ESPN Classic Celebrate Villa 80/81
ESPN Classic, Sky Channel 442, is delighted to announce it will be giving fans the chance to relive the triumphant days of Aston Villa’s 1980/81 season in a never-seen-before studio based show at 10.30pm on 24th March. The programme includes comments from Tony Morley and a selection of unique footage that no Aston Villa fan should miss.
Being one of the oldest and most successful football clubs in England, Aston Villa have won both the First Division Championship and FA Cup seven times. They are also one of only four English clubs to win the European Cup. 1980/81 was a dramatic season for Aston Villa and it was down to one man’s strength and determination to lead his team to victory and lift the League Championship trophy after a substantial 71 year wait. That man was Ron Saunders.
Villa began the 1980-81 season in style by drawing one and winning three of their first four games with Tony Morley setting the president for the team, scoring the first goal of the season in a 2 – 1 win at Leeds. From this point the momentum kept flowing and the team settled into their stride and consequently a two-horse race with Ipswich Town towards to end of the season and embarking on a dream they never thought possible. This dream was lifting the prestigious League Championship trophy. Throughout the campaign Villa used only 14 players, holding the record for the least number of players to feature in a team to win the league, which they did by four points ensuring the trophy truly belonged to the team.
With fantastic performances from Shaw, who was voted PFA Young Player of the Year and Withe, whose 20 goals were arguably a key factor in the teams title triumph and who at the time was worth every penny of what was then a club record £500,000, this is a rare opportunity to relive the greatest season in the Club’s history.
Gary Imlach, presenter of the Season said of the programme, ‘Worth watching to see if winning the league title can force a smile out of Ron Saunders. Tony Morley tells the story of how the Villa manager refused to give him a day off after his house burnt down. But dour as he was, his side played some fabulous football. An underrated side and a reminder of the years when teams outside the billionaires club could overtake the favourites and win the title.’
ESPN Classic will be celebrating Villa’s epic 1980/81 season on Sky Channel 442 at 10.30pm on 24th March