Vic Crowe

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Vic Crowe
Personal information
Full name Victor Herbert Crowe
Date of birth (1932-01-31)31 January 1932
Place of birth Abercynon, Wales
Date of death 21 January 2009(2009-01-21) (aged 76)
Place of death Sutton Coldfield, England
Playing position Wing-half
Youth career
West Bromwich Albion
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1952–1964 Aston Villa 294 (10)
1964–1967 Peterborough United 56 (0)
1967–1969 Atlanta Chiefs 51 (2)
National team
1958–1963 Wales 16 (0)
Teams managed
1970–1974 Aston Villa
1975–1976 Portland Timbers
1980–1982 Portland Timbers
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Victor Herbert Crowe (31 January 1932 – 21 January 2009) was a Wales international football player and later football manager.

Career[edit]

Crowe was born in Abercynon, South Wales but moved to Handsworth, Birmingham with his family when he was two years old. On leaving school, he played for Erdington Albion, the West Bromwich Albion nursery team, but signed for Aston Villa in 1951.[1]

He established himself in the Villa team when Danny Blanchflower vacated the right-half berth in 1954. He missed the 1957 FA Cup Final due to injury but captained the side to the Second Division title in 1960 and League Cup Final success in 1961. He was capped 16 times by Wales.

As manager, Crowe was unable to prevent Villa being relegated when he took charge towards the end of the 1969–70 season. The following season he led his Third Division team to the League Cup Final against Tottenham Hotspur, which Villa lost. He saw his side finish top of Division Three in 1972, however, breaking many records along the way. He was sacked in 1974 after his side finished 14th in Division Two.

In 1975, Crowe went to the United States to take part in the North American Soccer League, taking the manager's position with Portland Timbers. He brought a cast of English players with him, many of them young players from the Midlands area, and they proceeded to win the Western Division championship and advanced all the way to the NASL final, losing 2–0 to Tampa Bay Rowdies. In their two home playoff games, "The Lads" success forced the club to add temporary seating to accommodate their fans, and the team played before two crowds in excess of 30,000, totals unheard of in American soccer at the time.[citation needed]

Crowe stayed in Portland through the 1976 season before returning to England. The Timbers beckoned again in 1980, however, and he returned for three more seasons in America before the Timbers club folded after the 1982 season. Although his later teams never captured the success of that first year, he left an indelible mark on soccer in the Pacific Northwest by introducing thousands of Portland area residents to the joys of the game. Today, Portland is a soccer hotbed. In 2001 the Timbers re-emerged as a member of the professional USL First Division, and in 2011 Portland moved into the highest tier of American soccer by joining Major League Soccer. The modern edition of the Timbers play in the same stadium where Crowe and his lads excelled that first year in 1975.[citation needed]

Crowe died on 21 January 2009, at the age of 76, after a long illness.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Davies, Gareth; Garland, Ian (1991). Who's Who of Welsh International Soccer Players. Bridge Books. p. 31. ISBN 1-872424-11-2. 
  2. ^ "Former manager passes away". Express & Star. 22 January 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2009.