Aston Villa

 

Aston villa F C was founded in 1874, Villa's origins lay in the Bible Class of Aston Villa Wesleyan Chapel.

The club turned professional in 1885 and won the FA trophy cup seven times Villa's first playing venue was in Perry Barr, but they moved to their present ground and have played all their home matches at Villa Park since 1886

League Champions 1893-94,1895-96, 1896-97, 1898-99,1899-1900,1909-10, 1980-81

F A Cup Winners, 1887, 1895, 1897, 1905, 1913, 1920, 1957

League cup Winners 1961, 1975, 1977, 1994, 1996

European, 1982 European, Super Cup Winners, 1983

Today's Premiership league owes its existence to The infamous Summer Lane, Aston was were it all began in a small but significant drapers shop. The owner was a canny middle-aged Scotsman by the name of William McGregor who was also a director of the newly formed professional football club Aston Villa. His close friend and businessman Joe Tillotson, a regular Villa supporter who kept a small eating house or coffee shop as we know them today discussed the fear of other clubs in the country had, that was attracting larger crowds to pay at the turnstiles

At this time clubs only played friendly games within the vicinity of their origins. There was the occasional game or cup competition but they where badly organised when on occasions teams from the north came down. Football in Lancashire was very popular and drew on large crowds each week. A local news paper journalist who reported on the local games to had copied the American Baseball system of giving winning teams a status over the loosing sides.

McGregor could well see the possibilities in this approach and called for a board meeting with his fellow directors and put forward his idea that all teams should meet on an home and away basis and all fixtures must be fixed for the football season

The midnight oil burnt for many months most of the clubs were frightened by the wrath of the Football Association, and where not to interested in this idea of McGregor's.

The football league as we know it today bares witness to the seeds of William McGregor to the fact there is indeed no organisation quite like it. Indeed it has been copied and revered as the acme of efficiency and incorruptibility

During its long history the Football League has survived many battles of change the impact of two world wars many social changes and still it marches proudly on looking forward to the future. Where I wonder would football be with out the Scotsman William McGregor and Aston Villa Football Club

first ground

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The Stolen Cup

The original Football Association Challenge cup won by Aston Villa was stolen from a shop window in New Town Row the name of the shop was Shilcocks it was never found but it is reputed that it was melted down and made into half crowns


69 Newtown Row The Premises Where The FA Cup Were Stolen From

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Aston Villa FC 1886 - 1887


Standing Left to Right: F Coulton, J Warner, F Dawson,
J Simmonds
Sitting Middle Row: R Davies, A Brown, A Hunter,
H Vaughton, D Hodgetts
Sitting On Ground: H Yates, J Burton


Jimmy Warner
The photo of James (Jimmy) Warner was taken in the 1880's.
He was born September 30, 1863 in Birmingham.
He died in November of 1943 in Pennsylvania, USA.
He was with the Aston Villa football team from 1886-1892 and was
the goalie for the championship win in the 1886-1887 season.
He went to the US in 1907 and lived with his daughter
Lilian Warner Lloyd.asp:Content>

 

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November the fifth 1887 Buffalo Bill Visits Villa Park

The most famous name in American cowboy history presented his Wild West Show at Aston meadow lower grounds his show included over two hundred horses, mules, buffalos, prairie elks, cowboys and Indians, and the famous deadwood stage

At the time Aston Villa were playing at Small Heath Alliance (now Birmingham City). Incidentally Villa won 3 goals to 0 and Buffalo Bill performed to the lowest crowd ever when touring with his Wild West Show

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Aston Villa FC 1888


Back row, left to right: Frank Coulton, Harry Dewey,
James Warner(Goalkeeper), Harry Yates, Gershom Cox,
Fred Burton, J. Gorman(trainer)
Front Row, left to right: Albert Brown, Albert Allen,
Archie Hunter(Captain), Dennis Hodgetts, Bat Garvey
Mayor of Birmingham's Charity Cup, left
Birmingham F.A. Senior Challenge Cup, right

I am indebted to Bernard Gallagher of Sports Projects Ltd. for naming the team for me and helping me with my research. Vic Garvey, October 2002

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Aston Villa FC 1902


Gershom Cox who played for Aston Villa from 1887/93 season is claim to fame is that he was the first player to score an own goal, this was against Wolverhampton Wanderers’ it being the first game of the inaugural season of the “ Football League. He was born in Birmingham 1863’ He had a trial with Excelsior FC Signed from Walsall Town to Willinhall Pickwick, prior to signing for Aston Villa. played as a full-back for Aston Villa from 1888 to 1893. He made 102 first-team appearances for Aston Villa in all competitions.
Died in September 1940 aged 73
This was brought to my attention by Tristan Browning a relative of Gershom Cox


