Gordon Cowans: Aston Villa part company with European Cup-winning legend

Gordon Cowans (centre) was part of Villa's greatest night, the European Cup final win over Bayern Munich in Rotterdam in 1982
Cowans (centre) was part of Villa's greatest night, the European Cup final win over Bayern Munich in 1982

Aston Villa have parted company with former midfielder Gordon Cowans, a key member of their 1981 title and 1982 European Cup-winning teams.

The 57-year-old has spent the last 18 years working for the club's academy at their Bodymoor Heath training ground.

He had three spells as a Villa player and after ending his career at Burnley, joined the backroom staff in 1998.

"All good things must come to an end some day," said Cowans in a prepared club statement.

"It is right to make this change at this time. Although I will no longer be turning up to work for this great club, I will remain a lifelong supporter.

"Under the guidance of the new owner and his management team, I look forward to many years of supporting Aston Villa from the stands as we start the climb back towards our rightful position as the area's premier football club.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to our wonderful fans, who have given me such tremendous support over the years and helped me through the more challenging times in my career. You'll always be in my heart."

Gordon Cowans
Gordon Cowans scored 59 times in an Aston Villa shirt in a combined total of 13 seasons there as a player

The pedigree of Gordon Sidney Cowans

Cowans also played for Italian Serie A side Bari, Blackburn Rovers, Derby County, Wolves, Sheffield United, Bradford City, Stockport County and finally Burnley in a career totalling 841 appearances.

Of those, he made 528 appearances in a Villa shirt - 22 of them as a substitute - and scored 59 goals, 42 of them in the league.

Known at Villa Park as 'Sid', he was one of seven ever-presents in their 1980-81 title-winning season, playing all 42 games as Ron Saunders' side remarkably used just 14 players.

His son Henry is a member of Championship side Villa's Under-21 side, but is currently on loan at League Two club Stevenage.

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