On this day in 2006: Martin O’Neill appointed new Aston Villa boss

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Former Celtic boss Martin O’Neill was confirmed as the new manager of Aston Villa on this day in 2006.

O’Neill replaced David O’Leary, who was sacked by the Midlands club at the end of the 2005/06 season, on a 12-month rolling contract.

The Northern Irishman had been away from football for over a year after stepping down as Celtic boss in May 2005 to look after his ill wife Geraldine.

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It had been six years since O’Neill had last managed in the Premier League with Leicester but he had been successful north of the border, winning the league title three times.

Upon taking the job, he said: “This is a fantastic challenge, I am willing and ready to go.

“I am well aware of the history of this football club. Trying to restore it to its days of former glory seems a long way away – but why not try?

“It is nearly 25 years since they won the European Cup but that is the dream.”

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