major personnel changes in the squad in the summer of 1995 by selling a number of older players and investing in many young players. The performance improved immediately in the 1995/96 season . Aston Villa won the League Cup again, made it to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and ended up fourth in the championship. The following season , the club ranked slightly weaker in fifth place, but qualified again for the UEFA Cup.

In February 1998 Brian Little resigned as a coach at a time when his team was in 15th place in the table and dismissal speculation had increased. His successor John Gregory , who had previously worked for Aston Villa in the coaching staff and had taken on the care of Wycombe Wanderers 18 months earlier , led the team back to the top regions of the Premier League and finished seventh in the UEFA Cup next year. Since the top six teams had already qualified for a European competition elsewhere, the fact that an English seventh-placed team could enter the UEFA Cup was a novelty. Despite the sale of Dwight Yorke to Manchester United for £ 12.6 million, Gregory led the team to the top of the league in the middle of the 1998/99 season . In 2000, Aston Villa moved back to the FA Cup final for the first time since 1957 and lost 1-0 to Chelsea after a disappointing game . At the end of the 2000/01 season , the club finished eighth in the championship. He subsequently qualified for the UEFA Cup via the UI Cup in the summer of 2001. The team came from now on in the Premier League not beyond a midfield position, whereupon Gregory resigned in January 2002. This was preceded by a verbal duel between Ellis and Gregory in November 2001, which had ended with a public apology from the coach.

In a surprising decision, the club boss Ellis immediately presented Graham Taylor as the new coach, who took up the post at Aston Villa for the second time. As is often the case in the first years of the Premier League, the club also finished in eighth place in midfield at the end of the 2001/02 season . Taylor left the club a year later when the team had only reached 16th place and had been inferior to local rivals Birmingham City in both games . It was only thanks to the stable form in home games that relegation was avoided. Taylor's second era was short and full of disappointments; it was shaped by the performances of some players who were not very popular in their own followers. These included, for example, the £ 6 million purchase Boško Balaban , who only made eight substitutions within three seasons, as well as Alpay Özalan and Peter Enckelman . David O'Leary , who had led Leeds United to the semi-finals of the Champions League in the 2000/01 season , took over the business of Taylor. O'Leary led the team continuously in the upper table region. In spring 2004, the team played for the Champions League qualification until a 2-0 home defeat to Manchester United heralded the case in sixth place. This also meant missing a place in the UEFA Cup. In the following period the form weakened again, whereby Aston Villa only finished tenth at the end of the 2004/05 season . This trend continued so far that the team barely prevented relegation to 16th position in the following season with a Premier League negative record of points scored. It was noteworthy that the poor placement had come about the previous summer despite a number of notable commitments such as Milan Baroš , Kevin Phillips and Wilfred Bouma for more than 13 million pounds.

This was a lasting frustration for the club environment. In addition, a number of Aston Villa players criticized chairman Ellis unusually harshly during his interview in a regional newspaper. The allegation was directed at the frugality of the club's management and the alleged lack of ambition. Despite the club's public statement, which dismissed the allegations as "ridiculous", it became apparent that experienced players in particular, with the support of David O'Leary, might have pushed this advance. The following week, O'Leary left Aston Villa after a three-year tenure by mutual agreement with the club. Roy Aitken took over his successor on an interim basis.

From 2006 to 2016: Under owner Randy Lerner

Aston Villa's former trainer Martin O'Neill .

On August 4, 2006, Doug Ellis presented the successful coach Martin O'Neill as the new sporting director of Aston Villa at a press conference with great approval from the fans . In addition, with John Robertson and Steve Walford, two experienced employees joined the O'Neill coaching staff.

After 23 years as chairman and majority shareholder with around 38%, Ellis finally decided to sell his shares to the association. This decision was welcomed by large parts of the community in the club, who were of the opinion that a complete change in personnel was necessary in order to build on past successes. Officially, Ellis's withdrawal was reported with health reasons. Randy Lerner , who had already made a name for himself as the owner of the NFL club Cleveland Browns , turned out to be a serious owner candidate . The Lerner trade took shape when it was announced on August 25, 2006 that Lerner had secured a total of 59.69% of the association's shares. By September 26, 2006, Lerner had completed his quota to 90%, with which he began to undertake the full buyout of the shares. The new owner installed his own followers on the board, including Charles C. Krulak . Doug Ellis has been named Honorary President for Life.

