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Former Aston Villa assistant manager Roy MacLaren dies aged 92

Villa are mourning the death of former assistant boss Roy MacLaren, at the age of 92.

Villa Park
Villa Park

As No.2 to Tony Barton, MacLaren was an unsung hero during the club’s finest hour when they beat Bayern Munich to win the 1982 European Cup.

The former goalkeeper had performed the same role for Ron Saunders when Villa won their first league title for 71 years, 12 months previously.

A popular figure with players, MacLaren provided vital continuity when Saunders resigned as boss and was replaced by Barton just three months before the showdown with Bayern in Rotterdam. He left Villa in 1984 after Barton was sacked.

Born in Auchterarder, Scotland, MacLaren enjoyed a lengthy playing career, making more than 200 appearances for St Johnstone, Bury and Sheffield Wednesday between 1949 and 1965.

His son Bruce, also a goalkeeper, had a brief spell with Villa on loan from Oldbury United during the 1982/83 season.

MacLaren had recently been living in Australia and was unable to attend the celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the European Cup triumph earlier this year.

A statement announcing his death on Villa’s official website said: “The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Roy’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

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