We continue our countdown of the greatest players in Aston Villa's history with one of the club's earliest stars.
8. Archie Hunter
Born: Joppa, Ayr, 23 September 1859
Aston Villa career: 1878-1890
Appearances: 73 Goals: 42
A Victorian sporting superstar, Hunter was Aston Villa’s first truly great goalscorer and a player who helped shape the club into one of English football’s early powerhouses.
A forward blessed with a rare blend of power and skill, the Scot originally arrived in Birmingham in 1878 planning to sign for Calthorpe FC but was persuaded to join Villa instead by compatriot and then-captain George Ramsay – the man who would go on to manage the team to six League Championships and six FA Cup victories.
The Ayrshire native had already played for Third Lanark and Ayre Thistle north of the border, but it was with the claret and blues where he enjoyed his greatest triumph as captain of the club’s first FA Cup-winning team in 1887.
He had been appointed skipper just a year after his arrival and kept the armband until his career came to a tragic and premature end during the fourth from last game of the Football League’s second season.
On 4 January 1890, the popular front man collapsed with a heart attack while playing against Everton at Anfield, and while he made a partial recovery, he never returned to action and died four years later at the age of just 35.
Despite being one of the greats of his era, his ambition to play for his country also went unfilled due to the Scottish FA’s policy at the time of not picking players based in England, but his achievements for Villa were recognised in 1998 when he was inducted into the Football League’s list of 100 legends.
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