Aston Villa

Aston VillaAston Villa’s foundations go right ba

A Football Report
Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Aston Villa’s foundations go right back to 1874, making it one of the oldest clubs in the country. The early team enjoyed success right from the beginning, winning their first major trophy, the Birmingham Senior Cup, in 1880, with their renowned captain, George Ramsay, in charge.

Major success followed a few years later when, in 1887, they won the first of seven FA Cup titles. A year after this they were one of the twelve teams to compete in the inaugural Football League, in which they triumphed six times in sixteen years. This phenomenal period of success over the latter nineteenth century and the early twentieth century led to them being described as the most successful club of the time.

However, after experiencing such overwhelming success, they failed to keep the momentum going and began to fade. Their first relegation from the top flight came in 1936, and it was an event from which they would never fully recover. Since then they have never managed to reclaim the position of such dominance that they held throughout their early years.

Success over the last fifty years has been limited. Their last major success was their European Cup triumph, now the Champions League, in 1982, preceded a year earlier by their first League victory in 71 years. They also managed to finish runners-up, behind Manchester United in the inaugural season of the Premier League in 1992, and lost to Chelsea in the final of the FA Cup in 2000. But after 26 years without a major trophy, the club is itching for success.

Despite the recent years of difficulties and the lack of any major trophies to put in the cabinet, Aston Villa still holds a special place in English football history. The glory days of its early years and the long history that it has enjoyed mean that it will always be a club striving to reach the heights once again, that they attained so many years ago.

For a more detailed account of the club’s history, take a look at this guide.

Villa Park

Villa Park is a UEFA 4-star rated stadium, and the largest football ground in the Midlands. As with the club itself, the ground also comes with a long and distinguished history that has seen it host over a century of football games and has produced some memorable moments.

Aston Villa played their first game in the ground on 17th April 1897, having previously played their games at Aston Park and Perry Barr. It used to be the site of an old Victorian amusement park known as Aston Lower Grounds, but when that was demolished the foundations were laid for what would be a very different type of activity.

Over the years it has introduced new innovative features to keep up with the changing times. The first major technological change came in 1958, when floodlights were first installed within the ground, and these were followed up forty years later with under-soil heating, now a mainstay of most good stadia. These days, the stadium also boasts two huge television screens in two corners of the ground.

Since the first game was played in the stadium, Villa Park has hosted 55 FA Cup semi-finals, which is the greatest number of times that any club has had the honour. In a further honour to the prestige and quality of the stadium, it has also been chosen as one of the six grounds to host football games during the Olympic games in 2012.

Despite its long history and impressive size, many people do not particularly like the stadium because of the open corners between the four stands. Some claim that this affects the atmosphere inside the stadium during a game, and many would like to see it changed. Fortunately, it has been proposed that this may be one of the changes the stadium makes when it receives new funding as an ‘Olympic’ stadium. The other main change that it will be making in time for the 2012 games is to make improvements to the North Stand, increasing it in size to raise the total capacity of the stadium from 42,640 to 51,000.

The stadium is made up of four stands: Holte End, North Stand, Doug Ellis Stand and Trinity Road, and its contact details are as follows:

  • Address: Villa Park, Trinity Road, Birmingham, B6 6HE
  • Telephone: 0121 327 2299
  • Fax: 0121 322 2107

The Holte End

This stand is on the south side of the stadium, and was opened for the 1994-95 season. It is popular with the home fans, and on match days up to 13,500 passionate followers of the club fill out the stand, which has given it its reputation as the noisiest area of the ground.

Between Holte End and Trinity Road Stand there is an old pavilion building, which is now used for hospitality. Another one of these is located on the other side of the stand, and this is used by the police during matches.

North Stand

As the name suggests, this stand is located on the north side of the stadium. Built at the end of the 1970s, it is the oldest structure still standing at the ground. Made up of two tiers, a double row of executive boxes goes through the middle of these. The stand, which used to be called Witton End, also houses the club shop underneath it.

