Aston Villa is one of the biggest clubs in England. They have a very rich and successful history. They have won the FA Cup 7 times, the League Cup 5 times, and the Football League First Division 7 times. Many great players have played for the club over the years. In this article, we will have a look at the greatest Aston Villa XI of all time.
Players having played at least two seasons were considered eligible for selection. Here’s the greatest Aston Villa XI of all time.
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Spink’s safe pair of hands helped Villa lift the European Cup in 1982 as he came off the bench to produce heroics against Bayern Munich. He made 377 appearances for Villa between 1977 and 1996 and was a consistent performer for more than a decade.
RB – Stan Lynn
Stan Lynn’s career at Villa spanned between 1950-1962. It saw him make 324 appearances for the club with 38 goals scored.
A no-nonsense defender with a thunderbolt of a shot. He is one of football’s highest-scoring full-backs and once scored a hat-trick against Sunderland in January 1958. He deserves a place among the greatest Aston Villa XI of all time.
CB – Paul McGrath
Regarded by many as the greatest player in Aston Villa’s history, Paul McGrath’s name is still the most chanted by the Villa Park faithful.
He won the 1993 PFA Footballer of the Year while he was playing for Aston Villa. During his seven years at Aston Villa, he also won two League Cups. Villa fans affectionately refer to him as ‘God’. He made 253 league appearances for his club and scored 9 goals to his name.
CB – Allan Evans
The Scottish central defender was a long time servant of the club, signed from Dunfermline Athletic in 1977. During his 12 years he would experience the highest of highs with the club winning the top-flight title before then going on to become Champions of Europe.
But Evans also suffered relegation with Villa towards the end of the 80’s, but like the trooper that he is, he stuck around to put it right and get Villa back up at the first time of asking – as captain no less.
LB – Charlie Aitken
17 seasons and 660 appearances – a club record which will surely never be beaten? Among Aitken’s finest moments was the club’s victory over Norwich City in the 1975 League Cup final, winning the Third Division championship in 1972 and promotion back to the top-flight in 1975, when he was named Midland Footballer of the Year. A perfect choice for the left-back spot in the greatest Aston Villa XI of all time.
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RM – Peter McParland
Peter McParland was the first player to score in both the FA Cup and League Cup finals.
The fact that his goals in both showpiece matches were winners has catapulted into claret and blue folklore. Villa fans knew him as one of the best strikers and headers of the ball.
The North-Irishman made 293 League appearances for Aston Villa and scored 98 goals. He will always be regarded as one of the greatest Aston Villa players ever.
CM- Gordan Cowans
Considered the greatest player to have played for the club by the majority of those who witnessed the man’s brilliance. ‘Sid’ was a midfield maestro who had everything in his locker. One of those natural ballers who just made things looks so simple. Finding space and nurturing the ball before pinging it left or right. You could rarely fault his positioning. And yet despite being pretty on the eye, he wasn’t afraid to get stuck in neither.
Cowans had three stints at the club (1979-83, 1988-91 and 1993-94) and played a total of 453 games scoring 49 goals.
CM – Dennis Mortimer
Dennis Mortimer will forever be known as the captain during Aston Villa’s greatest hour. He was the captain of the team when they won the European Cup Final against Bayern Munich by 1-0 in 1982.
The talented midfielder played a crucial part in Villa conquering the continent, having led the claret and blues to the First Division title the year before.
Mortimer played more than 400 games for Villa, scoring more than 40 goals. Undoubtedly, one of the greatest Aston Villa XI of all time.
LM – Tony Morley
The winger sure knew how to entertain. He had pace and panache and could bring the Villa faithful to their feet in an instant. His brilliance on the flank created Peter Withe’s winning goal in the 1982 European Cup final and there were countless others that he created. Morely could also score himself. He bagged 34 goals in 180 appearances between 1979 and 1983.
His goal away at Everton won the ‘Goal of the Season’ award in 1980-81 as Villa were crowned champions of England. He deserves a place among the greatest Aston Villa XI of all time.
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CF – Peter Withe
Signed for a then club-record £500,000 at the start of the 1980-81 season Peter Withe’s name has the firmest of standings in Villa folklore as the scorer of the winning goal in the greatest moment in Villa’s history. He is the man who got that famous winning goal against Bayern Munich in the European Cup final in 1982.
Peter forged a wonderful partnership with busy Birmingham born Gary Shaw. He spent five years at Villa, scoring 92 goals in 233 appearances. 20 of those came in the title-winning season.
ST – Billy Walker
Walker spent 19 years with the club. With 244 goals to his name, the striker still remains Villa’s all-time leading goalscorer despite almost half a century passing since his death in 1964.
He captained Villa and England during the 1920s, scoring 12 League and FA Cup hat-tricks. He became the first player to convert three penalties in a game.
If that wasn’t impressive enough he also deputized in goal for club and country.