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Last Updated: Friday, 22 April 2005, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Aston Villa's cult heroes
Football Focus cult heroes
Paul McGrath has been voted Aston Villa's all-time cult hero by Football Focus viewers.

McGrath won with 67% of the vote, ahead of fellow Villa favourites Gordon Cowans and Nigel Spink.


The skinny bloke that would tear down the midfield or the wings and set one up for Gary Shaw. Ugly as hell but what a player!
Rob Mahony

Who could forget that nose?
Chris Hamlett

Boundless enthusiasm and energy, precision passing and not a bad shot, but for a small guy his tackling was ferocious. His favourite trick was a diving tackle from which he would, without any hesitation, get up with the ball at his feet and carry on as if nothing had happened.
David Smith

An awesome player and playmaker. If only we had someone half as good as him now.
Dave Chater


Came to Villa with dodgy knees and the reputation as a drinker. Performed brilliantly every match he played for Villa.
Daniel Taylor

Deemed not good enough and a 'troublemaker' by Alex Ferguson and Manchester Utd, McGrath arrived at Villa for a cut price. He went on to become the greatest defender ever to play for Villa and rightly earned the Professional Footballers' Player of the Year award in 1993. And to cap it all off the guy hardly ever trained. That is class!
Simon Owen

Colossus at the back, played latter years through injury to dodgy knees to magnificent effect!
Leigh Swinn

Simply a legend, I have seen him make improbable tackles with the world's dodgiest knees. And let's not forget the legendary training day disappearances and rumoured drinking sprees that were always backed up with great performances on a Saturday.
Ian Preston

This guy is a dude. Who else can go on a bender without telling the club and hence miss certain occasions, who else can not train because he has dodgy knees then command a defence? He may have been the slowest player on the pitch but he knew where the ball was going to be and he was there before anybody else.
David Dempsey

The guy rarely trained, adopted a Gazza-like "refuelling" strategy, had dodgy knees, and could snot out of both nostrils with phenomenal accuracy. For years he defied medical knowledge, playing a pivotal role for both Ireland and Villa. I have never seen such an assured defender, who made up for lack of pace and declining fitness with an extraordinary ability to read the game. He wouldn't be able to cope with the speed and all round fitness that has moved on so much in the last 5 years, but neither could anybody else whose training strategy was limited to a couple of hours per week on a cycling machine.
James Thomas


Nigel Spink won the European Cup in his second game for Villa, and saw off numerous challenges for his no.1 jersey for ten years.
Daniel Taylor

He won us the 1982 European Cup by pulling off some spectacular saves. He was the best England goalkeeper that England never had.
Stefan Green

Goalkeeping legend (best keeper Villa have had).
Chris Hamlett

Anyone who can come on as substitute keeper in the 8th minute of the European Cup final and produce the kind of saves & performance that he did deserves to be a hero.
Mark Duncan, Isle of Man

Aston Villa's longest serving living player with over 20 years at the club.
Michael Hejdner

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