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Aston Villa's England goal-scoring record holder

The story of one Villan who holds an impressive English National Team record.

Clive Brunskill

Aston Villa don't really have anyone in the picture to get an England call up at the moment. If Fabian Delph continues his form from last year on to this season, he might force his way into the picture, but other than that, there's really not much. For this week's Holte History, we are going to look at one of the first Villans to ever represent England. Since he played in the days before the World Cup, his historical impact is not as large as others. But he does still hold an impressive record.

Howard Vaughton was born on January 2, 1861 in Aston in Birmingham. He played local football before eventually joining Aston Villa in August 1880. While I can't verify this being true (seeing that this was well over 100 years before I was born), but Vaughton seemed to have an immediate impact as Villa went on to win 21 of the first 25 games they played in the 1880-81 season.

In February of 1882, Vaughton and Arthur Brown became the first two Villans to represent England. In their first match against Ireland, Vaughton broke a record that he still co-holds today. England won the match 13-0. Vaughton had a pretty decent day as he scored five of those goals. Yes, five (5). While that record has been equaled three other times, most recently by Malcolm Macdonald in 1975, no one has ever surpassed it. (It should be noted that the aforementioned other Villan, Arthur Brown, scored four. Sorry, Arthur, not good enough.) Vaughton made four more appearances four England, scoring one more goal. Six goals in five games is still a pretty solid ratio, though.

Vaughton's greatest moment at Aston Villa came in 1887, when he was part of the team that beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0 in the FA Cup final. A little over a year after that, he was forced to retire after suffering a serious thigh injury. After his football career, he opened a silversmith's business and was actually commissioned to make a new FA Cup after the old one was stolen.

Vaughton was quite the sportsman. He played cricket for Warwickshire, was a swimmer, cyclist and was once the English ice skating champion. His best was his football though. The book Who's Who of Aston Villa said that Vaughton "could be erratic with his shooting but made up for that with his superb ball-skills." The Villa News and Record said that "he dribbled like an angel, and shot like a demon."

He became a director at Villa, a position which he held from 1924 to 1932. He passed away at the age of 75 in 1937.

While Villa players may not be getting looked at for England call ups, for the time being, one still holds one extremely impressive record.