Charlie Aitken Obituary, Death – Aston Villa Football Club expresses profound sorrow at the passing of its record appearance holder, Charlie Aitken, aged 81. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Charlie’s family and friends during this immensely challenging time. Charlie’s remarkable legacy at Villa is encapsulated in an unparalleled 660 appearances over 17 years, a record that stands as a testament to his dedication and skill. His enduring impact is highlighted by the considerable margin between him and the next highest appearance-makers, Billy Walker and Gordon Cowans.
Aitken’s journey with the club mirrored its fluctuating fortunes from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, encompassing transitions between the First, Second, and Third Divisions. Beyond league play, Charlie showcased his versatility by contributing to Villa’s campaigns in the FA Cup, League Cup, Charity Shield, and UEFA Cup. Born in Edinburgh in 1942, Aitken’s football journey began with a successful trial at Villa in 1959, despite hailing from a rugby-centric school. His Villa career saw him play under six managers, demonstrating consistency and defensive prowess with well-timed tackles and a commendable lack of reckless challenges.
Aitken’s accolades include the Third Division championship in 1971/72, promotion to the top flight in the club’s centenary season (1974/75), and victory in the League Cup. He was named Midland Footballer of the Year in 1974/75 and played a role in Villa’s inaugural competitive European match. Charlie Aitken departed Villa Park in 1976, capping off his illustrious career with a stint at the New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League, where he played alongside football legends Pele and Franz Beckenbauer. The club bids farewell to a true Villa legend. Rest in Peace, Charlie.