Aston Villa is deeply saddened by the news former player Peter Whittingham has passed away at the age of 35.
The thoughts of everyone at the Club, along with the wider football community, are with Peter’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.
Peter made a total of 66 first-team appearances for Villa between 2003-07, scoring twice, and also featured for England’s Under-21s.
Born in Nuneaton in September 1984, he learned his trade with Villa’s Academy and was a member of the team who won the FA Youth Cup in 2002 by beating Everton in the Final.
Less than 12 months later he made his first-team debut for the club, replacing the injured Gareth Barry for the second half of a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United at St James’ Park in April 2003.
Peter enjoyed his first start in the final game of the 2002/03 campaign, in a 3-1 defeat at Leeds United.
The following season he was involved in 39 league and cup games, scoring his first Villa goal in a 5-0 League Cup win at Wycombe Wanderers.
Peter’s appearances were restricted somewhat over the next two seasons, during which he had loan spells with Burnley and Derby County, before moving to Cardiff City in January 2007.
He enjoyed a decade with the South Wales club, helping them to the 2008 FA Cup Final, the 2012 League Cup Final and promotion to the Premier League the following year, before later signing for Blackburn Rovers in 2017.
During his time at Villa Park, Peter created a small piece of Premier League history.
In November 2004, less than two months after his 20th birthday, he had the distinction of being the first player in the country to score with the league’s new high-visibility ball as Villa beat Portsmouth 3-0 in the day’s lunchtime kick-off.
Following the match, he posed for a photo which appeared in the Villa News & Record, although he did so with reluctance. A quiet and unassuming young man, the midfielder was ill at ease with any kind of publicity.
He was the epitome of a footballer who preferred to do his talking on the pitch, something he continued to do throughout an impressive career.
Rest in Peace, Peter.