Aston Villa: top 30 players - Number 17

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We continue our countdown of Aston Villa's greatest ever players with a tricky winger who set up the most famous goal in the club's history.

17. Tony Morley

Born: Ormskirk, 26 August 1954

Aston Villa career: 1979-1983

Appearances: 180 Goals: 34

The man who set up Peter Withe’s European Cup winning goal, Morley’s pace and flair on the wing proved vital to Aston Villa’s success of the early 1980s.

Signed from Burnley in 1979 for £200,000, the tricky wide man’s debut campaign at Villa Park was spoiled by injuries, but he came into his own the following season to help the club secure their first League Championship title in 71 years, providing forward duo Withe and Gary Shaw with first-rate service from the left flank.

He found the back of the net 12 times himself that campaign as one of seven ever-present players – bagging the BBC’s goal of the season award for his wonderstrike against Everton – and was the team’s top scorer in the European Cup next term with four goals from eight games.

The semi-final winner against Anderlecht was certainly his most important strike, but the brilliant dribble and pass to set up White for the only goal of the final against Bayern Munich would prove by far his most iconic moment in a claret and blue shirt.

Morley went on to start both legs of the 1982 European Super Cup triumph over Barcelona eight months later, but his appearances soon became limited under manager Tony Barton and he was eventually sold to Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion in December 1983 for £75,000.

He spent two years at the Hawthorns, including a brief loan spell at Birmingham City, but had a fairly nomadic career from then on, taking in stints at Hong Kong-based Seiko, Dutch club FC Den Haag, the Baggies for a second time, the American Soccer League’s Tampa Bay Rowdies and Maltese side Hamrun Spartans before retiring in 1990.

He won six England caps during his Villa heyday and was in contention for a spot in Ron Greenwood’s 1982 World Cup squad, only to see Arsenal’s Graham Rix picked instead.

Aston Villa: top 30 players

Number 30, Number 29, Number 28, Number 27, Number 26, Number 25, Number 24, Number 23, Number 22, Number 21, Number 20, Number 19, Number 18

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