1984–85 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1984–85 season
Chairman England Jim Lloyd
Manager England John Rudge
Stadium Vale Park
Football League Fourth Division 12th (60 Points)
FA Cup Third Round
League Cup Second Round
League Trophy Second Round
Player of the Year England Alan Webb
Top goalscorer League: Ally Brown (17)
All: Ally Brown (21)
Highest home attendance 6,949 vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers (24 September 1984)
Lowest home attendance 1,386 vs. Northampton Town (29 January 1985)
Average home league attendance 3,267
Home colours

The 1984–85 season was Port Vale's seventy-third season of football in the Football League, and first (twelfth overall) back in the Fourth Division following their relegation from the Third Division.[1] John Rudge's first full season in charge, the Vale finished in mid-table following a season of rebuilding the squad. Veteran striker Ally Brown was top-scorer with 21 goals, whilst midfield dynamo Robbie Earle hit 19 goals. Defender Alan Webb was elected Player of the Year, whilst a young Ray Walker also spent a short period on loan at the club. Vale progressed to the Third Round of the FA Cup, and the Second Rounds of the League Cup and League Trophy.

Overview[edit]

Fourth Division[edit]

The pre-season saw four new arrivals: veteran striker Ally Brown (Walsall); winger Peter Griffiths (Stoke City); and both forward Derek Monaghan and reliable defender Alan Webb (West Bromwich Albion).[1] This came after John Rudge stated that "Vale's reputation has been built on grit and determination and I will be looking to bring in the player who is willing to die for the cause".[1] Attempts to re-sign Brian Horton failed once again, whilst Martin Henderson had his contract cancelled after failing to report for pre-season training – he later signed with Spalding United.[1] Just before the season began Gary Brazil was signed on loan from Sheffield United.[1]

The season opened with a 1–0 defeat to Mansfield Town.[1] Tommy Gore soon announced his retirement due to a neck injury.[1] The Vale then went five games unbeaten, as the club announced a new five year shirt sponsorship deal with Trentham firm Eagle Delivery Service.[1] Young winger Ray Walker also arrived on loan from Aston Villa.[1] The fans chanted 'what a load of rubbish' on 1 October, as Vale lost 3–0 at home to struggling side Northampton Town.[1] Rudge stated that 'In truth we were rubbish' and promptly cancelled the player's day off.[1] Another five game unbeaten run followed, as Brown showed his 'class' and Walker impressed.[1] On 5 November, Eamonn O'Keefe scored a 'brilliant' hat-trick past Southend United in a 4–1 win.[1] Rudge then signed Stockport County's outside-right Oshor Williams for £7,000.[1] Vale's form then suffered after Walker returned to Villa Park.[1] To remedy this Rudge signed Southend United midfielder Billy Kellock, who made 'a stunning impact' in his debut, playing a key part in the 5–1 victory over Exeter City on New Year's Day.[1] This was the first of a sixteen game unbeaten run, in which the team equalled a club-record six straight away draws between 19 January and 29 March.

On 2 February, Robbie Earle scored a hat-trick past Hereford United.[1] Striker partner Ally Brown claimed "He is my brains and I am his legs".[1] John Rudge received the Manager of the Month award for February.[1] The next month Barry Siddall joined Stoke City on a free transfer, after Chris Pearce had established himself as the Vale's #1.[1] Wayne Cegielski also signed with Blackpool and Eamonn O'Keefe followed him to Bloomfield Road for a £10,000 fee.[1] Five victories in the opening six games of April took Vale sliding down the league, as Brown was out with a knee injury.[1] Vale rallied to go through the final five games unbeaten.[1]

They finished in twelfth place with sixty points, winning and losing fourteen games.[1] Between them Brown and Earle racked up a combined total of forty goals in all competitions.[1] Yet it was Russell Bromage who was selected for the PFA Fourth Division team.[1]

Finances[edit]