In terms of sport, the club remained undefeated for the longest time in the 2006/07 season of all Premier League clubs until their defeat on October 28, 2006. In the further course of the season, the team fell further and further back in the table due to the increasing injury problems and found themselves in the relegation battle after eleven games without a win in a row. When the club improved the squad in January 2007 with the signings John Carew , Ashley Young , Shaun Maloney and on loan Phillip Bardsley, the team secured themselves after a period of familiarization with the new players with 50 points and without defeat in the last nine games with the eleventh Final table space is ultimately the class. The upward trend continued in the following two years, so that Villa qualified for a European club competition with sixth place in the league. In the UEFA Europa League 2009/10 and UEFA Europa League 2010/11 they failed in the play-offs to Rapid Vienna . The first participation in a final of a major competition took place in the "Lerner Era" in the League Cup 2010, which Aston Villa lost 2-1 to Manchester United .

Five days before the start of the 2010/11 season, O'Neill resigned suddenly and with immediate effect from his coaching post. After an intensive search for a successor, Lerner signed Gérard Houllier as the new sporting director on September 8, 2010 . A mediocre season followed, at the end of which the club was again without a coach after Houllier's health-related withdrawal; with Alex McLeish , of all people, a former coach was hired by local rivals Birmingham City, who had recently won the league cup but also suffered relegation to the second division. Under McLeish, the club went through a downturn in the 2011/12 season, which ended just above the relegation places in the 16th final table rank and McLeish's premature departure after just one year.

On June 2, 2012, Paul Lambert became Aston Villa's coach. On February 11, 2015, he was fired during his third season at Aston after the club slipped to a relegation zone in the Premier League after a loss to Hull City . Just three days later, the Englishman Tim Sherwood was introduced as the official successor to Lambert. But the relegation could not be achieved in the following year: on April 16, 2016 Aston Villa lost the away game against Manchester United with 0: 1 and five games before the end of the season as relegated and bottom of the table.

Owned by Tony Xia since 2016

In June 2016, Chinese businessman Tony Xia took over the club for £ 76 million. The Swiss Roberto Di Matteo , who had previously coached FC Schalke 04 , was won as a coach. He was released in early October after a weak start and replaced by Steve Bruce .

Bruce led the team to 4th place in the 2017/18 season , which qualified them to participate in the play-offs for promotion to the Premier League. There, however, the final game against Fulham FC was lost 1-0 and promotion was missed. The following season Bruce was sacked after just one win in nine games.

Successor was Dean Smith , who still led the team in 6th place and thus again in the play-offs. Aston Villa reached the final again and this time was able to prevail 2-1 against Derby County . Thus, the return to the Premier League was achieved after three years.

Club colors and crests

The club colors consist of a wine-red jersey with sky-blue sleeves, white pants with blue stripes and sky-blue socks with white stripes. The club was the first football club to present this famous and unusual color combination and was subsequently copied into it by, for example, the clubs West Ham United , Burnley FC and Scunthorpe United . Aston Villa's initial kit colors were an all-white, gray, or shade of blue; the pants were either white or black. In the later period from 1877 to 1879, the team wore many different colors from completely white to blue-black, red-blue to completely green. In 1880, William McGregory introduced black jerseys with a red lion on the chest. It is generally assumed that the Scottish villa legend George Ramsay was behind it , who introduced the Scottish heraldic animal . The club kept this gap for the next six years. On Monday, November 8th, 1886, it was recorded in the official minutes of the association: “Proposed and approved that the colors consist of cocoa-brown and sky-blue shirts and that we order two dozen. Proposed and agreed that Mr. McGregor be asked to procure these at the lowest possible cost ”. The cocoa color was later changed to wine red.

New coat of arms since 2007

There is little clarity as to why burgundy and blue were chosen as the club's new colors. Only theories have withstood the time. One of them says that club officials set this down during a meeting in the Barton's Arms restaurant in Newton , Birmingham . Finding colors was one of the items on the agenda. However, the officials could not really make up their minds and then discovered the blue and red tiles on the wall of the location. They adopted this color combination and only changed the pure red color slightly to wine red. These colors can still be seen in the restaurant to this day. Another theory is based on the fact that the Scottish connection in the early days of the club was so great, mainly due to George Ramsay and William McGregor, that this led to the adoption of the colors of the Duke of Edinburgh .

