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Wolves v Aston Villa: Five players who played for both Midlands sides

By Russell Youll | Wolves | Published:

It is only about 12 miles as the crow flies from Molineux to Villa Park but it is not as well-trodden path between the West Midlands’ two most successful clubs as you may imagine.

Who played for both Wolves and Villa during their careers?

Here, Russell Youll picks out five players to make an impact in gold and black as well as claret and blue.

Peter Broadbent

Peter Broadbent - Wolves Hall Of Fame 2010

To many, still the greatest player ever to pull on the gold and black shirt.

The Dover-born inside-right banged in 145 goals in 497 league and cup games for Wolves.

Cited by no lesser authorities George Best and Sir Alex Ferguson as their favourite childhood player, Broadbent spent 14 years at Molineux.

He spent a year at Shrewsbury before joining Villa in 1966. The claret and blues were relegated in his first season.

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He played 68 times for Villa over three seasons, scoring twice.

Derek Dougan

WearWolves Derek Dougan Goal one video

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Signed by great Villa boss Joe Mercer in 1961, Dougan was brought in from Blackburn Rovers for £15,000 to replace legendary Villan Gerry Hitchens, who had been sold to Inter Milan.

He went on to score 26 goals in 60 games but his time was marred by a car accident which left the striker injured but caused the death of a friend.

The legend of ‘The Doog’ was truly born at Wolves, who he joined in 1967.

Then in Division Two, Dougan marked his home debut with a hat-trick against Hull City and helped the club to secure promotion to the First Division that season.

The Doog went on to score 123 goals in 323 appearances.

Andy Gray

Leeds Utd 1 Aston Villa 3 - League Div 1 - 11th Dec 1976

The Scottish striker bagged 54 goals in 113 games in his first spell at Villa and achieved legendary status which saw him win the PFA player of the year and young player of the year in the same season.

His British record transfer to Molineux almost caused a riot at Villa, and tarnished his status among the claret and blue faithful.

Gray went on to play 162 times for Wolves, bagging 45 goals – including the winner in the 1980 League Cup final.

Paul Birch

Paul Birch - Wolves goal v West Ham (1991)

Some 173 games for Villa and 142 for Wolves, the busy right-sided midfielder was a popular figure at both clubs for his hard work and never-stop-running style.

Birch tragically died aged 46 in 2009 after suffering bone cancer.

Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane Goal vs Wolves (2011-12)

The Irish wonderkid was an instant hit at Wolves, bagging a brace on his debut against Norwich City.

The youngster scored 24 times in gold and black in 73 second tier games before he was sold to then top flight Coventry City.

Spells at Inter Milan, Leeds, Spurs, Liverpool, Celtic, West Ham and LA Galaxy followed before he was brought to Villa on loan by Alex McLeish in 2012.

He scored three goals in six games, two of which (including the winner) came at Molineux in a 3-2 Villa victory.

Keane, though, had the good grace to not celebrate in front of his old fans.

Russell Youll

By Russell Youll
@russyoull_star

Group Sports Editor for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star

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