WE SHOULD HAVE WON SO MUCH MORLEY
‘Villa would have dominated the 80s but for return of
NIGEL SPINK was Aston Villa’s lifeline in Rotterdam – and he has stepped up in the current emergency too.
When No.1 Jimmy Rimmer suffered a neck injury, goalkeeper Spink (above with goalscorer Peter Withe) stepped off the bench after only 10 minutes of the 1982 European Cup final.
The rookie went on to produce several brilliant saves in
Villa’s 1-0 win over Bayern Munich.
Spink (right) remains a club legend to this day after making 460 appearances for Villa in 19 years from 1977.
He is now one of several popular ex-players who have been ringing elderly fans in the coronavirus lockdown to raise their spirits.
Spink, 61, explained: “We were each given a list of about 12 fans to contact.
“I’d like to think the calls brought a little positivity to people – but on a personal level I also found it quite
PETER WITHE admits the greatest goal in Aston Villa’s history was a flukey mis-hit.
The former England striker’s name has gone down in Villa folklore for his winner against Bayern Munich in the 1982 European Cup Final.
But he knows he was lucky to score with a right-foot finish from five-yards out in Rotterdam, which went in off a post with the goal gaping.
Withe, 68, recalled: “Tony Morley turned a defender one way and then the other.
“Klaus Augenthaler was marking me, but he sensed the danger and moved across to cover which left me unmarked as I reached rewarding too. It was uplifting.
“I’m pretty sure there were at least a couple of fans who didn’t believe I was who I said I was when I first introduced myself.
“There were others who straight away started reeling off their memories of famous matches and occasions. “There was obviously a lot of talk about the current situation and everything that has been going on, including what is happening with the football season.
“I think it is important we keep in touch with people as much as possible at this time.”
Dennis Mortimer, Tony Morley, Des Bremner, Gordon Cowans, Pat Heard, Kenny Swain , Ken McNaught, Ian Taylor, Tony Daley, Shaun Teale, Andy Blair and Brian Little have also made calls.
The idea was set up by the Villa Foundation in partnership with the Former Players’ Association. the six-yard box. Tony drove the ball hard across the goalmouth, but it seemed to happen in slow motion.
“I said to myself, ‘Concentrate’. The ball hit a divot as it reached me and it half hit my shin and half hit my ankle before flying against a post and in.
“I am convinced that if I had hit it properly the keeper would have saved it, but he wasn’t expecting that.
“I was too close to the goal to run to our fans so I ran into the net to celebrate.”
Team-mate Gordon Cowans, a keen golfer, has always described the crucial strike as a shank, insisting: “Withey did his best to miss it, but somehow it went in.”
IT remains the greatest high of Tony Morley’s career yet Aston Villa’s historic European Cup triumph over Bayern Munich is also tinged with frustration.
Villa, the First Division champions, lifted the famous trophy in Rotterdam 38 years ago.
Tricky winger Morley teed up Peter Withe’s 67th-minute winner after some superb skill to beat Hans Weiner.
He still cherishes the feat, and his winners’ medal eight months later from the Super Cup against Barcelona.
But the tumultuous politics of Villa Park saw managerial mastermind Ron Saunders resign amid boardroom bust-ups just
WITH this year’s Champions League final due to have been played on Saturday in Istanbul, we are celebrating six consecutive days that mark at least one English victory in club football’s greatest tournament.
On day two, we move to May 26 with two more classic nights – a surprise winner and a shock ending, both in games dominated, but lost, by Bayern Munich.
Tony Morley talks us through Aston Villa’s triumph in 1982 when he set up the only goal for Peter Withe in Rotterdam. three months before European Cup glory.
Morley still bemoans Villa’s failure to build a lasting dynasty as the side was later ripped apart by returning chairman Doug Ellis, who sought to put his own stamp on the club.
Yet ask him about that night at the De Kuip Stadium and his face lights up. Morley, 65, said: “European Cup football suited me down to the ground. I found it easier than the league.
“It was man-for-man marking in Europe whereas in England they would cut your service off instead. But I believed on my day, one against one, I would get the upper hand. I knew in that final I could get an opprtunity to create a chance.
“My job was to get the ball into the box and it was up to the strikers to get on the end of it. As it happened it went across and went in off Peter’s shin. I didn’t play that well in the final but all I wanted was that medal.”
Morley’s cross for Withe was his fourth assist in the competition. He also scored four times as Villa knocked out FC Valur Reykjavik, Dynamo Berlin, Dynamo Kiev and Anderlecht en route to the final.
Tony Barton, promoted from chief scout, took charge of Villa’s European triumphs from the quarter-finals onwards but Saunders, who passed away last December, was the architect. As well as the First Division title, Villa won the League Cup twice under Saunders, while the kids also won the FA Youth Cup as he built solid foundations. Morley (below) said: “We were brought up under Ron to realise that it was a team game. And we had an incredibly strong dressing room. Tony Barton had been there for a long time and knew the set-up so he wasn’t going to change anything.”
Yet wholesale change swept through Villa after former chairman Ellis returned to take charge again in 1982 after the European triumph. Stars like Kenny Swain, keeper Jimmy Rimmer, Ken
Withe: I am convinced that if I’d hit it properly the keeper would have saved it