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Ex-Villa player Birch dies at 46

Paul Birch
Birch made 462 first-class appearances before retiring in 1999

Former Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Paul Birch has died at the age of 46 after a long battle against bone cancer.

Birch began his career at Villa as an apprentice in 1980 and made more than 200 appearances for the club.

He joined Wolves in 1991 and scored on his debut, a win over West Ham.

Birch went on to make more than 150 appearances for the club before joining Preston on loan and having spells at Doncaster Rovers and Exeter City.

Former Villa and West Bromwich Albion players had recently held a collection for Birch at the local derby between the two sides at Villa Park on 10 January.

606: DEBATE

Birch won the FA Youth Cup with Villa in 1980 and made his senior debut for the club as a substitute in their European Super Cup final second leg against Barcelona, which they won 3-1 on aggregate.

He helped Villa get promoted back into the top flight in 1988 and was part of the side that finished second in Division One two years later.

After his playing career ended he had a spell as a coach at Birmingham City.

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see also
Villa and Albion back Birch Trust
08 Jan 09 |  Aston Villa
Ex-Villa manager Crowe dies at 76
22 Jan 09 |  Aston Villa
Villa Cup hero Dixon dies at 85
21 Jan 09 |  Aston Villa
Villa Cup winner Aldis dies at 81
17 Nov 08 |  Aston Villa


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