Aston Villa v Liverpool (29/12/2009) - Double Agents
Sunday, 27th December 2009
In advance of our League meeting on Tuesday evening, YNWA looks at the careers of some of those who have represented both Aston Villa and the mighty reds.

Current double agents
Stephen Warnock played 67 reds games, notching once, before moving to Blackburn Rovers in January 2007 for an undisclosed fee, although he moved on to Aston Villa in August. He has so far made seventeen appearances for the Midlands outfit.

Emile Heskey joined Villa from Wigan Athletic for £3.5m in January, and has so far notched just five times in 34 outings. He joined the reds from Leicester City for a then club record £10.5m fee in March 2000, and struck sixty goals in 223 games, helping us to claim the UEFA Cup, FA Cup, two League Cups, UEFA Super Cup and FA Charity Shield in his four years at Anfield. He was sold to Birmingham City for £6.25m in May 2004.

Brad Friedel left Blackburn Rovers for Villa Park last July, and has so far played 65 times. The American keeper joined the reds from US side Columbus Crew for £1m in December 1997. He went on to appear 31 times between our sticks before moving to Ewood Park three years later.

Kevin MacDonald is Villa's Reserve Team Coach. He struck five goals in 64 reds games after signing from Leicester City for £400,000 in November 1984. Mark Walters signed pro forms at Villa in May 1982, scoring 39 times in 181 first-team appearances until Graeme Souness signed him for Rangers in December 1987 for £550,000. He rejoined Souness at Anfield in a £1.25m deal in August 1991 and bagged nineteen goals in 124 reds games. He is now Head of Languages at Villa's Academy, as well as head coach of their Under-14's.

Other recent double agents
Scott Carson spent the 2007/08 season on loan with Villa, keeping nine clean sheets in 36 outings. He joined the reds from Leeds United for £750,000 in January 2005, with Paul Harrison going on loan in the opposite direction. Carson made just nine first-team appearances while at Anfield, only managing to keep two clean sheets, and was sold to West Bromwich Albion for £3.25m last July.

Patrik Berger joined the reds from Borussia Dortmund for £3.25m following an impressive Euro '96. He scored 35 times in 196 games, helping us to claim the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and FA Charity Shield, before joining Premiership new boys Portsmouth in June 2003. He then joined the Villains in July 2005, and played just 32 times for them as he once again struggled with injuries, netting twice. He was released last summer and has returned to his homeland to join Sparta Praha.

Peter Crouch joined Aston Villa from Portsmouth for £5m in March 2002, netting just six times in 43 games before returning to the south coast to sign for Southampton for £2m. He arrived at Anfield in July 2005 in a £7m deal, and struck 42 times in 134 outings, helping us to claim the FA Cup and FA Community Shield, before rejoining Pompey for a fee of up to £11m in July 2008.

Cup winners for Villa
Sam Hardy was one of our all-time great keepers, playing 240 times in his Anfield career. In his first season he conceded just 26 goals as we won the League. He was surprisingly sold in May 1912, becoming the first player to switch straight from the reds to Villa, going on to help them to two FA Cup Final wins. Centre-half Jim Harrop joined the reds from Rotherham Town in 1907, turning out 139 times before joining Villa in 1912, with whom he won the FA Cup the following year.

Two reds went on to win the League Cup with Villa, Ian Ross in 1975 and Ray Houghton in 1994. Ross joined the Villains for £60,000 in February 1972 after his most successful season at Anfield, when he played just twenty League games. He captained Villa into the First Division, and then Wembley victory. Houghton had five great seasons at Anfield, winning the League and FA Cup twice each as well as the FA Charity Shield, while grabbing 38 goals in 202 games. In summer 1992, Graeme Souness sold him to Villa for £900,000 following a pay dispute. He played 121 times for the Villains, notching eleven times, before joining Crystal Palace in March 1995.

Kenny's first
Steve McMahon became Kenny Dalglish's first signing, arriving from Villa in the first direct move in that direction for £375,000 in September 1985, after playing 91 times for the Midlands side. He won three League titles, the FA Cup and two FA Charity Shields in his six years back on Merseyside, netting fifty times in 277 games.

1990's double agents
Steve Staunton made ninety appearances in his first spell at Anfield, joining Aston Villa for £1.1m in August 1991 after five years with the reds. After 263 games for Villa, he re-signed in July 1998, and made a further 58 first-team appearances before returning to Villa Park on a free transfer in December 2000. He played 87 times in his second spell at Villa Park, before moving on to Coventry City in August 2003.

Stan Collymore was sold to Aston Villa for £7m in May 1997. He had bagged 35 goals in 81 reds games after his £8.5m signing from Nottingham Forest in July 1995. He went on to net fifteen times in 61 games for the Villains before joining Leicester City for free in February 2000. Dean Saunders signed from Derby County for £2.9m in July 1991, scoring 25 goals in 61 appearances as the reds won the FA Cup, before being moved on to Aston Villa in September 1992, with whom he top scored in each of his three seasons, before rejoining Graeme Souness at Galatasaray for £2.35m in July 1995.

David James joined Villa for £1.7m in June 1999, after 277 games for the reds. He only stayed for two seasons, playing 85 times, before joining West Ham United for £3.5m. Øyvind Leonhardsen joined the reds from Wimbledon for £3.5m in June 1997. He scored seven times in 49 reds games before being sold to Tottenham Hotspur for £3m in August 1999. He left there for Villa on a free transfer in August 2002, netting three goals in 23 games for the Villains.

More striking stars
South African Gordon Hodgson joined in December 1925, after impressing on a reds tour. He was a prolific marksman, holding our scoring records until the 1960's, with 241 in 377 games, including nine in the League against the Villains, and an amazing seventeen hat-tricks in all. He moved to Villa in January 1936 for £3,000, although he only stayed a year before joining Leeds United. Dave Hickson was Phil Taylor's last signing in November 1959, and a controversial one at that, making the short trip across Stanley Park. He had previously spent just two months at Aston Villa. He actually struck twice against Villa on his reds bow, netting 38 times in total in 67 reds games.

Tony Hateley began at Villa, before moving to Chelsea, from where he joined us for a then record £96,000 fee in June 1967. In his first season he grabbed 27 goals in 52 games, but injuries took their toll, and he was sold to Coventry City in September 1968 after a total of 28 strikes in 56 outings, funding the purchase of Alun Evans, who became England's first £100,000 teenager when he arrived from Wolverhampton Wanderers later that month. He never established himself, and joined Villa for £70,000 in June 1972 after losing his place to Kevin Keegan, having struck 33 times in 111 reds games. He stayed with Villa for three years, grabbing eleven goals in sixty League fixtures.

Milan Baroš joined Villa for £6.5m in August 2005, having bagged 27 goals in 108 reds games, helping us to claim the Champions League and Worthington Cup. He struck fourteen times in 51 games for the Midlands outfit, before joining Olympique Lyonnais in a swap deal with John Carew in January 2007.

Other double agents
Bert Goode struck once in seven reds outings after signing from Chester in 1908, and later joined Villa, bagging a brace for them as they beat us 5-0 at Villa Park in December 1911. Richard Money signed from Fulham for £50,000 in May 1980 but only made seventeen reds appearances, before moving on to Luton Town in April 1982. He later became youth team coach at Villa Park. Other double agents include Frank O'Donnell who struck once in two Wartime appearances for the reds. He gained six Scotland caps as well as scoring in the 1937 FA Cup Final for Preston North End. Forward Jonathan Cameron signed from Villa in 1892, netting five times in eleven reds games.

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