Doug Ellis Stand

The Doug Ellis Stand is located on the east side of the stadium. The name comes from the previous chairman of the club, who was not always popular with the fans, and as such it was a controversial decision, which was kept secret from the public until the eleventh hour. The decision still causes anger amongst the fans, many of whom refer to it by its old name of Witton Lane Stand.

Another two-tiered structure, this is the stand given over to away fans on match days, who are seated on both the upper and lower tiers.

Trinity Road

This stand, which is the most historical part of the ground, is located on the west side of the stadium. It too has a row of executive boxes across the middle, but it is three tiered rather than two.

It was opened in November 2001 by the Prince of Wales, after the old stand had been controversially demolished. Being such an ancient structure, it had held a special place in the heart of many fans, who claimed that it should be preserved as a listed monument. The building of the new stand went ahead, but many claim that it will never hold the same magic as the old one.

Getting to the ground

By Train

The nearest stations are Aston and Witton, although Witton is closer to the away end of the stadium. To reach Villa Park from here, turn left out of the station and carry on towards the roundabout. When you reach the roundabout, take a left into Witton Lane and carry on down this road until you reach the ground. It is only a few minutes walk away, and is very easy to locate. Aston is only slightly further away, being about a ten minute walk. Extra trains are available on match days.

By Car

From the North

Leave the M6 at junction 7 and follow the A34 (Walsall Road) southbound. Take a left off the road towards the University of Central England, and follow signs for the A4040 towards Witton. Take the first left at the large roundabout and follow signs for Villa Park.

From the South

Travelling on the M1, leave at junction 19 and go onto the M6. Leave the M6 at junction 6 and follow signs for Birmingham. At the roundabout, take the fourth exit onto the A38 towards Aston. After half a mile turn right into Aston Hall Road.

From the East

Travelling on the M1, take junction 24 onto the M6. Travelling northbound on the M6, leave at junction 6 and follow signs for Birmingham. At the roundabout, take the fourth exit onto the A38 towards Aston. After half a mile turn right into Aston Hall Road.

From the West

Travelling on the M5 northbound, join the M6 at junction 8. Leave the M6 at junction 7 and go onto the A34 (Walsall Road). Travelling southbound, take a left off the road towards the University of Central England and follow signs for the A4040 towards Witton. Take the first left at the large roundabout and follow signs for Villa Park.


For the latest ticket information, phone the club on 0121 327 5353. Alternatively, visit the official club website for news and updates. This will also include information about when tickets for certain games will be going on sale.

Buying online

Tickets can be purchased online from the club website. If it is a general fixture then you do not have to be a member to buy a ticket, but you must first register an account to make a purchase.

Buying by phone

Tickets can be purchased from the Ticket Office using a credit card, on the following numbers:

  • Phone: 0800 612 0970
  • Fax: 0800 612 0977

The opening hours are as follows:

  • Monday to Friday: 9am – 7pm
  • Saturday: 9am – 5pm
  • Sunday: 10am – 2pm

Season tickets

Season tickets are available from the club website, and are promoted as being amongst the cheapest in the Premier League, with an adult seat working out at no more than £27 per game. The first rise in three years has seen the most expensive season ticket for an adult go up from £475 to £510.

All season tickets should have been renewed by June or July at the latest. Those without season tickets can call Consumer Sales to be put onto the waiting list after 7th July.

For all details regarding season tickets, including a downloadable application form, click here.

Ticket prices

Tickets are split into three categories: A (most expensive), B and VV (Villa Value). These categories apply to League games, and will be decided upon before the tickets go on sale.

The tables below display the ticket prices for each area of the stadium. If no tickets are available for a particular category, an ‘x’ is shown.

