Not only is he the most revered Villa star of the modern era, Paul McGrath is also regarded as one of the greatest players in the club’s history.
Yet the man who conjured up pure genius and turned the business of defending into an art form hardly made the most impressive of starts in claret and blue.
Signed by Graham Taylor in the summer of 1989, the Republic of Ireland international cost £425,000 from Manchester United and it seemed the investment was doomed to failure when his first few months at Villa Park were blighted by his much-publicised off-the-field problems.
By the end of that season, though, it was clear the money had been well spent.
With McGrath operating alongside Derek Mountfield and Kent Nielsen in a three-man defence, Villa finished runners-up to Liverpool and were back in Europe following a five-year ban on English clubs.
By 1993, Macca had been voted the club’s Player of the Year for the fourth consecutive season and he was also voted PFA Footballer of the Year as Villa were second again, this time to Manchester United in the inaugural Premier League campaign.
There was better to follow, too.
The following year, despite needing pain-killing injections in a frozen shoulder, he helped Villa to League Cup glory with a 3-1 final victory over his former club United; two years after that, he was back at Wembley for an emphatic 3-0 victory over Leeds in the 1996 final.
He also won 51 of his 83 Irish caps while at Villa Park and although he had been a key player for United, he undoubtedly played the best football of his career in claret and blue.
He left Villa for Derby County in 1996.