About Aston Villa
Members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel formed a football club in March 1874 in Handsworth, and played their first match against Aston Brook St Mary's Rugby Club. The two clubs played the match under rugby union rules for the first half, and under association football rules for the second half. The club won the FA Cup in 1887, and were founder members of the Football League the following year. The club played at Aston Park 1874-76, then Perry Barr 1876-1897, before moving to the Aston Lower Grounds in 1897, which supporters subsequently named Villa Park.
Aston Villa traditionally play in claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, trimmed white shorts and sky blue socks, again with claret and blue trim, but the club's original colours were plain white, grey or blue shirts with black or white shorts. A variety of kits were worn, including all white, blue and black, red and blue, or plain green from 1877-79, whilst the following year black shirts with a red lion were introduced. 1886 the colours became chocolate and sky blue halved shirts. When the chocolate changed to claret is unknown. Aston Villa's away kit and third kit vary in colour and style, and are changed frequently by the club.
Aston Villa has a wide fan base in the Midlands, and local derbies with Birmingham City are highly charged affairs between the two sets of supporters. The club shirts are highly collectable, especially if signed by players. Club memorabilia, including old match programmes are becoming increasingly rare.