Trinity Road Middle, Trinity Road Upper, Doug Ellis Upper Centre
Ticket TypeABVVSeason Ticket
Over 65xxx£260
Under 12xxxx
Under 16xxx£195
Young Adultxxx£450
Student / Armed Forcesxxx£450
Holte End Upper, Trinity Lower, Doug Ellis Upper Wings and Lower
Ticket TypeABVVSeason Ticket
Over 65£21£20£19£235
Under 12xxx£165
Under 16£21£20£19£195
Young Adult£28£25£23£310
Student / Armed Forces£33£31£29£415
Holte End Lower
Ticket TypeABVVSeason Ticket
Over 65£21£19£17£215
Under 12xxx£185
Under 16£21£20£19£165
Young Adult£28£25£23£310
Student / Armed Forces£33£31£29£390
North Stand Upper / Family Stand
Ticket TypeABVVSeason Ticket
Over 65£15£15£12£185
Under 12xxx£125
Under 16£15£15£12£125
Young Adult£21£19£17£280
Student / Armed Forces£22£20£17£280
North Stand Lower
Ticket TypeABVVSeason Ticket
Over 65xxxx
Under 12xxxx
Under 16£10£10£10£85
Young Adultxxxx
Student / Armed Forcesxxxx
Ticket TypeABVVSeason Ticket
Over 65£15£15£12£185
Under 12xxx£125
Under 16£15£15£12£125
Young Adult£21£19£17£210
Student / Armed Forces£22£20£17£280

First Team Squad

3. Wilfred Bouma
Date of Birth: 15.6.78
Nationality: Dutch
Bouma joined the club in August 2005 for £3.5 million, having won the Dutch title four times with his previous team PSV. He is a valuable player to have on the team as he can play both in the left-back position or as a central defender. It took him a while to break into the squad, mainly as a result of injuries, but as soon as he did the player known simply as ‘Freddie’ became a crowd favourite.

5. Martin Laursen
Date of Birth: 26.7.77
Nationality: Danish
Laursen was bought by Aston Villa from AC Milan in 2004 for a fee of £3 million. He was unfortunately plagued by injury for his first two seasons at the club, but during the 2006-07 season he managed to prove his worth, and the team didn’t lose a single Premiership game when the defender was on the pitch. In addition to his defending duties he also managed to score six goals last season.

6. Gareth Barry
Date of Birth: 23.2.81
Nationality: English
Barry has enjoyed a long and distinguished career, having played for England back in 2000, although it took him a number of years to break into the national squad again after that. Whilst left-midfield is his favourite position, he is also competent in the centre of defence or in the left-back spot. Joining in February 1998, he recently became captain of the team, and has now signed a contract until 2010, although doubts remain over his future. His value to the club is immense, and he has made more overall appearances than any other Villa player in history.

7. Ashley Young
Date of Birth: 9.7.85
Nationality: English
Young previously played for Watford, where his 13 goals in one season helped them out of the Championship and into the Premier League. Playing both as a left-winger and up-front, the striker has a strong presence on the pitch. He proved he was worth every bit of his £8 million fee when he scored for Villa on his debut.

9. Marlon Harewood
Date of Birth: 25.8.79
Nationality: English
Harewood chose to join Villa from West Ham over the other team that had shown an interest, Wigan. Having scored 56 goals in 178 games with his previous club, the striker was exactly what the club were looking for. Last season he performed well and managed to get his name on the scorecard eight times.

10. John Carew
Date of Birth: 5.9.79
Nationality: Norwegian
Carew had enjoyed spells at Valencia, AS Roma, Besiktas and Lyon before joining Villa, meaning he brought a wealth of experience to the club. He is physically big and has a strong presence on the pitch, and his striking ability cannot be doubted. He made an immediate impression on the home fans by scoring on his home debut against West Ham, and last season he managed to clock up an impressive 13 goals. A long-time member of the Norwegian national squad, he also has 21 international goals to him name.

