Birth of a Club that roars
The four pillars who developed and raised the Aston Villa Football Club in 1874 were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood who were members of Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth. The club is widely famous as The Villa or The Lions. As the nick name indicates this football club started roaring from 1874 and is still active and kicking with the same gusto. The year 2006 saw the change of ownership from Doug Ellis to Randy Lerner.
The first moves of Aston Villa
After formation of the club the first play that the team played was against Aston Brook St. Mary’s Rugby team. The interesting fact is that of the match condition – 1st half to be played as per the Rugby rules and the 2nd half as per the football rules.
It is its efforts that saw the coming up of two major leagues. Aston Villa was part of the first Football League in the year 1888. They were one of 12 teams that began the first league play during this time.
Over the years the ‘First’ division league became the Premiere league in 1992.
The first accomplishment came by way of the Birmingham Senior Cup in 1880 and Scotsman George Ramsay was the captain of the team.
The total of all the major honors bagged by Aston Villa is 20 wins which has them ranked at the fourth position in the list of highest total by an English Club.
FA Cup – Has bagged 7 cups in total in 1887, 1895, 1897, 1905, 1913, 1920, 1957
League Cups – It has to its credit 5 League Cups bagged in 1961, 1975, 1994, and 1996
European Cup – In 1982
European Super Cup in 1982-83
Intertoto Cup in 2001
Have bagged 7 Leagues Titles as Firs Division Champions, twice as Second Division Champions and once as Third Division Champions
Famous home of Aston Villa
The initial home of Aton Villa was the Aston Park till 1876 followed by Perry Barr from 1876 – 1897
Today, Villa Park (earlier called the Aston Lower Grounds), the UEFA 5 star rated Stadium serves as the home for this club. Interestingly before adorning the role of a football stadium, Villa Park has played diversified roles starting from being a kitchen garden, Victorian Amusement Park that was filled with aquarium and green hall, an ornamental pool called the Dovehouse pool and then was converted to a cycling track and an athletic sports ground.
This stadium is listed as the 8th largest stadium in the entire England and boasts of being the largest stadium in the English Midlands. Of the innumerable matches it has been witness to the largest number of semi-finals that adds up to 55.
Danny Blanchflower – Played for Aston Villa from 1951-54, appeared in 148 games and has made 10 goals.
Trevor Ford – Played for Aston Villa from 1947-50, appeared in 120 games and has made 60 goals.
Archie Hunter – Played for Aston Villa from 1878-90, appeared in 73 games and has made 42 goals.
Sam Hardy – Played for Aston Villa from 1812-21 as a Goalkeeper, appeared in 183 games.
Paul McGrath – Played for Aston Villa from 1889-96, appeared in 252 games and has made 9 goals.
Peter Schmeichel – Played for Aston Villa from 2001-02, appeared in 29 games and has made 1 goals.
Clem Stephenson – Played for Aston Villa from 1910-20, appeared in 192 games and has made 85 goals.
The above 7 players have found a place of prominence in the Football League 100 legends released by The Football League in commemoration of the 100th season of the League Football.
Three players from the club have been awarded the title of PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) Players’ Player of the Award. Andy Gray in 1977, David Platt in 1990 and Paul McGrath in 1993.
The 1890s team and 1982 team received recognition as a strong team by entering into the Hall of Fame in July 2009.