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Villa v City: Top five connections

Shay Given

Shay Given

We take a look at the links between the two clubs ahead of Monday’s Premier League clash at Villa Park.

City and Villa have had numerous connections over the years, particularly in recent times, so here are just five…

Gareth Barry

Gareth Barry spent 12 years at Aston Villa, having arrived in 1997 as a 16-year-old from Brighton.

The England international was initially rewarded for his versatility, appearing at centre back, left back and left midfield before establishing himself in a central midfield role.

During his time at Villa Park Barry captained the side, racked up 441 appearances and scored 52 goals.

His move to City in June 2009 was controversial with the Villa support but has proved extremely successful – Barry picked up an FA Cup winners medal in 2011 and played a key role in the Blues’ Premier League title success in 2012.


Joe Mercer

During a legendary managerial career, Joe Mercer brought trophies to both Maine Road and Villa Park.

Despite being relegated to the second division in his first season with Villa in 1958, Mercer moulded a talented young side who he led to promotion in 1960. The League Cup followed in 1961.

After arriving at City in the summer of 1965, the Mercer-Allison management team led the Blues to the Second Division Title in their first season at the club.

They clinched the First Division Title in 1968, and went on to win the FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup in a glorious period in City’s history.

joe mercer 

Stephen Ireland

Academy graduate Stephen Ireland made his competitive first team debut for City in September 2005, and went on to make 138 appearances for the club.

 Aged just 22, he won City’s Player of the Year Award in 2009, capping an impressive season in which he made 35 appearances and scored nine goals.

But the following term he slipped down the pecking order, and signed for Aston Villa in August 2010.

After some initial struggles at his new club, he turned his fortunes around to be voted the Aston Villa Supporters Player of the Year 2012.

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Richard Dunne

After arriving at Maine Road from Everton in 2000, Richard Dunne spent nearly a decade with the Blues and was made club captain in 2006.

He also became the first person to win the City Player of the Season award four times.

The arrivals of Joleon Lescott and Kolo Toure meant reduced playing time, and the Republic of Ireland defender moved to Villa in September 2009.

His first goal in claret and blue came the following month against City, but Dunne showed his respect for the Blues by refusing to celebrate.

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Shay Given

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given signed for City in February 2009 and produced a man of the match performance on his debut, a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough.

He made 50 appearances for City and made his 400th league appearance while playing for the Blues, a 1-1 draw with Villa.

The emergence of Joe Hart ended Given’s City career. Displaced from the starting XI when Hart returned from loan at Birmingham in 2010, he moved to Villa the following summer.

He clocked up 34 appearances in his first season in the Midlands, but has since lost his starting place to Brad Guzan. 

shay given chelsea

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