On May 2, 2007, a new coat of arms was presented, which has officially accompanied the club since the 2007/08 season. The new logo shows the "Lion Rampant" on a light blue background and a newly added star, which represents the European Cup victory in 1982. The traditional motto "Prepared" (German: "Prepared") was retained, but the club name Aston Villa was abbreviated, with "AVFC" being the complete short form of the original name. An “FC” or “Football Club” did not appear in the previous coat of arms. The club's supporters received the new logo with mixed feelings. While some welcomed the simplicity and the “ retro look”, others found the design boring and childlike, with the short form “AVFC” being rejected in favor of the full name “Aston Villa FC”.

Game and training facilities

The interior view of Villa Park (2008).

The current home ground of Aston Villa is Villa Park . The stadium has been classified by UEFA in Category 4 , the highest level. Previously, the club had traditionally held home matches between 1874 and 1876 at Aston Park and then between 1876 and 1897 at Perry Barr . Villa Park is the largest football stadium in the Midlands and the eighth largest overall capacity in England. 16 international matches for the English national team were played there between 1899 and 2005. Villa Park was the first stadium in which international football was played in three different centuries. In 55 games, Villa Park hosted an FA Cup semi-final, which is a record to this day (as of October 2008). After the building permit for the conversion of the north stand has been granted, an expansion of the capacity to around 51,000 spectators is planned, which is to be achieved, among other things, by filling the “gaps” in the two corners of the north stand.

The current training ground is located in the small town of Bodymoor Heath in the north of Warwickshire . The former club chairman Doug Ellis had bought the site from a local farmer in the early 1970s. At the time, these systems were state-of-the-art, but by the end of the 1990s they were obviously getting on in years. In November 2005, Ellis and Aston Villa plc announced a £ 13 million conversion of Bodymoor in two phases. Due to financial difficulties, the project was postponed and was not finished until Randy Lerner took over ownership of the club and made completion a "top priority". The new training facility was opened on May 6, 2007 and approved for the 2007/08 season.

Supporters of the club

With Richard Fitzgerald , a former board member of the association expressed that the following in its ethnic composition "98% white" is. This finding led to the fact that the new club management has set itself the goal of better access to minorities in the next few years. Several supporter organizations support public engagement in the region, especially with the help of the charitable work of "Aston Pride". With the initiative "Villa in the community" (German: "Villa in der Gemeinde"), the association is primarily looking at young people who are to be encouraged to do charitable work in the region. The new owners also conducted surveys in order to obtain the opinions of their own supporters and to include them in decision-making processes. For this purpose, they are invited every quarter to take part in votes and to address questions to the Presidium.

Like many English football clubs, Aston Villa had to contend with a number of hooligan organizations ("companies"). These included "Villa Youth", "Steamers", "Villa Hardcore" and the "C-Crew", which was very active in the 1970s and 1980s. As in all English football, the violent fan base has decreased significantly in the recent past, but one folder was killed in 2004 when several villa "firms" had a brawl with Queens Park Rangers hooligans . The majority of the support groups are now organized in a number of local fan clubs. This primarily includes the association's official “Supporters Club”, which in turn has smaller regional and international branches. There were also a number of independent supporters 'associations during Doug Ellis' tenure, most of which disbanded after his retirement. The fan clubs also publish “Fanzines” magazines, including “Heroes and Villains” and “Holtenders in the sky”, the name of which comes from a popular song on the south stand of Villa Park, the Holte End.

Aston Villa's city rival is Birmingham City . The games between the two clubs are known as the "Second City Derby". There are also local and less explosive duels against Coventry City , West Bromwich Albion and the Wolverhampton Wanderers . Together with FC Walsall , these clubs are also known as the "Big Six" of the West Midlands . Historically, however, West Bromwich Albion has been one of Aston Villa's greatest rivals in English football, as confirmed by a poll of supporters in 2003. Both clubs dueled each other in three FA Cup finals in the late 19th century. In the 2010/11 Premier League season, four clubs from the West Midlands face each other after the rise of West Bromwich Albion with Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Birmingham City and "WBA".

Ownership / Finances

The first shares were issued by "Aston Villa FC plc " , which was established in 1896 , primarily to cater to the growing number of professional clubs and players. The issue of the shares was intended to attract investors and thus facilitate the trading of players between clubs. This model prevailed well into the 20th century, when Doug Ellis bought a large part of the shares in the 1960s. He was chairman and shareholder of the association between 1968 and 1975; during his second term between 1982 and 2006 he was the majority shareholder. After the IPO , Aston Villa FC plc was traded on the London Stock Exchange for almost ten years , until the association publicly announced in 2006 that it had takeover bids from numerous consortia and individuals.