On the financial side, a loss was made of £7,793 due to a 20% drop in attendance figures.[1] The wage bill stood at £389,341, whilst gate receipts took in £128,954 and the lottery raised £191,000.[1] The club's shirt sponsors were EDS. Five players left on free transfers, most significant were the departures of: Terry Armstrong and Derek Monaghan (retired); Colin Tartt (Shepshed Charterhouse); and Ian Griffiths (Wigan Athletic).[1] Billy Kellock also refused terms, and so joined Halifax Town, whilst John Ridley joined Stafford Rangers as a player-coach.[1] Vale received £700 following a tribunal claim, becoming the first Football League club to take a non-league club to a tribunal.[1]

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, Vale beat Northern Premier League side Macclesfield Town 2–1 at Moss Rose.[1] This game was overshadowed by a fence collapse that left thirteen injured and led to 21 arrests.[1] Town Chairman Alan Brocklehurst blamed 'the hooligan element of the Vale support', however Vale Chairman Jim Lloyd laid the blame at the feet of the police.[1] The next round saw Vale conquer Scunthorpe United with a 4–1 home victory.[1] In the Third Round they travelled to West Ham United's Upton Park, where the First Division club beat the "Valiants" 4–1.

In the League Cup, Vale went past Bury on away goals, having scored one of their two goals at Gigg Lane.[1] In the Second Round they lost 2–1 at home to Second Division Wolverhampton Wanderers, though they did earn a goalless draw at Molineux.

In the League Trophy, Vale eliminated Northampton Town in a 2–1 replay victory at Sixfields. The original match saw an attendance of just 1,386 at Vale Park.[1] At the replay Ian Griffiths required a skin graft after getting his hand trapped in a toilet door.[1] Vale were knocked out in the next round by Bristol City, losing 2–1 to the Third Division side at Ashton Gate.

Final league table[edit]

P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chesterfield 46 26 13 7 64 35 +29 91
2 Blackpool 46 24 14 8 73 39 +34 86
3 Darlington 46 24 13 9 66 49 +17 85
4 Bury 46 24 12 10 76 50 +26 84
5 Hereford United 46 22 11 13 65 47 +18 77
6 Tranmere Rovers 46 24 3 19 83 66 +17 75
7 Colchester United 46 20 14 12 87 65 +22 74
8 Swindon Town 46 21 9 16 62 58 +4 72
9 Scunthorpe United 46 19 14 13 83 62 +21 71
10 Crewe Alexandra 46 18 12 16 65 69 -4 66
11 Peterborough United 46 16 14 16 54 53 +1 62
12 Port Vale 46 14 18 14 61 59 +2 60
13 Aldershot 46 17 8 21 56 63 -7 59
14 Mansfield Town 46 13 18 15 41 38 +3 57
15 Wrexham 46 15 9 22 67 70 -3 54
16 Chester City 46 15 9 22 60 72 -12 54
17 Rochdale 46 13 14 19 55 69 -14 53
18 Exeter City 46 13 14 19 57 79 -22 53
19 Hartlepool United 46 14 10 22 54 67 -13 52
20 Southend United 46 13 11 22 58 83 -25 50
21 Halifax Town 46 15 5 26 42 69 -27 50
22 Stockport County 46 13 8 25 58 79 -21 47
23 Northampton Town 46 14 5 27 53 74 -21 47
24 Torquay United 46 9 14 23 38 63 -25 41

P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points

Results[edit]

Port Vale's score comes first

Legend[edit]

Win Draw Loss
Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46
Ground H A H A A H A H H A A H H A H A H A H H A A H A H H H A A H A H A H A A H A H A A H H A H A
Result L D D W D W L L W W W D W L W L D L L D L L W D D W W D D W D W D D D L D L L L L D W D W D
Position 18 18 19 13 13 9 10 12 11 8 6 6 7 11 6 9 8 9 11 12 14 14 13 13 13 11 13 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 13 13 13 12 12 12

Sourced from Statto.[2]

