Aston Villa: top 30 players - Number 11

We continue our countdown of the greatest players in Aston Villa's history with the man who skippered the club to domestic and European glory in the early 1980s.

11. Dennis Mortimer

Born: Liverpool, 5 April 1952

Aston Villa career: 1975-1985

Appearances: 406 Goals: 36

Even if younger Aston Villa fans may not know a great deal about Mortimer as a player, they will almost certainly be familiar with the famous image of him holding the European Cup aloft.

Signed from Coventry City on Christmas Eve 1975 for £175,000, the Liverpool-born midfielder immediately established himself as a key member of Ron Saunders' side with his forceful performances and claimed his first honours at the club the following season as a member of the team that beat Everton in the 1977 League Cup final.

Three years on, he was skippering Villa to their first League Championship title in 71 years as one of seven ever-presents, before cementing his legendary status at B6 12 months later by helping Tony Barton’s men upset Bayern Munich 1-0 in the final of European football’s premier club competition.

The longest-serving member of that all-conquering team, his tireless work rate and strength on both sides of the ball made him a force to be reckoned with in the centre of the park, yet unlike his midfield partner Gordon Cowans, he somehow never earned full England honours.

The former B international eventually left Villa Park for Brighton & Hove Albion in 1985 after being deemed surplus to requirements by manager Graham Turner, and by the time he retired at Birmingham City two seasons later, he had made nearly 600 appearances in the Football League.

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 14, Number 13, Number 12

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