Aston Villa: top 30 players - Number 3

We continue our countdown of the greatest players in Aston Villa's history with a striker who enjoyed an incredible 50-goal season during his time at the club.

3. Tom "Pongo" Waring

Born: Birkenhead, 12 October 1906

Aston Villa career: 1928-1935

Appearances: 226 Goals: 167

The most prolific goalscorer in Aston Villa’s history, Waring averaged better than two goals every three games during his time at the club.

Better known by his nickname 'Pongo', the Birkenhead-born striker joined Villa from boyhood club Tranmere Rovers in February 1928 for £4,700 and promptly scored a hat-trick on his debut for the reserves against local rivals Birmingham City.

The charismatic Merseysider went on to net seven times in 13 first-team games over the rest of the 1927-28 campaign and continued to find the back of the net with remarkable consistency over the following years, finishing as the club’s top scorer in three of his first four full seasons in the Midlands.

He also earned five England caps between 1931 and 1932, scoring four times, but the nation’s luxury of attacking options during that era prevented the powerful front man from making a bigger impact on the international stage.

Waring never won any major silverware during his time at Villa, despite also having the legendary Billy Walker and Eric Houghton playing alongside, but he arguably deserved to be rewarded for his exploits in the 1930-31 campaign.

He contributed a club-record 49 league goals towards the team’s 128 – 86 of which came from just 21 home games – as the claret and blues were just piped to the Division One title by Herbert Chapman’s Arsenal.

His one FA Cup strike that year also saw him reach the half-century mark from just 40 total appearances, before he added another 30 goals the following season.

However, with Dai Astley arriving from Charlton Athletic to provide competition up top, Waring never quite reached the same heights again and eventually left Villa Park to join Barnsley in November 1935.

After a one-year spell with the Tykes, he went on play for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tranmere again, Accrington Stanley and a host of lower league sides before retiring in 1940.

He died in December 1980 at the age of 74.

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, Number 17, Number 16, Number 15, Number 14Number 13, Number 12, Number 11, Number 10, Number 9, Number 8, Number 7, Number 6, Number 5, Number 4

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