Aston Villa: top 30 players - Number 7

Villa Park 6

We continue our countdown of the greatest players in Aston Villa's history with a long-serving skipper who won seven major trophies during his time at the club.

7. John "Jack" Devey

Born: Newtown, Birmingham, 26 December 1966

Aston Villa career: 1891-1902

Appearances: 308 Goals: 187

The captain of Aston Villa’s great teams of the 1890s, Devey helped the club secure two FA Cup titles and five League Championships during his 11-year spell.

However, despite his obvious talent, the Birmingham-born forward’s similarities to fellow Villa legend Archie Hunter meant it was not until the age of 24 that he would get the chance to join the claret and blues in 1891.

He had already played for several junior clubs in the local area by that stage, but while the critics said he was too old to make an impact in the Football League, he soon went about proving them wrong.

The skilful striker netted a team-leading 29 goals in his debut campaign and was the club’s top scorer over the next three seasons as well, leading them to their first league title in 1893-94 and the 1895 FA Cup crown in the process.

Villa would again finish as English champions in 1895-96 with Devey an ever-present in the side, before they further cemented their status as national powerhouses the following year by becoming the second club after Preston North End to win the Double.

Devey later gave up the armband to Jimmy Crabtree ahead of the 1898-99 season but continued to hit the back of the net with ruthless efficiency, returning to the top of the scoring charts with 21 goals as Villa won back the league.

They went on to make it back-to-back titles 12 months later before the long-serving front man eventually opted to hang up his boots in April 1902 to become a club director – a position which he held for over 30 years.

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, Number 9, Number 8

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