Aston Villa announce Ron Saunders, the legendary 1981 title-winning manager, has died at 87

Saunders is widely regarded as one of the club’s greatest managers and is best remembered for steering the club to the old Division One title in 1980/81.

A statement on the club’s website on Saturday evening revealed players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect during Villa’s Premier League clash with Leicester on Sunday.

“It is the sad duty of Aston Villa Football Club to announce that our former manager, Ron Saunders, has passed away at the age of 87.

“He died earlier today, Saturday 7 December, at 3pm and his family have asked for their privacy to be respected at such a difficult time.

“Widely regarded as one of the club’s greatest ever managers, he guided Villa to promotion in his first season in charge, lifted two League Cups and steered the club to a league championship in 1980/81.

“Against Leicester City tomorrow afternoon, the players will wear black armbands and, as a mark of respect, we will be holding a period of applause to mark his outstanding contribution to Aston Villa.”

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Having arrived at the club in 1974 to replace Vic Crowe, Saunders began laying the foundations for success.