On August 14, 2006, Aston Villa publicly announced for the first time that an agreement had been reached with Randy Lerner , owner of NFL club Cleveland Browns , for a takeover for 62.6 million British pounds. A statement to the London Stock Exchange on August 25, 2006 officially confirmed that Lerner had secured 59.69% of the shares in Aston Villa plc and is now the majority shareholder. At the same time, Lerner named himself the new chairman of the club. In Ellis's last year in office, Aston Villa had previously generated a pre-tax loss of £ 8.2 million, increasing the deficit by £ 5.2 million, primarily due to a decline in revenue from £ 51.6 to 49 million. Randy Lerner took full control on September 18, 2006 after increasing his stake to 89.69%. One day later, Doug Ellis and the entire board of directors resigned, which Lerner immediately replaced and headed with “his own people”.

The auditing company Deloitte ranked Aston Villa in 20th place in its “ Football Money League ” ranking in 2011 due to sales of 109.4 million euros in the past 2009/10 season .

Aston Villa in pop culture


In the British sitcom Porridge , Richard Beckinsale 's character Lennie Godber was an avowed supporter of Aston Villa.

In the first episode of the Yes Minister series , Jim Hacker apologized for the rest of the day by saying that he had to watch the Aston Villa game. In a later episode, he launched a campaign to rescue his local team, the fictional Aston Wanderers.

In several scenes of the British sketch telecast The Fast Show the Villa supporters wore Mark Williams especially in rüpelhaftem conduct a jersey of local rivals Birmingham City.

For the British comedy series Dad's Army , Ian Lavender, as a fan of Aston Villa , chose a wine-red and blue scarf for the private Frank Pike he portrayed .

In the literature

The novel "Oi, Ref" by Joseph Gallivan is about a referee who, as a supporter of Aston Villa, manipulates the FA Cup semi-finals.

In the novel "Goshawk Squadron" written by Derek Robinson , Stanley Woolley is a fan of Aston Villa, who names a pre-war starting eleven.

Together with the venue The Oval , Villa Park is also quoted in a poem by Philip Larkin about the First World War (Philip Larkin, MCMXIV).


Coach chronicle

Status: end of season 2018/19. Only official games and permanent coaches were considered.

