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George Burrell Ramsay


1855 - 1935

Football manager, described as the Founder of Aston Villa football club. Born in Glasgow, Ramsay travelled to Birmingham in 1874 to take a job in a brass foundry. He was a gifted footballer who joined a group of inexperienced cricketers who formed themselves into a football team called Aston Villa. He was quickly made their Captain and within six years the team had won the local county championship to gain the Birmingham Senior Cup. He retired as a player following injury in 1882, but took on the role of Club Secretary (the Manager of the time), serving until 1926. He is credited with introducing the "passing game" to England.

His record of six League Championship wins (1894, 1896, 1897, 1899, 1900 and 1910) is second only to that of Sir Alex Ferguson (b.1941) at Manchester United, while his record of six FA Cup victories (1887, 1895, 1897, 1905, 1913 and 1920) stood for 95 years before being equalled by Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger in 2015.

He died in Llandrindod Wells (Wales) but lies buried in the churchyard of St. Mary's Church in Handsworth (Birmingham), close to three other noted Scotsmen: his friend William McGregor (1846 - 1911), together with the inventor of practical steam-power James Watt (1736 - 1819) and gas lighting pioneer William Murdock (1754 - 1839). Ramsay's gravestone states the he was the 'Founder of Aston Villa'.


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