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The World Cup

Villa Park has staged World cup and International football it is the F A `s choice for semi-finals. More cup semi-finals have been played at Villa Park than any other football ground

Their record attendance 76,588 just after the end of world war 2 it was against Derby County in the F A cup March 1946. Villa lost the tie by 3 goals to 4. Their highest league attendance was Boxing Day 1949 69,099 in 1996 for the first time gate receipts where over one million pounds

Villa park was also prominent in the 1966 World Cup Finals staging three games. Argentina v Spain, Argentina v West Germany, and Spain v West Germany

The three games were watched by over 150 thousand spectators who saw the worlds most expensive player at the time one Luis Suarez. Argentina were tagged the worlds dirtiest players. Also on display was the golden delights of Franz Beckenbauer

England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, have all played full international matches at Villa Park. June the 4th 1995 in preparations for Euro 96, Brazil v Sweden, the venue Villa Park. The European Championships Villa staged the games Holland v Scotland, Holland v Switzerland, Scotland v Switzerland, Portugal v Czech Republic.

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Other Events

The football League and the Scottish League played their representative inter League games at Villa Park

It has also staged multipurpose events. British and Empire Boxing championships, Rugby League Internationals, Great Britain v Australia, the formidable All Blacks and American Gridiron Football Super Star and pop concerts. The Boss Bruce Springstine performed in front of forty thousand screaming fans American. Evangelists Dick Saunders also drew great crowds to Villa Park. Billy Graham in 1984 attracted 257,181 people in prayer meetings over five days. ArchbLeisure Centre

Aston Villa Football club have always been progressive in their thinking, they built the Aston Villa leisure Centre also Stumps for the highly successful indoor cricket

They built one of the first American 10 pin bowling venues Fairlanes and also in conjunction with ASDA the food store giants built a super market on the old serpentine grounds that was a boating venue and professional cycling track. but it is most famous for Pat Collins's Onion Fair that attracted as many people as the football games s most famous for Pat Collins's Onion Fair that attracted as many people as the football games

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Pele

February 21st 1972, 54,437 people braved a dark and cold winters night to get into the ground and countless thousands were locked out.When you consider that the whole country was locked into a most bizarre power crisis. Factories were only working three days a week how did Villa manage to get round the crisis. They brought their own electric generator especially for the match then after the game sold it on at a profit.

Villa were in the third division for the first time in their history and what was the hue and cry for all this excitement

It was the one and only PELE. the South American Club Santos were to challenge the famous claret and blue but the attraction that night was to catch a glimpse of the words greatest footballer of all time PELE

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A Few Famous Names

There have been many famous names down the years far to many to name but just to wet the appetite

Our name sake Eric Houghton, Gerry Hitchens, Pongo Waring, Johnny Dixon, Peter McParland

He for the still talked about Challenge on the Manchester United Goal Keeper and of course his goals that beat United and gave us the F A cup

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Doug Ellis

Doug Ellis asked for the fans to help the ailing club who were at rock bottom, along with Tommy Docherty, to buy a five pound share in the club

If you consider that eleven pounds a week was an average wage for the working man you can imagine the commitment for the fans

£205,835 was raised. Tthose that could not afford £5 pound sent in anything they could afford. They even turned up at the grounds armed with paint pots and brushes brooms and shovels and gave Villa Park a make over.

That was the loyalty of an Aston Villa Fan.

I who each match day join in the pilgrimage and walks the footsteps of my harbingers glow with pride as I pass their burial place in Aston Church, see my self as a child rushing through Aston Park sneaking under the turnstiles of Villa Park waving my war time gas rattle pained in claret and blue shouting 'Up the Villa!' and 'Come on you Lions!'.

Five Generations Of the Houghton Family have watched and supported Aston Villa

Bob Houghton

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A Trawler Called Aston Villa by Bob Houghton

Consolidated Fisheries Limited of Grimsby was founded by Sir John, D, Marsden-Bart, who had the Idea to name a fleet of 16 trawlers after Famous football clubs in order to promote keen rivalry amongst his trawler

Skippers all 16 boats where built in the period between 1933 and 1938. During the second world war all his ships served with the Royal Navy and did a great service but sadly they suffered great losses

Unfortunately Aston Villa was blown out of the water and sunk off the coast of Norway in the Norwegian campaign when 14 fourteen British ships suffered the same fate at the hands of German U boats and aircraft raids.

After the war the fleet was rebuilt and once more Aston Villa left Grimsby to fish the wild Artic Ocean and the North Seas.

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