It’s likely that this is the very first official team group of Aston Villa. It was taken after the cub’s success in winning the Birmingham Senior Challenge Cup for the first time, beating Saltley College 3-1 in the final played at the Aston Lower Grounds on April 3, 1880. Davis, Ramsay and Mason were Villa’s goalscorers.
The competition is organised by the Birmingham County FA and first began in 1876.
The Villa players are wearing black jerseys featuring a large, red-lion logo. The exception is the goalkeeper John Ball. His top is a ‘Garibaldi’ style shirt and the lion is reversed. Ball joined Villa from Arcadians for the 1879-80 season but left the club later in 1880 when he moved from Birmingham to live in Coventry.