Many people outside of Birmingham might struggle to come up with a full list of names of English clubs that have won the European Cup (or Champions League as it has ironically been called since they started allowing non-champion teams in it). People will always come up with Manchester United and Liverpool and then remember Brian Clough’s double titles with Nottingham Forest.Aston Villa, though, is the name that might well catch many people out. And yet, they’re forever up there with the great names of European football. It’s not as if the Villa won the trophy when the competition was in its infancy or anything like that – 1982, it was. And the Birmingham team defeated the German giants Bayern Munich, thanks to a goal from that archetypal English centre forward, Peter Withe; giving him permanent legendary status.Apart from a couple of League Cup victories in the 1990s and an InterToto Cup in 2001, that was the last time Aston Villa were one of Europe’s finest teams. However, for a large part of last season, 2008/09, it looked as if the team, now managed by the experienced Martin O’Neill, might make that elite group again.English football followers spend a long… Read full this story
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