Villa's Fab 50 top player countdown: 28 Chris Nicholl
Centre-back Chris Nicholl was a dominant figure at the heart of Villa's defence for more than five seasons, yet he is best remembered for his goalscoring achievements.
It's not that he was prolific, just that he scored some unusual and spectacular goals.
At Filbert Street in March 1976, for instance, he contrived to score all four goals - two into his own net - as Villa drew 2-2 with Leicester City.
And 13 months later he was on target with an amazing dipping shot from at least 35 yards in a dramatic 3-2 victory over Everton in the second replay of the League Cup final.
He had been appointed captain by then, and proudly held the trophy aloft at Old Trafford after one of the greatest games in Villa's history.
A gritty, uncompromising defender, Nicholl was signed from Luton Town in March 1972 and was on target in only his second match, going on to make 13 appearances as Villa became Third Division champions.
Over the next four seasons, he barely missed a game, helping the club to League Cup glory and promotion from Division Two in 1975.
Powerful in the air, he was a strong tackler who also had excellent positional sense.
His Villa days came to an end in the summer of 1977 when he joined Southampton, a club he later managed.
He also had a spell in charge of Walsall as well as working as assistant to his former Saints boss Lawrie McMenemy with Northern Ireland.
All profiles courtesy of Rob Bishop and Frank Holt's comprehensive book: Aston Villa - The Complete Record.
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