Player #8

Appearances:

74

Starts:

74

Goals:

41

Seasons:

11

Archie Hunter
Archie Hunter

Source: 1879-80 Aston Villa Team Portrait.

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Archie Hunter
Archie Hunter

Source: 1879-80 Aston Villa Team Portrait.

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1/1

Archie Hunter

Position

Forward

From

1879-80

To

1889-90

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

IMAGE CREDIT

Archie Hunter

Seasons Quick-View

Seasons

Age*

19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29

Division

FAC
FAC
FAC
FAC
FAC
FAC
FAC
FAC
FAC
FL
FL

Appearances

74
2
4
4
5
4
4
2
10
3
22
13

Starts

74
2
4
4
5
4
4
2
10
3
22
13

Substitute

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

Unused

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

Goals

41
0
2
2
4
4
2
1
11
4
10
1

*Age on opening day of the season

FAC: FA Cup; FL: Football League; D1: Division 1; D2: Division 2; D3: Division 3; PL: Premier League; CH: Championship

FULL SEASON BREAKDOWN

Archibald Hunter

Birth Date

Friday, 23 September 1859

Birth Place

Joppa, Ayrshire

Birth Country

Scotland

Villa Youth

n/a

From

Transfer in

Ayr Thistle

From

For

Free

On

Unknown

Previous Clubs

Third Lanark |
Ayr Thistle |

Loans Out

None

Transfer Out

To

Retired

For

Released

On

1890

Subsequent Clubs

Retired |

Archie Hunter
Archie Hunter

Source: 1879-80 Aston Villa Team Portrait.

press to zoom
Archie Hunter
Archie Hunter

Source: 1879-80 Aston Villa Team Portrait.

press to zoom
1/1

Villa Career

Seasons Active, Fee, Starts (Sub) | Goals |

1879-90 Free, 74 | 41 |

STARTS

SUBS

GOALS

Played Under

Management Committee |
George Ramsay led Management Committee

First Squad Appearance

Saturday, 13 December 1879

Debut Appearance

Saturday, 13 December 1879

Stafford Road (a), FA Cup

DEBUT

First Goal

Saturday, 12 February 1881

Final Appearance

Saturday, 4 January 1890

Everton (a), Football League

FINAL

Final Squad Appearance

Saturday, 4 January 1890

Honours

1886-87 FA Cup Winners |

Height

Foot

International Team

Not selected

Died

29 November 1894, Aged 35

Archie Hunter

Player #8 for Aston Villa, Archibald Hunter, known as Archie Hunter and nicknamed ‘The Old Warhorse’ played as a forward for the club. Archie made his debut in the 1879-80 FA Cup campaign - Villa’s first entry into the competition.

Archie was born in Joppa, Scotland on 23rd September 1859 and made his debut for Villa as a 20 year old on the 13th December 1879.

Villa had signed Archie from Ayr Thistle and he went on to represent the club from 1879-80 to 1889-90 taking in the first two seasons of the Football League.

To this day Archie holds the club record for the number of career goals scored in the FA Cup: 34.

Archie’s commitment to Villa and football was all. Playing under an assumed name in his early days as his unenlightened employer disliked football to such a degree that Hunter feared he would be sacked should his secret be revealed. The subterfuge was worth it as Archie was made Villa captain and became the first of many in that role to have the honour of lifting a trophy, in his case the 1886-87 FA Cup.

Archie proved to be an inspirational leader as captain who secured the absolute trust of his team-mates - including his brother Andy - whilst leading by example on the pitch - a physical but fair and skilful presence on the field.

One summary of his style had it that:

“Archie Hunter was a prince of dribblers. It was not an unusual performance of his to start at the half way mark, and dribble through the whole of the opposing team! he would not lose the ball until he had literally dribbled it between the posts”- Association Football And The Men Who Made It (1906)

Bizarrely however he was never to represent his native Scotland in an international match due to the questionable policy of the time of not giving caps top players who plied their trade in the England.

In his own words in his revered book, Archie Hunter, Triumphs of the Football Field, Archie reminisced:

“Aston Villa to me as a club that had come rapidly to the fore and asked me to become a member of it. I hesitated for some time, but at last my friend told me that a “brother Scot,” Mr. George Ramsay, was the Villa captain and that decided me. Mr. Ramsay was a Glasgow man and had exerted himself very considerably to bring the Villa team into the front rank.“

Tragically Archie was struck down by a heart attack and his hugely rewarding career was brought to a premature end.

Archie’s final game came on 4th January 1890 in the 7-0 loss to Everton during which he suffered the heart attack having been believed at half time to have just fainted.

Archie won the FA Cup with Villa in 1886-87 and finished runners up in the inaugural football league season of 1888-89.

He subsequently retired from football aged 30 due to the heart attack he suffered at Anfield.

Archie passed away in Aston on 29th November 1894 aged just 35 however that was just the beginning of a new chapter for this particular Villa legend. Archie was inducted into the 1998 Football League 100 Legends alongside contemporary heroes such as Ryan Giggs, Paul Gascoigne and Eric Cantona.

A contemporary eulogy was even more fulsome: “Archie Hunter was a Victorian sporting celebrity. He was Aston Villa’s first truly great footballer and was the idol of the Perry Barr supporters for more than a decade. Archie was a forward who played the game with a rare blend of power and skill, and his strength was a particularly useful quality at a time when barging and kicking were often considered legitimate defensive tactics.”

Idolised and canonised by not just followers of Aston Villa but football as a whole, it is reported that as life ebbed away, such was Archie’s passion for Villa that he asked those present to lift him from his bed so he could see the Villa faithful make their way to the day’s game.

His gravestone reads: “This monument is erected in loving memory of Archie Hunter, the famous captain of Aston Villa, by his football comrades and the club as a lasting tribute to his ability on the field and his sterling worth as a man.”