Surname nationality from to Games Victories Defeats draw Wins in%
George Ramsay ScotlandScotland August 1884 May 1926 000000000001327.00000000001,327 000000000000658.0000000000658 000000000000414.0000000000414 000000000000255.0000000000255 000000000000048.590000000048.59
WJ Smith EnglandEngland August 1926 May 1934 000000000000364.0000000000364 000000000000175.0000000000175 000000000000122.0000000000122 000000000000067.000000000067 000000000000048.080000000048.08
Jimmy McMullan ScotlandScotland June 1934 October 1936 000000000000055.000000000055 000000000000017.000000000017th 000000000000023.000000000023 000000000000015.000000000015th 000000000000030.900000000030.90
Jimmy Hogan EnglandEngland November 1936 September 1939 000000000000124.0000000000124 000000000000057.000000000057 000000000000041.000000000041 000000000000026.000000000026th 000000000000045.970000000045.97
Alex Massie ScotlandScotland August 1945 August 1950 000000000000189.0000000000189 000000000000076.000000000076 000000000000067.000000000067 000000000000046.000000000046 000000000000040.210000000040.21
George Martin EnglandEngland December 1950 August 1953 000000000000119.0000000000119 000000000000047.000000000047 000000000000042.000000000042 000000000000030.000000000030th 000000000000039.500000000039.50
Eric Houghton EnglandEngland September 1953 November 1958 000000000000250.0000000000250 000000000000088.000000000088 000000000000097.000000000097 000000000000065.000000000065 000000000000035.200000000035.20
Joe Mercer EnglandEngland December 1958 July 1964 000000000000282.0000000000282 000000000000120.0000000000120 000000000000099.000000000099 000000000000063.000000000063 000000000000042.550000000042.55
Dick Taylor EnglandEngland July 1964 May 1967 000000000000144.0000000000144 000000000000051.000000000051 000000000000071.000000000071 000000000000022.000000000022nd 000000000000035.420000000035.42
Tommy Cummings EnglandEngland July 1967 November 1968 000000000000062.000000000062 000000000000018.000000000018th 000000000000030.000000000030th 000000000000014.000000000014th 000000000000029.030000000029.03
Tommy Docherty ScotlandScotland December 1968 January 1970 000000000000046.000000000046 000000000000013.000000000013 000000000000017.000000000017th 000000000000016.000000000016 000000000000028.260000000028.26
Vic Crowe WalesFlag of Wales (1959 – present) .svg January 1970 May 1974 000000000000199.0000000000199 000000000000088.000000000088 000000000000056.000000000056 000000000000055.000000000055 000000000000044.220000000044.22
Ron Saunders EnglandEngland June 1974 February 1982 000000000000353.0000000000353 000000000000157.0000000000157 000000000000098.000000000098 000000000000098.000000000098 000000000000044.760000000044.76
Tony Barton EnglandEngland February 1982 June 1984 000000000000130.0000000000130 000000000000058.000000000058 000000000000048.000000000048 000000000000024.000000000024 000000000000044.620000000044.62
Graham Turner EnglandEngland July 1984 September 1986 000000000000105.0000000000105 000000000000033.000000000033 000000000000043.000000000043 000000000000029.000000000029 000000000000031.420000000031.42
Billy McNeill ScotlandScotland September 1986 May 1987 000000000000041.000000000041 000000000000009.00000000009 000000000000017.000000000017th 000000000000015.000000000015th 000000000000021.950000000021.95
Graham Taylor EnglandEngland May 1987 July 1990 000000000000142.0000000000142 000000000000065.000000000065 000000000000042.000000000042 000000000000035.000000000035 000000000000045.770000000045.77
Jozef Vengloš Czech RepublicCzech Republic July 1990 May 1991 000000000000049.000000000049 000000000000016.000000000016 000000000000018.000000000018th 000000000000015.000000000015th 000000000000032.650000000032.65
Ron Atkinson EnglandEngland July 1991 November 1994 000000000000178.0000000000178 000000000000077.000000000077 000000000000056.000000000056 000000000000045.000000000045 000000000000043.250000000043.25
Brian Little EnglandEngland November 1994 February 1998 000000000000164.0000000000164 000000000000068.000000000068 000000000000051.000000000051 000000000000045.000000000045 000000000000041.460000000041.46
John Gregory EnglandEngland February 1998 January 2002 000000000000190.0000000000190 000000000000082.000000000082 000000000000056.000000000056 000000000000052.000000000052 000000000000043.150000000043.15
Graham Taylor EnglandEngland February 2002 May 2003 000000000000060.000000000060 000000000000019.000000000019th 000000000000027.000000000027 000000000000014.000000000014th 000000000000031.660000000031.66
David O'Leary IrelandIreland May 2003 July 2006 000000000000131.0000000000131 000000000000047.000000000047 000000000000049.000000000049 000000000000035.000000000035 000000000000035.880000000035.88
Martin O'Neill Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland August 2006 August 2010 000000000000190.0000000000190 000000000000080.000000000080 000000000000050.000000000050 000000000000060.000000000060 000000000000042.110000000042.11
Kevin MacDonald ScotlandScotland August 2010 September 2010 000000000000007.00000000007th 000000000000002.00000000002 000000000000003.00000000003 000000000000002.00000000002 000000000000028.570000000028.57
Gerard Houllier FranceFrance September 2010 June 2011 000000000000039.000000000039 000000000000014.000000000014th 000000000000014.000000000014th 000000000000011.000000000011 000000000000035.900000000035.90
Alex McLeish ScotlandScotland June 2011 May 2012 000000000000042.000000000042 000000000000009.00000000009 000000000000016.000000000016 000000000000017.000000000017th 000000000000021.430000000021.43
Paul Lambert ScotlandScotland June 2012 February 2015 000000000000115.0000000000115 000000000000034.000000000034 000000000000055.000000000055 000000000000026.000000000026th 000000000000029.570000000029.57
Tim Sherwood EnglandEngland February 2015 October 2015 000000000000028.000000000028 000000000000010.000000000010 000000000000016.000000000016 000000000000002.00000000002 000000000000035.710000000035.71
Rémi Guard FranceFrance October 2015 March 2016 000000000000023.000000000023 000000000000003.00000000003 000000000000013.000000000013 000000000000007.00000000007th 000000000000013.040000000013.04
Roberto Di Matteo ItalyItaly June 2016 October 2016 000000000000012.000000000012 000000000000001.00000000001 000000000000004.00000000004th 000000000000007.00000000007th 0000000000000008.33000000008.33
Steve Bruce EnglandEngland October 2016 October 2018 000000000000102.0000000000102 000000000000046.000000000046 000000000000031.000000000031 000000000000025.000000000025th 000000000000045.100000000045.10
Dean Smith EnglandEngland October 2018 current 000000000000038.000000000038 000000000000019.000000000019th 000000000000009.00000000009 000000000000010.000000000010 000000000000050.000000000050

