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Aston Villa F.C.
A crest with a claret border, light blue background and yellow lion rampant facing to the left with a small star slightly above an outstretched leg. AVFC is atop the lion in claret writing with "Prepared" written underneath.
Full name Aston Villa Football Club
Nickname(s) The Villa, The Villans, The Lions
Founded 1874[1]
Ground Villa Park
Birmingham B6 6HE
(Capacity: 42,788[2][3])
Owner Randy Lerner
Manager Martin O'Neill
League Premier League
2008–09 Premier League, 6th
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours
Current season

Aston Villa Football Club (pronounced /ˈæstən ˈvɪlə/) (also known as Villa, The Villa and The Villans)[4] is an English professional football club based in Aston, Birmingham, who play in the Premier League. The club was founded in 1874 and have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Aston Villa were founder members of The Football League in 1888. They were also founder members of the Premier League in 1992.[5] The club was floated by the previous owner and chairman Doug Ellis, but in 2006 full control of the club was acquired by Randy Lerner.

They are one of the oldest and most successful football clubs in England, having won the First Division Championship seven times and the FA Cup seven times.[6] Villa also won the 1981–82 European Cup, one of only four English clubs to win what is now the UEFA Champions League.[7] Aston Villa has the fourth highest total of major honours won by an English club.[8]

They have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with local rivals Birmingham City. The Second City derby between Aston Villa and Birmingham City has been played since 1879.[9] The club's traditional kit colours are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and sky blue socks. Their traditional crest is of a rampant gold lion on a light blue background with the club's motto "Prepared" underneath; a modified version of this was adopted in 2007.[10]



Aston Villa Football Club were formed in March, 1874, by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth which is now part of Birmingham. The four founders of Aston Villa were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood.[11] Aston Villa's first match was against the local Aston Brook St Mary's Rugby team. As a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under rugby rules and the second half under football rules.[12] Villa soon established themselves as one of the best teams in the Midlands, winning their first honour, the Birmingham Senior Cup in 1880, under the captaincy of Scotsman George Ramsay.[13]

A sepia photograph with a large old structure in the background obscured by trees. In the foreground there is a large shield surrounded by five trophies. On either side of the shield stands 8 people.
The Aston Villa team of the 1890s

The club won its first FA Cup in 1887 with captain Archie Hunter becoming one of the game's first household names. Aston Villa were one of the dozen teams that competed in the inaugural Football League in 1888 with one of the club's directors, William McGregor being the league's founder. Aston Villa emerged as the most successful English club of the Victorian era, winning no fewer than five League titles and three FA Cups by the end of Queen Victoria's reign.[14] In 1897, the year Villa won The Double, they moved into their present home, the Aston Lower Grounds.[15] Supporters coined the name "Villa Park"; no official declaration listed the ground as Villa Park.[16]

Aston Villa won their sixth FA Cup in 1920, soon after though the club began a slow decline that led to Villa, at the time one of the most famous and successful clubs in world football, being relegated in 1936 for the first time to the Second Division. This was largely the result of a dismal defensive record: they conceded 110 goals in 42 games, 7 of them coming from Arsenal's Ted Drake in an infamous 1–7 defeat at Villa Park.[17] Like all English clubs, Villa lost seven seasons to the Second World War, and that conflict brought several careers to a premature end.[18] The team was rebuilt under the guidance of former player Alex Massie for the remainder of the 1940s. Aston Villa's first trophy for 37 years came in the 1956–57 season when another former Villa player, Eric Houghton led the club to a then record seventh FA Cup Final win, defeating the 'Busby Babes' of Manchester United in the final.[19] The team struggled in the league though and were relegated two seasons later, due in large part to complacency. However, under the stewardship of manager Joe Mercer Villa returned to the top-flight in 1960 as Second Division Champions. The following season Aston Villa became the first team to win the Football League Cup.[20]

