Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Even though Vill

Even though Villa won the inaugural League Cup in 1960, the club were to enter into a very unsuccessful period. The 1960s saw much change at Villa Park. By the end of the 1960s, Villa were languishing in the Second Division and fan pressure led to the resignation of the Board and the introduction of Doug Ellis as Villa Chairman. Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZHS Battery

Club folklore has it that Aston Villa Football Club was formed by four players from the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel cricket team. It is said that they "met in 1874 under a gas-light in Heathfield Road"[2] to set about forming a new club. They were looking for something to keep them occupied during the winter. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11EN Battery

The club's official history states that they chose football after witnessing an "impromptu game on a meadow off Heathfield Road".[2] The four founders of Aston Villa were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. Their first match was played against the local Aston Brook St Mary's Rugby team on Wilson Road, Aston.[3] Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11MN Battery

As a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under rugby rules, and the second half under football rules. The game was a scoreless draw at half time but Jack Hughes scored a goal in the second half to ensure that Villa won their first ever game.[2] Villa's first official home was the Perry Barr HQ, Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11XN Battery

which was taken on a three-year lease at a rent of £7,10 shillings for the first year, rising to £15 and £20 in subsequent years. By the late 1870s, Villa were improving greatly and by 1880, Villa won their first senior honour when they won the Birmingham Senior Cup under the captaincy of Scotsman George Ramsay. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ12VN Battery

The club won its first FA Cup in 1887, under the captaincy of another Scotsman, Archie Hunter.[8] They beat West Bromwich Albion 2–0 in the final held at The Oval.[2] Up until 1885, football had remained an amateur sport. It turned professional in 1885, when the FA legalized professional football, but with a national wage limit. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ12XN Battery

However, the Scottish draper and director of Aston Villa, William McGregor had become frustrated with watching his team in one-sided friendly matches and low attendances for all games but FA Cup ties.[9] He saw that in order to keep interest in the game alive, the top teams needed to play each other in a league much like American baseball teams did. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ31VT Battery

McGregor wrote to the twelve leading clubs in England proposing the formation of a league. The reason the Football League was never called the English League is because McGregor intended that Scottish and Welsh teams would eventually join.[10] In the end, some Welsh teams joined, most notably Cardiff City,[11] but Scottish teams did not. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ31XT Battery

Aston Villa were one of the dozen teams that competed in the inaugural Football League in 1888. Villa's first League game came on 8 September 1888, when they drew 1–1 Wolverhampton Wanderers as Tom Green scored the club's first League goal. Villa finished runners-up to Preston North End in that inaugural season. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560 Battery

It did not take long for Villa to lift their first League Championship trophy, and this was achieved in 1893–94.[4] Villa were soon attracting large crowds; the club could regularly expect 25,000 people to attend home games. This was at a time when the FA Cup Final would attract only about 20,000. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N24 Battery

In 1897, Villa's financial secretary Frederick Rinder, negotiated the purchase of their current home ground, the Aston Lower Grounds.[13] In the 1899-1900 season Billy Garraty became the top goalscorer in world football scoring 27 goals in just 33 league games and a total 30 goals in 39 league and cup games. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N30 Battery

The name of Villa Park was not used until about 1900. It came about through fan usage and no official declaration was made that listed the name as Villa Park.[13] The ground was not purchased outright until 1911.[14]

Villa began the 20th century as champions but the gap that distinguished them from their competitors was diminishing. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P Battery

Football in England was becoming more competitive as more teams formed. Villa did remain a significant force in the game though. Despite a run of four victories at the start of the 1900–01 season, Villa finished fourth from bottom. In the 1902–03 season Villa won 12 of their last 15 games to finish only one point behind champions Sheffield Wednesday. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P20 Battery

In 1905, Villa won the FA Cup with a then record crowd of 101,117 watching the match at Crystal Palace, where Villa beat Newcastle United 2–0.[14] In the same season, Villa finished fourth and this helped to boost the coffers at the club. After the success of 1905, Villa went through a barren patch and it was not until the 1909–10 season that Villa threatened to regain the title. In that season, Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P22 Battery

they beat the reigning champions Manchester United 7–1. Villa won the championship for the first time in 10 years to take a then record, sixth title.[14] The 1910–11 season was very close and the title was decided on the last day of the season when Villa lost to Liverpool and Manchester United beat Sunderland to take the title. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P28 Battery

The following season, Villa finished sixth. Yet in 1913, Villa won the FA Cup for a then record-equalling fifth time.[14] By the end of what was to be called Villa's golden era,[14] when the First World War began, the club had won the League Championship six times and the FA Cup five times.[4] This included the League and Cup Double in 1896–97, a feat which would not be repeated for more than 60 years. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P30 Battery

Football resumed after the war for the 1919–20 season and Villa won their sixth FA Cup at the end of season, beating Huddersfield Town 1–0 at Stamford Bridge. In November 1923, Villa's centre-half Tommy Ball was killed by his neighbour, thus becoming the only Football League player to have been murdered. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P34 Battery

In theirGolden Jubilee season of 1923–24, Villa got through to the second final to be held at the then new Wembley Stadium, where they lost 2–0 to Newcastle United. This Cup final was to be something of a pinnacle though as Villa then had League finishes of sixth and tenth in the following seasons. The Directors attempted to stop the slump with transfer dealings. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561 Battery

In 1927, they bought both Jimmy Gibson and Eric Houghton. In 1928, they bought in one of the most prolific goalscorers to have ever played in the English football league. When Villa signed Tranmere Rovers striker Tom Waring for £4,700, he was relatively unknown. Waring scored a record 49 league goals in the 1930–31 season as Villa finished runners-up to Arsenal. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561N20 Battery

One of the other purchases, Eric Houghton, scored 30 goals.

