Aston Villa FC

If we're talking about historical relevance, there are not many clubs in the world that can compete with Aston Villa. In addition to being one of the oldest football clubs in Britain, Villa are the originators of the Football League – the top flight in the country until the Premier League was formed in 1992. In its early history, Villa was one of the most consistent sides in English football, winning several First Division, FA Cup and League Cup titles. They are also one of only five English clubs to have won the European Cup/Champions League title.

Basic facts

Founded: 1874
Country: England
City: Birmingham

Home grounds

Wilson Road (1875–1876)
Wellington Road (1876–1897)
Villa Park (1897–)

Main trophies

First Division: 7
FA Cup: 7
Football League Cup: 5
European Cup: 1

Prominent players

Archie Hunter, Billy Walker, Trevor Ford, Danny Blanchflower, Andy Gray, Brian Little, Peter McParland, Paul McGrath, David Platt, Paul McGrath, Dwight Yorke, Stiliyan Petrov

Club records

Most games played: Charlie Aitken (660)
Top goalscorer: Billy Walker (244)

Aston Villa team in 1899
Aston Villa in 1899.

History

The Birmingham located Aston Villa Fotball Club was founded in 1874, by four cricket players who were looking for something to do during the winter break. The club was therefore founded approximately one year before the city rival Birmingham City (named Small Heath Alliance until 1905).

In 1885, the club's president, William McGregor, realized a need to keep the fans interested in the game; together with eleven other leading English clubs of that period, Villa founded the Football League in 1888. Led by George Ramsay they quickly proved to be the most dominant side of the Victorian era, claiming five First Division titles and three FA Cups before the turn of the century.

With the rise of football's popularity in the country, however, many other clubs started to emerge as contenders for the throne. Still, Villa remained a powerhouse; after winning another FA Cup in 1905, they followed it up with their sixth First Division title in 1910. After another two FA Cup victory in 1913, the club's golden era ended at the outbreak of the First World War.

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A new era after the golden days

While Villa had started off the post-war period by claiming another FA Cup in 1920, it soon became obvious that their best years were behind them. After a long period of decline, the club was relegated to the Second Division in 1936, for the first time in their history. They did not win another trophy until 1957 and a famous victory over the Busby Babes in the FA Cup final. In 1961, Villa added to their trophy room by winning the inaugural League Cup.

After a new low for the club – a relegation to the Third Division in 1970 – Villa turned a new leaf by appointing Ron Saunders as coach. They were back in the First Division by 1975, the same year that saw them win another League Cup. With Saunders' ability to spot a good player and his famous "no-nonsense" approach to coaching, Villa's streak of good results continued into the 80s. After a League Cup victory in 1977 and an unpredicted First Division title in 1981, Villa won their first and only European Cup in 1982 by shocking the favored Bayern Munich in the Final. One of the heroes was the reserve goalkeeper Nigel Spink that replaced Jimmy Rimmer early in the match and made some astonishing saves. The last triumph was however made without Ron Saunders as the coach. Some months earlier, after a dispute with the chairman Ron Bendall at a time the team had a negative trend in the league Ron Saunders had decided to resign.

Aston Villa line up 1982
Aston Villa line up 1982 European Cup final.
The Premier League era has not been as kind to Villa, which would mostly be seen in the lower half of the table. They did, however, managed to claim two more League Cups in 1994 and 1996.

By Martin Wahl

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Logo

Aston Villa logoAston Villa logoThe Aston Villa crest is distinguished by the lion drawing, "The Rampant Lion of Scotland" (left image). The lion has no obvious link to the club, instead it symbolizes the club's values in form of bravery and strength. The small white star, left of the lion is there to to honor the club's European Cup title. Besides the “AVFC”, initials for Aston Villa Football Club, the lower part has also the word “Prepared” which has been a traditional motto (the motto has been removed in a new version with the initials and lion image slightly increased). Over the years, several badges have been in use, for example one in round shape (right image).

Aston Villa FC timeline

1874 The club is established.
1887 Winning their first FA Cup title.
1888 Claret and blue is established as official colors.
1893 The club play their first match on Villa Park.
1894 First time national league champions.
1961 First League Cup title.
1982 First European cup trophy (European Cup).
1982 Winning the European Super Cup.
2006 The American investor Randy Lerner become the new owner of the club.
2016 The Chinese business man Tony Xia become the new owner of the club.

