On this day in 1998, Paul Merson marked his debut with a goal in a 2-0 victory over Wimbledon at Villa Park.
A few days earlier, the flamboyant former Arsenal star had been signed from Middlesbrough for £6.75m, and his stylish performance against the Dons made him an instant hit with the Villa faithful.
Even so, he needed a touch of fortune for his goal.
Earlier, Alan Thompson had fired wide from the spot, so when Villa were awarded a second penalty just before half-time it was entrusted to Merse.
His kick was saved by keeper Neil Sullivan but he tucked away the rebound to open the scoring.
Ian Taylor netted Villa’s second on 57 minutes.