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Man Utd v Villa club connections gallery: Peter Schmeichel
Villa career of Man Utd legend Peter Schmeichel.
17th Apr 2013
Man Utd v Villa club connections gallery: Peter Schmeichel


Brown

The Birmingham Post headline said it all: "The secret is out - Peter Schmeichel unveiled at Villa."

The transfer story that eluded even the most diligent of press hounds finally came out into the open on Friday July 13 to much fanfare.

Check out this picture gallery of Peter Schmeichel at Villa.

The Post said: "Villa had truly stunned the sporting world" with their shock swoop of the former Man Utd No.1 and how right they were.

Their football writer, Ged Scott, continued: "By landing the Man Utd legend in one of football's best-kept football secrets of all-time - and on a free transfer too - Villa pulled off English soccer's transfer coup of the summer.

"Obviously it cannot shade the £45m Real Madrid have lavished on making Zinedine Zidane the world's costliest footballer.

"Yet, as can be construed by the lengths they went in stage managing the theatrics, Villa's cloak and dagger operation to unveil Schmeichel before an almost speechless audience of Midland journalists tops it, in terms of shock value at least.

"They smuggled the 6ft 4in, 16-stone Scandinavian through the gates of Villa Park in the back of a battered Mini with blacked-out windows is one thing."

John Gregory was thrilled with the capture, which eclipsed Man Utd's £28m signing of Juan Sebastien Veron on the very same day.

He said: "Peter is a winner. He has a fantastic reputation in the Premier League from his United days and is not going to want to stain it."

The man himself, Schmeichel, was equally delighted to be heading for B6 although he admitted he had one fear.

He added: "Whenever I played at Villa Park for Man Utd I was always given a hard time by the fans at the Holte End. I'm hoping for a better reception now I'm playing for Villa.

"There shouldn't be any problems now I'm one of them. We all want to do well for this club."

The fans certainly took to him, although, in the end, Schmeichel only stayed for one season.

The treble-winning Man Utd stopper was a big influence in that short time, though, before he moved to Man City.

His leadership qualities were such that he took over as captain whenever Paul Merson was out of the team.

He also displayed an amazing spirit of adventure, frequently venturing upfield if Villa were trailing in the closing minutes - and even scored a stoppage time goal at Everton.

That made him Villa's oldest-ever goalscorer - even though we lost the game 3-2.

Villa eventually opted against renewing his contract as they looked to nurture the young goalkeepers in their ranks for battles ahead.

There's no question, though, that Schmeichel made his mark, despite his short stay.

Check out this picture gallery of Peter Schmeichel at Villa.

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