Villa are saddened to hear of the death of former striker Tony Hateley, at the age of 72.
Our sympathies go to his family and friends at this time.
Hateley was a real powerful attacking player in claret and blue.
His ratio was slightly better than one goal every two games, which is incredible when you consider he played for the club during the lean years which culminated in Villa's relegation in 1966-67.
As it was, Hateley had long since departed by the time the drop into Division Two was confirmed, having joined Chelsea for £100,000 in October 1966.
We can only speculate on whether Villa would have survived had Hateley stayed.
Based on his prolific scoring over the previous three seasons, it's fair to assume they would have had a real chance.
Even in a struggling side, the former Notts County striker had no great difficulty in hitting the target.
Having hit the only goal of the game on his debut at Nottingham Forest on the opening day of 1963-64, he finished that season with 17 - and they were crucial to Villa staying above the relegation zone.
An ever-present in 1964-65, his league haul rose to 20 - plus a further 14 in cup-ties, including four in a 7-1 League Cup romp against Bradford City as Villa reached the semi-finals before losing to Chelsea.
And although he missed three games the following season, his league total was a phenomenal 27, including four in a 5-5 draw at Tottenham.
Hateley also played for the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea.
RIP Tony Hateley.