Aston Villa is a historic club who were one of the original 12 members of the football league founded in 1888. The Villans have had some great teams down the years and some top forwards too.
Here are Villa’s top ten all-time most prolific strikers:
Billy Walker (244 goals in 531appearances)
Inside forward Walker was a one-club man making 531 appearances for Villa from 1919-1933. He was incredibly consistent in front of goal in the 1920s and 1930s, scoring double figures in 12 straight campaigns starting from season 1919/20 until 1930/31. His goals tally means that he is ranked as the 17th-highest goalscorer in English top-flight history.
Walker won the FA Cup in his debut campaign as a Villa player, as the Villans recorded a 1-0 extra-time win over Huddersfield Town in the 1920 final. He also won a runners-up medal in season 1923/24.
When it came to the First Division title, it was a case of so near, yet so far for the forward, as he helped Villa to the runners-up spot in both 1931 and 1933.
Harry Hampton (242 goals in 373 appearances)
The forward, nicknamed ‘Happy’, scored just two goals fewer than Walker in his Villa career. However, Hampton is still the Villans’ record league goalscorer, having scored 215 times in the English top flight for the men from the Midlands.
The Welshman joined Villa in 1904 from Wellington Town and played for Villa for 16 years, a spell that was interrupted by the First World War.
Hampton’s most notable achievement was scoring a brace in Villa’s 1905 FA Cup final victory over Newcastle United. He also finished as the First Division’s joint top goalscorer in 1912.
Unfortunately, Hampton suffered lasting after-effects of mustard gas poison after serving in the British army in World War One. After that, he never rediscovered his top form for Villa and moved to their city rivals Birmingham in 1920.
John Devey (187 goals in 308 appearances)
The local boy played for Villa from 1891–1902, proving to be a potent threat to opposition defences. Davey captained Villa for eight years and was part of the Villans’ most successful-ever team.
Devey scored the goals that helped win the First Division title on five occasions in seasons 1893–94, 1895–96, 1896–97, 1898–99 and 1899–00. The forward was also in the Villa team that lifted the FA Cup in 1895 and 1897.
His brothers John, Harry and Bob all played for Villa. Two of his other brothers Ted and Will also appeared for Small Heath.
Devey was not just a talented footballer, though, as the forward also played cricket for Warwickshire and played professional baseball for Villa in the National League of Baseball of Great Britain.
Joe Bache (185 goals in 474 appearances)
The inside forward made his Villa debut in 1900 and played for Villa until 1914, proving to be highly effective in front of goal. Bache is considered to be one of Villa’s all-time greatest forwards.
Bache was part of the Villa team that lifted the 1905 FA Cup while also winning the English top-flight title in 1910. The First World War curtailed his Villa career. Bache became a lance-corporal in the British army and returned to football in season 1919/20 with Mid Rhondda before finishing his playing career with a short stint as player/coach with Grimsby Town.
Eric Houghton (170 goals in 392 appearances)
The winger played for Villa from 1927–1946. His longevity earned Houghton the moniker ‘Mr Villa’. Houghton was said to have had the most powerful shot of his era.
He earned himself a reputation as a set-piece specialist during his career, as he scored 58 penalty kicks and 30 goals from direct free-kicks.
The closest Houghton got to winning silverware during his playing career was finishing as runners-up in the First Division in 1930, when Houghton scored 30 of Villa’s record tally of 128 goals.
Houghton returned to Villa as the manager in 1953 and guided the Villans to their seventh FA Cup in 1957, as Villa defeated Manchester United 2-1 at Wembley Stadium. Later in his life, he also became a director of the club.
In 2006, Houghton was one of 12 former players, managers and directors to be inducted into Villa’s hall of fame.
Tom Waring (167 goals in 226 appearances)
The Merseyside-born forward represented Villa from 1928–1935. Nicknamed ‘Pongo’ after a cartoon character, Waring was prolific in front of goal for the Villans and is regarded as a genuine Villa legend.
The amiable forward scored ten hat-tricks during his playing career with Villa. He also scored a club-record 49 league goals in the 1930–31 season.
Waring represented England at international level, making just five appearances for his national team but scoring a respectable four goals.
When he died in December 1980, the forward’s ashes were scattered in the goal mouth of Villa Park’s Holte End.
Johnny Dixon (144 goals in 430 appearances)
The forward from the north east joined Aston Villa in 1945 from Spennymoor United and spent the rest of his playing career with the Villans before his retirement in 1961.
His most notable achievement as a Villa player was being part of the Villans team that lifted the FA Cup in 1957, as the men from the Midlands defeated Manchester United 2-1 in the final.
Dixon’s most prolific campaign was in season 1951/52 when he scored 28 goals in all competitions. The forward also got into double figures in six other seasons for Villa.
Peter McParland (120 goals 341)
Born in Northern Ireland, McParland joined Aston Villa in 1952 from Dundalk and established himself as a hero at Villa Park before leaving in 1962.
McParland made history as the first player ever to score in and win both domestic cup finals. The outside left famously scored a brace in the 1957 FA Cup final win over Manchester United at Wembley.
McParland also scored in a two-legged League Cup final against Rotherham United when Villa recorded a 3-2 aggregate win over the Yorkshire team. Villa lost the first leg 2-0, only to record a 3-0 win in the second game.
The forward also played international football for Northern Ireland, scoring ten goals in 34 appearances for his national team.
Billy Garraty (112 goals in 258 appearances)
The forward represented his boyhood club between 1897–1908. Garraty played a crucial role in Villa’s top-flight title victory in 1900, as he finished as the league’s top scorer with 27 goals.
Garraty also helped his team to win the 1905 FA Cup, as the forward got man of the match in a 2-0 win over Newcastle in the final.
The forward passed on his footballing genes, as former Aston Villa star Jack Grealish is Garraty’s great-great grandson.
Len Capewell (100 goals in 156 appearances)
The homegrown forward played for Villa from 1921 until 1930, scoring at an excellent rate for the Villans before moving to Wellington Town.
Capewell played as both an inside-forward and centre-forward during his playing career with the Villans. The forward’s most prolific season of his playing career came in season 1925-26 when he scored 34 goals in 38 appearances.