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John Lerwill is a former official Club Historian at Villa Park, as in the above image with Prof. Carl Chinn (r) and former club secretary Steve Stride. Picture taken at Villa Park (2009).

AVFC Quiz Masterclass
AVFC Quiz Masterclass

I hope you enjoy your visit! However, while considerable essential information is presented here, this site is not intended to be a complete source of all facts - particularly about players.
Attempts have been made by others to publish an encyclopedia with the target of providing all and everything, but it is not possible to attain that target. So many details have been lost or - perhaps worse - what is found is sometimes inaccurate. Myth sometimes intervenes as well. Many entries on Wiki are just wrong. Anyone is allowed on Wiki to change it to what they want it to be.
Is that good for the integrity of the Club and its history? I fear not. I say that after many years of personal research in places that many have not visited.

So I present this site as a compendium of essential history-plus. The focus here is more on quality rather than quantity.
If you have any query, comment or suggestion to make I would be most happy to read them. Simply mail me here or from any page - virtually every page includes a link for that purpose.
Thank you. UTV! - John Lerwill.
3rd generation supporter.
First match seen ca 1950.


After spending 40 years in the computer software industry as a consultant and technical author, John Lerwill researched the club's entire history at the British Library, the Birmingham Library and AVFC's own archives. That original research forms the basis of this website and his publications.

Going since 1998, this is the oldest non-official Aston Villa site - certainly of its kind - on the Net.



Major Stepping Stones in the Club's History
First entered the FA Cup in 1879;
first Midland winners of the Cup (1887)
Founder member of the Football League in 1888 (& first runner-up)
'Double’ winners of the League and FA Cup in 1897
(the last club to do so until 1961)
Founder member of the Football League Cup in 1960
(& first winners in 1961)
Entered Euro competition in 1975
(the UEFA Cup);
European Cup winners in 1982
Founder member of the Premier League in 1992 (& first runner-up)

AVFC Premier League Performance Chart
AVFC Premier League
Performance Chart

Please click on image to see full size
Click here to see chart of Villa's Football League Record up to 1992.
If Aston Villa players went to a laundry to hang out their washing, 10,000 fans would turn up to watch them.
— a quote from incoming manager Tommy Docherty in 1969

For details of all John's Publications
please click here.

John's Forthcoming Villa Books
With great apologies, personal matters have caused great delay in the publication of The Aston Lower Grounds Story. I am now looking to Dec. 2023.

As to further publications, I had planned an "Aston Villa Superclub Story" in four volumes. For various reasons I am reconsidering this idea in favour of a thick one volume history in the form of an appraisal that will examine the main happenings involving AVFC since 1874. However it appears, I believe this should be of great interest. This is scheduled for mid-2024.
Details to follow! or mail me for info.


Club founded: 1874
(probably in October)
by 15 members of the Aston Villa Wesleyan Chapel.
Aston Villa FC is precisely

Click here for more details..

Aston Villa's William McGregor creates the world's first football league: 1888

No other football club is both so old and steeped in so much history and achievement.



The Villa is one of only three clubs to be founder-members of both the
Football League (1888-89) and the Premiership (1992-93).
Both times Villa were league runners-up; a unique record.
Today's leading clubs like the two Manchester clubs, Chelsea and Liverpool
are comparatively recent phenomena (since World War Two).
Arsenal became a great trophy-winning side well after World War One,
but for some years Aston Villa's fame continued to over-ride
that of the Gunners.

In 1981, the Villa had still won more domestic honours than any other English club. Then, in 1982, the club won the European Cup. Throughout nearly all the time since, Aston Villa has been a leading football club.


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 AVFC Quiz Masterclass 

Latest major site update
(Started Jan 2021 & on-going)
Revised history page - now based on several pages by era.
Go to
AVFC History.
(Started Sep 2020 & on-going)
Season-by-season cup results, including scorers and other stats.
Go to
the Match Centre.