Trivia

Football clubs also founded in 1874:

Bolton Wanderers FC logoBolton Wanderers FC

Football clubs ordered after establishment

Club nicknames:

The Villans (oldest); The Lions

League statistics

League record

Titles in total: 7
Premier League titles: 0
First participation: 1888-1889
First title: 1893-1894

All seasons

Season League Position Points Notes
2018-19 Championship 5 76  
2017-18 Championship 4 83  
2016-17 Championship 13 62  
2015-16 Premier League 20 17 Relegated
2014-15 Premier League 17 38  
2013-14 Premier League 15 38  
2012-13 Premier League 15 41  
2011-12 Premier League 16 38  
2010-11 Premier League 9 48  
2009-10 Premier League 6 64  
2008-09 Premier League 6 62  
2007-08 Premier League 6 60  
2006-07 Premier League 11 50  
2005-06 Premier League 16 42  
2004-05 Premier League 10 47  
2003-04 Premier League 6 56  
2002-03 Premier League 16 45  
2001-02 Premier League 8 50  
2000-01 Premier League 8 54  
1999-00 Premier League 6 58  
1998-99 Premier League 6 55  
1997-98 Premier League 7 57  
1996-97 Premier League 5 61  
1995-96 Premier League 4 63  
1994-95 Premier League 18 48  
1993-94 Premier League 10 57  
1992-93 Premier League 2 74  
1991-92 1st Division 7 60  
1990-91 1st Division 17 41  
1989-90 1st Division 2 70  
1988-89 1st Division 17 40  
1987-88 2nd Division 2 78 Promoted
1986-87 1st Division 22 36 Relegated
1985-86 1st Division 16 44  
1984-85 1st Division 10 56  
1983-84 1st Division 10 60  
1982-83 1st Division 6 68  
1981-82 1st Division 11 57  
1980-81 1st Division 1 60 7th league title
1979-80 1st Division 7 46  
1978-79 1st Division 8 46  
1977-78 1st Division 8 46  
1976-77 1st Division 4 51  
1975-76 1st Division 16 39  
1974-75 2nd Division 2 58 Promoted
1973-74 2nd Division 14 41  
1972-73 2nd Division 3 50  
1971-72 3rd Division 1 70 Promoted
1970-71 3rd Division 4 53  
1969-70 2nd Division 21 29 Relegated
1968-69 2nd Division 18 38  
1967-68 2nd Division 16 37  
1966-67 1st Division 21 29 Relegated
1965-66 1st Division 16 36  
1964-65 1st Division 16 37  
1963-64 1st Division 19 34  
1962-63 1st Division 15 38  
1961-62 1st Division 7 44  
1960-61 1st Division 9 43  
1959-60 2nd Division 1 59 Promoted
1958-59 1st Division 21 30 Relegated
1957-58 1st Division 14 39  
1956-57 1st Division 10 43  
1955-56 1st Division 20 35  
1954-55 1st Division 6 47  
1953-54 1st Division 13 41  
1952-53 1st Division 11 41  
1951-52 1st Division 6 47  
1950-51 1st Division 15 37  
1949-50 1st Division 12 42  
1948-49 1st Division 10 42  
1947-48 1st Division 6 47  
1946-47 1st Division 8 45  
1939-46 - - - WWII
1938-39 1st Division 12 41  
1937-38 2nd Division 1 57  
1936-37 2nd Division 9 44  
1935-36 1st Division 21 35 Relegated
1934-35 1st Division 13 41  
1933-34 1st Division 13 40  
1932-33 1st Division 2 54  
1931-32 1st Division 5 46  
1930-31 1st Division 2 59  
1929-30 1st Division 4 47  
1928-29 1st Division 3 50  
1927-28 1st Division 8 43  
1926-27 1st Division 10 43  
1925-26 1st Division 6 44  
1924-25 1st Division 15 39  
1923-24 1st Division 6 49  
1922-23 1st Division 6 46  
1921-22 1st Division 5 47  
1920-21 1st Division 10 43  
1919-20 1st Division 9 42  
1915-19 - - - WWI
1914-15 1st Division 13 37  
1913-14 1st Division 2 44  
1912-13 1st Division 2 50  
1911-12 1st Division 6 41  
1910-11 1st Division 2 51  
1909-10 1st Division 1 53 6th league title
1908-09 1st Division 7 38  
1907-08 1st Division 2 43  
1906-07 1st Division 5 44  
1905-06 1st Division 8 40  
1904-05 1st Division 4 42  
1903-04 1st Division 5 41  
1902-03 1st Division 2 41  
1901-02 1st Division 8 34  
1900-01 1st Division 15 30  
1899-00 1st Division 1 50 5th league title
1898-99 1st Division 1 45 4th league title
1897-98 1st Division 6 33  
1896-97 1st Division 1 47 3rd league title
1895-96 1st Division 1 45 2nd league title
1894-95 1st Division 3 39  
1893-94 1st Division 1 44 1st league title
1892-93 1st Division 4 35  
1891-92 Football League 4 30  
1890-91 Football League 9 18  
1889-90 Football League 8 19  
1888-89 Football League 2 29  

Note. The 1939-40 season was abandoned after three rounds and is therefore excluded.

Premier League – facts, stats and history

References:
Club Soccer 101: The Essential Guide to the Stars, Stats, and Stories of 101 of the Greatest Teams in the World by Luke Dempsey
https://www.avfc.co.uk/club/history/kits
https://thebeautifulhistory.wordpress.com/clubs/aston-villa/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aston_Villa_FC
Image source:
Unknown