History

The club was founded in March 1874 by cricket players in order to keep fit in the winter. By the end of the 70s, Aston Villa became one of the strongest teams in the Midland. In 1880, the Birmingham Cup was won – the first trophy in the club’s history; in the same season, the team began playing in the FA Cup, where it reached the third round. Also in 1879, the first match was played with its historical rival Birmingham, then called Small Hill. The match ended in a victory, “Small Hill” 1: 0. This event marked the beginning of the second city’s derby.

In 1878, Aston Villa player Arthur Brown was called to England for the first time.

In the first half of the 80s, Aston Villa continued to be the strongest Midland team, winning the Birmingham Cup 5 times in 6 draws, but in England things were not going so well, the best result in the Cup was the quarter-finals. The first great success came to the club in 1887, when the England Cup was won for the first time. Then the team played famous players of their time, such as Archie Hunter and Arthur Brown, and Aston Villa gained a reputation as one of the best clubs in the country.

In 1888, on the initiative of William McGregor’s Aston Villa manager, the first Football League in the world was founded. McGregor turned to 11 leading clubs in the country. Thus, a league was formed from 12 clubs, and Aston Villa initiated its founding. In the first season, the team took 2nd place. However, then there was a recession, Aston Villa took 8th and 9th place in the next two seasons, respectively. Then things went a little better, and in 1892 the club made it to the final of the FA Cup, where, with a score of 3: 0, it lost to West Brom. However, until 1893, Aston Villa remained the middleweight of the championship.

In 1894, Aston Villa became the champion of England for the first time in its history. However, this was only the beginning of the unconditional domination of the club in the country. For 7 seasons, Aston Villa won the championship 5 times (1894, 1896, 1897, 1899, 1900) and 2 times the FA Cup (1895 and 1897). Also bronze was won in 1895. Only in 1898 the club was left without trophies.

In 1897, the team moved to the Villa Park stadium, where it plays to this day.

In 1897, the gold double was made, that is, the victory in the FA Cup (in the final, Everton was beaten with a score of 3: 2) and the championship. In 1898, having relaxed after the double, the team took the 6th place – the only non-prize for these years. By the way, nobody could repeat the golden double until 1961. In the next two seasons, Aston Villa became the champion.

By the beginning of the XX century, the club came up the most titled in the country. During this period all matches against Birmingham were won. Many of the players of the then Aston Villa were the main players of the England team: defenders of Howard Spencer, who was the captain of the England team and Aston Villa, and Jimmy Kubtri, who came from Burnley, and John Davy (6-fold top scorer of the season). ), Fred Weldon (top scorer of the England Championship of the 1894/95 season), Bilya Garrathy (top scorer of the English Championship of the 1899/00 season), Joe Bech (185 goals for the Villa) and John Campbell (Top English Championship of the 1895/96 season). Until now, this period remains the best in the history of the club. With the beginning of a new century of hegemony in England, the end will come. The time will come for other clubs such as Newcastle, Liverpool, Sunderland, Blackburn.

After the championship in 1900, the club began to decline decisively in 15th place in 1901. Then 8. Despite the fact that in 1905 the Cup of England was won, where in the finals Newcastle was beaten up until 1910 the team was in the middle of the championship. In the 1909/10 season, Aston Villa quite unexpectedly became the champion of England. Begins a new rise that will last until the first world.

From 1910 to 1914 Aston Villa was a champion once, 3 times a silver medalist and once in 1913 won the FA Cup. These successes were made possible by the still well-played Joe Bach and Billy Garrathy, as well as young players like Harry Hampton (England player, England’s top scorer in the 1911/12 season, 242 goals for Aston Villa) and Clem Stephenson, who famous for its accurate passes. Great importance was played by goalie Sam Hardy, who was bought from Liverpool, who was one of the best goalkeepers of his time and played 20 matches for England.

Immediately after World War I, in the 1919/20 season, Aston Villa won the FA Cup, which will remain the only one for the entire period. The 20s passed without success, and the team consistently ranked in the middle of the table. In 1924, Aston Villa reached the FA Cup final, but could not win the trophy. However, in those not very successful years, Billy Walker played for the club, one of the best players of his time, not only Aston Villa, but also England. He was a captain in the club and in the team. He scored 244 goals for the club, which is still a record for Aston Villa.

