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Gordon Cowans played for a number of clubs in his playing career including our local rivals Blackburn Rovers and Stockport County, who thought they were our rivals, but he will always be associated with his first club Aston Villa.

But today, he’s left Villa for a third time, and on this occasion after 18 consecutive years with the club he rejoined after leaving Burnley following the appointment of Stan Ternent as manager.

Cowans, who made over 500 appearances for Villa and won a league title and the European Cup, arrived at Burnley as reserve team coach when Chris Waddle became manager. The reserves had a good season too, winning promotion, and Cowans even got a few games in, making nine appearances before an eye problem brought his playing career to an end.

He went back to Villa in the summer of 1998 to run the youth team and he’s continued to work within their academy ever since, with his son Henry, recently following in his footsteps; he joined Stevenage on loan last month.

Today, though, Villa have parted company with Cowans and he admitted: “All good things must come to an end some day. It is right to make this change at this time. Although I will no longer be turning up to work for this great club, I will remain a lifelong supporter.”

His playing career was one of 841 games, of which 520 were with Villa. Besides the clubs mentioned, he also played for Bari, Derby, Wolves, Sheffield United and Bradford City.

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