Take a stroll along the corridors of Villa Park and you can watch George Burrell Ramsay evolve from a young man to middle age to a distinguished older gentleman.
He stands proudly alongside Villa’s players on team photos taken during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
But even those fascinating photos tell only part of the story of a man who is best known for his secretarial duties, but also served Villa as a player and a vice-president during a career which spanned almost six decades.
Born in Glasgow in 1855, Ramsay was a master of ball control during his playing days. Yet he joined Villa almost by accident after moving to Birmingham to take up a clerical post.
While walking through Aston Park in 1876, he was invited by Villa’s players to make up the numbers in a practice match – and mesmerised them with his skills to the extent that he was not only invited to join the club, he was also made captain!
In 1880 Ramsay led Villa to their first trophy – the Birmingham Senior Cup – in but his influence wasn’t restricted to the pitch. He also negotiated the purchase of Villa’s new ground at Wellington Road, Perry Barr.
When he hung up his boots, he was appointed secretary, a job which involved running the team as well as attending to administrative affairs.
Ramsay retired as secretary in 1926 but was retained as a consultant as well as being appointed vice-president. He died in October 1935.