Aston Villa FC have more than their fair share of legends, and I feel it's time to properly record their feats: the 1957 FA Cup-winning team is virtually no more and even the last championship-winning side is getting long in the tooth.
A number of fans will remember Villa Park's 100th anniversary celebrations in 1997, when a number of very old stars appeared on the pitch. Players like Johnny Dixon, Trevor Ford, Con Martin, Stan Lynn, and many more. They're all gone now, and as the fans of that generation also go, the memory of those players also leaves the scene.
Old-time playing legends such as Archie Hunter (still the club record goalscorer in the FA Cup with 34 goals) still fascinate people, and, indeed, such players left a story that reaches to a Villan's heart!
So, I am planning a radical departure from the format of my previous books, The Aston Villa Chronicles (1874-1924) and The First Superclub and have decided to produce a 10-volume magazine series of quality called Aston Villa Through the Ages. Each of the first 9 volumes will be centred mostly around the players and particularly about long-serving playing legends of the club. All volumes are downloadable.
This new Aston Villa Through The Ages will cover:
1. 1874-1893 The Ramsay, McGregor and Hunter Age,
2. 1893-1905 The John Devey and Howard Spencer Age,
3. 1905-1915 The Joe Bache and Harry Hampton Age,
4. 1919-1939 The Billy Walker and Eric Houghton Age,
5. 1946-1961 The Johnny Dixon Age,
6. 1961-1976 The Charlie Aitken Age,
7. 1976-1990 The Dennis Mortimer and 'Stan' Cowans Age,
8. 1990-2001 The Paul McGrath and Gareth Southgate Age,
9. 2001-2012 The Gareth Barry and 'Stan' Petrov Age.
A 10th volume will be free of charge. It will contain an overview of the club's history and will include special chapters on George Ramsay, William McGregor, Fred Rinder and Doug Ellis.
Further details will be posted here by May 1st, 2019.
Famed local historian and Villa supporter Professor Carl Chinn, wrote, in his forword of the book The Aston Villa Chronicles, 1874-1924:
The task that John Lerwill set himself is one from which most historians would have blanched. He has gone through thousands of newspaper reports, programmes and other forms of evidence to let the people from the time tell the story of Aston Villa.
That is the true measure of John's labour of love - he has brought to life the early folk of Aston Villa and rescued them from obscurity.