Image alt text here

League Cup 1996: Yorke, Wright, Draper and Johnson react to Wembley win

League Cup 1996: Little - Even police escort was a breeze in perfect final Villa Ladies preview: Hunt - Wait is over
League Cup 1996: Yorke, Wright, Draper and Johnson react to Wembley win

We won the League Cup 20 years ago today - and here are the thoughts of various members of the playing squad concerning that famous afternoon that saw us defeat Leeds United 3-0 at Wembley.

Goals from Savo Milosevic - a bullet of a strike - Ian Taylor and Dwight Yorke earned the brilliant victory, which Brian Little described as the best and most comfortable day of his managerial life.

DWIGHT YORKE

My career sky-rocketed to another level under Brian Little.

I worked under Graham Taylor, Dr Jo, Big Ron and John Gregory. I learnt a lot from these managers.

But I was coming up to about 24-years-old under Brian and I knew good times were around the corner. I felt it.

Brian came in, saw something in me and gave me the impetus to go and play well. He made it known to everyone that I was his main man.

He said: 'That No.10 shirt is yours, go and play and express yourself.' He told me I had everything as a player that he was looking for.

I was confident anyway but that gave me the belief to show a good level of consistency in my game week after week. I knew I was going to play every week.

I went to another level. It all culminated in the League Cup win.

That was unbelievable. The feeling of winning a major competition for the first time was truly incredible.

That was my first time playing at Wembley. Look at the manner of the performance and the manner of the victory too.

We were playing against very good players at Leeds. We played so, so well. That was just a complete performance.

To score at the end and hear the crowd singing my name Dwight Yorke, Dwight Yorke to the tune of New York, New York - wow, what a feeling. That was the ultimate.

That was the best experience. It doesn't come much better than that!

Johnson

TOMMY JOHNSON

I sat out the League Cup final in 1996 - but people don't realise I was glad to be involved.

I got injured against Ipswich in the FA Cup match in February. That gave me about six weeks until the final.

I played in the first leg of the semi-final when we drew at Arsenal 2-2 but then I missed the home leg.

My main aim was just to get fit because I was still struggling with my thigh at the time. It was constant work to make the final. I wanted to be involved.

My first session back was the day before the final. But the gaffer was brilliant. He put me on the bench.

When I see him now, though, I hammer him for not putting me on. But just to be involved was brilliant.

We travelled down a couple of days before the final and when we won it, everyone stayed down in London for a get-together.

Everyone was in the hotel, even the office staff. The wives and kids were there - it was fantastic.

It was the first trophy I had won. Just to be part of it was great.

I was so grateful to the gaffer. He didn't have to put me on the bench. He could have picked someone else.

There were only three subs then, too!

Wright

ALAN WRIGHT

The season overall was just brilliant. I remember it from day one.

We played Man Utd on the opening day. That was the afternoon that Alan Hansen famously said: 'You'll never win anything with kids.' I think they won the double that year.

We beat them 3-1 and it snowballed from there. We finished fourth, we won the League Cup and got to the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

It was a bit of a slog but you didn't mind that. I think we played 50 odd games and I played in all of them.

To top it off, I was voted into the best Premier League XI that season along with Ugo Ehiogu. That was the icing on the cake.

It was a great season. It was special. The way we won the League Cup was outstanding.

Without disrespecting Leeds, it was almost too easy.

I remember the 20 yard goal from Savo and the great finishes from Tayls and Yorkie.

Everything dropped into place. It was like it was meant to be. It was 3-0 and it could have been more really.

MARK DRAPER

My favourite game for Villa was the League Cup final victory against Leeds United.

We were so comfortable we could really enjoy the game.

The atmosphere was fantastic - and it was my first major trophy.

It was a really relaxed day. We'd been playing well and were confident.

It turned out to be one of those days where everything went really smoothly.

Obviously it was a bit tense before Savo Milosevic got the first goal but after that we never looked back.

It's one of those games where you can remember a lot because we played so well.

By @AVFCOfficial 24th March 2016