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My Dream Team: Tony Hateley's all-time Villa first XI
Tony Hateley gives us his claret and blue aces.
5th Feb 2014
My Dream Team: Tony Hateley's all-time Villa first XI


It was very sad news in the claret and blue world earlier this week when former striker Tony Hateley died at the age of 72. As an interesting insight into his time with Villa, here we republish the all-time Villa Dream Team he selected in 2009.

I have gone for a 2-3-5 formation, which may be unfamiliar to the younger readers.

It consisted of a goalkeeper, two full-backs, two wing halves, one centre half, two inside forwards, one centre forward and two wingers.

NIGEL SIMS gets the nod in goal. He was a big and strong and very confident. He certainly filled the people in front of him full of confidence. He was also remarkably agile for his size and an excellent shot-stopper.

My two full-backs are STAN LYNN and CHARLIE AITKEN. Stan was a really solid player who would frighten the opposition. He was very attack-minded too and took the penalties too. Charlie is the club's record appearance maker and was very fast and one of the first great 'overlappers'.

My wing halves are MIKE TINDALL and ALAN DEAKIN. Mike was a real ball-player who was good at linking with the forwards while I think Alan would be ideal with Charlie on the left. Alan was not quick but was great on the ball - a real natural! He could hold it up and then Charlie could overlap and work well with Alan.

JOHN SLEEUWENHOEK goes into the side at centre-half because he was solid as a rock. Not much got past John! He was a positive and hard-tackling player.

My wingers are ALAN BAKER and HARRY BURROWS. Alan was a small guy but incredibly dependable and he was an excellent crosser of the ball. Harry was a great goalscorer and had an amazing left peg. You didn't get in the way of a Harry Burrows shot because it would knock your head off! He was a 20 goals per season man and very reliable.

RON WYLIE is at right inside half. He was 'The Man' because he was strong and powerful. I was with him at Notts County too at the start of our careers and he was a great player, even back then. He had great vision with the ball too.

I was the big guy up front and PHIL WOOSNAM was the perfect foil with me because we linked well. He was also excellent at shielding the ball.

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