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Game #3560

Saturday, 3 November 1979

Attendance: 24,744


Division One

9th (+4)

Bolton Wanderers


Villa Park

Villa win for the second time in three League games to extend their unbeaten first division run to seven as they climb to 9th in the table - their highest placing of the season to date.

Aston Villa


Bolton Wanderers

Assist(s) | Dennis Mortimer | 41' |




15’ Goal, 1-0, Gary Shaw
41’ Goal, 2-0, Allan Evans, Assist by Dennis Mortimer
HT Aston Villa 2-0 Bolton Wanderers
81’ Goal, 2-1, (Bolton Wanderers), Neil Whatmore
89’ Goal, 3-1, Dennis Mortimer
FT Aston Villa 3-1 Bolton Wanderers


Ron Saunders' Villa make it seven games unbeaten in Division One to make it four wins, six draws and three defeats in thirteen League matches this season against a back drop of Herbert Douglas Ellis inspired civil war that threatens the stability of the club including Saunders' and his squad.

Aston Villa

Bolton Wanderers

European Cup / Champions League: ❌
League Champions: ❌
FA Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆
League Cup Winners: ❌
Last Trophy: 1957-58


Previous 5 vs. Bolton: | 🟥 | 🟨 | 🟩 | 🟨 | 🟨 |


Season | 1979-80 |
Matchday | #17 |
League Match | #13 |
Manager Game | #278 |
Saturday, 3 November 1979


Manager | Ron Saunders |
FT Result | Won |
FT Score | 3-1 |
Last 5 Games | WLDWD |


Referee: Unknown




Bolton Wanderers



Ken McNaught replaces Brendan Ormsby.


Starting XI Average Age
| 24.40 |

Oldest Player |
GK Jimmy Rimmer | 31.75 |

Youngest Player |
F Gary Shaw | 17.96 |


Ron Saunders


Aston Villa

GK Jimmy Rimmer |
RB Kenny Swain |
CB Ken McNaught |
CB Allan Evans |
M Colin Gibson |
M Des Bremner |
M Gordon Cowans |
M Dennis Mortimer |
F Brian Little |
F David Geddis |
F Gary Shaw |

Bolton Wanderers

McDonagh, Allardyce (Greaves), Jones, Nicholson, Burke, Walsh, Thompson, Cantello, Whatmore (g), Gowling, Morgan. Manager: Ian Greaves.





M Robert Hopkins |







Injury | 4 |
Alex Cropley |
Tony Morley |
Mike Pejic |
Frank Carrodus |

Suspension | 1 |
Brendan Ormsby |


Not Recorded

Player Abbreviations:

GK : Goalkeeper

LB, RB, FB : Left Back, Right Back, Full Back

CB, D : Centre Back, Defender

M, W : Midfielder. Winger

F, CF : Forward, Centre Forward

🟢 : Debut 🔴 : Final Game


⚽ | Goal
🔥 | Assist
🔁 | Substitution

🟨 | Booking

🟥 | Sending off

🆘 | Poor refereeing performance




Not recorded


2021-22 Matchweek 38.jpg


Quotation Marks.png


*Birmingham Daily Post*
Monday, 5 November 1979

Aston Villa's long-running boardroom battle. which has rocked most areas of the club. has mercifully not upset the players.

This was made abundantly clear as they completely outplayed Bolton on Saturday to achieve their seventh successive game without defeat.

Indeed, the whole team played with such conviction and character that it might have been assumed they had never heard of the war between Ron Randall and Doug Ellis.

​The players, of course, are very much aware of what is going on behind the scenes at Villa Park but manager Ron Saunders said, after watching his side’s clinical 3-1 demolition of Bolton: “The older ones seem to be immune to it and the new youngsters have not been here long enough to understand what it’s all about”.

Doug Saunders’ comment might be an oversimplification, though. Villa captain Dennis Mortimer said afterwards: “We know what is going on, but we try to put it out of our minds."

“It’s difficult, however, particularly if the manager’s position was to change."

“If that happened the whole playing side could change, but all we are interested in is winning matches. I think the new look side is shaping very nicely and we are getting the right results at the moment," he added.

They were certainly in a different class from poor Bolton, who are struggling at the wrong end of the table. Brian Little and Gordon Cowans ripped them apart with their skilful distribution and vision while Gary Shaw and the luckless David Geddis were too powerful in attack.

