Vic Crowe (full name Victor Herbert Crowe)

 Born 1 January 1932 – Died 21 January

Vic 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.

He established himself in the Villa team when Danny Blanchflower left the right-half berth at Villa for Tottenham Hotspur 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.

In July 1964 Gordon Clark signed Vic for the Posh for a fee of £4,000 and his experience was pivotal to the record breaking run to the FA Cup quarter finals in 1965 and League Cup semi finals in 1966. In the 1964/65 FA Cup run, Vic skippered the side to wins over Arsenal and Swansea and was captain at Stamford Bridge in the quarter final clash against Chelsea, however he was injured with a torn calf muscle in the first few minutes of the game and was carried off on a stretcher. Vic limped back  the pitch but by that time the Posh were already 3-0 down. Vic did manage to score a consolation goal for the Posh but Chelsea ran out convincing winners that day 5-1.

In the League Cup the following season (1965/66) Vic led the side to the semi-finals of the competition and briefly ran the team when Gordon Clark became General Manager. That arrangement dropped before the 1966/67 season and Vic left Posh to take charge of American side Atlanta.

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

In 1975, Vic 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.

Vic 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 Vic and his lads excelled that first year in 1975.

Vic died on 21 January 2009, at the age of 76, after a long illness.

Posh Record:

Competition Starts Used Subs Unused Sub Goals
Football League 56 0 2 0
FA Cup 9 0 0 2
Football League Cup 9 0 0 1
Total 74 0 2 3