Albert Evans

Albert Evans

Albert Evans was born in Barnard Castle on 18th March 1874. A talented full-back, Evans joined Aston Villa in August, 1896, after being discovered playing in non-league football by Robert Chatt.

Evans joined a talented team that included players of the quality of George Wheldon, Howard Spencer, Jimmy Crabtree, James Cowan, Charlie Athersmith, Johnny Campbell, John Devey, James Whitehouse, John Cowan and Jack Reynolds. In his first season he played in 15 games in the club's championship winning side.

On 30th January, 1897, Aston Villa beat Newcastle United 5-0 in the third round of the FA Cup. Aston Villa went onto beat Notts County (2-0), Preston North End (3-2) and Liverpool (3-0) to reach the final against Everton. A crowd of 60,000 arrived at Crystal Palace to watch the final. Charlie Athersmith scored the opening goal but Everton hit back with goals from Jack Bell and Richard Boyle. Aston Villa continued to dominate the game and added two more from George Wheldon and Jimmy Crabtree. That finished the scoring and therefore Aston Villa had emulated the great Preston North End side that had achieved the FA Cup and Football League double in 1888-89 season.

Aston Villa also won the First Division title in the 1898-99 season with Liverpool taking the runners-up spot. Evans played in 29 games that year. Villa confirmed it was the best club in England during the 1890s when it won the First Division championship the following season. This was their fifth league title in seven years.

Evans was plagued by injury and broke his leg three times while playing for Aston Villa. The last of these forced him to miss the 1905 FA Cup Final.

In October 1907 Evans was transferred to West Bromwich Albion. On 25 December, 1908, Evans broke his leg again at the end of that season he retired from playing professional football. However, he did play in the occasional charity match and in 1915 he broke his leg for a fifth time.

Evans worked as a coach for Sarpsborg in Norway after the First World War. He was appointed manager of Coventry City in June 1920. After being sacked by the club in November 1924 he travelled the world and did several different jobs, including gold prospecting in the Yukon and sheep farming in Canada. He returned to England in 1950 and worked as a coach for Aston Villa until 1956.

Albert Evans died in Warwick on 24th March 1966.