Eric Houghton inflicted considerable damage on Villa’s opponents – and he did it in the best possible way.
He was never sent off and there is no record of him ever being cautioned, but while he was every inch the gentleman footballer, he possessed a shot like a bullet.
It was an asset which produced 170 goals in official games alone, plus a further 87 throughout the war years.
And while most players prefer to hit a moving ball, Houghton was at his most fearsome at set-pieces.
Opposition defenders quivered whenever he stepped up to take a free-kick, and he was simply deadly from the penalty spot, netting nearly 80 penalties at all levels during his time with Villa – including one on his farewell appearance, a reserve game against Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day 1946.
That was almost 17 years after his first team debut in January 1930, Houghton having joined Villa as a youngster in 1927.
He gave a hint of what was to come by scoring 12 times in 19 games in his first season in the senior side – and then he really took off.
In 1930/31, Villa simply couldn’t stop scoring, hitting a top-flight record 128 goals.
A staggering 49 of those came from centre-forward Pongo Waring but Houghton, who missed only one game, contributed 30.
He followed up with 24 in 1931/32, and was in double figures in 10 consecutive seasons before the outbreak of the Second World War.
Villa were twice runners-up to Arsenal during that period, although Houghton also experienced anguish in 1935/36, when his 15 goals failed to prevent the first relegation in the club’s history.
Even so, he helped Villa back into the top flight two years later, continuing to impress with his pace and skill down the left flank.
He was also a member of the team who won the War Cup final in 1944.
Houghton’s time in claret and blue came to and end in 1946 when he joined Notts County – but he would be back seven years later to establish himself as one of Villa’s greatest managers.