Former Villa stars Paul Elliott and David James provided a claret and blue hue as a Queen’s Birthday Honours list that recognised a string of Midland businesspeople was revealed.
Goalkeeper James was made MBE for his charity work and contribution to football.
And ex-defender Elliott, who played for Villa between 1985 and 1987, was upgraded from that rank to CBE for services to equality and diversity in football with anti-racism organisations like Kick It Out.
"I am flabbergasted by this honour and feel privileged and humbled," he said.
"You do not set out in life to win these honours, I have just tried to make a bit of a difference and I would like to thank organisations such as Kick It Out for all the work they have done.
"It’ll be a very proud moment for me when I receive the honour."
James made 85 appearances for Villa in two years at the club. He set up the David James Foundation in 2005 to help communities in Malawi, the poorest country in the world that is not at war.
Elsewhere, the honours list, which saw a return of the British Empire Medal as called for by Prime Minister David Cameron, provided recognition for a raft of outstanding achievers from the West Midlands.
Prof Julia King, vice-chancellor of Aston University, was made DBE for her services to education and technology.
She is frequently called upon to advise Government on education and technology issues and was appointed by the Prime Minister as the UK’s Low Carbon Business Ambassador in November 2010.
Of her honour, she said: "I was particularly delighted to receive the letter recommending me for a DBE.
"It is a great privilege to be honoured in this way – and not just for me personally but also for Aston University, and for the recognition it bestows on things I am passionate about: engineering, technology and higher education."
Andrew Jowett, chief executive of Town Hall and Symphony Hall Birmingham, received a CBE for services to music.
He said: "Running these two world renowned concert halls is an absolute joy and privilege and, in accepting this honour, I do so on behalf of everyone who has helped make them a major force on the national and international music scene."
Coun Waseem Zaffar, (Lab, Lozells and East Handsworth) said he was "extremely humbled" to receive an OBE for contribution to the voluntary sector.
The 31-year-old, from Lozells, who was honoured a year after becoming a councillor, said: "I’m very, very proud to receive this honour.
"That is especially so in what is such a great period of time with the monarchy with the Jubilee year. I’m so proud to be British and dedicate this award to everyone in Birmingham who works as volunteer to make improvements to their communities and to people’s lives."
It was third time lucky for David Cragg, deputy chairman of The Skills Show based at the NEC, who scooped a CBE for his dedication to the vocation and skills sector.
He was previously made MBE in 2000 and OBE in 2008 for his services to the same field.
Birmingham Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jerry Blackett said: "It is very unusual for someone to be honoured three times and this latest award underlines David’s unique contribution to education, training and business in general in the West Midlands."
There were MBEs for Kerry and Michelle Michael who restored the Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare – the seaside resort dubbed Birmingham-on-Sea – after it burnt down in July 2008.
The brother and sister partnership, who invested £1 million in revamping the pier before the fire, painstakingly returned the historic landmark to its original glory.
Watch Commander Bill Gough, who joined West Midlands Fire Service as a 19-year-old, was the recipient of a Queen’s Fire Service Medal.
There was also room in the honours for Douglas Paxton, who joined Staffordshire Police as Assistant Chief Constable in 2007 and worked his way up to Deputy Chief Constable by February 2010. Mr Paxton is responsible for overseeing the force’s Communities First change initiative and is programme director for collaboration with West Midlands Police.