The team were playing well and scoring many goals. In the 1933–34 season, Villa had no fewer than fourteen full internationals and they continued to challenge for honours being second in the League in 1933. Yet this success did not last and the complacency at Villa Park led to a slump in form. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561P20 Battery

This slump culminated in their relegation from the first tier of English football for the first time in their history in the 1935–36 season. The relegation coincided with the decision to appoint their first manager. Before the 1935–36 season, the team had been appointed by a committee and the team was coached by a "secretary" to the committee. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ562P Battery

The relegation though was largely due a dismal defensive record, they conceded 110 goals, 7 of them coming from Arsenal's Ted Drake in an 1–7 defeat at Villa Park. Villa came ninth in their first season in the Second tier of English football but they were crowned Second Division Champions in 1937–38under the guidance of Jimmy Hogan. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ563P Battery

By the outbreak of the Second World War, Aston Villa were back in the top-flight of English football.

As with all English clubs, the Second World War brought about the loss of seven seasons, and several careers were brought to a premature end by the conflict. Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAFS Battery

The first game played at Villa Park after the cessation of hostilities was against Middlesbrough and Villa lost 1–0 in front of a crowd of 50,000.[17] Aston Villa went about rebuilding the team, under the guidance of former player Alex Massie for the remainder of the 1940s. Massie made some bold signings in his time with the club, Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAHS Battery

the first of which was 23-year-old Wales international Trevor Ford, who was bought from Swansea for £9,500 in 1946, when Villa finished eighth in the League. Ford would go on to score 60 times in his four seasons at Villa Park, before he was sold for a then British record of £30,000 to Sunderland.[18] Sony VAIO VGN-BZAANS Battery

For the remainder of the 1940s and early 1950s, Massie continued to bring in new players whilst the team regularly had mid-table finishes. One of the more influential signings was Danny Blanchflower in 1951 for £15,000. Villa had a good start to the 1951–52 season when, after eight games, Villa were second behind Manchester United. Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAPS Battery

This was their best start of the last 19 years, and they eventually finished in sixth place. After a mid-table finish in the 1952–53 season, the following season, saw the return of Eric Houghton, this time in a managerial capacity. One of his first actions was to introduce 19–year–old Peter McParland to the first team. His first season in charge ended with Villa in 13th place. Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/Q Battery

Nevertheless, "Houghton had done well to guide a transitional Villa team to a respectable position in the top flight."[17] Under Houghton's stewardship, Villa won the 1957 FA Cup Final against Manchester United's celebrated Busby Babes. Peter McParland scored both goals in a 2–1 victory, in a record-equalling ninth FA Cup final.[17] It was Aston Villa's first trophy for 37 years. Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/R Battery

The success of the previous season proved to be something of a false dawn though, with the team finishing 14th, seven points above relegation. After refusing to resign, Eric Houghton was sacked when relegation seemed imminent in 1958–59. His successor Joe Mercer was unable to prevent the club being relegated in 1959, for only the second time in its history. Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/W Battery

The fact that Villa reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup only served to highlight the complacency that had set in at the club that led to Villa being relegated. Villa only spent one season in the Second Division, returning as Champions in 1960. The 1960–61 season was a successful one; it saw Villa reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup, finish ninth in the League, and win the inaugural League Cup.[17] Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/P Battery

This was helped by the emergence of an exciting group of youth players, who became known as "Mercer's Minors".

The history of Aston Villa F.C. from 1961 to the current season covers the fluctuating fortunes of the club during the 1960s and 1970s, the European Cup victory in 1982 and the present day's Premiership club.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/Q Battery

The late 1960s was a turbulent time for the club and pressure from fans led to a change of ownership and management.[1] The problems started when the club was relegated from the first tier of English football for the third time, under manager Dick Taylor in 1967. Within two years, pressure from supporters had led to the resignation of the board of directors. Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/W Battery

The club was then relegated to the Third Division. In the 1971–72 seasonAston Villa returned to the Second Division as champions with a record 70 points. In 1974 Ron Saunders was appointed manager and by 1977 he had led the club back into the First Division and into European competition. Sony VAIO VGN-CS11Z/R Battery

The club was back among the elite and it continued to have much success under Saunders and won the league in the 1980–81 season. Saunders' resignation halfway through the 1981–82 season came as a surprise, with the club in the quarter-final of the European Cup. He was replaced by his assistant manager Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/P Battery

