On this day: Happy 50th birthday to Derek Mountfield
Mountfield was essentially the "third man" in a Villa central defensive trio which provided the foundation for the team's 1989-90 title challenge.
While many people immediately bring to mind Paul McGrath and Kent Nielsen, Mountfield is frequently overlooked, yet his contribution to the 3-5-2 formation adapted by manager Graham Taylor was equally important.
It was just a pity Villa eventually missed out to Liverpool in the title race, because the solid, dependable centre-back had already amassed several medals with their Merseyside rivals Everton.
Having started his career with Tranmere Rovers, he moved to Goodison Park in 1982 and within five years he had helped Everton to two league titles, the FA Cup and the European Cup Winners Cup.
After more than 150 games for Everton, plus 25 goals, he joined Villa for £450,000 in June 1988 to bolster a side who had just been promoted back to the top flight.
His debut season was disrupted by injury problems but after McGrath and Nielsen had arrived the following summer, he revealed the qualities which had prompted Graham Taylor to sign him.
A regular in the side over the course of the next two seasons, he also chipped in with his fair share of goals, and was on target in both legs of the 1990 UEFA Cup-tie against Banik Ostrava.
Like Nielsen, he found himself out of favour following Ron Atkinson's appointment, and made only two appearances in 1991-92, having a spell on loan with Wolves before joining the Molineux club in March 1992.
Andy Gray grabbed the goal that secured a 1-1 Uefa Cup draw in Poland against Gornik Zabrze. Villa progressed 3-1 on aggregate.
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