We're counting down the top 30 players in Aston Villa's history this month, starting with a Scottish defender who helped the club achieve League and European Cup glory.
30. Ken McNaught
Born: Kirkcaldy, 11 January 1955
Aston Villa career: 1977-1983
Appearances: 260 Goals: 13
A strong and composed centre-half, McNaught helped form the foundation of arguably the finest team in Aston Villa’s history.
The son of former Scotland international Willie McNaught, the Dumfries native began his professional career with Everton in 1972 and was part of the Toffees team that was beaten by Villa in the 1977 League Cup final – a contest that needed two replays to be decided.
However, despite ending up on the losing side, the Scot’s performances over the three games clearly impressed opposition manager Ron Saunders, as he joined the claret and blues just weeks later for £200,000 and immediately cemented his place in the line-up.
Eventually forging a sturdy centre-back partnership with compatriot Allan Evans, the reliable defender was one of seven players who were an ever-present in the League Championship-winning side of 1980-81, and while injury caused him to miss almost half of the following season, he was back in time to play a key role in the club’s European Cup success.
As well as scoring in the second-leg of the quarter-final against Dynamo Kiev, he put in a superb performance in the final against Bayern Munich, keeping two-time Ballon d’Or winner Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in check to help earn Villa a shock 1-0 win.
Just eight months later, he was again a central figure in more silverware success, scoring in the European Super Cup victory over Barcelona while wearing the armband in the absence of regular captain Dennis Mortimer.
He eventually left for neighbours West Bromwich Albion in August 1983 after failing to secure a new deal, but a serious knee injury that would eventually end his career meant he never managed to reach the same heights enjoyed during his six-year spell at Villa Park.
Uncapped for Scotland, the closest he came to playing for his country was prior to the 1982 World Cup when there was talk of a potential call-up, but a place in Jock Stein's 22-man squad ultimately alluded him.