Aston Villa will look to start a new winning run at Villa Park when they face Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon (1500 GMT).
Aston Villa are an English football club based in Birmingham, in the West Midlands, who compete in the Premier League. They play their home games at Villa Park with a capacity of 42,276.
Affectionately known as 'Villa', 'the Villa' or 'the Villans', they were founded in 1876 and are the fifth-most successful team domestically with seven league titles in the top tier of English soccer - their last being in 1980/81 - seven FA Cups and five League Cups.
Villa are also one of only five English clubs to have won the European Cup, later renamed as the UEFA Champions League, in 1982 with a famous victory over German giants Bayern Munich.
Tony Barton was in charge of Villa's only European Cup triumph having taken over from Ron Saunders at the quarter-final phase following the latter's shock resignation from the club.
It says the following: "Shaw, Williams, prepared to venture down the left. There's a good ball in for Tony Morley. Oh, it must be and it is! It's Peter Withe." The following year, Villa won the UEFA Super Cup with a 2-0 victory over Barcelona.
They clawed their way back into the Premier League at the end of the 2018/19 season under Dean Smith.
Villa's early history
Aston Villa were founded in March 1874 by Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. They played their first match against the local Aston Brook St Mary's Rugby team, agreeing to play rugby rules in the first half and association football in the second.
It did not take long before Villa were one of the dominant forces in Midlands football and they won their first trophy in 1880 - the Birmingham Senior Cup.
Post-war era and resurgence in late '50s
In 1945, Villa rebuilt under the guidance of Alex Massie - a former player who had helped them regain First Division status in 1937/38. The Scot would remain at the helm for five years and led them to three top-10 finishes in the top tier despite not having full control of selecting the squad.
After experiencing relegation for the second time since forming, Villa were led back into the top flight by Joe Mercer as they won the Second Division in 1960.
The following year, they became the first team to win the League Cup, defeating Rotherham United in a two-legged final.
From Division Three to a European Cup win
Following the departure of Mercer in 1964, Villa went into a period of unprecedented decline.
They were relegated from the top flight once again under Dick Taylor in 1967 and finished 16th in the Second Division the following campaign. Fans called for the resignation of the board and they relented after sacking Tommy Cummings, who had been brought in to replace Taylor.
The Villa revival began under the guidance of Vic Crowe, who was appointed manager in 1970. He steered them to promotion back to the Second Division in 1971/72.
Crowe was sacked in 1974 after finishing 14th in Division Two, but the man who replaced him, Ron Saunders, became the most important manager in the club's history since Mercer.
In the 1981 FA Charity Shield, Withe scored a brace against Tottenham in a 2-2 draw which saw the sides share the trophy.
On February 9, 1982, Saunders resigned over a disagreement with the board regarding his contract. He had led Villa to the quarter-finals of the European Cup and his assistant, Tony Barton, took over and completed the club's first ever triumph in the competition.
Villa beat Bayern Munich 1-0 in the final in a game which saw their keeper Jimmy Rimmer substituted just 10 minutes in after picking up an injury.
Nigel Spink, who had played just one game prior to replacing Rimmer, received high praise for his match-winning performance between the sticks.
Villa in the Premier League era
Villa were among the founding members of the Premier League and finished second to Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United in 1992/93, its first season.
In 2006, Ellis - the largest single shareholder in Aston Villa - sold his stake to Randy Lerner, owner of the NFL's Cleveland Browns, due to health problems. The deal to sell the club to Lerner was worth a reported £62.6million, with Ellis standing down following its completion.
The beginning of the Lerner era sparked optimism at Villa Park and Martin O'Neill was appointed manager on August 4, 2006. He replaced David O'Leary, under whom Villa had suffered a horrendous 2005/06 season, finishing 16th in the Premier League.
Under O'Neill, Villa steadily climbed the table, finishing 11th in 2006/07 before rising to sixth the following campaign.
Villa were on course to qualify for the UEFA Champions League until late in the 2008/09 season, when a collapse cost them their spot and they once again finished sixth.
Another sixth-place finish followed in 2009/10, which also saw Villa lose the League Cup final 2-1 to Manchester United.
Paul Lambert took over from McLeish, but by this stage, Villa were on a perilous path. Lambert's three-year stint was marred by Lerner putting the club up for sale.
Following two 15th-placed finishes in his first two seasons, Lambert was sacked in February 2015 with Villa in danger of relegation. Tim Sherwood steered them to safety.
Relegation to the Championship and returning to the Premier League
The 2015/16 season was a disaster for Villa as they finished rock bottom in the Premier League with only 17 points, with neither Sherwood nor successor Remi Garde able to arrest the slide. There was a palpable disconnect between supposed star players such as Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott and the Villa supporters.
Tony Xia's Recon Group bought the club for £76million and Roberto Di Matteo was hired as manager, but he was sacked after a poor start to the 2016/17 season and replaced by Steve Bruce.
Villa finished fourth in the Championship in 2017/18, but lost the 2018 Championship play-off final to Fulham.
Bruce was sacked early in the 2018/19 season and replaced by Dean Smith, who supported Villa growing up. He led them to promotion via a 2-1 play-off final victory over Derby County.
Villa improved by six places in the 2020/21 campaign, finishing in an impressive 11th place, but made a patchy start to the 2021/22 season.
Despite beating Manchester United 1-0, Smith was finally removed from his managerial role following a run of five straight Premier League defeats in early November.
Gerrard won four of his first six games in charge, losing to Manchester City and Liverpool, and dragged Villa into 10th place and clear of another relegation dogfight.
Back into Europe
Former Arsenal, PSG, Valencia and PSG boss Unai Emery joined the club on November 1.
Aston Villa's biggest rivals
Birmingham City are Aston Villa's fiercest local rivals and the pair contest the Second City derby. The rivalry dates back to a hotly-contested fixture in 1879, when Birmingham were known as Small Heath Alliance.
Aston Villa and their fanbase
Villa are one of the best-supported clubs in England, with Villa Park being a regular host of FA Cup semi-finals in years gone by and a famous atmosphere generated at Villans' home matches.
Villa's ownership and finances
Ownership has changed since then and Lerner's successors in charge of Villa, Recon Group, saw their stake in Aston Villa bought out completely in 2019. The club is now owned by Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, who have a net worth of $9.9billion as of June 2022.