Gordon Cowans

Gordon Cowans

Villa legend Gordon Cowans enjoyed three magnificent spells at the club - and now he is playing a key role in developing the next generation of players.

Cowans, who won the League championship and European Cup as a player, is now in charge of the club's development side who play in the new Barclays U21 Premier League.

Since hanging up his boots in 1997, Sid has held a number of roles in the backroom staff at Villa.

He returned to the club as a youth coach, working alongside the likes of Tony McAndrew and Kevin MacDonald in the academy set-up.

Under the management of Gerard Houllier, Cowans was promoted to the position of first team coach and continued in that role under Alex McLeish.

The former midfielder - affectionately known as Sid - began his association with Villa when he joined the club as an apprentice in 1974.

He made nearly 300 appearances in his first spell and played a significant part in one of the most successful periods in Villa history.

Cowans moved to Italian side Bari for three years before returning to Villa Park in 1988 under Graham Taylor's management.

During this period, Cowans made 117 appearances and helped the club to second place in the top-flight in 1989-90.

He departed again for Blackburn Rovers in 1991 but returned again two years later for a third spell.

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