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A Presentation of Villa's History
by Era Follows


The 1874-1893 Era Link

The 1893-1905 Era Link

The 1905-1915 Era Link

The 1919-1939 Era Link

The 1946-1961 Era Link

The 1961-1976 Era Link

The 1976-1990 Era Link

The 1990-2001 Era Link

For events since 2001, please
click here for season-by-season accounts.


Timeline of Major Events In Football to 1950

1848	Football rules were significantly formalised. 
	This version was adopted by all the 
	schools, college and universities, 
	and known as the Cambridge Rules.
1857	Sheffield F.C. established, the world's oldest 
	football club, and the Sheffield Rules 
	developed. This was the usually adopted 
	code in preference to earlier codes.
1863	October 26: the Football Association 
	was formed when eleven London schools 
	and clubs came together at the Freemason's 
	Tavern to establish a single set 
	of rules to administer any football match 
	that were to be played among them. 
	On December 8 1863, Association Football 
	and Rugby Football finally split into 
	two different organizations. 
	The word "soccer" is derived from 
	"Association Football" to distinguish 
	it from rugby.
	The first ever soccer match was played 
	on Barnes common at Mortlake, London 
	on 19th December 1863 between Barnes 
	Football Club and Richmond Football Club. 
	The game ended in a 0-0 draw.
1869	The Football Association rules were 
	further amended to exclude any handling 
	of the ball.
1871	Charles William Alcock creates the 
	Football Association (FA) Challenge Cup, 
	the oldest cup tournament extant.
1872	The first official international football 
	match was played, between the national teams 
	of Scotland and England, played in Glasgow. 
	The game was played on  30 November 1872, 
	and finished with a 0-0 draw.
1875	The crossbar is introduced, replacing tape 
	as the means of marking the top of the goal.
1883	The four British associations agreed on a 
	uniform code and formed the International 
	Football Association Board.
1885	The threat of secession leads to the 
	legalisation of professionalism on 20 July 
	by the Football Association.
1888	League football is established by the 
	creation of the Football League in England 
	by former Aston Villa chairman William McGregor.
1891	Introduction of the penalty kick.
1900	Soccer played at the Olympic Games 
	for the first time.
1904	Establishment of FIFA by delegates from 
	France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, 
	Spain, Sweden and Switzerland at a meeting 
	in Paris on the 21st of May.
1930	In 1930, The Federation Internationale 
	de Football Association (FIFA) held soccer's 
	first World Cup tournament in Montevideo, 
	Uruguay, with 13 teams.
1950	England enters the World Cup tournament.

Timeline of Significant AVFC Events
1874      Club Formed (probably in October
          but March was stated by Jack Hughes,
          a co-founder).
1875-76	  George Ramsay arrives & becomes captain.
1876      First permanent ground (Perry Barr).
1877	  Arrival of William McGregor.
1878	  Arrival of Archie Hunter.
          Introduction of the lion as the club's
          logo and "Prepared" as their motto.
1879-80   First entered F.A. Cup.
          First won Birmingham Senior Cup.
          The Club and its Followers from now on
          known as "the Villans".
1880	  Archie Hunter becomes captain.
1885      The club turned professional
1886      William McGregor leads a re-organisation
          of the club's administration.
          George Ramsay appointed first full-time
          club secretary. 
1886-87   F.A. Cup Winners (First Midland winners)
1887      Claret and light blue become the club's
          colours, based on the Cup-winning colours
          of chocolate and sky blue.