In the late 20s – early 30s, club results improved. Aston Villa is ranked 3rd in 1929 and 2nd in 1931 and 1933. In those years, Aston Villa was arguably the best attack in the country, since 128 goals were scored in the 1930/1931 season, which still remains a record, and striker Tom Waring became the top scorer in the same season, scoring 50 goals. In those years, striker Erik Hooton, the future Aston Villa coach, England player, who was famous for his strong kick, played in Aston Villa. However, both in 1931 and in 1933, the team lost in the champion race to Arsenal.

In the late 1930s, a serious decline began, the result of which was the first departure in history to the second division in 1936. But in 1938, Aston Villa returned. In the first season in the top division took 12th place. Then, because of the Second World War, the football league ceased to operate. In the war period, Aston Villa won the northern military cup of England in 1944. In the final, Blackpool was beaten.

As a result of the war, many players have completed their careers. The new Aston Villa coach, Alex Massey, was faced with the task of restoring and restructuring the club. And he immediately began to build a team, some important transfers were made, such as the purchase in 1947 of a 23-year-old Welsh striker Trevor Ford from Swansea, which in three seasons in a row will become the club’s top scorer. Also, Northern Ireland’s Danny Blanchflower was purchased, who in the future will become a famous Tottenham captain, champion of England, and also twice the best footballer of the year in England according to journalists. Thanks to the actions of Massey, the team was generally stable and ranked 6-12, but could not fight for trophies. After finishing the 1952/1953 season in 11th place, Massey was dismissed.

Former head coach Eric Huton came to the post of head coach. After his arrival, the results in the national championship did not change, the team continued to occupy places in the middle of the table, almost flying out in 1955/1956. However, in 1957, under the leadership of Eric Huton, the trophy was won for the first time in 37 years. In the final of the England Cup, Aston Villa with a score of 2: 1 beat the champion, Manchester United. Both goals for Aston Villa were scored by Peter McParland. This England Cup is still the last for the team.

However, things went worse in the championship, and in 1958, Hooton was fired. In 1959, Aston Villa was again in the second division, but returned the next season. That year, Joe Mercer became the head coach, who would later become famous as a coach with Manchester City. He began to bet on the young players of the team, who were mainly students of the club. These are Charlie Aitkin, John Slyuenhoek, Phil Wusnom, Bobby Thompson, Lew Chatterley, John Neal and others. Many of them were youth team players. These players went down in history as “Mercer’s minors”. The results of the updated team went up the hill and in two seasons they were seventh. During this period, Jerry Hitchens signed earlier was revealed, scoring 42 goals in the 1960/61 season and making his debut in the England team.

In 1961, another League Cup trophy was won, this was his first draw. In the two-match final with a total score of 3: 2, Aston Villa beat Rottenham United. In 1963, Aston Villa reached the final again, but lost to its historic rival in the Birmingham derby, thereby allowing them to win the first and only trophy in history.

However, in 1964, Mercer left, Hitchens was sold, many players changed the club and the results began to deteriorate. The management began to change coaches, but it did not bring any results. The reason for the recession was the incompetence of the leadership, which was mainly elderly and backward from the development of football people. The club did not have a normal scout service, and the organization of training has not changed much since the 1910s. The departure in the season 1966/1967 became logical. “Aston Villa” and so the last seasons fought for survival, but thanks to the bombing qualities of Tony Hateley the club stayed in the elite. In the summer of 1966 he was sold to Chelsea, and in the same season they dropped the division lower. This time for a long time.

In the first season in the second division, Aston Villa took 16th place. Despite the continuing change of coaches, the club plunged deeper, until in 1969/1970 it dropped for the first and last time in its history into the third division.

In 1970, the club took his former footballer, as well as Wales national team player Vic Crow. In the first season, the team was close to return to the second, but took 4th place. In the same season, the team under the leadership of Vic Crow was able to reach the League Cup final, beating the club from the top division of Manchester United in the semifinals, but lost to Tottenham in the final 2: 0. This final gave the team confidence and the next season, Aston Villa becomes the champion of the third division with a record 70 points. The former division player Burnley from the first division, Andy Lockhead, who scored 25 goals, helped the team to get out of the third division.

