Aston Villa vs. Blackburn Rovers: A Tortuous History

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 20: Stiliyan Petrov of Aston Villa and David Hoilett of Blackburn battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers at Villa Park on August 20, 2011 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

As Aston Villa supporters, we all do our fair share of moaning every time our date with Blackburn comes around in the fixture calendar. It led me to a bit of wondering. Has it always been this way? What is the history of this, Aston Villa's most tiresome fixture? To call it a rivalry seems like a bit much, but I'd imagine Blackburn arises about as much irritation as our more legitimate rivals in the league this year (West Brom and Wolves, just FYI.) So I dove into the archives and constructed this abstract minute-by-minute of every match between Aston Villa and Blackburn. In case you were wondering, it was about as fun as, well, watching Aston Villa vs. Blackburn. Enjoy, after the jump.

 

1st minute, 13/10/1888: And we're off! Villa captain Archie Hunter knocks the ball back to Gershom Cox, who immediately boots the ball into the stands. Cox then screams at Hunter for passing the ball on the ground, as dribbling would not be invented for another several years.

7th minute, 01/09/1906: William "Tinker" Davies sashays into the box, and is met by a CRUNCHING tackle from Alf Miles. Davies' leg is literally hanging by a thread at the moment, but Miles is not penalized. He has a point, though, because he was thinking about the ball when he launched himself thighward.

15th minute, 02/04/1915: Clem Stephenson is standing about thirty yards out from the Blackburn goal, pondering which end of the forward/midfielder spectrum he feels like swinging toward. Stephenson punts it in the general direction of the goal, and nothing happens, in a move that would later come to be known as 'The Stiliyan'.

19th minute, 20/03/1920: Villa midfielder Andy Ducat is controlling the midfielder here, with the confidence and assurance that led Roger II of Sicily to name a gold coin after him. Even today, Ducat's value would be equal to a Franc Ribery or a Deutsche Mark Hughes.

23rd minute, 29/04/1925: GOAL! Villa 0-1 Blackburn (Puddefoot) Ironically, Syd Puddefoot gets his head on one and it squeezes past Tommy Jackson in the Aston Villa net. Unfortunately, as the balls are made of leather and weigh approximately 40 lbs., Puddefoot has to be subbed off for what is at least a concussion.

30th minute, 22/12/1934: Villa are really pressing for an equaliser here, as manager Jimmy McMullan screams from the touchline in an incomprehensible Scottish brogue. Ronnie Dix (seriously, stop giggling) clips one against the far post, but Villa have been desperately unlucky this half.

38th minute, 10/05/1947: Walter Crook absolutely ROBS Villa of a sure goal by nicking the ball off of Billy Goffin, who had been bearing down on the Blackburn goal. What a fantastic last-ditch effort!

42nd minute, 18/02/1959: Peter Aldis and Stan Lynn have had a decent afternoon so far, and are doing well to keep Villa in this. If they can keep this form up, Villa should be able to retain their place in the league (Note: hey guys, I checked, they totally didn't. Whoops.)

45th minute, 19/02/1966: Keith Newton shows the composure that's earned him a place in Alf Ramsey's England squad by clearing a Villa free kick off of the line. Bobby Moore who?

Half Time: Aston Villa are about seven decades in and one goal down. During the break, they hired and fired three different managers, which I have to say is a bit of an overreaction to this performance. Also, the Beatles broke up, which was a bummer.

48th minute, 30/10/1971: Aston Villa have a striker named Chico Hamilton. I wish I had a gag here, but this one really caught me off guard.

53rd minute, 01/01/1980: Speaking of being caught off guard, Blackburn's young striker Simon Garner snakes his way through the Villa back line, only to slide a shot wide across the face of goal. I can't imagine he'll stay long at this club if he keeps missing chances like that.

59th minute, 30/09/1987: Garner goes back to the well again, forcing Nigel Spink to make an acrobatic save. He rolls it out to Allan Evans, who controls it and slides it out to Tony Daley. Just kidding, he totally boots it long. Some things never change.

64th minute, 10/01/1990: GOAL! Villa 1-1 Blackburn (Yorke) Villa's quality has really started to show here in the second half, with David Platt ghosting through Blackburn's defense before squaring it for Dwight Yorke, who absolutely buries it.

68th minute, 19/10/1992: Paul McGrath has been tremendous at the back for Aston Villa, which is particularly impressive when you consider that he is literally sweating whiskey.

71st minute, 01/01/1994: Seriously, Alan Shearer has fallen over in the penalty area just because McGrath breathed on him. They call him God for a reason.

77th minute, 04/03/1995: When asked about Paul McGrath, Shearer is heard to say "we don't really know much about him, he's just a young lad who's come in."

83rd minute, 04/01/2003: Los Angeles Galaxy hall-of-famer Juan Pablo Angel forces an excellent save from Old Man Friedel. Friedel is later seen wandering over to the bench and arranging a transfer to Aston Villa.

85th minute, 02/01/2010: GOAL! Villa 2-1 Blackburn (Pires) Robert Pires scores an impressive volley that kind of looked like an accident but he's claiming it anyway! He lifts his shirt to reveal a message that I believe translates as "Why is Birmingham so gloomy?"

90th minute, 20/08/2011: This game appears to be over, and it looks like someone might need to arrange a ride home for Steve Kean after this one.

Full Time: What a drab century or so. If we're lucky, Blackburn will be relegated and we won't have to play them at all for at least a few years.

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