Villa presented with founder member plaque

The Football League last week presented Aston Villa with a commemorative plaque to mark the club’s 125-year status as founder members.

The award was received on behalf of the club by Stan Petrov from Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harvey prior to Villa’s match with Sunderland. It celebrates the club’s role in the formation of the world’s original league football competition in 1888.

The club have announced the blue plaque will be put on the wall of the Trinity Road Stand behind the statue of League founder, and former Aston Villa director, William McGregor.

The roots of The Football League can be traced back to a letter written by McGregor, the then secretary of Villa, on 2nd March 1888.

McGregor sent his letter to four other clubs as well as Villa – Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End and West Bromwich Albion. It included the now famous line: "I beg to tender the following suggestion... that 10 or 12 of the most prominent clubs in England combine to arrange home-and-away fixtures each season."

Paul Faulkner, chief executive, said: "We are delighted to receive this plaque.

"We glory in the fact we were one of the 12 founder members but there is also a huge amount of pride about William McGregor's role in the formation of the Football League.

"While remaining humble, McGregor's influence is something we will always derive a lot of pleasure from.

"Whenever you hear the name Villa, our history is always cited. In fact, one of our key brand values is heritage.

"We take our gloried past very seriously. It offers great motivation to continue to build towards a bright future."

Eleven of the twelve founder member clubs have now been presented with the special blue plaques. The Football League will present Stoke City with their plaque later this month.

A special exhibition celebrating 125 years of The Football League is running at the National Football Museum in Manchester. Titled ‘Game Changers’, it is free to visit and will remain open until April – for more details click here.

To read more about the formation of The Football League click here

To read more about William McGregor click here