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Aston Villa’s return to Europe: The goals


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by OutByEaster

Come the 19th July it will be 2174 days or almost six years since we last played a European tie; back then Darius was at number one in the charts and we were about to go out of the Intertoto cup against Lille.

In a months time we’ll be back. Thankfully Darius won’t.

Time to start looking forward to our return

In tribute to BOF’s incredible list of every Villa goal scorer ever I thought we’d start with goals.

Villa have scored 102 goals in European competition, from Ray Graydon’s 1975 UEFA Cup opener against Royal Antwerp of Belgium to Ian Taylor’s scrambled Intertoto goal in that ill-fated tie against Lille back in 2002.

A full list of scorers and competitions is here (correct as of 22/09/23 after Legia Warsaw away)

1 Gary Shaw 9 8     1    
1 Peter Withe 9 5 4        
3 Tony Morley 5 5          
3 Ken McNaught 5 1 3   1    
3 John Deehan 5   5        
3 Stan Collymore 5   5        
3 Ian Taylor 5   3       2
8 Gareth Barry 4   3       1
8 John Carew 4   2 1     1
8 Darius Vassell 4   2       2
8 Juan Pablo Angel 4   2       2
12 Brian Little 3   3        
12 Martin Laursen 3   2       1
12 Ollie Watkins 3         3  
15 Terry Donovan 2 2          
15 Gordon Cowans 2 1     1    
15 Dennis Mortimer 2 1 1        
15 Mark Walters 2 1 1        
15 Nathan Delfouneso 2   2        
15 Andy Gray 2   2        
15 Own Goals 2   2        
15 Colin Gibson 2   2        
15 David Platt 2   2        
15 Derek Mountfield 2   2        
15 Dalian Atkinson 2   2        
15 Savo Milosevic 2   2        
15 Dwight Yorke 2   2        
15 Gabriel Agbonlahor 2   1 1      
15 Ashley Young 2   1       1
15 Leon Bailey 2         2  
15 Jhon Durán 2         2  
15 Dion Dublin 2           2
15 David Ginola 2           2
15 Lee Hendrie 2           2
35 Ray Graydon 1   1        
35 Brendan Ormsby 1   1        
35 Ian Olney 1   1        
35 Kent Nielsen 1   1        
35 Andy Townsend 1   1        
35 Dean Saunders 1   1        
35 Ray Houghton 1   1        
35 Ugo Ehiogu 1   1        
35 Tommy Johnson 1   1        
35 Gary Charles 1   1        
35 Julian Joachim 1   1        
35 Moustapha Hadji 1   1        
35 Craig Gardner 1   1        
35 Stilian Petrov 1   1        
35 Nigel Reo-Coker 1   1        
35 Marlon Harewood 1   1        
35 Barry Bannan 1     1      
35 James Milner 1     1      
35 Emile Heskey 1     1      
35 Douglas Luiz 1         1  
35 Matty Cash 1         1  
35 Lucas Digne 1         1  
35 Luc Nilis 1           1
35 Paul Merson 1           1
35 Michael Boulding 1           1
35 Marcus Allback 1           1
35 Steve Staunton 1           1

No surprise to see Peter Withe and Gary Shaw at the top of the tree, but I was certainly surprised to see Ian Taylor and Stan Collymore in joint third with Morley and Deehan.

Forty-three scorers so far and I’m sure that number will go up before too long. Let’s hope we can get it up to fifty before seasons end.

Of course goals are not just numbers, they can be things of beauty, they can be the most important things in the world and they can be the things that make you bellow until your throat hurts.

They’re all there on that list.

A confession though, I’ve not seen all that many of them, the first I saw in person being Tommy Johnson’s against Helsingborg.

Of the ones I saw with my own eyes, I’d have to say the best was Collymore’s piledriver against Atletico Madrid back in 1998 on a very special night at Villa Park. I’m sure you’ll remember him cutting inside a defender on the edge of the box and firing an arrow into the top corner to put us back into the tie and send the ground into absolute madness. I’ll always remember a man a few rows in front leaping into the aisle and throwing his arms to the heavens; unbalancing himself as he did so and falling flat on his back, people screamed, people hugged, grown men danced like idiots, I ran up and down the stairs like a demented toddler. Happy days, even if it did amount to nothing.

