Date of birth: 26th July, 1977
Place of birth: Farvang, Denmark
Position: Centre back
Aston Villa career: 2004-2009
Signed from: AC Milan
Having struggled to get first team football at AC Milan, Laursen joined Villa in May 2004.
He made his debut in a 2-0 win over Southampton on 14th August.
His time at Villa began in frustrating fashion: after a dozen encouraging performances in his first season, plagued by the knee injury that had hampered him earlier in his career, Laursen played only one Premier League game in the 2005-2006 season.
As his career looked in doubt, Laursen recovered and returned to the Villa side under Martin O’Neill and soon proved integral to the new manager’s plans.
Laursen had a successful season in 2007-2008, scoring six goals, including two in the memorable 4-4 draw with Spurs at White Hart Lane, playing all of Villa’s league games and his powerful presence earned him the Supporters’ Player of the Year award.
Laursen became club captain for the 2008-2009 season. He continued scoring and netted the important opener against Ajax at Villa Park with a thumping header. In November, he was named Danish Footballer of the Year. However, he was soon to suffer another injury setback that signalled the beginning of the end.
His last appearance for the club came in the home game against West Brom in January 2009 before injury sadly forced him to retire from the game. A true titan in the air, winning headers unfailingly, a threat in the opposition box and rock-solid in defence, Laursen on his day was unrivalled.
Chris Driver: No nonsense Centre half. Positional sense, goals, defended with a passion, and always professional. Always talks proudly of Villa. Had he not has his career cut short by injury, he would of gone on for a few more seasons. Quality player!