1888      Villa's William McGregor founder of the
          Football League and its first chairman.
1888-89   Founder member of Football League
          Football League runner-up
1889	  McGregor tries to turn the club into a
          limited company but gets agreement
          only to do so as a limited company
          without profits.
          Only in 1896 is McGregor's full idea
1891-92   F.A. Cup Finalists
1893      (Feb) Fred Rinder leads a re-organisation
          of the club's administration
1893      Joe Grierson appointed as trainer.
          He oversees Villa's 
          first 6 championship wins
1893-94   Football League Champions
1894-95   F.A. Cup Winners (2nd time)
          (Sep) The F.A. Cup stolen while on 
	  display & never seen again
	  (see video below).
1895-96   Football League Champions (2nd time)
1896      (Jan) Limited company formed;
	  J.Margoschis the first chairman in
          this business form.
          Share capital raised for Villa Park.
1896-97   Football League Champions (3rd time)
          F.A. Cup Winners (3rd time)
          [Second winners of the 'Double'
          & the last till 1960-61]
1897      Villa Park opened, though not officially
	      known by that name until 1969.
          Villa's John Devey first (co-)chairman
          of the PFA.
1898      Fred Rinder Chairman of Aston Villa.
1898-99   Football League Champions (4th time)
1899-00   Football League Champions (5th time)
1900-01   F.A. Cup semi-finalists
1902-03   Football League runner-up
          F.A. Cup semi-finalists
1904-05   F.A. Cup Winners (4th time)
1906      (Sep) the Villa News
           & Record is launched.
1907-08   Football League runner-up
1909-10   Football League Champions (6th time)
1910-11   Football League runner-up
1911	  Aston Villa purchase the freehold
		  of Villa Park.
          (Dec) Death of William McGregor.
1912-13   F.A. Cup Winners (5th time)
          Football League runner-up
1913      Significant ground re-development started
          but, interrupted by WW1, the plan was
	  never fully carried out. The Holte End
	  development was not completed until 1940.
1913-14   Football League runner-up
          F.A. Cup semi-finalists
1915-19   WW1: No League nor F.A. Cup
1919-20   F.A. Cup Winners (6th time)
1923-24   F.A. Cup Finalists
1925      Opposition causes Fred Rinder to resign
          from the Board, ending 32 years in office.
1926      George Ramsay retires after 40 years.
1928-29   F.A. Cup semi-finalists
1930-31   Football League runner-up
          Record number of league goals: 128
          (still the record for the top division)
1932-33   Football League runner-up
1933-34   F.A. Cup semi-finalists
1934      First Professional Team Manager appointed.
1935      (Nov) Death of George Ramsay.
1935-36   Relegated to Division Two (1st relegation)
1936      Board of Directors replaced, with
          Fred Rinder returning after 11 years.
1937-38   Football League Division Two Champions
          Promoted to Division One
          F.A. Cup semi-finalists
1938      (Dec) Death of Fred Rinder.
1939-45   WW2: No League nor F.A. Cup
1944      Winners of Wartime League Cup (North)
1946      Gate record of 76,588 against Derby
          in the F.A. Cup
1956-57   F.A. Cup Winners (7th time)
1958      Floodlights installed for the first time.
1958-59   F.A. Cup semi-finalists
          Relegated to Division Two
1959-60   Football League Division Two Champions
          Promoted to Division One
          F.A. Cup semi-finalists
1960-61   Inaugural Football League Cup winners
1962-63   Football League Cup Finalists
1964-65   Football League Cup semi-finalists
1966      A host ground for World Cup finals
1966-67   Relegated to Division Two
1968      (Dec) The club is saved from financial
          ruin in a takeover. The reign of Doug
          Ellis begins, interrupted only by a
          short period at the end of the 70s.
1969-70   Relegated to Division Three
1970-71   Football League Cup Finalists
1971-72   Football League Division Three Champions
          Promoted to Division Two
1974-75   Football League Cup Winners (2nd time)
          Football League Division Two runner-up
          Promoted to Division One
1975-76   First Entry to European Competition (UEFA Cup)
1976-77   Football League Cup Winners (3rd time)
1977      The Witton Lane terraces replaced by the
          North Stand and seating only.
1977-78   UEFA Cup quarter finalists
1980-81   Football League Champions (7th time)
1981-82   European Cup Winners
1982-83   European Super Cup Winners
          European Cup quarter finalists
1983-84   Football League Cup semi-finalists
1985-86   Football League Cup semi-finalists
1986-87   Relegated to Division Two
1987-88   Football League Division Two runner-up
          Promoted to Division One
1989-90   Football League runner-up
1990      With the departure of Graham Taylor
          to manage England, Villa appointed
          the first overseas coach in English
          top-tier football: Dr. Josef Venglos.
          Sadly, he lasted just one year.

1992-93   Founder member of F.A. Premier League
          F.A. Premier League runner-up
1993-94   Football League Cup Winners (4th time)
1994      Villa Park becomes all-seater with the
          re-development of the Holte End.
1995-96   Football League Cup Winners (5th time)
          F.A. Cup semi-finalists
1996      A host ground for European Nations Cup
1997      The club lists on Stock Exchange (a PLC)
1997-98   UEFA Cup quarter finalists
1999	  Villa Park hosts the last ever European
		  Cup Winners' Cup Final.
1999-00   F.A. Cup Finalists
          Football League Cup semi-finalists
2000-01   Re-development of the Trinity Stand.
2003-04   Football League Cup semi-finalists
2006      Mr. Ellis' reign as chairman at end
          after 24 years, and at Villa since
          1968, except 1979-82. American 
          Mr. Lerner takes over as sole owner,
          and club delists from Stock Exchange.
2007-08	  A modern record for average attendance
          (over 40,000, of 42,000+ capacity) achieved.
2009-10   Football League Cup Finalists
          F.A. Cup semi-finalists
2012-13   Football League Cup semi-finalists
2014-15   F.A. Cup Finalists
2016      (Jan) Englishman Steven Hollis takes
          over as pro-tem chairman from Randy Lerner.
2015-16   Relegated to The Championship.
2016      (June) Dr. 'Tony' Xia replaces Mr. Lerner
          as the club's owner.
2016      (July) The club opens their first football
          academy outside England - in New Delhi.
2016      (Aug 31) At the end of the transfer window
          a record 9 new players had been signed and
          14 players moved on, some on loan.
2018      Villa reach the promotion play-off final
          at Wembley (vs Fulham), but lose.
2018      The club gets into financial difficulties.
          Dr. Xia sells a majority holding to
          N.Sawiris(Egypt) and W.Edens(USA).
2018-19   Promoted from Championship via play-off
          final (vs Derby C) to the Premier League.
2019-20   Football League Cup Finalists