Geddis has still to score for Villa after nine games, but he should not let that worry him too much. His work rate is tremendous and his blossoming partnership with Shaw more than compensates for his lack of goals. In defence

Villa were more than adequately served by emergency full-back Kenny Swain. If he maintains the same quality defensive play, spliced with his liking for overlapping runs, he will lose the emergency tag from his role and save Saunders a considerable sum of money.


The steadiness of Allan Evans at the heart of the defence was also a confidence-builder for a side who are now clearly winning over those supporters who lamented the departure of Gray, Gidman and Deehan.

Villa might easily have had double figures against Bolton If they had taken all their chances from their flowing football. They were up against only ten players for most of the time when Allardyce left the field with a hamstring pull, leaving a hobbling Centello as a passenger at centre-forward.

Centello damaged an ankle in an early exchange with Mortimer and it was amazing that Bolton did not take him off immediately. But they would have been later reduced to ten, anyway, when Allardyce was injured.

Shaw scored Villa’s first goal with goalkeeper McDonagh palming the ball out on to the youngster’s head after 15 minutes; Evans headed the second unmarked to the near post from Mortimer’s corner just before the interval; and Mortimer made it three in the 89th minute after Neil Whitmore had seized upon a mistake by Geddis to hit a consolation goal for Bolton in the 81st minute.


Saturday, 3 November 1979
Sports Argus

​ELLIS LOSES VILLA BATTLE By lan Johnson and Peter White

​DOUG ELLIS last night failed in his bid to oust three fellow directors from the Aston Villa board but the Villa war rages on!

Ellis's resolution to remove chairman Harry Kartz and father and son directors Ronald and Donald Bendall were narrowly defeated.

With more than 84,000 votes cast for each resolution the voting was extremely close. Both Bendalls survived by little more than 2,000. while the majority in favour of Kartz continuing was just over 3.500.

The votes were greeted with shouts of "bad luck Doug', and "resign Ellis" as well as "get back to St. Andrews" by sections of the estimated 1.000 shareholders who had turned up.

Afterwards Ellis said "My first reaction is to resign. But when you remove the Bendalls' block votes and my block votes it leaves about 24,000 in favour or my resolution and 8,000 against and that is a 3-1 majority.

"I have now got to get away and really think what to do. The meeting was a shambles and I was disgusted at times.

"But I do not want to abdicate the faith placed in me by the people who showed what they wanted. It was the block vote that stopped me from getting the majority. If it had been one man one vote you would have seen me back in the chair. This was a travesty of justice because of one man."

He was referring to the fact that the Bendall family hold 26 per cent of the Villa shares.

Ellis added: "I am naturally disappointed, but I will be at the match against Bolton. I don't know where I'll be sitting but maybe I'll be on the Holte End."

The announcement on how the shareholders had voted concluded the Extraordinary General Meeting. adjourned from the previous night. But at the annual meeting which followed immediately in the Witton Lane Stand at Villa Park, there was the continued chaos of the previous evening. For when Ron Bendall proposed the re-election of retiring director Kartz, there was a show of hands of approximately 2-1 in favour of his being removed from the Board.


Saturday, 3 November 1979
Sports Argus

​Dugdale dominates By lan Johnson

​THE staffing of the Aston Villa boardroom lies not in the hands of fighting directors Doug Ellis and Ronald Bendall . . . but in the voting power of Sir William Dugdale.

That must be the clear conclusion drawn from the narrow voting majorities in the Ellis bid to oust Ronald Bendall, his son Donald and chairman Harry Kartz from the Board.

Without the Dugdale support for the Bendall faction Ellis would have won the war. As it was he lost only the battle.

At one time Sir William stated that he would probably abstain, but following a plea from the Sports Argus not to sit on the fence he stated publicly that he would line-up with the Bendall faction.

And with the voting still to come, Sir William is sure to once again be the key figure.

Shareholders have been asked if they want Harry Kartz, the retiring director to continue on the board. If it is "No" and a 2-1 show of hands would suggest that it will be very tight, then the possible permutations are fascinating.

The first choice for shareholders is to decide if they want Arthur Jordan as a replacement.

If the answer is "No" they then must decide if they want David Rhead.

That, at the moment, is as far as it goes. But what happens if Rhead is not elected? The Bendall and Ellis factions will probably name a nominee each and may the best man win. If it gets to that stage, and it very easily could, what is the betting that the Bendall nomination will be Sir William Dugdale?

