The Scottish lion and the word ‘Prepared’ have been part of the AstonVilla crest since the club’s foundation in 1874 and modifications havebeen few.Historically, Aston Villa is one of England’s most important footballclubs.
The team from Birmingham was, in fact, one of the 12 firstparticipants in the English League, though it took until 1894 beforeAston Villa won their first League title.
The club chairman WilliamMcGregor played an important role both for the club and for Englishfootball in general. During his time in charge, Villa won six leaguetitles and took the FA Cup home four times – the most brilliant periodin the club’s history.
McGregor also founded the country’s top division,in 1888, and carried through reform on a national level, which resultedin the professionalisation of the game.
Thanks to McGregror, Englishplayers were now able to earn money from their sport.McGregor had been enticed to Aston Villa in the first place by a strongconnection to Birmingham’s Scottish community. McGregor washimself Scottish and felt a kinship with Villa, so in 1877 he chose towork for them. The Scottish identity assumed its greatest importancewhen he decided the lion from Scotland’s royal crest should be theemblem of Aston Villa.
Thus for over a hundred years the Scottishnational crest has symbolised one of England’s most successful clubs.After McGregor’s death in 1911, Aston Villa never quite reached thesame heights again, even if the club did develop into one of England’sstrongest brands. The victory in the European Cup in 1982 was theirgreatest achievement – a title that was, incidentally, won with fourScottish players in the squad.
CLUB: Aston Villa FC
NICKNAME: Villa, Villans and The Lions
STADIUM: Villa Park, Birmingham (42,682 capacity)
HISTORIC PLAYERS: Harry Hampton, Charlie Aitken, Peter Withe, Dennis
Mortimer, Dwight Yorke, Gareth Barry and Olof Mellberg
1973-1992. The rampant lion from Scotland’s national crest was Aston Villa’s first emblem and
has never been replaced. Prior to this badge the lion could be seen without the surrounding
shield as well.
1992–2000. The original lion was red, but during the 20th century there were white, claret and
light-blue variations until this one was introduced in 1992. Since then, Villa’s lion has been
2000–2007. With the arrival of the new millennium the lion was modernised and the
abbreviation F.C. was dropped. The claret and light-blue stripes symbolise the colours of the
shirt, which haven’t changed since 1887.
2007–2016. On August 14th, 2006 the American Randy Lerner bought Aston Villa for £62.6
million. To symbolise the beginning of a new era, this emblem was introduced the following
year. The white star reflects the victory against Bayern Munich in the 1982 European Cup. The
motto Prepared has been used since 1878.
2016–present. In the spring of 2016 Aston Villa completed an historically poor season. The
team came bottom of the Premier League and were relegated. In the midst of all this, the club
introduced a new emblem costing around £100,000 – a huge sum for minor alterations like the
lion’s acquisition of a more heraldic look… and claws. On top of this the motto ‘Prepared’ was
removed to make the lion bigger.
Gordon Cowans sporting Aston Villa’s roundel club crest which was introduced in 1973. The
design decorated the kit for the 1981 League Championship, 1982 European Cup and a
European Super Cup – Villa’s most successful period in the modern era.
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