Aston Villa: top 30 players - Number 9

Villa Park 6

We continue our countdown of the greatest players in Aston Villa's history with a Northern Irish attacker who became the first man to score in both of English football's domestic cup finals.

9. Peter McParland

Born: Newry, County Down, 25 April 1934

Aston Villa career: 1952-1962

Appearances: 341 Goals: 121

The man most responsible for Aston Villa’s last FA Cup triumph, McParland’s brace against hot favourites Manchester United in the 1957 final ensured he will forever hold a place in club folklore.

Comfortable up top or on the left wing, the Northern Irishman joined Villa from Dundalk in 1952 for a fee of around £4,000 and gradually established himself as one of the top-flight’s most exciting attacking players.

He finished as the club’s leading scorer during the 1956-57 campaign with 19 goals, including a second-half double in the 2-1 Wembley win over United, and added another 17 strikes the following term to top the charts for a second straight season.

A period of plight saw the team relegated to the second tier in 1959, but McParland went on to hit 22 goals in 41 league games that season to help Joe Mercer’s men bounce back to Division One as champions at the first time of asking.

He would pick up one more piece of silverware during his time at Villa Park, netting the extra-time winner to secure a 3-2 aggregate victory over Rotherham United in the inaugural League Cup final in September 1961, before moving across the West Midlands to join Wolverhampton Wanderers four months later for £35,000.

His form for the claret and blues also saw him earn 34 caps for Northern Ireland between 1954 and 1962 along with a trip to the 1958 World Cup, where he scored five of his 10 international goals as the Green and White Army made it to the quarter-final stages in their first appearance at the tournament.

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, Number 11, Number 10

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