By that time I am sure we will all have heard and read more than enough about the Villa boardroom. I wish I could say:"And finally . " but I don't know when that will be.

I only know that if Ron Saunders conducts the affairs of the team as the directors appear to run the club they will be in the Southern League in five seasons.


Saturday, 3 November 1979
Sports Argus

​This horrifies me - Saunders

​ASTON VILLA manager Ron Saunders had every reason to feel perplexed as he sat in silence during the chaos of last night's annual meeting.

Saunders had to wait nearly two hours before having his say on what has been going on at Villa Park over the past few weeks. And, as he rose to address the shareholders, he came straight to the point.

"What I have seen tonight horrifies me. As manager of Aston Villa l am proud of the fact that I conduct myself with dignity. If I didn't then I could be accused of bringing the club and the game into disrepute" he said.

Then, after asking and receiving permission from the Board to further address the meeting, Saunders continued: "Last night Mr. Ellis claimed this club was breeding players for other clubs to buy that to me as manager is a slur on me.

"You were also asked if you wanted a puppet as a manager, I can never be a puppet.

The Villa manager then went on to reveal the reasons behind the sales of Andy Gray, John Gidman and John Deehan.

He claimed that Gidman had asked for £500 a week and loyalty bonus, and if he didn't get it he threatened never to kick a ball for Villa again.

"As far as Giddy was concerned, he wanted to play for money and not Aston Villa." Saunders added.

"Andy Gray felt his career had come to a standstill at Villa. That is what had happened, because he was hardly ever playing for us. He had decided he wanted a move."

"I didn't want to let him go. But eventually the situation in our dressing room - was 50 times worse than it is here tonight. I spoke to several senior players and decided I had to do something... so Gray and Gidman were made available for transfer."

"In my opinion John Deehan's sale was a unanimous decision by the Board because they had earlier said they would accept a £400,000 transfer fee for him."

Saunders then claimed: "I'm the Johnny in the middle again. Tonight has sickened and saddened me. It's time people started thinking about the players who are giving 110 per cent and sweating blood for Aston Villa."

"If and when everyone wants what is best for Aston Villa, then the club will become great again."

Saunders then left the temporary stand on the Villa Park pitch, and the annual meeting was brought to a close.

Earlier in the meeting Shareholders Association member Brian Evans told directors: "The club is not a pawn in your private war. I hope we soon find a solution so that we are not subjected to this type of exhibition, which makes us the laughing stock of the football worlds."

Another shareholder, Martin Jackson said: "The use of the block vote by the Bendalls is an affront on our dignity and a damn shame for the club."

Dr. Graham Campbell, elected a senior vice president at the meeting said: "I warned you last night it would be disastrous if Mr. Ellis's resolutions were not passed.

"This meeting has been completely farcical and it is time there was much more honesty in this club"

"I appeal for a return to sanity. The only good so thing to come out is the fact that so many interested people hold so dear the name of Aston Villa."


Saturday, 3 November 1979
Sports Argus

​We must wait to see who rules By Peter White

​DOUG Ellis has failed in his bid to regain the chair in the Aston Villa power struggle but sadly the Villa war will drag on for another few days.

Ellis's bid to remove chairman Harry Kartz and father and son directors Ronald and Donald Bendall from the Villa board was narrowly beaten.

But now club shareholders are being asked to vote again on whether they want retiring director Kartz to continue in office.

If they give Kartz the "thumbs down" they must then decide if they want Ellis's nominee Arthur Jordan to become a director.

If he fails to gain the necessary support, then Ellis's other choice for a Boardroom seat, David Rhead will come into contention.

The Ellis resolutions which brought about the extraordinary general meeting for the removal of Kartz and the two Bendalls from the Board were defeated by a far smaller majority than many had anticipated.

In a poll of 84,171 votes, Ronald Bendall survived by 2,201. His son, Donald kept his set by an even smaller majority ... 84,340 votes were cast and he scraped in by 2,114. Kartz had a bit more breathing space. Of the 114,3411 votes, his majority was 3,588.

The figures were received in silence by the estimated 1,000 shareholders at the meeting. But immediately after the announcement there were shouts of "Bad luck, Doug", countered by cries of "Resign Ellis" and "Get back to St. Andrews."

The count concluded the extraordinary general meeting, adjourned from the previous evening. But at the annual meeting, which followed immediately afterwards there was further chaos and confusion. For when Ron Bendall proposed the re-election of Kartz, a show of hands suggested a 2-1 majority in favour of his being removed from the Board.