Mercer's forced retirement from the club in 1964 signaled a period of deep turmoil. The most successful club in England was struggling to keep pace with changes in the modern game, with Villa being relegated for the third time, under manager Dick Taylor in 1967. The following season the fans called for the board to resign as Villa finished 16th in the Second Division. With mounting debts and Villa lying at the bottom of Division Two, the board sacked Cummings (the manager brought in to replace Taylor), and within weeks the entire board resigned under overwhelming pressure from fans.[21] After much speculation, control of the club was bought by London financier Pat Matthews, who also brought in Doug Ellis as chairman.[21] However, new ownership could not prevent Villa being relegated to the Third Division for the first time at the end of the 1969–70 season. However, Villa gradually began to recover under the management of former club captain Vic Crowe. In the 1971–72 season they returned to the Second Division as Champions with a record 70 points.[22] In 1974 Ron Saunders was appointed manager. His brand of no-nonsense man-management proved effective, with the club winning the League Cup the following season. By 1977 he had taken them back into the First Division and Europe.[23]

In the foreground is two men holding a large cup, they have claret scarves and a medal around their necks. Around them are ten old players in suits with medals and scarves around their necks.
The 1982 European Cup winning squad celebrate the 25th anniversary of their win.

Villa were back amongst the elite as Saunders continued to mould a winning team. This culminated in a seventh top-flight league title in 1980–81. To the surprise of commentators and fans, Saunders quit halfway through the 1981–82 season, after falling out with the chairman, with Villa in the quarter final of the European Cup. He was replaced by his softly-spoken assistant manager Tony Barton who guided the club to a 1–0 victory over Bayern Munich in the European Cup final in Rotterdam courtesy of a Peter Withe goal. The following season Villa were crowned European Super Cup winners, beating Barcelona in the final. This marked a pinnacle though and Villa's fortunes declined sharply for most of the 1980s, culminating in relegation in 1987.[24] This was followed by promotion the following year under Graham Taylor and a runners-up position in the First Division in the 1989–90 season.[25]

Villa were one of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992, and finished runners-up to Manchester United in the inaugural season. For the rest of the Nineties however Villa went through three different managers and their league positions were inconsistent, although they did win two League Cups and regularly achieved Uefa Cup qualification. Villa reached the FA Cup final in 2000 but lost 1–0 to Chelsea in the last game to be played at the old Wembley Stadium.[6] Again Villa's league position continued to fluctuate under several different managers and things came to a head in the summer of 2006 when David O'Leary left in acrimony.[26] After 23 years as chairman and single biggest shareholder (approximately 38%), Ellis finally decided to sell his stake in Aston Villa due to ill-health. After much speculation it was announced the club was to be bought by American Businessman Randy Lerner, owner of NFL franchise the Cleveland Browns.[27] The arrival of a new owner and manager Martin O'Neill marked the start of a new period of optimism at Villa Park and sweeping changes occurred throughout the club including a new crest, a new kit sponsor and team changes in the summer of 2007.[10][28] The first Cup final of the Lerner era came in 2010 when Villa were beaten 2–1 in the 2010 Football League Cup Final.[29]

Club colours and crest

Villa's proposed kit of 1886[30]

The club colours are claret shirt with sky blue sleeves, white shorts with claret and blue trim, and sky blue socks with claret and white trim. Villa's colours at the outset generally comprised plain shirts (white, grey or a shade of blue), with either white or black shorts. For a few years after that (1877–79) the team wore several different kits from all white, blue and black, red and blue to plain green. By 1880, black jerseys with a red lion embroidered on the chest were introduced by William McGregor. This remained the first choice strip for six years. On Monday, 8 November 1886, an entry in the club's official minute book states:

(i) Proposed and seconded that the colours be chocolate and sky blue shirts and that we order two dozen.

(ii) Proposed and seconded that Mr McGregor be requested to supply them at the lowest quotation.

A crest with a yellow border and a yellow lion rampant facing to the left. The background is vertical claret and blue alternating stripes. At the bottom is the motto prepared written in yellow.
Old crest (2000–2007)

The chocolate colour later became claret.[30]

Nobody is quite sure why claret and blue became the club's adopted colours.[30] The kit for the 2007–2008 season became manufactured by Nike.[31]

A new crest was revealed on 2 May 2007, for the 2007–08 season and beyond. The new crest includes a star to represent the European Cup win in 1982, and has a light blue background behind Villa's 'lion rampant'. The traditional motto "Prepared" remains in the crest, and the name Aston Villa has been shortened to AVFC, FC having been omitted from the previous crest. Randy Lerner petitioned fans to help with the design of the new crest.[10] The three kits that carry the new crest were unveiled on 17 July 2007, in The Mailbox, Birmingham.[32] On 2 June 2008 it was announced that Aston Villa will forgo commercial kit sponsorship for the 2008–09 season; instead they will advertise the charity Acorns Children's Hospice, the first deal of its kind in Premiership history.[33] Aston Villa have also announced the partnership will continue for the 2009–2010 season when they will also have a new away kit, inspired by the traditional home kit of the England football team.


