Aston Villa’s 1982 European Cup winning team is set to be inducted into football’s prestigious Hall of Fame.
The Villa side that triumphed on a famous night in Rotterdam will be reunited at a black-tie dinner to celebrate the achievement in October.
And the induction into the National Football Museum’s Hall of Fame will be made by former manager Ron Saunders who has agreed to make a rare appearance to honour the squad he built.
The event will be held at Villa Park’s Holte Suite on Thursday October 27.
The team, which includes Peter Withe, Gary Shaw, Nigel Spink, Denis Mortimer and Ken McNaught, will become just the fourth domestic squad to receive a team award.
They join a list that includes the oldest club in the world, Sheffield FC, the Manchester United European Cup winning team of 1968 and the Liverpool side of 1978, which won two European Cups in a row.
The selection panel is led by Sir Bobby Charlton and is made up of some of the biggest names in the game, including Sir Alex Ferguson, Gordon Taylor and Mark Lawrenson.
Neil Rioch, founder and chief executive of the Aston Villa Former Players Association, said: “This is a very prestigious honour for everybody involved with the team.
“All 19 players from the squad have agreed to come to the event and Peter Withe is flying back from Australia.”
Ken McNaught, who was centre half in the cup winning team and joined Villa in 1977, agreed it was a “huge honour” for all of the former players.
The 56-year-old added: “When you look at the teams and the players who are already in the hall of fame you feel really humbled to be a part of it.
“It is not just an honour for the players in the squad, it is also a huge honour for the club itself.
“The fact that every member will be attending shows the respect that we have for each other and I think we are all really looking forward to getting back together.”
More than 600 people will attend the event at the Holte Suite, including representatives from the football museum and family members of players.
Invites have also been sent out to the current Villa owner Randy Lerner and Villa fan Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England.
Villa's 1982 cup-winning legends were honoured two years ago with a place on the Broad Street’s Walk of Stars.
The team defeated German giants Bayern Munich with a 1-0 victory in the De Kuip Stadium, in Rotterdam, Holland.
Villa hero Tony Morley supplied the cross for the game’s only goal scored by Peter Withe in the 67th minute.
Brian Moore’s commentary of the winning goal is displayed on a giant banner across the North Stand of Villa Park: “Shaw, Williams, prepared to venture down the left. There’s a good ball in for Tony Morley. Oh, it must be and it is! It’s Peter Withe.”
Manager Ron Saunders had quit halfway through the season when Villa were reigning league champions and in the quarter-finals of the European Cup. He was replaced by his assistant Tony Barton who guided the club to the 1–0 victory over Bayern.
The following season Villa were crowned European Super Cup winners, after they beat Spanish giants Barcelona 3-1 over a two-legged final.
Tickets for the Hall of Fame event are on sale with tables of 10 available at £600 (plus VAT) or individually at £65 (plus VAT) – maximum of four tickets per person.
Tickets can be booked by contacting Julie Coleman on 0161 482 8222 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
* The Football Hall of Fame was launched in 2002 and celebrates the greatest players, managers and teams in English football.
It is housed at Manchester’s National Football Museum, which is moving to a new home at the city’s Urbis building, which will be opened across three floors early next year.
It will honour the country’s biggest players and teams and will house more than 140,000 objects, including a shirt from the world’s first international match in 1872, the 1966 World Cup Final ball and the shirt worn by Maradona during the 1986 ‘Hand of God’ quarter final match.