Squad for the 2019/20 season

As of September 17, 2019

No. Nat. Surname birthday in the team since Contract until
01 EnglandEngland Tom Heaton 04/15/1986 2019 2020
12 EnglandEngland Jed Steer 09/23/1992 2013 2023
25th NorwayNorway Ørjan Nyland 09/10/1990 2018 2021
28 CroatiaCroatia Lovre Kalinić 04/03/1990 2019 2023
03 WalesFlag of Wales (1959 – present) .svg Neil Taylor 02/07/1989 2017 2021
05 WalesFlag of Wales (1959 – present) .svg James Chester (C)Captain of the crew 01/23/1989 2016 2020
15th EnglandEngland Ezri Konsa 10/23/1997 2019 2023
18th EnglandEngland Matt Targett 09/18/1995 2019 2020
22nd BelgiumBelgium Bjorn Engels 09/15/1994 2019 2024
24 FranceFrance Frédéric Guilbert 12/24/1994 2019 2023
30th EnglandEngland Kortney home 07/16/1995 2019 2022
40 EnglandEngland Tyrone Mings 03/13/1993 2019 2020
06th BrazilBrazil Douglas Luiz 05/09/1998 2019 2023
07th ScotlandScotland John McGinn October 18, 1994 2018 2024
08th EnglandEngland Henri Lansbury October 12, 1990 2017 2021
10 EnglandEngland Jack Grealish 09/10/1995 2013 2023
11 ZimbabweZimbabwe Marvelous Nakamba 01/19/1994 2019 2024
14th IrelandIreland Conor Hourihane 02/02/1991 2017 2023
17th EgyptEgypt Trezeguet 10/01/1994 2019 2023
23 SpainSpain Iota 06/16/1991 2019 2021
27 EgyptEgypt Ahmed Elmohamady 09/09/1987 2017 2021
09 BrazilBrazil Wesley Moraes 11/26/1996 2019 2023
21st NetherlandsNetherlands Anwar El Ghazi 05/03/1995 2019 2023
26th Ivory CoastIvory Coast Jonathan Kodjia 10/22/1989 2016 2020
39 EnglandEngland No Davis 02/13/1998 2017 2020

"Aston Villa Academy"

The "Aston Villa Academy" was founded in 1997 and is the club's youth department. It looks after young talents between the ages of nine and 18 and includes, among other things, a U-18 selection, which last competed in Group B of the FA Premier Academy League in the 2007/08 season and after victories against the youth teams of Arsenal and FC Manchester City won the academy championship. Previously, Aston Villa's U-17 team had won the English championship in 2004. Further successes in the youth work of Aston Villa stand for three titles in the FA Youth Cup in 1972, 1980 and 2002.

The two trainers Gordon Cowans and Tony McAndrew are responsible for the youth department .


  • 3 times FA Youth Cup winner : 1972, 1980 and 2002
  • 1- time champion of the FA Premier Academy League U17s: 2004
  • 1- time champion of the FA Premier Academy League U18s: 2008

Game and training facilities

The home games are played on the weekend in Bodymoor Heath , where training sessions are held during the week.

Well-known graduates

Aston Villa Academy graduates who later made the leap into the professional field include Gabriel Agbonlahor , Gareth Barry , Jon Bewers , Gary Cahill , Stephen Cooke , Steven Davis , Rob Edwards , Craig Gardner , Thomas Hitzlsperger , Luke Moore , Stefan Moore , Isaiah Osbourne , Liam Ridgewell , Jlloyd Samuel , Peter Whittingham and Darius Vassell .

"Aston Villa Reserves" and "Scouting"

Aston Villa's second team is called "Aston Villa Reserves". It has participated in the Premier Reserve League since it was founded in 1999 and has won three Southern Division titles to date (2008, 2009, 2010). The team plays their home games in the autumn and spring in Villa Park and only in the winter months does the team use the nearby Bescot Stadium , which is usually home to FC Walsall . As with the successful youth work, the reserve team has also been able to collect titles in recent years and was victorious in the northern division of the Premier Reserve League four years earlier before the first success in the southern season in 2008. The team regularly occupies one of the top positions and has developed as a stepping stone for players who have only played sporadically or not at all in the first team. Kevin MacDonald is currently training the "Reserves", but the two youth coaches Gordon Cowans and Tony McAndrew each have a great influence, as the players are mostly between 16 and 19 years and a clear priority is in the development of these players. In addition, there is a further focus on the players who are part of the professional squad, but who are not considered in the first team's games at the time, and on players who need match practice after an injury break.