A large stand with a glass and brick facade. Roof struts can be seen at the top of the photograph, with a sign saying Aston Villa Football CLub underneath. In the foreground is lion rampant atop a gate post.
The facade of the Trinity Road Stand

Aston Villa's current home venue is Villa Park, which is a UEFA 4-star rated stadium, having previously played at Aston Park (1874–1876) and Perry Barr (1876–1897). Villa Park is the largest football stadium in the English Midlands, and the eighth largest stadium in England. It has hosted 16 England internationals at senior level, the first in 1899, and the most recent in 2005. Thus it was the first English ground to stage international football in three different centuries.[34]

Villa Park is the most used stadium in FA Cup semi-final history, having hosted 55 semi-finals. The Club have planning permission to extend the North Stand; This will involve the 'filling in' of the corners to either side of the North Stand. If completed, the capacity of Villa Park will be increased to approximately 51,000. The current training ground is located at Bodymoor Heath in north Warwickshire, the site for which was purchased by former Villa Chairman Doug Ellis in the early 1970s from a local farmer. Although Bodymoor Heath was state-of-the-art in the 1970s, by the late 1990s the facilities had started to look dated. In November 2005, Ellis and Aston Villa plc announced a state of the art GB£13 million redevelopment of Bodymoor in 2 phases. However, work on Bodymoor was suspended by Ellis due to financial problems, and was left in an unfinished state until new owner Randy Lerner made it one of his priorities to make the site one of the best in world football. The new training ground was officially unveiled on 6 May 2007, by current manager Martin O'Neill, then team captain Gareth Barry and 1982 European Cup winning team captain Dennis Mortimer, with the Aston Villa squad moving in for the 2007–08 season.[35]

Panorama of Villa Park from the Trinity Road Stand, showing from left to right the North Stand, the Doug Ellis Stand and the Holte End.

Club ownership

The first shares in the club were issued towards the end of the 19th century as a result of legislation that was intended to codify the growing numbers of professional teams and players in the Association Football leagues. FA teams were required to distribute shares to investors as a way of facilitating trading amongst the teams without implicating the FA itself. This trading continued for much of the 20th century until Ellis started buying up many of the shares in the 1960s. He was chairman and substantial shareholder of "Aston Villa F.C." from 1968–1975 and the majority shareholder from 1982–2006. The club was floated on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in 1996, and the share price fluctuated in the ten years after the flotation.[36] In 2006 it was announced that several consortia and individuals were considering bids for Aston Villa.[37]

On 14 August 2006, it was confirmed that Randy Lerner, owner of the Cleveland Browns and native Ohioan had reached an agreement of GB£62.6 million with Aston Villa for a takeover of the club. A statement released on 25 August to the LSE announced that Lerner had secured 59.69% of Villa shares, making him the majority shareholder. He also appointed himself Chairman of the club.[38] In Ellis's last year in charge Villa lost GB£8.2m before tax, compared with a GB£3m profit the previous year, and income had fallen from GB£51.6m to GB£49m.[37] Randy Lerner took full control on 18 September as he had 89.69% of the shares. On 19 September 2006, Ellis and his board resigned to be replaced with a new board headed by Lerner.[37]

Board officials

Name Nationality Role
Randy Lerner  United States Chairman
Charles Krulak  United States Non-Executive Director
Bob Kain  United States Non-Executive Director
Michael E. Martin  United States Non-Executive Director
Doug Ellis  England Lifetime President

Supporters and rivalries

Villa draw support from all over the Midlands and beyond. Former Villa chief executive Richard Fitzgerald has stated that the ethnicity of the supporters is currently 98% white. When Randy Lerner's regime took over at Villa Park, they aimed to improve the support from amongst ethnic minorities. A number of organisations have been set up to support the local community including Aston Pride.[39] A Villa in the community programme has also been set up to encourage support amongst young people in the region.[40] The new owners have also initiated several surveys aimed at gaining the opinions of Villa fans and to involve them in the decision making process. Meetings also occur every three months where supporters are invited by ballot and are invited to ask questions to the Board.[41]