11. Gabriel Agbonlahor
Date of Birth: 13.10.86
Nationality: English
Agbonlahor has been with Villa since he was a teenager, joining up to play for the youth team when he was just 14 years old. He enjoyed tremendous success at youth level, and in 2003-04 he managed to score 40 goals. When he finally broke into the senior squad, he continued his goal scoring ways, putting one past Everton on his debut in March 2006. The following year he managed to play in all 77 minutes of the season, proving that he is one of the most consistent performers for the club. The young striker also managed to get 11 goals last season.

13. Stuart Taylor
Date of Birth: 28.11.80
Nationality: English
Taylor joined up with the club in June 2005 when he arrived from Arsenal. The goalkeeper initially found it tough to get a regular starting position, due to the dominance of Sorensen. He thought his luck had changed when Sorensen became injured, but only managed to put in three performances before he got injured himself. Last season he still hadn’t managed to get any regular first-team play, only managing three appearances in all.

15. Curtis Davies
Date of Birth: 15.3.85
Nationality: English
Davies arrived on loan from West Bromwich Albion last season, a club at which he was once captain. He was a strong performer for Villa, making 14 appearances and getting one goal last season. He has always performed well for any club that he has played for, and has now managed to sign a permanent deal with the club to stay on at Villa Park for the foreseeable future.

16. Zat Knight
Date of Birth: 2.5.80
Nationality: English
A lifetime Villa supporter, Knight finally had his dream move come true last season when he signed from Fulham. Showing no nerves when he was chosen for the first time, he went into his debut against Chelsea full of confidence, and his performance was rewarded when he ended up scoring a goal. If he keeps on putting in similar performances he is destined to be a crucial member of the squad.

17. Moustapha Salifou
Date of Birth: 1.6.83
Nationality: Togo
Salifou has not had a great deal of playing time in front of the fans, and last year only managed to make four appearances for the club, all of which were as substitutes. The striker made his debut on 12th January 2008 after consistently playing in the reserves, but it was only as a 90th minute substitute and his impact on the game was therefore limited. However, he has been granted a one year extension to his contract, meaning it now runs until June 2009, and he’ll be hoping to make more of an impression this season.

18. Wayne Routledge
Date of Birth: 7.1.85
Nationality: English
Routledge joined Villa in January 2008 on an 18 month contract. The £1.25 million midfielder made his first team debut on April 5th as an 86th minute substitute, and has since become a solid member of the team, with the ability to play either on the right or left wing. He has also made 11 England Under-21 appearances, scoring one goal for his country.

19. Stiliyan Petrov
Date of Birth: 5.7.79
Nationality: Bulgarian
Petrov played for both CSKA Sofia and Scottish side, Celtic, before joining up at Villa. Martin O’Neill signed him from Celtic for £6.5 million, having been familiar with the midfielder from his own time managing the club. Petrov made an instant impression on all of the fans when he played in his debut game against West Ham, almost managing to get a goal. Unfortunately, he hasn’t managed to reach such heights since that debut, but he did make 31 appearances last season and scored a goal as well.

20. Nigel Reo-Coker
Date of Birth: 14.5.84
Nationality: English
Midfielder Reo-Coker became a member of the team after joining from West Ham in the summer of 2007 for £7.5 million. His career began at Wimbledon, but it was at West Ham that his talent became clear, and he ended up captaining the team to promotion to the Premier League. He was also captain for the England Under-21 side in the 2007 European Championships.

26. Craig Gardner
Date of Birth: 25.11.86
Nationality: English
Gardner managed to get his debut for Villa on Boxing Day 2006, when he came on as a substitute against Everton. He has always supported the team, and he is now living the dream of playing for them. The midfielder has signed until the end of the 2008-09 season, but injury and a lack of form have kept him out of the first team squad as much as he would like. Last season he managed to make 25 appearances and scored 3 goals.

