• The Villa Vision

The Day We Conquered Europe

26th May 1982. A day etched in every Villa fans minds, young and old alike. It was the day that Aston Villa conquered German giants, Bayern Munich, in Rotterdam to lift European Club Footballs most prestigious prize. A Peter Withe strike in the 67th minute sent the travelling Villans into raptures and the rest, as they say, is history. 'We even conquered Europe in 1982!'

ASTON VILLA & BAYERN STARTING XI

Aston Villa had already overcome controversy and adversity to get a chance at the compheted title of European Champions. Just before the Quarter Finals, highly respected and renowned Ron Saunders shocked the club and its fans by resigning. This left Tony Barton to take the mantle.

Not only did they have the issue of a manager change to contend with, Aston Villa were dealt a huge blow when, after less than ten minutes into the first half, first choice goalkeeper Jimmy Rimmer went down injured with a recurring shoulder injury. His replacement was extremely inexperienced goalkeeper Nigel Spink. Making only his second appearance for the club. Nigel Spink’s performance was a huge contributing factor to the European Cup win and he would go on to be Aston Villa goalkeeper for years to come. He made a staggering 361 appearances for the club and one solitary appearance for England. Two ghost goals were also in a final that included everything. Bayern thought they’d found their equaliser with just three minutes on the clock, only for it to be ruled out due to offside. Villa wasted no time in putting the ball in Bayern’s net a few seconds before the end of the game, only for it to be ruled offside. The seconds ticked away and history was written, Aston Villa Football Club had conquered European football.

The game also managed to offer one of the most wonderful pieces of commentary that a Villa fan will ever hear.

“Shaw, Williams, prepared to venture down the left. There's a good ball in for Tony Morley. Oh, it must be and it is! It's Peter Withe.” – Brian Moore The above statement will forever be engraved in the clubs history. It still hangs aloft the stands of Villa Park. It serves as a reminder to everyone who visits, of the proud history of our prestigious football club. Article by: Dan Craythorne

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