Fas­ci­nat­ing foot­ball facts

Cu­riosi­ties of Mid­lands foot­ball, with Tony Matthews

Black Country Bugle - - YOUR LETTERS -

Leeds United Jan­uary 1930.

• In June 1934, As­ton Villa set a new Bri­tish trans­fer record when they signed Jimmy Allen from Portsmouth for £10,775.

• Peter Mc­par­land of As­ton Villa was the first player to score in an FA Cup fi­nal and League Cup fi­nal – do­ing so in 1961 ver­sus Rother­ham United and in 1957 ver­sus Manch­ester United.

• Jeff As­tle (Al­bion) was the first to score in both fi­nals of these two com­pe­ti­tions at Wem­b­ley – FA Cup in 1968, League Cup in 1970.

• Con Martin of As­ton Villa played in­ter­na­tional foot­ball for North­ern Ire­land and the Repub­lic of Ire­land in the same year: 1949.

• Trevor Ford (ex-as­ton Villa) was the first player to score 20 in­ter­na­tional goals for Wales. An­other ex-villa star, Danny Blanch­flower, was the first player to win 50 caps for North­ern Ire­land while Steve Staunton (ex-villa as well) was the first foot­baller to gain 100 caps for Ire­land.

• As­ton Villa’s Bob Iver­son set a Foot­ball League record by scor­ing after just 9.6 sec­onds at the start of a League game against Charl­ton Ath­letic in De­cem­ber 1938 … the fastest-ever by a de­fender. Villa went on to win 2-0.

• The first-ever Sec­ond City derby in­volv­ing As­ton Villa and Birm­ing­ham City (Small Heath) took place in Septem­ber 1894 (Di­vi­sion 1) when Villa won 2-1.

• Johnny Giles be­came Al­bion’s first-ever player-man­ager when he was ap­pointed in the sum­mer of 1975. He guided the Bag­gies to pro­mo­tion in his first sea­son in charge. Giles was also the Repub­lic of Ire­land’s first player-man­ager, ap­pointed in 1977.

• Mid­fielder Giles was also the first player to win both First and Sec­ond Di­vi­sion cham­pi­onship medals as well as both FA Cup and League Cup win­ner’s prizes.

• As­ton Villa beat RAF Lich­field 19-2 in a Birm­ing­ham & District League game in March 1942. This is the biggestever win recorded in any game at Villa Park. Frank Broome, Harry Parkes and Billy Gof­fin all scored four goals each, in front of 700 spec­ta­tors.

• In 1888 Birm­ing­ham City (Small Heath) be­came the first foot­ball club to be reg­is­tered as a Limited Li­a­bil­ity Com­pany.

• The Coven­try City v As­ton Villa League North game at High­field Road in Fe­bru­ary 1945 at­tracted a crowd of 4,000. Twenty or so miles away at Villa Park, 65,780 spec­ta­tors gath­ered to watch Eng­land play Scot­land.

De­cem­ber 1975, and Mick Martin (son of Villa’s Con Martin) is wel­comed to The Hawthorths by player-man­ager Johnny Giles. Len Can­tello and Ally Robert­son com­plete the group

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