It's been a particularly brutal year to be an Aston Villa fan. In the past twelve months, we've seen a manager sacked, a new one brought on, a turnaround made, a trip to the FA Cup final booked, and then a long, slow fall downhill from there. After the disastrous affair at Wembley, Villa have gone on to have a death grip on the bottom of the Premier League table, sacked another manager, and look to be on the verge of sacking yet another. Eesh.
But for all of the bad news, it's nice to stop and remember every now and again that the hand wringing involved with this club comes because it used to be one of the best in Europe. There was, of course, the 1982 European Cup, but the last trophy that Villa won came exactly twenty years ago today.
On 24 March 1996, Villa headed to Wembley to take on Leeds United in what was then the Coca Cola Cup Final. But let's get that nasty sponsor out of the way. It was the League Cup. Sure, it's no FA Cup, but it's a major trophy in English football. 90 minutes of football after the first whistle, Aston Villa had done to Leeds what Arsenal did to us last May: utterly demoralized them.
Thanks to goals from Savo Milošević, Ian Taylor, and Dwight Yorke (and a strong team effort that left a clean sheet for keeper Mark Bosnich) Villa were able to lift the cup. Now, when we need it most, you can spend two hours of your life reliving Aston Villa's past glory.
Happy 20th anniversary of our last trophy, and here's to it not being that long ever again. Thanks, too, to the players who made this team such a memorable one. Let us know your stories from the day in the comments below!