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17th November, 2011

Colls Boss Goes Into Hall of Fame

Pontefract Collieries manager Brendon Ormsby has been inducted into football's Hall of Fame, together with team-mates from the Aston Villa squad that won the European Cup in 1982.

The induction ceremony was held at Villa Park earlier this month and attended by over a thousand Villa fans, eager to recall the heady days of the 1981 Football League Championship triumph and their subsequent conquering of Europe.

Although The Colls' gaffer missed the final against Bayern Munich due to injury, he played a full part in the campaign, playing three games before injury denied him the chance to play in Rotterdam.

Induction into the Hall of Fame is reserved for those legends whose achievements have been truly great.

There are less than 100 players inducted, and Villa's 1982 team became only the seventh team inducted and the fourth domestic team - joining the likes of the England World Cup Winners from 1966 and the Manchester United European Cup Winners from 1968.

The selection panel is led by Sir Bobby Charlton and contains some of the biggest names in the game, including Sir Alex Ferguson and Gordon Taylor.

Members of the 1982 European Cup-winning squad gathered at the Holte Suite at Villa Park for a ceremony conducted by Ron Saunders who led Villa to the title in 1981 before controversially resigning half-way through the European Cup campaign.

Villa went on to win the trophy under the late Tony Barton but Saunders was delighted to be reunited with the players nearly 30 years after his departure.

"To see them honoured in this way makes me so proud," said Saunders. "Even after all these years they are still like sons to me."

Having made 117 first team appearances during their golden age, Ormsby left Villa in 1984 to join Leeds United.

He was signed by Billy Bremner who quickly made the youngster his captain as the Yorkshire club sought to recapture their own golden age of a decade earlier.

His career there was cut tragically short by an injury sustained in the First Division Play-Off Final Replay against Charlton Athletic in 1987.

But, by then, Ormsby had distinguished himself as a great leader, and is remembered with great affection by Leeds fans from the era when the club was rebuilding towards the successes of the early 1990s.

He is remembered particularly fondly for scoring the goal that took Leeds into the FA Cup Semi-Final of 1987 although, as he is quick to point out himself, he is also remembered for an uncharacteristic error that allowed Coventry back into the Semi-Final when Leeds were leading.

Although his goal in the FA Cup Quarter Final was a trademark header, he is remembered by Villa fans for a more spectacular effort. The Villa fans forum voted Brendon's effort against West Ham United as the greatest Villa goal of all time, being crashed into the top corner of the net from the half-way line.

Although Ormsby is not one to dwell on the past, focusing his efforts fully on taking Pontefract Collieries onwards and upwards, he was delighted to be honoured along with his old team-mates.

"It was terrific to re-live the triumph, meet up with all the lads, and see the gaffer (Ron Saunders) again. When you think of the fact that Villa had gone 58 years without winning the league, and haven't really come close since, that was a hell of an achievement. But to go on and win the European Cup was something else altogether."

However, possibly the most pleasing effect of the evening for Ormsby senior was that his son Liam finally seems to have realised that his old man could play football a bit.

"Liam was proud, to say the least," said Ormsby, before adding wistfully: "Perhaps he might start listening to me now!"

While all at Pontefract Collieries will doubtless share in congratulating the gaffer on being honoured for this great achievement, they are sure that his greatest achievements lie in front of him a thought that is echoed by the man himself: "Getting Pontefract to where we want to be will be my greatest achievement."

But, 1982 will take some beating!

(Story Source: Pontefract Collieries)

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