Player #541

Appearances:

178

Starts:

173

Goals:

37

Seasons:

5

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Bruce Rioch

Position

Midfielder

From

1969-70

To

1973-74

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Bruce Rioch

Seasons Quick-View

Seasons

1969-70
1970-71
1971-72
1972-73
1973-74

Age*

21
22
23
24
25

Division

D2
D3
D3
D2
D2

Appearances

178
46
25
45
38
24

Starts

173
46
19
45
38
24

Substitute

5
0
6
0
0
0

Unused

4
0
4
0
0
0

Goals

37
0
6
9
9
7

*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

Bruce David Rioch

Birth Date

Saturday, 6 September 1947

Birth Place

Aldershot, Hampshire

Birth Country

England

Villa Youth

n/a

From

Transfer in

Luton Town

For

£100,000

On

Tuesday, 1 July 1969

Previous Clubs

1964-69 Luton Town, 149 1964-69 Luton Town |(47) |

Loans Out

None

Transfer Out

To

Derby County

For

£200,000

On

February 1974

Subsequent Clubs

1974-76 Derby County) |
1976-77 Everton |
1977-78 Derby County |
1978-79 Birmingham City (L) |
1979 Sheffield United (L) |
1980-81 Seattle Sounders, NASL |
1981-84 Torquay United |

Villa Career

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

1969-74 Aston Villa, £100k, 173 (5) | 37 |

Played Under

Vic Crowe |

First Squad Appearance

Saturday, 9 August 1969

Debut Appearance

Saturday, 9 August 1969

Norwich City (h), Division Two

First Goal

Wednesday, 17 September 1969

Final Appearance

Saturday, 16 February 1974

Burnley (a), FA Cup

Final Squad Appearance

Saturday, 16 February 1974

Honours

1971-72 Third Division Champions

Height

Foot

International Team

Scotland

Bruce Rioch

Player #541 for Aston Villa, Bruce David Rioch, played as a midfielder for the club between 1969-70 and 1973-74 making 178 appearances and scoring 37 goals.

Bruce was born in Aldershot on 6 September 1947 and he made his debut appearance for Villa on Saturday, 9 August 1969 aged 21.

Despite the travails, and many transfer mistakes, under Tommy Docherty, Bruce proved a shrewd purchase and though Docherty was gone before the season was out Bruce retained his ever present status under new boss Vic Crowe.

Villa had signed Bruce from Luton Town for £100,000 in July 1969 along with his brother Neil (£15,000) and his all action midfield style was a blessing in a team that was sorely wanting in many areas.

His ability to hit stunning strikes with his left peg simply increased his worth to a rocky Villa side but none of his talent had come by accident, as an inveterate user of training ground time, Bruce perfected his game when many of his lesser team-mates had disappeared home for the day.

Such attention to detail was typified by a quote from the man himself “I realised, for instance, that if I put the ball down with the hole for the pump in a certain way and hit it fractionally off centre, I could make it swerve.”

That foresight certainly paid off for Villa as they finished League Champions to win promotion back to the second tier in 1971-72 (45 Appearances, 9 goals), acclimatised to the Second Division (38 Appearances, 9 Goals) and his final bow (24 appearances, 7 goals).

That season, 1973-74, represented Bruce’s last and as disappointing as was his loss, the loyalty and service he had shown Villa in an at times seemingly hopeless situation was the stuff of legend.

In truth Bruce Rioch could have walked into any top tier team - as he did with his eventual destination Derby County - but he chose to stay with Villa and it was only the failure to clinch promotion back to the top flight that led to his move.

Sticking with the Villa cost Bruce an England call up as they refused to select players outside of the top division.

Bruce made his final appearance for Villa on Saturday, 16 February 1974 aged 26 before moving on to Derby County later that month for a fee of £200,000.