I also have a soft spot for Darius Vassell’s very late double against Stromgodset.

There are some odd names on that list too. I was one of those that saw Michael Boulding’s goal against FC Zurich; I imagine he mentions it quite often down at Mansfield Town.

Terry Donovan too, I’m ashamed to admit he’s a bit of a mystery to me, but he scored two of the goals that started us on the journey to glory in 81-82.

Everyone seems to know that Ivo Stas is the owner of one of those own goals, but do you know who scored the other?

As for the best of them, well I’ve seen Kent Nielsen’s goal against Internazionale of Milan and it’s a cracking strike, heard about and seem to remember seeing footage of Tony Morley’s goal against Dynamo Berlin but in terms of quality I can’t really claim to have seen enough of these goals to tell you. What I can tell you is that they all pale into insignificance next to one.

That one.

Not the most attractive of goals but the shin of Peter Withe was never used to greater effect.

The most important of all of these goals is the one in the European Cup Final in Rotterdam that won it for Villa and caused the breaking of the armchair in our front room.

For me it puts Withe just ahead of Shaw for the title of Villa’s greatest European goalscorer, and no matter what else we get in the next ten months, I can’t see that changing for some time.

Anyway, enough numbers and nonsense from me, I’d like you to click on the link at the bottom and give me a bit of a history lesson please. I want to know if anyone remembers Graydon’s goal? Which goal was the best? Where were you for them? What furniture did you break?

With potentially sixteen games in Europe this coming season (I can hope can’t I?) the challenge is there for this year’s team to make an impact, take advantage of the early rounds, get themselves on the list and see what they can do.

Can a ginger new boy replicate the exploits of Ian Taylor? Can Carew and Gabby make strides towards Withe and Shaw (or at least Joachim and Dublin) and can Young chase down the electric Morley?

Is it time for one of the current crop to carve out a place in Villa history with goals in Europe?

It must be…….it is.

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Interesting. I'm especially intrigued by Brian Little's goals in the European Cup and the Super Cup inasmuch as that he'd retired before we ever played in them! (BOF : Why whatever do you mean :P) Oh and I was there in Royal Antwerp's stadium but don't remember Graydon's goal and if you look at the result of the match you'll see why it's something I've blanked. :eek: In 1975 we simply weren't ready for Europe.

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Apologies OF. I've let you down and I've let myself down.

I've been visited by the foul up fairy. (Although the angels of correction appear to have followed up and cleared up after me again!)

A 5-1 aggregate defeat (and 4-1 at their place) against Antwerp notwithstanding, you were my big hope of a description of that one!

Were many Villa fans present on our first foray into Europe?

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Best part of a fair few. I do remember one bloke outside Deurne Airport trying to get on a bus to the city centre and being shouted at by the driver.

So he got off.

Some other blokes asked him what that had all been about.

"Dunno," he said. "He didn't seem like to like the colour of my money."

So one of them had a look at what he'd proffered. "But those are FRENCH francs!"


"Well this is Belgium. They use BELGIAN francs in Belgium. Why were you trying to pay the driver with French francs?"

"Well that's what they gave me at the bank ain't it. I said to them, 'ere our kid, gimme some of that foreign money, I'm going over to see the match next week. And this is what they gave me."

Oh right. No doubt Graydon's goal was firmly struck. All I can remember is Flemming Lund (a Dane) running rings round poor old Charlie Aitken.

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I am surprised to see JPA and Vassell so high up the list! Be interesting to see if anyone can climb their way up that table during this years campaign, they have two games at least!

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Some of those are wrong Scott. Carew has 4 Euro goals, 3 in the UEFA. Home to Vienna last year, away to Slavia and home to CSKA the year before. I haven't checked the others.

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