Nigel Spink


Season Statistics

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Nigel Spink made more appearances for Villa than any other goalkeeper, and there were a historic moments during the course of his 460 games for the club.

He had the distinction, for instance, of being Villa’s keeper in the club’s first-ever Premier League match, a 1-1 draw at Ipswich Town in August 1992.

Spink, though, will always be best remembered for his inspired performance more than a decade earlier, when he went on as a substitute for the injured Jimmy Rimmer in the European Cup final.

Less than 10 minutes into the game, Rimmer was forced to go off with a shoulder problem and it looked bleak for Villa as the regular number one was replaced by a player who had only one first team appearance to his name. 

But Spink became the hero of Rotterdam with a succession of brilliant saves which denied hot favourites Bayern Munich before Peter Withe grabbed the winning goal.

That was one of five occasions on which Spink went on as a substitute. 

The other four were all in Premier League games – including two in his last season at Villa Park, by which time he had become second choice to Mark Bosnich.

His final appearance, in fact, was as an outfield player when he replaced the injured Ian Taylor in the last minute of a 1-0 defeat at QPR in December 1995. 

Five weeks later he joined West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer, bringing to an end a magnificent 19-year Villa career.

For much of that time he was Villa’s first choice goalkeeper and he also helped Villa to victory over Barcelona in the 1983 European Super Cup as well as making a substitute appearance for England against Australia in June that year.

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