Jimmy Rimmer


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Not everyone in the Villa camp was jubilant on the night of 26 May 1982. 

For Jimmy Rimmer, the European Cup final against Bayern Munich left him feeling devastated rather than delighted.

Although he was as happy as anyone with the outcome, his own involvement in what should have been the greatest night of his football life was over after just nine minutes.

A recurrence of a neck injury suffered in the final league game against Swansea the previous Friday forced Rimmer to make the hardest decision of his career and indicate to manager Tony Barton that he simply couldn’t continue.

While substitute Nigel Spink performed heroics to keep Bayern at bay, Rimmer was in tears as he received treatment from club doctor David Targett in the dressing room, although he did manage to return to the dug-out in time to witness Peter Withe’s winning goal.

His misfortune meant he holds the distinction of having won European Cup medals with two different clubs – despite not being on the pitch at the end of either final. 

He had been on the bench when Manchester United beat Benfica in the 1968 final at Wembley.

Despite the cruel blow of his injury in Rotterdam, though, Rimmer had the satisfaction of being one of only five Villa players to start all nine European Cup matches that season.

Having forged his early career with United, Rimmer had a spell on loan with Swansea City and then joined Arsenal before moving to Villa for £65,000 in 1977. 

Over the course of the next five seasons, he was a model of consistency, missing only one game and helping Villa to the title in 1980-81. 

He returned to Swansea in 1983.

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