We continue our countdown of the 30 greatest players in Aston Villa's history with a Scottish midfielder whose tireless performances were key to the club's glory years of the early 1980s.
25. Des Bremner
Born: Aberchirder, 7 September 1952
Aston Villa career: 1979-1984
Appearances: 227 Goals: 10
A highly versatile and unselfish player, Bremner’s workmanlike displays proved invaluable to Aston Villa during his five years with the club.
The Scot began his career as a defender with Hibernian in 1971 but soon converted to midfield after turning professional the following year, going on to net 22 goals in 255 games for the Edinburgh club.
After a £275,000 move to Villa in 1979, he settled onto the right-hand side of midfield but also deputised at full-back and centre-half on occasions, establishing himself as a vital part of the line-up with his tireless running and all-round game.
An ever-present in the League Championship-winning team of 1980-81, he featured in all nine of the club’s European Cup matches the following season and produced a fine performance in the final against Bayern Munich, marking Paul Breitner out of the game to help Tony Barton’s men beat the heavily favoured German giants 1-0.
After spending another two years at Villa Park, winning one more piece of silverware in the 1982 European Super Cup, Bremner’s claret and blue career ultimately came to an end at the start of the 1984-85 campaign after he was deemed surplus to requirements by new boss Graham Turner.
Subsequently moving to arch rivals Birmingham City to reunite with his first Villa manager, Ron Saunders, the experienced midfielder played more than 160 games for the Blues over the next five seasons before retiring in 1991 after short stints at Fulham, Walsall and Stafford Rangers.
While his qualities never went unrecognised by his teammates throughout his career, he remained a vastly underrated player during his era, only earning one cap for Scotland in 1976.
Aston Villa: top 30 players