Discussing the Secrets of the Sharp Rise and Fall of Aston Villa in the 1980’s


If there’s a burning question of Aston Villa supporters looking back at the 1980’s, it’s why after winning the League and European Cup, the club were unable to build a longer period of legacy?

Instead, they got relegated within five years of being the Champions of Europe. How very Aston Villa…

One man, Richard Sydenham, decided to write a book called Ticket to the Moon about this puzzling period of Villa’s history and get to the bottom of what went wrong in what was the club’s all too short golden era.

Golden Years

Since it’s a period close to MOMS’ heart we decided to get Richard on the My Old Man Said podcast to discuss the period of Villa history and some of the stories behind the book – from having access to Villa boardroom minutes and memos to going to Doug Ellis’s house to interview him for the book.

There’s some interesting discussion including little known snipers like how Brian Clough nearly became Villa manager and why Ron Saunders resisted the England national team job.

It’s a very well researched book that is built on the research gained from Richard interviewing many of the players and managers involved in the period that covers Villa’s rise under Ron Saunders in the late 1970’s to their demise in the mid-to-late 1980’s.

The book also has the insight and blessing of both Ron Saunders and Tony Barton’s families.

The podcast episode is a good solid hour of reminiscing and discussing of the era, that is the bedrock of many a fan’s best memories of their club.

Below you can both listen to the podcast episode and also enter a competition to win one of three copies of the book.


Ticket to the Moon Competition

MOMS has three copies of the book Ticket to the Moon: Aston Villa – The Rise and Fall of a European Champion to give away to readers.

Simply answer the following easy question and email your answer to contact@myoldmansaid.com under the subject ‘Ticket to the Moon’

MOMS Patrons will automatically be entered.

COMPETITION QUESTION: Who was the Villa manager when they lifted the European Cup in Rotterdam?

You can buy the Ticket to the Moon book at the best price around, here – https://amzn.to/2Rdn4y7

Episode 60 Notes

MOMS #60: Aston Villa – The Rise and Fall of a European Champion

My Old Man Said’s David Michael interviews Richard Sydenham, author of Ticket to the Moon: Aston Villa – The Rise and Fall of a European Champion, to discuss the book which charts Villa’s golden period and rise to the pinnacle of European football and then why it went so wrong, so quickly.

The interview includes Sydenham’s experiences of talking to many of Villa’s players from the period, a trip to the late Doug Ellis’s house, winning the trust of the Ron Saunders and Tony Barton families, as well as his interviews with ex-bosses like Graham Turner and Ron Atkinson.

Also, he tells the My Old Man Said podcast how he got access to the club’s boardroom notes and memos, which makes the book an authority on the club’s most fascinating and glorious period, and why it didn’t turn into a longer legacy of success.



my old man said itunes


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David Michael – @oldmansaid 

Richard Sydenham – @BigStarRich

Producer/Editor – David Michael

My Old Man Said – https://myoldmansaid.com


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