Aston Villa v Liverpool (18/12/2011) - Double Agents
Friday, 16th December 2011

In advance of our League visit on Sunday, YNWA looks at the careers of some of those who have represented both Aston Villa and the mighty reds.

Current double agents
Winger Stewart Downing arrived at Anfield from Villa for a reported £20m last July. He has so far failed to score in sixteen reds outings, having spent two years at Villa following a £12m move from his hometown club Middlesbrough. He bagged eleven goals in 82 games for Villa, and was named their Player of the Season in his second campaign.

Emile Heskey joined Villa from Wigan Athletic for £3.5m in January 2009, and has so far notched just fifteen times in 95 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. Stephen Warnock played 67 reds games, notching once, before moving to Blackburn Rovers in January 2007 for an undisclosed fee. He moved on to Aston Villa in August 2009 and has so far notched three times in 82 appearances for the Midlands outfit.

In charge
Gérard Houllier took over as Villa boss in September 2010, appointing Gary McAllister as his Assistant. Houllier led the Villains to fourteen victories in 39 games in charge before stepping down in June, although he was recovering from a heart problem for part of this time. Houllier was appointed as joint Manager at Liverpool in July 1998 alongside Roy Evans, taking sole charge four months later. He led us to the UEFA Cup, FA Cup, two League Cups, UEFA Super Cup and FA Charity Shield in his six years at Anfield. McAllister was one of his most inspirational signings, arriving on a free transfer in July 2000. He netted nine goals in 87 reds games before moving back to Coventry City as Player/Manager, having helped us to claim five trophies in 2001.

Kevin MacDonald is a First Team Coach at Villa Park, having previously managed their reserves. He took charge of the first team on a temporary basis for the first eight games of last season. 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. Mark Waller joined the reds to look after first-team medical matters in 1993, and was the doctor involved when Houllier suffered his heart problems at Anfield in October 2001. He left the club in June 2010, moving on to Villa for a year.

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 in July 2008. Brad Friedel left Blackburn Rovers for Villa Park in July 2008, playing 131 times before joining Tottenham Hotspur on a free last June. 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 on a free transfer in November 2000.

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 in the summer of 2008, returning 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, signing for £340 from Chesterfield in May 1905 and 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 for £600, becoming the first player to switch straight from the reds to Villa, going on to help them to two FA Cup Final wins and playing 183 senior games for them, as well as four during wartime, before moving to Nottingham Forest for £1,000 in August 1921. Centre-half Jimmy Harrop joined the reds for £250 from Rotherham Town in January 1908, notching four goals in 139 games before joining Villa for £600 in June 1912, with whom he won the FA Cup the following year, netting four goals in 170 games and playing another twelve during the war before joining Sheffield United in March 1921.

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, notching three times in 205 first-team outings before moving to Peterborough United for £20,000 in December 1976. 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 had joined Villa from Everton for £175,000 in May 1983. 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 before moving to Manchester City for £900,000 in December 1991.

1990's double agents
Steve Staunton scored six goals in ninety appearances in his first spell at Anfield, joining Aston Villa for £1.1m in August 1991 after five years with the reds. After eighteen strikes in 263 games for Villa, he re-signed in July 1998, and made a further 58 first-team appearances, netting just once this time around before returning to Villa Park on a free transfer in December 2000. He played 87 times in his second spell at Villa Park, again only hitting the target once, 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 British record £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 a British record £2.9m fee 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, bagging 49 goals in 142 outings in total, 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 from Transvaal 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, netting eleven times in 28 games before joining Leeds United for £1,500 in March 1937. 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, arriving from Everton for £17,500 in September 1955, netting just once in twelve games before moving to Huddersfield Town for £16,000. He actually struck twice against Villa on his reds bow, netting 38 times in total in 67 reds games.

Tony Hateley joined Villa for £22,000 from Notts County in July 1963, netting 86 times in 148 games before moving to Chelsea for £100,000 in October 1966, from where he joined us for a then record £96,000 fee in July 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, our new record signing. 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 grabbed sixteen goals in 74 fixtures for Villa, joining Walsall in December 1975 for £30,000.

Milan Baroš joined Villa for £6.5m in August 2005, having bagged 27 goals in 108 reds games after arriving from Baník Ostrava for £3.2m in December 2001, 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 May 1908, moving to Wrexham in June 1910 and then Villa for £250 the following April, bagging a brace for them as they beat us 5-0 at Villa Park in December 1911. He struck three times in seven games for Villa before joining Hull City for £300 in May 1912. 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.

Half-back Tom Gardner signed from Orrell in April 1929 but played only five reds games before moving on to Grimsby Town in May 1931. He was eventually capped twice for England during his stint at Aston Villa. 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. He joined Villa from Blackpool in November 1938 for £10,500, netting fourteen goals in 34 games, as well another seven in fourteen Wartime games before joining Nottingham Forest in March 1947. Forward Jonathan Cameron signed from Villa in 1892, netting five times in nine reds games.

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