Like many English football clubs Aston Villa has had several hooligan firms associated with it: Villa Youth, Steamers, Villa Hardcore and the C-Crew, the latter being very active during the 1970s and 1980s. As can be seen across the whole of English football, the hooligan groups have now been marginalised.[42] In 2004 several Villa firms were involved in a fight with QPR fans outside Villa Park in which a steward died.[43] The main groupings of supporters can now be found in a number of domestic supporters' clubs. This includes the Official Aston Villa Supporters Club which also has many smaller regional and international sections.[44] There were several independent supporters clubs during the reign of Doug Ellis but most of these disbanded after his retirement.[45] The club's supporters also publish fanzines such as Heroes and Villains (football fanzine) and The Holy Trinity.

Aston Villa's arch-rivals are Birmingham City, with games between the two clubs known as the 'Second City Derby'.[9] Today, Villa also enjoy less heated local rivalries with West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Coventry City. (These five clubs plus Walsall are collectively referred to in the West Midlands as the 'Big Six'.) Historically though, West Bromwich Albion have been one of Villa's greatest rivals, a view highlighted in a fan survey, conducted in 2003.[46] The two teams contested three FA Cup finals in the late 19th century. Through the relegation of West Brom and Birmingham to The Championship in the 2005–06 season in the 2006–07 Premiership season Villa were the only Midlands club in that League. The nearest opposing team Villa faced during that season was Sheffield United, who played 62 miles (100 km) away in South Yorkshire.[47] For the 2007–08 season Villa once again had two local derbies after Birmingham were promoted to the Premier League on 29 April 2007.[48] Villa were victorious on the both occasions.[49] Birmingham were relegated at the end of the 2007–08 season, as such, there was no Second City derby for the 2008–09 season. Both Birmingham and Wolverhampton gained promotion to the Premier League for the 2009–10 season and rivalries have been resumed.

In popular culture

A number of television programmes have included references to Aston Villa over the past few decades. In the sitcom Porridge, the character Lennie Godber is a Villa supporter.[50] In the first episode of Yes Minister Jim Hacker MP says he needs to get off early to watch Aston Villa play. However, in a later episode, he launches a campaign to save his local team, the fictional "Aston Wanderers". When filming began on Dad's Army, Villa fan, Ian Lavender was allowed to choose Frank Pike's scarf from an array in the BBC wardrobe, he chose a claret and blue one—Aston Villa's colours.[51] The character, Nessa in the BBC sitcom Gavin and Stacey was revealed as an Aston Villa fan in the episode screened on 10 December 2009.

Aston Villa has also featured on several occasions in prose. Joseph Gallivan's book "Oi, Ref" is about a referee who is a Villa fan who conspires to turn an FA Cup Semi-Final in his team's favour.[52] Stanley Woolley, a character in Derek Robinson's Booker shortlisted novel Goshawk Squadron is an Aston Villa fan and names a pre-war starting eleven Villa side. Together with The Oval, Villa Park is referenced by the poet Philip Larkin in his poem about the First World War, MCMXIV.[53]


A graph showing league positions; primarily in the top tier bar two points where the position is in the second tier.
Chart showing the progress of Aston Villa F.C. through the English football league system from the inaugural season in 1888–89 to 2007–08 when Aston Villa came sixth in the Premier League

To date Aston Villa have spent 98 seasons in the top-flight, the only club to have spent longer in the top-flight is Everton with 105 seasons.[54] As a result, Aston Villa versus Everton is the most played fixture in English top-flight football. Aston Villa are one of an elite group of seven clubs that has played in every Premiership season, with the other six being: Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. Aston Villa is fifth in the All-time FA Premier League table. Aston Villa has the fourth highest total of major honours won by an English club with 20 wins.[8]

Aston Villa currently hold the record number of league goals scored by any team in the English top-flight; 128 goals were scored in the 1930–31 season.[55] Villa legend Archie Hunter became the first player to score in every round of the FA Cup in Villa's victorious 1887 campaign. Villa's longest unbeaten home run in the FA Cup spanned 13 years and 19 games, from 1888 to 1901.[56]