But club president Trevor Gill immediately demanded a poll ... a move greeted with derision by many of the shareholders. Ellis's proposals to elect first Arthur Jordan and then David Rhead to the Board were also accepted by the majority in show of hands.

But on each occasion Gill called for a poll. The meeting was thrown into further confusion when, perhaps out of pique, the shareholders demanded a poll on the reelection of the club's auditors Deloitte Haskins and Sells.


Saturday, 3 November 1979
Sports Argus

ASTON VILLA'S long suffering players, finally freed from the Boardroom power tussle that has thrown a cloud of uncertainty over the club for much too long, can finally go out and enjoy themselves this afternoon (writes Peter White). And Bolton. already looking favourites for relegation. will be the sufferers.

Villa's recent revival can take another upward turn as the battle for first team places hots up. For while the senior side are completing a demolition job at Villa Park. Villa's reserve team will be hoping to repeat the dose in the Central League clash at Burnden Park.

The reserve team will include Alex Cropley and Frank Carrodus, dogged by Injury in recent months. but now determined to force their way back into first team reckoning.

Carrodus already has several reserve team outings under his belt, and it thankfully looks as though his cartilage worries are behind him.

Meanwhile, Cropley has bravely battled back from an ankle fracture and will be hoping to recapture the form that made him such a driving midfield influence a couple of seasons ago.

There is also the fight for regular places in Villa's defence, with Ken McNaught hoping to restake his claim while Brendan Ormsby serves a one-match suspension.

Colin Gibson, so impressive against Wolves, will also be aiming to convince manager Ron Saunders that he can do just as good a job as the experienced Mike Pejic, still out with a groin injury.

Teenager Robert Hopkins is called up to the senior squad for the first time to wear the No. 12 shirt. It should do him a power of good to watch his senior colleagues underline the enormous potential that once again exists in Ron Saunders' squad.


Monday, 5 November 1979
Birmingham Daily Post

​Kartz, Benda!l in new move to hustle Ellis off the Villa board By lAN WILLARS

​Doug Ellis could find himself on the way out of Aston Villa's boardroom before he returns from his holiday in Spain.

Chairman Harry Kartz and major shareholder, Ron Bendall, are travelling to London tomorrow for a meeting with their legal advisers.

They are, I understand, going to seek advice on whether they can apply for a High Court order for Ellis's removal.

Bendall senior, who has a 26 per cent stake in the club, confirmed last night that he and Kartz would be seeing their legal advisers tomorrow. "But I am not prepared to enlarge on what our next steps will he," he said.

"It is a delicate business and we are seeking the top legal opinion that is available."

They are seeking the High Court Order in the hope that they would then not have to call another general meeting at further expense to Villa.

Ellis, who lost his resolution at last week's extraordinary general meeting to depose his three fellow directors, Kartz, Bendell senior, and Bendall's son, Don, flew to Spain at the weekend for a "few days reflection" about the support he received from the small shareholders in his fight.


He said before flying out after Villa's defeat of Bolton: "I don't think that the ordinary supporters wants me to go."

Asked if he would take his three rivals' advice and resign he replied: 'The way I feel right now is that I am even more determined to stay in view of the number of phone calls. telegrams and letters I have received "

Ellis's defeat in the vote would have been even larger if proxies totalling 1.800 from another block shareholder had not been invalidated in the poll on a technicality. The proxies were in support of the Bandalls and Kartz.

Ellis's claim in a Sunday newspaper that "most of the office staff have also made it clear they want me to fight on" has upset them tremendously. The office staff have always maintained their neutrality and have no desire to be drawn into the battle.

Ellis's argument that he is the champion of the small shareholders is also now open to debate.

One influential small shareholder showed that he was the new champion at Friday's annual meeting and he was manager Ron Saunders.

Saunders, who has two shares compared to Ellis's 16 per cent holdings, was critical of a section in Ellis's statement to shareholders at the EGM that Villa had become "a nursery club" for the First Division and a "breeding ground" for the sale of star players like Andy Gray, John Deehan and John Gidman.

Not a puppet

The manager retorted: "That's a slur on me as a manager. I am not a puppet. I was paid to take decisions and not sit on the fence."

Saunders' remarks make it quite clear that he could not work with Ellis if he regained the chair even though Ellis is still insisting that he would not dismiss the manager if he won the day.