On this day in 1959, the man regarded by many as the greatest player in Villa’s history was born in Ealing, London.
Paul McGrath moved to the Republic of Ireland when he was a child, and represented that country 83 times, winning 51 of his caps during a magical seven-year spell in claret and blue, when he was revered as a god by the Villa faithful.
Signed by Graham Taylor for £425,000 in the summer of 1989, McGrath’s first few months at Villa Park were overshadowed by his much-publicised off-the-field problems but my the end of his first season he had helped Villa to finish runners-up to Liverpool in the old First Division.
He then won Villa’s Player of the Year award for four consecutive seasons and in 1993, after Villa had finished second to Manchester United in the inaugural FA Premier League, he was voted PFA Footballer of the Year.
He also helped the club to League Cup glory in 1994 and 1996, and made a total of 323 Villa appearances before joining Derby County.