This is a brand new feature for georgeweahscousin.com, so hopefully it will be a welcome change! All feedback is of course appreciated!
I have decided to come up with a starting XI of players that have featured for both clubs in the build up to a game. They won’t always be the most popular or the most famous, they may have never had much of an impact at one or either of the clubs, but hopefully they will be the most interesting.
So here goes with the first ever ‘Played for Both’ XI for today’s visit to Aston Villa.
The man of a million (33) clubs, ‘Budgy’ made brief stops at both Villa Park in the mid-seventies and The Dell in the late-eighties, making just over 60 appearances for both clubs.
The Republic of Ireland international came to Saints on loan from Villa in 2008 with talk of fantastic potential. He made one appearance from the bench. He was awful. Saints fans will not be surprised to hear that he now plays for Nuneaton Town.
Highly regarded at both clubs, Nicholl made over 200 appearances for Villa between 1972 and 1977 including two League Cup final wins (check out his goal in the 1977 replay with Everton) before becoming part of one of the best Saints teams of all time between 1977 and 1983. Went on to manage Saints from 1986 – 1991.
Gray signed for Saints in 1991 having spent the previous four seasons at Villa Park. Gray was considered good business for Saints, but injury hampered his time at the Dell and he was restricted to just 12 appearances in two seasons. Later had a disastrous spell as manager of Saints.
Local Birmingham boy Chatterley fulfilled his dreams when he signed for the club he supported in 1960. He stayed at Villa Park until 1971. It was in ’71 where he met Lawrie McMenemy for the first time at Doncaster Rovers. He followed McMenemy to Grimsby Town and then Southampton in 1974. He had one season as a Saints player before returning in ’79 as McMenemy’s assistant. He had a five year break from the Dell when he followed his friend to Sunderland in 1985, but returned in 1990 and stayed until 1996 occupying various backroom roles from youth development officer to assistant manager to Alan Ball.
Winger Walters was another Birmingham native who joined Villa as an apprentice. He spent seven years at Villa Park from 1980 – 1987 and was a European Super Cup winner before becoming a pioneer for black players in Scottish football, joining Graeme Souness’ English revolution at Rangers. Signed for Saints 1996 and despite showing flashes of brilliance was clearly at the tail end of his career.
Townsend got his big break from non-league football when he was signed by Lawrie McMenemy for Saints in 1985. He spent three years at the Dell before joining Villa in 1993 via Norwich and Chelsea. He was twice a League Cup winner for Villa in 1994 and 1996 and earned 70 caps for the Republic of Ireland.
Draper was a big money signing for Villa in 1995 having starred for Leicester City, and was another part of Villa’s 1996 League cup winning team. Saints paid £1.5 million for his signature in 2000 but it was another case of injury plagued disappointment and Draper retired in 2003 having played just 23 times for the club. He is now the kitman at first club Notts County.
Moroccan international Kachloul came to England and Southampton in 1998 and became a cult hero at the club. Despite frustrating some fans, he had undoubted skill and ability but often blew hot and cold. He dampened his hero status at Saints somewhat when he left for Villa on a free when his contract expired in 2001. His career never took off at Villa Park and he played for Villa just 22 times. Still one of my favourite ever Saints players.
Forward Rideout was brought to Villa Park in 1983 from Swindon Town and he became a regular in the side. It earned him a move to Italy and Bari in 1985. His spell abroad lasted three seasons before Saints brought him back to England. Rideout was a good performer a the Dell and stayed until 1991. Came back to haunt Saints in the famous Tranmere Rovers cup tie in 2001.
Perhaps a disappointment for both clubs Phillips signed for Saints in 2003 and stayed until relegation in 2005, despite a decent goal return he was never a fans favourite at St. Mary’s and joined Villa in the summer after demotion. He never found his feet at Villa and only lasted one season. Will be fondly remembered for scoring the winner for Saints against Pompey in 2004 and for Villa against Birmingham in 2005.
So that’s that, a mixture of successes and failures at one club or both! There are some who didn’t make the lineup, Peter Crouch and current Saint Steven Davis for example but I was looking for the cult and the obscure!
Hope you enjoyed it!