Villa History site search
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The history of the Aston Villa crest
Please click on image to see larger image

n 1981, Aston Villa had still won more domestic honours than any other club. Then, in 1982, the club stepped up to another pinnacle: the European Cup.
Therefore, the Villa, having experienced
all of the following ...
Building their home in the former stately grounds
of Aston Hall(1897);
Having the major role in creating
league football(1888);
Winning the European Cup(1982);
Consistently gaining honours and maintaining
an elite presence since 1887;
Providing a neutral venue for international competition and major domestic cup matches
over three centuries;

... it could be asked which other football club has such a rich history.


After a blip, the Villa resumed their status as a leading club in the top-flight of English football through most of the 20 years from 1990. Since 2010, Aston Villa has gone through a painful period of readjustment and for three years was out of the top-flight. The club is now seeking to regain its position amongst the elite.


Aston Villa is one of only three clubs to be founder-members of both the Football League (1888-89) and the Premiership (1992-93). On both occasions Villa were League runners-up - a unique record. Also winners of the inaugural Football League Cup (1960-61) and from 1896-97 until 1960-61 were one of only two clubs to win the League and FA Cup in one season
- the famed 'Double'.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that over the long period of its existence, Aston Villa has proved itself to be the Midlands' only consistently achieving club. But, more than that, the club was the main standard by which football as we know it stabilised and grew as a spectator sport. In 1913, the London Evening News stated:
"Aston Villa is the biggest news on the football canvas.
It is, in fact, a household word
- one of the few the game has produced.
At the start of the League - Aston Villa.
After 25 seasons - [still] Aston Villa."

In fact, up until the 1930s, the Villa's claret and blue shirt was the most respected and feared in the land. And, as football spread throughout the world, virtually the only football club that people asked about - whether in Europe, Africa, Australia or South America - was Aston Villa. Even in 1969, when the club was going through serious problems, Dutch TV reporters were saying that only Aston Villa was of interest to their people.
The great Pele said, on the occasion of his club Santos playing a friendly at Villa Park, in February, 1972, “I know Villa are in the Third Division but in my country they are still great.”
Villa's great renaissance in the 1976-83 period re-awakened people's interest world-wide.

Miscellaneous Villa Data
(Pop-up Options)

AVFC Summary Record

AVFC Chairmen & Officers

Randy Lerner's Impact at AVFC

AVFC Trainers and Managers

AVFC Roll of Honour

AVFC Miscellaneous Club Records

AVFC Highest Scores

AVFC Best Winning Sequences

AVFC Interesting match scores!

AVFC Reserves

AVFC In The Birmingham Cup

Books on Aston Villa

Cricket at Aston Villa


All-Football Data
(Pop-up Options)

World's Oldest Soccer Clubs

All English Trophy Winners


Click Here To See Bits & Pieces From The Archives

AVFC Quiz Masterclass
AVFC Quiz Masterclass

For details of John Lerwill's publications,
please click here.

Extraordinary sequences

1a. Villa formed 1874, 1876 was when George Ramsay arrived.

1b. Villa's second "three score and 10 years" began in 1944. 1946 was when peacetime league football re-started.

1c. Villa's third "three score and 10 years" began in 2014. 2016 was when Dr. Xia arrived.
2a. Villa won the FA Cup for the first time in 1887, 13 years after their formation.

2b. Villa won the FA Cup in 1957, 13 years after the start of the second "three score and 10 years".
3a. Villa were first relegated in 1936. (8 years before end of that 70 years period).

3b. Doug Ellis handed over to Randy Lerner in 2006 (8 years before end of that 70 years period).
Another matter of interest is the fact that Villa started to become a national phenomenon in 1881, and the 1981 (last) league championship was of course the 100th anniversary of that. Not only that but 1981 signalled the end of the old era - the number of points for a win increased to 3 and sponsoring came into being. It was also the last year in which Villa were the leading domestic trophy winners.

It is also intriguing that the 1890s to 1900 was a strong decade, and so was the 1990s to 2000 decade relatively-speaking. Also that there was a 10-year gape between league championships between 1900 and 1910 and so also there was a 10-year gap in cup final appearances between 2000 and 2010.