27. Isaiah Osbourne
Date of Birth: 5.11.87
Nationality: English
Osbourne made his debut for the club in October 2006 against Fulham, a match which ended in a 1-1 draw. The midfielder is acclaimed for his excellent passing abilities, and has been a consistent performer for the reserves. Still young, he only managed 10 appearances for the club last season, a figure which is sure to rise quickly as he hones his skills.

28. Shaun Maloney
Date of Birth: 24.1.83
Nationality: Scottish
Maloney joined Villa in January 2007 on a three-and-a-half year contract for £1 million. The attacking midfielder, who can also play as a striker, made 25 appearances last season, managing to get six goals on top of that. He has also played for the Scottish national team, and in 2005-06 made history by becoming the first Scottish player to win both the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards. Great things are predicted for him, and he will be hoping to improve his credentials this coming season.


Martin O’Neill
Date of Birth: 1.3.52
Nationality: Irish

O’Neill is widely regarded as one of the most experienced managers in the game, and has regularly been linked with top jobs across Europe, including the England job, on a number of occasions.

Before he turned to management he was a successful football player, and he even captained his native Northern Irish national team through the 1982 World Cup in Spain. In total, he managed to win 62 caps for his country and score eight goals. He also played for Norwich City, Manchester City and Notts County, before beginning his managerial career at Grantham Town in 1987.

He then enjoyed successful managerial spells at Wycombe Wanderers and Leicester City, before taking the helm at Celtic in June 2000. It was here that he really built up his reputation, with Celtic winning their first Old Firm game 6-2 and winning the treble in his first season in charge. In 2003-04, the club’s success was reflected when they set a new British record of 25 victories in a row.

O’Neill took over as manager of Aston Villa in August 2006, showing immediate promise by leading them to nine unbeaten games, the longest streak of any side that season. He also got the Barclays Manager of the Month in April 2007.

He has certainly brought excitement and success to the club, and has been praised for introducing a more attacking style of football. He almost took the team to a UEFA Cup spot, but in the end they had to settle for a sixth place finish, meaning that they have qualified for the InterToto Cup next season.


Randy Lerner

Lerner became chairman of Aston Villa in August 2006 after completing a £62.6 million takeover. He replaced Doug Ellis as chairman, a controversial figure whom many fans were not sad to see go, and took over in September of that year.

Aston Villa is not the businessman’s first venture into sports, as he also owns the Cleveland Browns NFL team in the US, control of which was passed over to him in 2002 after his father’s death.

Before becoming involved in sports, he made his money through the company that his father started, MBNA, which used to be the largest independent credit card issuer in the world, and of which he is now company chairman. He has always been known as something of a philanthropist, recently donating £5 million to the National Portrait Gallery in a single go, a move that will see a gallery named after him as a result.

Club Honours


  • First Division Champions: 1893-94, 1895-96, 1896-97, 1898-99, 1899-00, 1909-10, 1980-81
  • Second Division Champions: 1937-38, 1959-60
  • Third Division Champions: 1971-72
  • FA Cup Winners:1887, 1895, 1897, 1905, 1913, 1920, 1957
  • League Cup Winners:1961, 1975, 1977, 1994, 1996


  • European Cup Winners: 1982
  • European Super Cup Winners: 1982-83
  • InterToto Cup:2001


  • Most Appearances: 657 (Charlie Aitken)
  • Youngest first-team player: Jimmy Brown (15 years, 345 days)
  • Oldest first-team player: Ernie Callaghan (39 years, 86 days)
  • Top goalscorer: Billy Walker (244)
  • Most goals in a season: 50 (Tom Waring, 1930-31)
  • Record transfer fee: £9.65 million (Ashley Young, from Watford, January 2007)
  • Record League win: 12-2 (versus Accrington Stanley, 12th March 1892)
  • Record attendance: 76, 588 (versus Derby County, FA Cup Sixth Round, 2nd March 1946)
  • Largest seated crowd: 42,640 (Premier League Match versus Liverpool, August 11th 2007