Although they're currently battling relegation in the Premier League, historically Aston Villa have been one of English football's greatest clubs.
With seven first division titles, seven FA Cups and one European Cup, whittling down their greatest ever players to just ten is nearly impossible. But we here at 90min are going to give it a go anyway...
Born #otd 1897 William 'Billy' Walker, played for @AVFCOfficial for the youth team between 1914-1919 then the 1st team in 1919-1933 & made 531 apps scoring 244 goals, also had 18 England caps. He won the FA Cup in 1920. #HEITS #AVFC #UTV 女女 pic.twitter.com/5QzzoxJP7O— Fortress Villa Park (@FortressPark) October 29, 2019
Villa Career: 1914-1934
Despite retiring in 1934, Billy Walker is still Aston Villa's record goalscorer. While that might say something about the strikers the club have had over the years (*cough* Darius Vassell *cough*), it also speaks to what a great player Walker was.
With 244 goals in 531 appearances across a 20-year career at Villa Park, Walker will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the club's greats.
Major Achievements: FA Cup (x1)
Villa Career: 1994-2003
A lifelong supporter who lived out his dream of playing for the club he loved. Oh, and he was a pretty good player too.
That Villa side continued to achieve throughout the late 90s, reaching the FA Cup final and getting to the UEFA Cup quarter finals.
Aston Villa's Nigel Spink turns the ball around the post during a Second Division game against Plymouth Argyle in 1988. Villa won 5-2. pic.twitter.com/gy0AumUcKS— GoaliesAreDifferent (@goalkeepersdiff) February 5, 2019
Villa Career: 1977-1996
Sometimes things are just meant to be. Ten minutes into the European Cup final of 1982 against Bayern Munich, Villa's first choice 'keeper Jimmy Rimmer was forced off through injury, giving Nigel Spink the chance he'd been waiting five years for.
He grabbed it with both hands and performed superbly, as the Villans ended up winning the game 1-0. Spink himself went on to play 361 times for the club, and was in goal for Villa's 1994 League Cup win as well.
Major Achievements: European Cup (x1), European Super Cup (x1), League Cup (x1)
Villa legend Brian Little in colour@LeightonCastle @brianlittle912 @AVFCOfficial @astonvilla_view @AstonVillaApp @AVFanside @AVFCFans1 @AVFCFoundation @AVFCFansForum @avfcfannews @SuperbFootyPics @MemorabiliaMal @TonyIncenzo @JMGray80 pic.twitter.com/Al0wyPXe3y— Andy The Photo Dr ♿️ 🏴 (@andythephotoDr) November 15, 2018
Villa Career: 1970-1980
When Little joined Villa in 1970 the club had just been relegated to third division for the first and only time in their history. By the time his career was cruelly cut short by injury ten years later, they were back in the top flight.
He is adored at Villa Park, and is fondly remembered for the forward partnership he struck up with Andy Gray. In 1994, he returned and managed the club to their 1996 League Cup win, adding even more to his legendary status.
Major Achievements: Football League Third Division (x1), League Cup (x2)
Villa signed Tony Morley from Burnley for £200,000 #OTD in 1979, as Ron Saunders continued to piece together a title challenging team. Morley made 180 appearences & scoring 84 goals. @FortressPark @brianlittle912 #UTV #AVFC pic.twitter.com/FBgSd62Daf— Gareth Marsh (@GMarsh79) June 20, 2019
Villa Career: 1979-1983
Major Achievements: First Division (x1), European Cup (x1), European Super Cup (x1)
Villa Career: 1989-1998
He may have left for Manchester United
After being discovered by Graham Taylor on a pre-season tour of the West Indies in 1989, Yorke was given a contract at Villa Park. He started as a right winger, but his career really came to life when he was moved to centre forward in the 1995/96 season, where he quickly established himself as one fo the best in England, and maybe even the world.
Major Achievements: League Cup (x1)
Villa Career: 1945-1961
Johnny Dixon's Villa career began after he wrote to the club to ask for a trial because he liked their name.
He established himself as a first team player when English football resumed after World War Two, and scored 144 goals in 430 appearances, including five on the way to Villa's 1957 FA Cup Win.
Major Achievements: FA Cup (x1)
Villa Career: 1989-1996
Paul McGrath was so good that he is one of only six defenders to have ever won the PFA Players' Player of the Year Award.
He was part of Ron Atkinson's Villa side that challenged Manchester United for the Premier League title in the early 90s, and is referred to by some Villa fans simply as 'God'.
Major Achievements: League Cup (x2)
Tom 'Pongo' Waring
Also #otd 1980 we lost another Villa great Tom 'Pongo' Waring aged 74.— Fortress Villa Park (@FortressPark) December 20, 2019
Signed for @AVFCOfficial for £4.700 in 1928 & made 216 league apps scoring 159 goals (226 total with 167 goals) in the 7 years with us.His ashes we're scattered in the Holte End goal mouth. #HEITS #avfc 女女 pic.twitter.com/ySzMXZPqbz
Villa Career: 1928-1935
Nicknamed 'Pongo' after a famous cartoon at the time, Tom Waring is one of the greatest strikers Aston Villa have ever had.
Villa Career: 1977-1989
Evans' pivotal partnership with Ken McNaught was the bedrock of the club's most successful period in the early 1980s, as they won the league, the European Cup and beat Barcelona to claim the European Super Cup.
However, his legend status was officially confirmed when he stayed on as Villa were relegated in 1987. He became club captain and led them back up to the First Division, securing his place in the annals of Villa Park history.