Aston Villa's 10 Best Footballers of All Time


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...

Billy Walker

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)

Ian Taylor

Villa v Spurs X
Villa v Spurs X / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

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.

Ian Taylor quickly won over Villa fans when he joined in 1994 with his committed performances and knack for getting important goals. He was a key player as Villa went from finishing three points above the relegation zone in 1994/95 to coming fourth and winning the League Cup in 95/96. 

That Villa side continued to achieve throughout the late 90s, reaching the FA Cup final and getting to the UEFA Cup quarter finals.

Major Achievements: League Cup (x1)

Nigel Spink

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)

Brian Little

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)

Tony Morley

Villa Career: 1979-1983

Tony Morley was not a great goalscorer, but he was a scorer of great goals, and became famous for them in Aston Villa's legendary team of the early 80s.

Under the management of Ron Saunders, the nippy winger helped Villa win the league title in 1981, and provided the assist for their European Cup-winning goal in 1982. 

Major Achievements: First Division (x1), European Cup (x1), European Super Cup (x1)

Dwight Yorke

Dwight Yorke of Aston Villa (left) holds of Aljosa Asanovic of Derby
Dwight Yorke of Aston Villa (left) holds of Aljosa Asanovic of Derby / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Villa Career: 1989-1998

He may have left for Manchester United in controversial circumstances, but Dwight Yorke is probably the greatest striker Aston Villa have had in the Premier League era.

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)

Johnny Dixon

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)

Paul McGrath

ASTON VILLA V NEWCASTLE / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

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

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. In just 216 appearances he managed 167 goals including a club-record ten hat tricks. He also holds the club record for most goals in a single season, with 50 during the 1930/31 campaign. 

He is said to have been something of a maverick character who rarely turned up to training on time, if at all, but his personality only adds to his legend among Villa fans.

Major Achievements: First Division Top Scorer

Allan Evans

Allan Evans of Aston Villa
Allan Evans of Aston Villa / Steve Powell/GettyImages

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.