We continue our countdown of the greatest players in Aston Villa's history with a prolific striker who netted the club a British record transfer fee.
16. Trevor Ford
Born: Swansea, 1 October 1923
Aston Villa career: 1947-1950
Appearances: 128 Goals: 61
A classic, hard-nosed centre-forward, Ford established himself as one of the most prolific scorers in Aston Villa’s history during his time in the Midlands.
The Welshman originally began his career as a full-back with hometown club Swansea immediately after the war, but by the time he joined Villa in January 1947 for £9,500, he had already started to develop a reputation as a deadly marksman.
He netted nine times in nine games over the rest of the 1946-47 season and hit double figures over the next three campaigns, topping the club’s scoring charts on each occasion as his exploits in front of goal saw him fast become a household name.
He subsequently became the most expensive player in Britain in October 1950 when Sunderland paid Villa a record £30,000 transfer fee for his signature, before later going on to enjoy spells at Cardiff City, PSV Eindhoven, Newport County and Romford.
Internationally, Ford scored 23 goals in 38 games for Wales after making his debut against Ireland in 1946, but he missed out on a trip to the 1958 World Cup due to a controversial period in his career.
After leaving Cardiff in 1956, the revealed in his autobiography “I Lead the Attack” that he had received illegal payments while with Sunderland and was consequently banned by the English game's authorities.
The incident prompted him to announce his retirement in November 1956, but with his suspension not extending outside the UK, he was able to make a lucrative comeback with PSV just three months later.
He scored 21 goals in 53 league games for the Dutch club over the next years before his suspension was lifted in 1960 and he returned to Wales to join Newport.
Aston Villa: top 30 players