Alan Webb (footballer)

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Alan Webb
Personal information
Full name Alan Richard Webb[1]
Date of birth (1963-01-01) 1 January 1963 (age 51)[1]
Place of birth Wrockwardine, England[1]
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Right-back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981–1984 West Bromwich Albion 24 (0)
1983–1984 Lincoln City (loan) 11 (0)
1984–1992 Port Vale 190 (2)
Total 225 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Alan Richard Webb (born 1 January 1963) is an English former footballer who played as a right-back. He played 225 league games in an eleven-year career in the Football League. He spent 1981 to 1984 with West Bromwich Albion, and also played on loan at Lincoln City, but spent most of his career at Port Vale. He was voted Port Vale F.C. Player of the Year in 1984–85, helped the club to win promotion out of the Fourth Division in 1985–86, and won the Third Division play-off final with the club in 1989. He was forced into early retirement in June 1992, following a broken leg sustained in October 1989.

Playing career[edit]

Webb started his career with West Bromwich Albion in the First Division in January 1981. After avoiding relegation by two points in 1981–82 under Ronnie Allen, the "Baggies" jumped to an eleventh place finish in 1982–83 after the appointment of Ron Wylie. Webb was loaned out to Third Division club Lincoln City in 1983–84, managed by Colin Murphy. He played a total of 24 league games for West Brom, and appeared eleven times in the league for Lincoln, before new "Baggies" boss Johnny Giles told him he could leave the club on a free transfer.

He joined John Rudge's Fourth Division Port Vale in July 1984 and was an ever-present in 1984–85 with 56 appearances, earning himself the club's Player of the Year award.[1][2] He played 48 games in 1985–86, as the "Valiants" won promotion with a fourth place finish; he also scored his first league goal, in a 4–0 win over Southend United at Vale Park on 19 October.[1]

Webb struggled in 1986–87, after a shin bone injury in August haltered his progress.[3] He returned to action in time to score in a 4–1 win at York City on 14 April, his only goal in 24 appearances over the course of the campaign.[1] In 1987–88, he again struggled to stay fit in the face of numerous other injuries, including second-degree burns sustained from sliding on a plastic pitch and blood clots in his thigh.[3] Kevin Steggles, another West Bromwich Albion player, was signed to replace him, but Webb recovered to post 29 appearances by the season's end.[1]

He then played 47 games in 1988–89, scoring once in an FA Cup defeat to top-flight Norwich City.[1] He played in the club's victory over Preston North End in the play-off semi-finals, but lost his place to Gary West for the final, in which Vale beat Bristol Rovers over two legs.[1] He made only eighteen appearances in the subsequent Second Division campaign, having sustained a compound fracture in his right leg after colliding with Newcastle United's Micky Quinn on 28 October.[1] He played six games in 1990–91 and appeared five times in 1991–92, but could not fully recover from this final injury and was forced into early retirement in June 1992.[1]

Style of play[edit]

Teammate and Port Vale legend Phil Sproson named him as the club's best right-back of the 1980s. He described him as a reliable right-back and a good tackler, who lacked pace but not effort.[4]

Post-retirement[edit]

Webb spent a few weeks with Telford United in late 1992, but his leg was not strong enough for him to return to football. He instead became a driver for Parcelforce.

He also spent his free-time coaching at local non-league club Wellington Amateurs.

Honours[edit]

Individual
with Port Vale

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 304. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  2. ^ Kent, Jeff (1990). The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. p. 305. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  3. ^ a b 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. 
  4. ^ Kent, Jeff (December 1991). Port Vale Tales: A Collection Of Stories, Anecdotes And Memories. Witan Books. p. 298. ISBN 0-9508981-6-3.