Tony Barton who guided them to 1–0 victory over Bayern Munich in the European Cup final in Rotterdam.[4] However, winning the cup marked a pinnacle and the club fell steadily down the League standings over the next five years and was relegatedin 1987. However, the club was promoted the following year and achieved second place in the Football League in 1989. Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/Q Battery

Villa was one of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992, and finished runners-up to Manchester United in theinaugural season. The 1990s was a decade of inconsistency; the club had three different managers and league positions were unpredictable, despite winning two League Cups.[5] Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/R Battery

They reached the FA Cup Final for the first time since 1957 in 2000, but lost 1–0 to Chelsea in the last game to be played at the old Wembley Stadium.[6] Once again Villa's league position fluctuated under various managers and in the summer of 2006, David O'Leary left under acrimonious circumstances.[7] Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTB Battery

Martin O'Neill soon arrived and received a rapturous reception.[8] After 23 years as chairman and largest shareholder, owning approximately 38% of the club, Doug Ellis decided to sell his stake to Randy Lerner, the owner of NFL franchise the Cleveland Browns.[9] The arrival of a new owner and manager marked the start of sweeping changes throughout the club, including a new crest, a new kit sponsor and new players in the summer of 2007. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTP Battery

Winning the League Cup in 1961 was a pinnacle for the club. Although Villa finished seventh in 1961–62, the following season saw the beginning of a decline in form that would see them finish in 15th place in 1963 and fourth from bottom in 1964. The manager Joe Mercer parted company with the club in July 1964 because of these results and his declining health.[12] Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTQ Battery

His replacement, Dick Taylor, managed to avoid relegation in the 1964–65 season as Villa finished 16th after a poor start to the season.[13] The following year Villa finished 16th once again. Following a 4–2 final day defeat by Everton the club was relegated to theSecond Division in the 1966–67 season. Manager Dick Taylor was sacked and Tommy Cummings was appointed in his place. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTR Battery

The decline was not solely the responsibility of the manager; the club had an ageing five-man board "who had failed to adapt to the new football reality."[14] The club had neither developed a scouting network nor an effective coaching structure. The board had also sold two of Villa's best players, Phil Woosnam and Tony Hateley.[15] Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTW Battery

The fans' calls for the board to resign became more and more pronounced when Villa finished 16th in the Second Division in 1968.[16] Events on the pitch came to a head in November 1968, with Villa lying at the bottom of Division Two; the board sacked Cummings. On 21 November 1968 the problems in the boardroom were highlighted when a board member, George Robinson, resigned. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAB Battery

Following his resignation the board issued a statement: "[The board] would make available, by their resignation, such seats as new financial arrangements might require."[16] Aston Villa F.C was up for sale. After much speculation, control of the club was bought by London financier Pat Matthews, who brought in local travel-agent Doug Ellis as chairman of the new board that was convened on 16 December 1968. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAC Battery

Two days later Tommy Docherty was appointed as manager.[16]

Docherty rebuilt confidence in the team and Villa went on to win five consecutive games and retained a place in the Second Division. In the short time that Docherty had been at the club, attendances rose significantly from a low of just over 12,000 against Charlton Athletic in December. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAD Battery

In the summer of 1969 the first share issue since 1896 raised £200,000 for the club, £140,000 of which was spent on new players.[17] In the following season, however, Villa took ten games to register a win. By Christmas 1969, Villa were at the bottom of the Second Division and Docherty was sacked. His successor, Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NBB Battery

Vic Crowe, was unable to prevent Aston Villa from being relegated to the third tier of English football for the first time in its history in the 1969–70 season. Despite finishing fourth in theThird Division in the 1970–71 season, Villa reached the League Cup final after beating Manchester United in the semi-final. They were defeated in the final byTottenham Hotspur 2–0. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCA Battery

The 1971–72 season saw the club return to the Second Division as champions with a then divisional record 70 points.[19] In the autumn of 1972, there was a revolt in the boardroom and four of the five directors voted to oust Doug Ellis from the board. Within 43 days though, Ellis was reinstated as chairman after he received the support of the largest shareholder Pat Matthews, Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCB Battery

and the supporters at an EGM, who also voted to replace the existing directors.[20] Their first season back in the Second Division in 1972–73 saw Villa narrowly miss out on a second successive promotion when they finished third. However, the following season Villa finished 14th and Ellis sacked Crowe, replacing him with Ron Saunders.[21] Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCC Battery

For the club's centenary season of 1974–75, Saunders brought in only two new players, Frank Carrodus and Leighton Phillips. At the end of his first season in charge, Villa were back in the First Division after finishing second, and had won the 1975 League Cup final at Wembley Stadium. Villa beat Norwich City 1–0 with Ray Graydon scoring the winning goal. Sony VAIO VGN-CS50B/W Battery

At the beginning of the 1975–76 season Doug Ellis resigned as chairman but remained on the board.[22] Ellis left the club in a good position on the field. They were in the First Division and the UEFA Cup for the first time due to the League Cup win of 1975. The club's first season of European football was short-lived though as they were beaten 5–1 by Antwerp in the first round. Sony VAIO VGN-CS51B/W Battery

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