Football League Fourth Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
25 August 1984 Mansfield Town H 0–1 3,552
1 September 1984 Wrexham A 1–1 1,849 Brazil
8 September 1984 Hartlepool United H 1–1 3,232 Sproson
15 September 1984 Torquay United A 3–1 1,692 Walker, Earle, Brown
18 September 1984 Blackpool A 1–1 4,902 Brazil
22 September 1984 Tranmere Rovers H 2–1 3,301 Brazil, Earle
29 September 1984 Hereford United A 0–1 4,093
1 October 1984 Northampton Town H 0–3 3,235
6 October 1984 Crewe Alexandra H 2–0 4,145 Brown, P.Griffiths
13 October 1984 Rochdale A 2–1 1,722 O'Keefe, Brown
20 October 1984 Swindon Town A 1–0 3,056 O'Keefe
22 October 1984 Chesterfield H 0–0 4,988
27 October 1984 Peterborough United H 3–1 3,943 Brown (2), O'Keefe
3 November 1984 Stockport County A 1–3 2,698 O'Keefe
5 November 1984 Southend United H 4–1 2,989 O'Keefe (3), Earle
10 November 1984 Aldershot A 0–1 2,188
23 November 1984 Chester City H 0–0 3,391
30 November 1984 Halifax Town A 1–2 1,689 Hunter
15 December 1984 Darlington H 0–1 3,645
22 December 1984 Scunthorpe United H 1–1 2,521 P.Griffiths
26 December 1984 Bury A 0–4 4,664
28 December 1984 Colchester United A 2–3 2,014 Brown, Smith
1 January 1985 Exeter City H 5–1 3,306 Kellock (2 [1 pen]), Brown (2), Earle
19 January 1985 Hartlepool United A 2–2 2,285 Brown, Williams
26 January 1985 Torquay United H 2–2 2,839 Hunter, Earle
2 February 1985 Hereford United H 3–1 3,453 Earle (3)
23 February 1985 Stockport County H 3–2 3,154 Brown (2), Bromage
2 March 1985 Peterborough United A 0–0 2,817
5 March 1985 Chesterfield A 0–0 3,480
9 March 1985 Swindon Town H 2–0 3,300 Sproson, Brown
13 March 1985 Mansfield Town H 1–1 2,161 Sproson
16 March 1985 Rochdale H 3–1 2,788 P.Griffiths, Kellock (pen), Brown
22 March 1985 Crewe Alexandra A 0–0 4,763
25 March 1985 Wrexham H 0–0 2,964
29 March 1985 Southend United A 1–1 2,407 Earle
1 April 1985 Tranmere Rovers A 1–4 1,450 Earle
6 April 1985 Bury H 0–0 3,544
8 April 1985 Exeter City A 1–2 2,427 Earle
13 April 1985 Aldershot H 1–2 2,562 Earle
17 April 1985 Northampton Town A 0–1 1,311
20 April 1985 Chester City A 0–2 1,575
22 April 1985 Blackpool H 1–1 3,725 Brown
27 April 1985 Halifax Town H 3–1 2,029 Brown, Earle, Williams
4 May 1985 Darlington A 1–1 3,565 Earle
6 May 1985 Colchester United H 3–2 2,526 Brown, Kellock, Earle (pen)
10 May 1985 Scunthorpe United A 3–3 1,867 Brown, Tartt, Williams

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1984–85 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 19 November 1984 Macclesfield Town A 2–1 4,672 Brown, Earle
R2 7 December 1984 Scunthorpe United H 4–1 4,268 Brown, O'Keefe (pen), Bromage, I.Griffiths
R3 5 January 1985 West Ham United A 1–4 11,452 P.Griffiths

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 1st Leg 28 August 1984 Bury H 1–0 2,498 Earle
R1 2nd Leg 4 September 1984 Bury A 1–2 2,257 Tartt
R2 1st Leg 24 September 1984 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 1–2 6,949 Brown
R2 2nd Leg 9 October 1984 Wolverhampton Wanderers A 0–0 5,964

League Trophy[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 29 January 1985 Northampton Town H 1–1 1,386 Williams
R1 Replay 5 February 1985 Northampton Town A 2–1 1,405 Earle (2)
R2 18 March 1985 Bristol City A 1–2 3,635 Brown

Player statistics[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al Kent, Jeff (1990). "From Rags to Riches (1979–1990)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 258–290. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  2. ^ Port Vale 1984–1985 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  • Kent, Jeff (1993). The Port Vale Record 1879-1993. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9508981-9-8.