FootballTop 10

10 Longest Serving Aston Villa Players Ever

In the dynamic world of today’s football, where player transfers and managerial changes are the norm, loyalty often seems like a reminder of an era gone by. Looking back at Aston Villa’s glorious history, we uncover the remarkable tales of resilience, dedication, and undying passion exhibited by the 10 longest-serving Aston Villa players ever. From the early 20th century to the present day, these footballing icons have become synonymous with the Villa faithful.

Here are the ten longest-serving Aston Villa players ever, based on the number of appearances made.

10. Dennis Mortimer [1975–1985] [405 apps]

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Mortimer joined Villa from Coventry City, where he had played more than 200 games for the club, attracting the attention of many of the country’s top clubs in the seven years he graced the turf at Highfield Road.

Mortimer captained Villa to the 1980–81 League title, the club’s first for more than 70 years. He then led the team to the European title in 1982, following a 1–0 win against Bayern Munich in the European Cup Final. During his ten years with the club, he made 405 appearances, scoring 36 goals.

9. Johnny Dixon [1945–1961] [430 apps]

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Johnny Dixon was a wiry 5’10” inside forward who had a ferocious right foot and served Villa for 15 straight seasons. He was a skilful ball controller who loved to cut in from inside and had a brilliant passing range too.

Johnny’s big moment at Villa came in 1957 when he captained them to FA Cup glory against a mighty Manchester United. It was the first time Aston Villa had won the FA Cup since 1920. McParland scored the winning second goal riding on Johnny’s pin-point accurate cross in the 2-1 victory in the final.

8. Gareth Barry [1997–2009] [441 apps]

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Gareth Barry holds the record for the highest number of Premier League appearances, most of which came during his career with Aston Villa. Barry joined Aston Villa from Brighton and Hove Albion as a trainee in 1997, before turning professional, a year later.

He captained Aston Villa and is eighth in the list of longest-serving Aston Villa players ever, with 441 across all competitions, including 365 in the Premier League. He left Aston Villa in 2009 to join Manchester City.

7.  Tommy Smart [1919–1933] [452 apps]

Only six more men have donned the Villa jersey more times than Tommy. A fullback with a big heart and nerves of steel, Tommy was impeccable in his reading of game positions. Tommy could run all day long and was a faithful workhorse to Villa for a long time.

He had his most significant moment at Aston Villa when they won the 1920 FA Cup – a feat they next repeated only in 1957. He also made it to the FA Cup finals again in 1924, but sadly this time, Aston Villa ended up on the losing side.

6. Nigel Spink [1979–1996] [454 apps]

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Nigel Spink was only 18 years old when he moved to Aston Villa from Chelmsford City. It was almost five years before his big break in the first team came along, and it came on the biggest stage of all – the European Cup Final.

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 454 appearances for Villa between 1977 and 1996 and was a consistent performer for more than a decade.

5. Allan Evans [1977–1989] [473 apps]

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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 80s, 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.

4. Joe Bache [1900–1915] [474 apps]

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Joe Bache was a prolific centre-forward for Aston Villa between 1900 and 1915. He had a fantastic career at Aston Villa, becoming one of the team’s all-time finest attackers and taking home an FA Cup winners medal in 1905 and 1913.

Additionally, he played a key role in the 1910 League Championship-winning Villa side. By the end of his career, Bache had made 474 appearances for the team and scored 185 goals overall. He is one of the longest-serving Aston Villa players ever.

3. Gordon Cowans [1976–1985, 1988–1991 & 1993-94] [528 apps]

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Gordon Cowans is considered one of the, if not the greatest player to have played for the club by the majority of those who witnessed the man’s brilliance. Cowans had three stints at the club (1979-83, 1988-91 and 1993-94) and played a total of 453 games scoring 49 goals.

‘Sid’ was a midfield maestro who had everything in his locker. One of those natural ballers who just made things look 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 in the eye, he wasn’t afraid to get stuck in either.

2. Billy Walker [1919–1934] [531 apps]

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Walker spent 19 years with the club, including the time with the youth academy. Apart from being the second-highest appearance maker for the club, he is also the record goalscorer with 244 goals to his name. The striker 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.

1. Charlie Aitken [1959–1976] [660 apps]

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Aitken is the club’s all-time record appearance-maker, having played 660 times for them. He joined Villa as a youth in 1959 and spent the next 17 seasons with the West Midlands club. Aitken played for Villa in the top three tiers of English football.

Among his finest moments was the 1975 League Cup final triumph over Norwich City, 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.

Checkout: Greatest Aston Villa XI of all time

7 Players Who Spent Their Whole Career with Aston Villa



A sports addict! @subhamchaurasia

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