Aston Villa are one of four English teams that have won the European Cup. They did so on 26 May 1982 in Rotterdam, beating Bayern Munich 1–0 thanks to Peter Withe's goal.[57]

Club honours

For more information, see Aston Villa club honours
A black and white photograph showing two rows of people in front of a building; the front row are seated with two trophies in the middle, the rear row standing.
The Aston Villa team of 1896–97 with the First Division Championship and the FA Cup.
A black and white photograph showing two rows of people in front of a building; the front row are seated with a trophy in the middle on a box covered in a striped cloth; the rear row are standing.
The Aston Villa team of 1894–95 with the FA Cup.

Aston Villa have won European and domestic league honours. The club's last major honour was in 1996 when they won the League Cup.



League titles


The Aston Villa first team squad prior to a UEFA Europa League match away at SK Rapid Wien in August 2009.
As of 26 January 2010.[59][60][61]

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 United States GK Brad Friedel
2 England DF Luke Young
3 Netherlands DF Wilfred Bouma
4 England MF Steve Sidwell
5 Republic of Ireland DF Richard Dunne
6 England MF Stewart Downing
7 England MF Ashley Young
8 England MF James Milner
9 England FW Marlon Harewood
10 Norway FW John Carew
11 England FW Gabriel Agbonlahor
12 England MF Marc Albrighton
14 England FW Nathan Delfouneso
15 England DF Curtis Davies
16 England MF Fabian Delph
17 Togo MF Moustapha Salifou
No. Position Player
18 England FW Emile Heskey
19 Bulgaria MF Stiliyan Petrov (captain)
20 England MF Nigel Reo-Coker (vice captain)
22 United States GK Brad Guzan
23 Senegal DF Habib Beye
24 Spain DF Carlos Cuéllar
25 England DF Stephen Warnock
27 England MF Isaiah Osbourne
29 Wales DF James Collins
33 England GK Andy Marshall
42 Austria FW Andreas Weimann
44 United States DF Eric Lichaj
45 Australia DF Shane Lowry
47 England DF Ciaran Clark
50 England MF Jonathan Hogg

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
21 England DF Nicky Shorey (at Fulham until end of season)[62]
46 Scotland MF Barry Bannan (at Blackpool until end of season)
No. Position Player
48 England DF Nathan Baker (at Lincoln City until end of season)[63]
49 Australia MF Chris Herd (at Lincoln City until end of season)[63]

Notable players

There have been many players who can be called notable throughout Aston Villa's history. These can be classified and recorded in several forms. The Halls of Fame and PFA Players of the Year are noted below. For all players with over 100 appearances for Aston Villa, see List of Aston Villa F.C. players and for those players that only played for Aston Villa see One-club man. Aston Villa have provided more England internationals than any other club, 68 to date, with the most recent being James Milner.[64]

Several Aston Villa players have won the PFA Players' Player of the Year award. At the end of every English football season, the members of the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) vote on which of its members has played the best football in the previous year. In 1977 Andy Gray won the award. In 1990 it was awarded to David Platt, whilst Paul McGrath won it in 1993. Three Villa players have won the PFA Young Player of the Year which is awarded to players under the age of 23. In 1977 Andy Gray won the award, in 1981 Gary Shaw received it and in 2009 Ashley Young was awarded it. The National Football Museum in Preston, England administers the English Football Hall of Fame which currently contains two Villa teams, two Villa players and one manager. The 1890s team and 1982 team were inducted into the Hall of Fame in July 2009. Joe Mercer was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the same time for his career as a manager including his time at Aston Villa.[65] The only two Villa players in the Hall of Fame are Danny Blanchflower and Peter Schmeichel.

Aston Villa Hall of Fame

This was voted for by fans and to this date there has been one induction of 12 players in 2006.[13]

Football League 100 Legends

The Football League 100 Legends is a list of "100 legendary football players" produced by The Football League in 1998, to celebrate the 100th season of League football.


