Vic Crowe - Villa Hero - RIP
Following the sad news of Johnny Dixon's passing (Johnny Dixon - Villa Hero - RIP) there is further sadness today with the news that Vic Crowe passed away yesterday at the age of 76 after a long illness.
(No4 in the picture, sorry not been able to trace a close up image)
Neil Rioch Chairman of the Aston Villa Former Players Association said:
'Vic Crowe joined Aston Villa in 1952 and made over 350 appearanaces for the club until 1964, which included two League Cup finals. He also won 16 international caps for Wales and was a member of their World Cup Finals squad in 1958.'
Adding, 'Vic rejoined Aston Villa as coach in 1969 and was appointed Manager in 1970. He steered Aston Villa to the League Cup final in 1971 and to promotion in 1972. He then built the side that was later to win the League Cup and regain the club's 1st division status.'
Another great Holteender in the Sky. RIP Vic.
More on Vic Crowe from the Aston Villa Former Players Association
Victor Crowe was born Abercynon, Glamorgan on 31 January 1932 was a former Welsh footballer.
Vic Crowe signed for Aston Villa in the 1951/52 season and established himself in the team when Danny Blanchflower vacated the right-half berth in 1954. He missed the 1957 FA Cup Final due to injury but captained the side to the Second Division title in 1960 and League Cup Final success in 1961. He was capped 16 times by Wales and was a member of their World Cup Finals squad in 1958.
As coach and then as manager, Crowe was unable to prevent Villa being relegated when he took charge towards the end of the 1969/70 season. The following season he led his Third Division team to the League Cup Final against Tottenfham Hotspur, which Villa lost 2-0. However he saw his side finish top of Division Three in 1972, breaking many records along the way and playing some wonderful football. He was sacked in 1974 after his side finished 14th in Division Two.
In 1975 Vic went to the United States to take part in the North American Soccer League, taking the manager's position with Portland Timbers. He brought a cast of English players with him, many of them young players from Aston Villa and the Midlands area, and they proceeded to win the Western Division championship and advanced all the way to the NASL final, losing 2-0 to Yampa Bay Rowdies. In their two home playoff games, "The Lads" success forced the club to add temporary seating to accommodate their fans, and the team played before two crowds in excess of 30,000, totals unheard of in US soccer at the time. Vic stayed in Portland through the 1976 season before returning to England.
However, the Timbers beckoned again in 1980 and he returned for three more seasons in America. Although his teams never captured the success of that first year, he left an indelible mark on soccer in the Pacific Northwest by introducing thousands of Portland area residents to the joys of the game. Today, Portland is a soccer hotbed. The Timbers still live as members of the professional USL First Division, and they play in the same stadium where Vic and the boys excelled that first year in 1975.