The tracks of the reserve team go back to 1892, when a second team joined the "Birmingham & District League". After two runners-up in the first two seasons, the substitute players were able to win a title there for the first time in the 1894/95 season. The team had won 26 of 30 games and only accepted one defeat. The team was also extremely successful in the following years and won eight championships in a row between 1903 and 1910. When the "Villa Reserves" finally left the Birmingham & District League in 1915, they had accumulated twelve titles and six runners-up.

Aston Villa was a founding member of the Premier Reserve League launched for the 1999/00 season and from then on appeared in the league's northern season. The first three seasons passed without success for the Villans, before the team with the brother couple Stefan Moore and Luke Moore won the title in the 2003/04 season. In the following two years, the reserves ranked second behind the Manchester United substitutes. When the FA Premier Reserve League was rebuilt for the 2006/07 season and only teams whose professional departments were active in the Premier League were now admitted, the Aston Villa Reserves moved to the southern division. After finishing fourth in the first season of the southern season, the team won the title there for the first time in the 2007/08 season. After failing 3-0 in the subsequent final against north champions Liverpool Reserves, the "big hit" was achieved for the first time in 2009 when the Sunderland Reserves were defeated 3-1.

Aston Villa also has a scouting system managed by Ian Storey-Moore , a former Nottingham Forest and Manchester United player in the 1960s and early 1970s, since September 2006 .


  • Champion of the "Birmingham & District League" 12 times: 1895, 1896, 1900, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910 and 1912
  • 19 times winner of the "Birmingham Senior Cup": 1880, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1896, 1899, 1903, 1904, 1906, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1912 and 1985
  • 1- time Premier Reserve League Champion: 2009
  • 1- time FA Premier Reserve League North Champion: 2004
  • 2- time champions of the FA Premier Reserve League South : 2008, 2009, 2010

Women's football: Aston Villa LFC

The "Aston Villa Ladies Football Club" is the women's football division of the Aston Villa Football Club. The team currently plays in the Women's Super League 2 and thus in the second group of the highest English women's football league . The original name of the team was since 1973 the FC Solihull ("Solihull Football Club"). When Aston Villa was looking for an existing women's team to found a women's football department in 1989, Solihull FC signed up. The team only officially adopted the name of the Villans in 1996. The greatest success to date is the promotion to the FA Women's Premier League two years later.

In addition to the first team, the club also houses a women's reserve team that is active in the Northern Premier Reserve League Division 2. In addition, the women's department maintains junior teams, namely a U-10, U-12, U-14 and a U-16 team, all of which are trained within the “Center of Excellence”.

Statistics and records

Player with the most stakes

Note: only official competitions including substitutions. The information in brackets stands for substitutes as substitutes. Other competitive games in the European Cup or in the Charity / Community Shield are listed under “Other” .

# Surname Period league FA Cup League Cup Others total
1 Charlie Aitken from 1959 to 1976 559 (2) 34 (1) 61 (0) 3 (0) 657 (3)
2 Billy Walker from 1919 to 1934 478 (0) 53 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 531 (0)
3 Gordon Cowans from 1970 to 1985
from 1988 to 1991
399 (15) 8 (1) 40 (4) 39 (2) 506 (22)
4th Joseph Bache from 1900 to 1915 431 (0) 42 (0) 0 (0) 1 (0) 474 (0)
5 Allan Evans from 1977 to 1989 374 (6) 26 (0) 42 (1) 24 (0) 466 (7)
6th Nigel Spink from 1979 to 1996 357 (4) 28 (0) 45 (0) 19 (1) 449 (5)
7th Tommy Smart from 1919 to 1933 405 (0) 47 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 452 (0)
8th Gareth Barry from 1997 to 2009 365 (41) 21 (3) 29 (4) 26 (4) 441 (52)
9 Johnny Dixon from 1945 to 1961 392 (0) 38 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 430 (0)
10 Dennis Mortimer from 1975 to 1985 315 (1) 21 (0) 38 (0) 30 (0) 404 (1)

Player with the most goals

Note: only official competitions - the information in brackets stands for the number of appearances (including substitutions). Other competitive games in the European Cup or in the Charity and Community Shield are listed under “Other”.