Current management and coaching staff

As of 15 September 2008.[66]
A closely cropped colour photograph showing a person's head wearing black rimmed glasses.
Aston Villa's manager Martin O'Neill, appointed in 2006.
Name Nationality Role
Martin O'Neill  Northern Ireland Manager
John Robertson  Scotland Assistant Manager
Steve Walford  England First Team Coach
Kevin MacDonald  Scotland Reserve Team Coach
Seamus McDonagh  Ireland Goalkeeping Coach
Jim Henry  Scotland Strength & Conditioning Coach
Gordon Cowans  England Head Youth Team Coach
Alan Smith  England Physiotherapist
Bryan Jones  England Academy Director
Steve Burns  England Assistant Academy Director
Tony McAndrew  Scotland Academy Coach
Rafa  Spain Academy Goalkeeping Coach
Mark Delaney  Wales Academy Coach

Notable managers

The following managers have all won at least one trophy when in charge or have been notable for Villa in the context of the League, for example Jozef Vengloš who holds a League record.

Name Nationality Period Played Win Draw Lose Win%[C] Honours
From To
George Ramsay  Scotland August 1884 May 1926 &0000000000001327.0000001,327 &0000000000000658.000000658 &0000000000000414.000000414 &0000000000000255.000000255 &0000000000000049.59000049.59 6 FA Cups, 6 Division One championships. Also in 2006 was inducted into the Aston Villa Hall of Fame.
Jimmy Hogan  England November 1936 September 1939 &0000000000000124.000000124 &0000000000000057.00000057 &0000000000000026.00000026 &0000000000000041.00000041 &0000000000000045.97000045.97 Division Two Champions
Eric Houghton  England September 1953 November 1958 &0000000000000250.000000250 &0000000000000088.00000088 &0000000000000065.00000065 &0000000000000097.00000097 &0000000000000035.20000035.20 FA Cup winner. Also in 2006 was inducted into the Aston Villa Hall of Fame.
Joe Mercer  England December 1958 July 1964 &0000000000000282.000000282 &0000000000000120.000000120 &0000000000000063.00000063 &0000000000000099.00000099 &0000000000000042.55000042.55 Division Two Champions, League Cup winner
Inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame
Ron Saunders  England June 1974 February 1982 &0000000000000353.000000353 &0000000000000157.000000157 &0000000000000098.00000098 &0000000000000098.00000098 &0000000000000044.48000044.48 2 League Cups, Division One champions. Also in 2006 was inducted into the Aston Villa Hall of Fame.
Tony Barton  England February 1982 June 1984 &0000000000000130.000000130 &0000000000000058.00000058 &0000000000000024.00000024 &0000000000000048.00000048 &0000000000000044.62000044.62 European Cup, European Super Cup
Jozef Vengloš  Czechoslovakia July 1990 May 1991 &0000000000000049.00000049 &0000000000000016.00000016 &0000000000000015.00000015 &0000000000000018.00000018 &0000000000000032.65000032.65 First manager not from Britain or Ireland to take charge of a top-flight club in England.[67]
Ron Atkinson  England July 1991 November 1994 &0000000000000178.000000178 &0000000000000077.00000077 &0000000000000045.00000045 &0000000000000056.00000056 &0000000000000043.26000043.26 League Cup winner
Brian Little  England November 1994 February 1998 &0000000000000164.000000164 &0000000000000068.00000068 &0000000000000045.00000045 &0000000000000051.00000051 &0000000000000041.46000041.46 League Cup winner. Also in 2006 was inducted into the Aston Villa Hall of Fame.
John Gregory  England February 1998 January 2002 &0000000000000190.000000190 &0000000000000082.00000082 &0000000000000052.00000052 &0000000000000056.00000056 &0000000000000043.16000043.16 Intertoto Cup winner


A. ^ Up until 1992, the top division of English football was the Football League First Division. The Premier League took over from the First Division as the top tier of the English football league system upon its formation in 1992. The First Division then became the second tier of English football, the Second Division became the third tier, and so on. The First Division is now known as the Football League Championship, while the Second Division is now known as Football League One.
^ Saunders was never a player for Aston Villa; he was the manager from 1974 to 1982.
^ Win% is rounded to two decimal places


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  • Brown, Danny; Milo Brittle (2006). Villains: The Inside Story of Aston Villa's Hooligan Gangs. Milo Books. ISBN 978-1903854594. 
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