collapse collapse

Please donate to help keep this site going.

Recent Topics

Other Games - 2020/21 by Rory
[Today at 09:36:23 PM]

This one's a keeper by tomd2103
[Today at 09:32:21 PM]

Man City vs Aston Villa Pre-Match Thread - Jan 20th - 6.00pm by ChicagoLion
[Today at 09:30:47 PM]

Jack Grealish - for life? by Legion
[Today at 09:26:55 PM]

Aston Villa Women 2020-21 by PeterWithe
[Today at 09:08:47 PM]

January Transfer Window by Des Little
[Today at 08:50:34 PM]

Ollie Watkins (Confirmed) by Footy-Vill
[Today at 08:40:25 PM]

Conor Hourihane - SIGNED by dcdavecollett
[Today at 08:34:19 PM]

Today at 06:10:15 PM by dave.woodhall | Views: 172 | Comments: 2

Jimmy Rimmer, Nigel Spink and ...
January 13, 2021, 02:59:00 PM by dave.woodhall | Views: 690 | Comments: 9

There have been some fairly ug...
January 08, 2021, 02:00:55 PM by dave.woodhall | Views: 963 | Comments: 0

As a one time moderately succe...
December 30, 2020, 09:43:19 PM by dave.woodhall | Views: 1411 | Comments: 15

Watching the Chelsea match on ...
December 20, 2020, 12:54:02 PM by dave.woodhall | Views: 1550 | Comments: 9

When Villa finally sank down t...

Follow us on...

Author Topic: Down amongst the dead men  (Read 712 times)

Online dave.woodhall

  • Moderator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 54877
  • Location: Treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry.
Down amongst the dead men
« on: November 18, 2020, 11:57:57 AM »
By Christmas 1936 those who expected the Villa to cakewalk the second division following their relegation from the first earlier in the year were sadly disillusioned.

Then defeat at home to struggling Burnley in the third round of the FA Cup just seven days after a goalless encounter with them at Villa Park seemed only to confirm that all was not as it was meant to be. Following on from this losing at Coventry City, who were cockahoop at beating their once-mighty neighbours, was bordering on the embarrassing. By the beginning of February a second relegation was not entirely out of the question.

Then promotion chasing Plymouth Argyle came north and by 3.20 pm 40,000 Villa supporters stood in almost stony silence as it seemed as if the sky had fallen in. Argyle led by three goals to nil. 

It is impossible to then try to explain quite what happened out on the pitch. Perhaps the team feared a half-time rollicking from manager Jimmy Hogan or could it be that, ever the masterful tactician he was, he had spotted a chink in the green armada and he shouted instructions across the pitch that changed the course of history. Whatever, two penalties by hot shot Eric Houghton before half-time had the faithful wondering whether they were about to witness a footballing miracle.

A goal by Frankie Broome immediately after the restart turned jeers to cheers to chanting. Suddenly the Villa were a team possessed that is until on the hour Argyle regrouped, took a deep breath and a kind of normality seemed to have been restored, 3-4. At this point Villa might have given up the ghost but inspired by Iverson and Massie we began to play like the Villa of old. Seventy minutes and Broome equalised again.

The next twenty minutes were played out to the tune of the Villa Park roar – surely there could by only one result. With two minutes remaining Houghton headed the winning goal for his hat-trick and on the way home chemists ran out of Zube tablets as fans called in to relieve their hoarse throats.

This famous victory was the inspiration for a run of six wins and a draw which saw us dreaming of the impossible again. Three-nil up after twenty minutes at Blackburn Rovers  until they fought back and threatened to 'do a Plymouth’ on us but we held out to gain another famous victory, 4-3. Now in fourth place our promotion odds were shortening.

Having won 2-0 at Newcastle United on Good Friday ahead of the game at Blackburn, 65.500 turned up at Villa Park expecting a repeat on Easter Tuesday. Back then this was a holiday in these parts so as not to close the factories down on Good Friday only to then have to restart the furnaces on the Saturday for half a day.

Expect the unexpected. Villa completely outplayed Newcastle and should have won easily but you can guess where this story is going, Goals after 22 and 71 saw us capitulate, 0-2

Nevertheless all was not lost. The table read
   1st    Blackpool   P38 Pts 50
   2nd   Leicester   P37 Pts 46
   3rd   Bury           P38 Pts 46
   4th   Plymouth   P37 Pts 45
   5th   Aston Villa   P37 Pts 44

Bury were the next visitors to Villa Park, easy peasy. But in the twinkling of an eye our promotion chances went kaput. An injury to Tom Griffiths left us playing with virtually ten men right from the kick off. Then with the Bovril queues forming Bury scored, and then with the Villa defence arms aloft appealing for offside, they scored again. Half time 0-2 and with the crowd still taking in the unbelievable there was  a sense that it was second division football again next season.

To add insult to injury Bury scored twice more, and where 65,000 had gone to cheer there were large empty terraces by 4.30.
This defeat shattered the morale of all concerned and it hardly seems necessary to record that the season ended with four more embarrassing defeats from which enabled Coventry City to the boast of the season in which they finished above the Villa, eighth to our ninth

Only 10,000 bothered to turn up at Villa Park for our finale, the Lord Mayor of Birmingham’s Charity Cup final where as if to rub it in we came up against first division Birmingham (not yet ‘City’).  A 2-2 draw can almost be considered a success after the trauma of the previous four weeks.

John Russell
« Last Edit: November 18, 2020, 12:18:16 PM by dave.woodhall »

Online JD

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 8422
  • Location: Mainland, NZ
  • GM : 11.01.2022
Re: Down amongst the dead men
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2020, 08:42:43 PM »
Another very interesting article John.


  • Member
  • Posts: 10160
  • Location: Yardley/Shirley
  • GM : 17.01.2020
Re: Down amongst the dead men
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2020, 10:46:21 PM »
Excellent article as ever


SimplePortal 2.3.6 © 2008-2014, SimplePortal