In the first season, in the second division, the team was close to entering the elite, taking 3rd place. The next season, the team was replaced as a long series of defeats, the final 14th place, for which Crowe was fired.

In the first season in the second division, Aston Villa took 16th place. Despite the continuing change of coaches, the club plunged deeper, until in 1969/1970 it dropped for the first and last time in its history into the third division.

In 1970, the club took his former footballer, as well as Wales national team player Vic Crow. In the first season, the team was close to return to the second, but took 4th place. In the same season, the team under the leadership of Vic Crow was able to reach the League Cup final, beating the club from the top division of Manchester United in the semifinals, but lost to Tottenham in the final 2: 0. This final gave the team confidence and the next season, Aston Villa becomes the champion of the third division with a record 70 points. The former division player Burnley from the first division, Andy Lockhead, who scored 25 goals, helped the team to get out of the third division.

In the first season, in the second division, the team was close to entering the elite, taking 3rd place. The next season, the team was replaced as a long series of defeats, the final 14th place, for which Crowe was fired.

In 1974, Ron Saunders was appointed head coach of Aston Villa. As a coach, he had already made a name for himself by working with Norwich City, whom he was able for the first time in history to lead into the top division and reach the League Cup final, and from Manchester City. But his main success as a coach was working with Aston Villa.

He took the club in 1974 in the second division and in the first season, he not only led to the first division, but also won the League Cup, beating his former club “Norwich City” in the final. In those years, the Aston Villa Football Academy has put a number of young, talented players who will play an important role in the success of the club. These are Gordon Cowens, Dennis Mortimer, Gary Shaw, Brian Little and others. Ron Saunders, in turn, continued to build the team, making very important transfers. So in 1975 Andy Gray from Dundee was added to the club, in 1979 Tony Morley from Burnley, James Rimmer from Arsenal and Peter Wheat from Newcastle. It should be noted that everything except Whit was bought for little money even for those times. So Ron Saunders created a strong and efficient team and the result was not long in coming.

In the first season in the elite it was hard, and the team took 16th place. But in the next season 1976/1977 Aston Villa took the 4th place and won its second trophy with Saunders – the League Cup – 1977. In the final, they got Everton, the first match ended in a 0: 0 draw. A replay was scheduled, but she did not reveal the winner. A third replay was scheduled, which also ended most of the time with a 2: 2 draw. It was added 2 times for 15 minutes, in which Aston Villa managed to score. 3-2 in the favor of Aston Villa. Also in the 1976/1977 season, the young Scottish striker Andy Gray was revealed. In 1977, he became the top scorer in the English Championship, scoring 25 goals, and also became the first and one of two players in history who, in one year, was recognized as the best player of the year and the best young player of the year by professional football players. His success will be repeated only in 2007.

In the 1977/1978 season, Aston Villa took part in the UEFA Cup and reached the quarterfinals, farther than other English clubs that season. Prior to that, Aston Villa played in the UEFA Cup only once, in the 1975/1976 season, but the debut was unsuccessful, Aston Villa took off in the very first round.

By the end of the 70s, Aston Villa became a strong team in the first division, which from 1976 to 1980 took 4-7 places and quite regularly plays in the UEFA Cup. In 1979, Andy Gray was sold to Wolverhampton for an amazing 750,000 pounds for the time, it was a transfer record in England. An excellent winger Morley and the drive former centerfor Wheat bought the money from the sale of Gray in 1980, together they cost the club 700,000 pounds.

The very next season of 1980/1981, Aston Villa became the champion of England for the first time in 71 years, ahead of the Excellence Town, Arsenal and Liverpool champions. In his first season for Aston Villa, Peter Whit becomes England’s top scorer, scoring 20 goals, and gets a call on England. In the same season, young striker Gary Shaw, who scored 19 goals, is recognized as the best young footballer in England by the PFA version, and next year he won the Bravo Award as the best young footballer in Europe. After the success of 1981, the recession started in the 1981/1982 season, the team hung in the middle of the table, but successfully progressed in the European Cup (now the UEFA Champions League), where it played for the first time in history.