We continue our countdown of the greatest players in Aston Villa's history with a goalkeeper who helped end the club's 71-year wait for a seventh league title.
28. Jimmy Rimmer
Born: Southport, 10 February 1948
Aston Villa career: 1977-1983
One of Aston Villa’s goalkeeping greats, Rimmer holds the distinction of winning two European Cup medals with different clubs – despite not being on the pitch at the end of either final.
A £65,000 signing from Arsenal in 1977, the Southport-born stopper missed just one game over the next five seasons after replacing John Burridge as Villa’s No. 1 and helped Ron Saunders’ side to the League Championship title in 1980-81, keeping 15 clean sheets in 42 appearances.
The following year, he was one of just five players who started all nine of the club’s European Cup matches but infamously lasted only nine minutes of the final against Bayern Munich before a neck injury forced him off.
Thankfully, his replacement Nigel Spink performed heroics to help the underdogs record a shock 1-0 victory over the German giants and earn Rimmer his second medal in the competition, having been on the bench for the 1968 final as a Manchester United youngster.
The experienced custodian eventually lost his place to the up-and-coming Spink midway through the 1982-83 campaign and left Villa at the end of the season to re-join Swansea City, where he previously played 17 games on loan from United in late 1973 – a spell which convinced Arsenal to sign him a few months later.
He spent the next three years with the Swans before retiring in 1986 following short stints at Maltese club Hamrun Spartans and Luton Town, then going on to coach in China and Canada.
Despite Rimmer’s top-flight success, strong competition from the likes of Ray Clemence, Peter Shilton, Joe Corrigan and Peter Bonetti meant he only earned one England cap during his 21-year career, playing the first half of a 3-2 friendly win over Italy in 1976.
Aston Villa: top 30 players