# Surname Period league FA Cup League Cup Others total
1 Billy Walker from 1919 to 1933 214 (478) 30 (53) 0 (0) 0 (0) 244 (531)
2 Harry Hampton from 1904 to 1920 215 (339) 27 (34) 0 (0) 0 (0) 242 (373)
3 John Devey from 1891 to 1902 169 (268) 18 (38) 0 (0) 0 (2) 187 (308)
4th Joseph Bache from 1900 to 1914 168 (431) 17 (42) 0 (0) 0 (1) 185 (474)
5 Eric Houghton from 1927 to 1946 160 (361) 10 (31) 0 (0) 0 (0) 170 (392)
6th Tom "Pongo" Waring from 1928 to 1935 159 (216) 8 (10) 0 (0) 0 (0) 167 (226)
7th Johnny Dixon from 1945 to 1961 132 (392) 12 (38) 0 (0) 0 (0) 144 (430)
8th Peter McParland from 1952 to 1962 97 (293) 19 (36) 4 (11) 0 (1) 120 (341)
9 Billy Garraty from 1897 to 1908 96 (224) 15 (31) 0 (0) 1 (3) 112 (258)
10 Dai Astley from 1931 to 1936 92 (165) 8 (8) 0 (0) 0 (0) 100 (173)
10 Len Capewell from 1921 to 1930 88 (143) 12 (13) 0 (0) 0 (0) 100 (156)

Club records



  • Debuts
    • First game - 1874 1-0 friendly against Aston Brook St Mary’s
    • First championship game - on September 8, 1888 1-1 against Wolverhampton Wanderers
    • First FA Cup game - on December 13, 1879 1-1 against Stafford Road Works
    • First League Cup game - 1960 4-1 against Huddersfield Town
  • Record victories
  • Record defeats
  • Attendance records

Other player records

Individual club records

International matches

Average attendance since the 1975/76 season

The 2007/08 season saw Aston Villa's highest average attendance at Villa Park in the English premier league since 1976. The lowest number is from the 1985/86 season. In 1992 the Premier League replaced the First Division as the highest English league.

Known players

The supporters voted twelve players into the "Aston Villa Hall of Fame". In May 2013, Stilian Petrow was added to the Hall of Fame after retiring.

The following Aston Villa players are also part of the "Football League 100 Legends", which were honored by the Football League in 1998 on the occasion of the 100th season :


  • Dean Hayes: The Villa Park Encyclopedia: AZ of Aston Villa . Mainstream Publishing, 1997, ISBN 978-1-85158-959-3 .
  • Adam Ward & Jeremy Griffin: The essential history of Aston Villa . Headline book publishing, ISBN 0-7553-1140-X .

Web links

Commons : Aston Villa  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

References and footnotes

  1. Aston Villa is back in the Premier League. May 27, 2019, accessed June 7, 2019 .
  2. ^ "Aston Villa V Birmingham City" ( Memento June 7, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (Football Derbies)
  3. The Times , No. 32013, March 7, 1887, 7.
  4. ^ "FA Cup Final 1887" on ( Memento from May 21, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  5. ^ The Times , no.32037, Apr. 4, 1887, p. 6.
  6. The Times , No. 32043, April 11, 1887, 8.
  7. The Birmingham Daily Post described the duel in its January 9, 1888 issue as a game with a crowd and excitement not yet reached ("before a crowd and amidst an excitement unparalleled in the history of the game")
  8. a b c d e f g h i j "England - Football Statistics Archive - League Records" (The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation)
  9. a b c d e f At this point in time two points were awarded for every win and one point for every draw. The goal quotient is calculated from the quotient of goals scored by oneself (numerator) and the goals scored against (denominator).
  10. a b c "Club Honors" ( Memento from January 4, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (
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  13. Hayes pp. 144-145
  14. Hayes p. 67
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  22. ^ Ward, Adam, p. 108
  23. For the 1976/77 season, the goal difference replaced the goal quotient as the criterion for placing teams with equal points.
  24. From the 1981/82 season onwards, a winning team was awarded three points in a championship game - instead of two points previously.
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  26. ^ Ward, Adam, 110
  27. ^ Ward, Adam, 118
  28. ^ "Aston Villa, 1981" (Observer Sport Monthly)
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  66. Source: Danny Brown: Villains: The Inside Story of Aston Villa's Hooligan Gangs . Milo Books, 2006, ISBN 978-1-903854-59-4 .
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  83. average attendance of the first English league
  84. Popular Petrov to be added to Villa iconic Hall of Fame ( Memento from September 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  85. Saunders was never a Aston Villa player, but coached the team successfully between 1974 and 1982.
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on July 24, 2008 .