1906–07 Burslem Port Vale F.C. season
|Football League Second Division||16th (31 Points)|
|FA Cup||Second Round|
(knocked out by Notts County)
|Staffordshire Senior Cup||Semi-final|
(knocked out by Aston Villa Reserves)
|Top goalscorer||League: Billy Beats (13)|
All: Billy Beats (15)
|Highest home attendance||10,000 vs Irthlingborough Town, 12 January 1906|
Notts County, 2 February 1906
|Lowest home attendance||1,500 vs Wolverhampton Wanderers, 16 March 1907|
|Average home league attendance||4,147+|
|Biggest win||7–0 vs. Burton United, 1 April 1907|
|Biggest defeat||0–6 vs. Burnley, 13 October 1906|
On the pitch the team put in win or lose performances, and went for a club record 20 games – from 10 September 1906 to 19 January 1907 – without sharing the points (nine wins, eleven losses). Another record was set with a 7–1 win over Irthlingborough Town in the First Round of the FA Cup – their highest ever margin of victory in the competition.
The club folded at the end of the season after the chairman decided that the club had no viable future. However Cobridge Church immediately took on the name of Port Vale, and worked their way back to the Football League for the 1919–20 season.
Despite the club's ever-worsening financial situation, Vale managed to bring back former top scorer, and former England international, Billy Beats; he was appointed captain upon his return. Gambling that big signings would attract big crowds, right-back Hughie Dunn was also brought in from Bristol Rovers; inside-right William Dodds signed from Southwick; with former player Tom Coxon returning from Middlesbrough. Sam Bennion took charge of team affairs after Tommy Clare's wages were too high to maintain.
The club started the season well, with three wins in their opening six games; 6,000 turning up for the opening game of the season. This was followed by four defeats on the bounce, but by winning five of their ten games in November and December the club put themselves in a decent position by Christmas. The club were two different sides at home and away, thumping Stockport County 5–0 at home and losing 6–0 at Burnley. Their first away win in ten months came at Blackpool on 22 December. They on to win just four league games in 1907, though did pick up points in the majority of their matches, going on a streak of six draws in ten games.
As had been the case in recent campaigns Vale just evaded a place in the re-election zones, finishing two points above the (potential) drop. For the second successive season the "Valeites" had the weakest defence in the league, conceding 83 goals in the league. Again they were poor on their travels, losing sixteen of their nineteen games away from home. Back at the Athletic Ground they lost just three games.
Billy Beats was top scorer with fifteen goals in all competitions; he was ably assisted by William Dodds, Tom Coxon, Robert Carter, and Harry Mountford, who all hit double figures. An extremely settled side, only nineteen players were used in the league, with Dodds a league ever-present.
The club had a good campaign in the FA Cup, picking up their biggest ever win in the competition with a 7–1 trouncing of Irthlingborough Town. They took First Division Notts County to a replay in the Second Round, before losing comprehensively 5–0 at Trent Bridge. Nevertheless, both rounds attracted 10,000 supporters at Vale, a great boost to the club's ailing finances.
In the Staffordshire Senior Cup the club almost exclusively used their reserve players, but managed to reach the semi-finals, where they were knocked out by Aston Villa Reserves. To reach they semi-final they had to overcome struggling league rivals Burton United, though this took two replays to accomplish – a 7–0 romp followed 3–3 and 1–1 draws.
Financial collapse and closure
On 18 May 1907, Robert Audley and Sam Gleaves appealed to the directors to pump more money into the club, and appealed in The Sentinel for local supporters to donate. This appeal was met with resounding indifference and so the club resigned from the Football League on 14 June 1907. The Football Association had already issued their fixture list (which had pitted Port Vale against relegated Stoke for the first time) and were furious with the club for quitting so suddenly at such a late stage.
Robert Audley justified the decision to quit the league by pointing out that the season's £200 loss was as good a figure as could be expected in the future, with the past seven campaigns taking in an average of £1,500, supplemented by an average of £400 in transfer takings. He claimed "this total could not be expected to pay the expenses of a league club", especially with creditors closing in, the bank refusing an overdraft, and summer wages to be paid. That so few came forward to help the club in its time of need came to be the final straw for Audley.
"To the few hundreds of loyal supporters, I tender my best thanks for their support and I join in their regrets that sufficient financial support could not be found to continue the club."— Robert Audley's final words in his letter to The Sentinel.
Port Vale's history would have ended at this point, had it not been for an unexpected twist. North Staffordshire Church League champions Cobridge Church were accepted into the North Staffordshire Federation League, still a very minor league. Joint-secretaries Millward and E.C.Brundrett had very big ambitions however. They sought permission from the Football Association to change the club's name to Port Vale and bought the old club's ground. To signify their roots they renamed their reserve side to Cobridge Church. Technically the Port Vale of before 1907 was a separate entity to the Port Vale of after 1907, however spiritually the club continued its existence from its 1876 founding onwards. In December 1908, a group of ex-directors, led by Sam Bennion, bought into the club, meaning that the new club played at the same ground, had similar owners, a similar name, and played continuously from 1906–07 to 1907–08 and beyond.
|1||Nottingham Forest||38||16||2||1||43||13||12||2||5||31||23||74||36||2.056||+ 38||60|
|3||Leicester Fosse||38||15||3||1||44||12||5||5||9||18||27||62||39||1.590||+ 23||48|
|4||West Bromwich Albion||38||15||2||2||62||15||6||3||10||21||30||83||45||1.844||+ 38||47|
|5||Bradford City||38||14||2||3||46||21||7||3||9||24||32||70||53||1.321||+ 17||47|
|6||Wolverhampton Wanderers||38||13||4||2||49||16||4||3||12||17||37||66||53||1.245||+ 13||41|
|9||Hull City||38||11||2||6||41||20||4||5||10||24||37||65||57||1.140||+ 8||37|
|10||Leeds City||38||10||5||4||38||26||3||5||11||17||37||55||63||0.873||– 8||36|
|11||Grimsby Town||38||13||2||4||34||16||3||1||15||23||46||57||62||0.919||– 5||35|
|12||Stockport County||38||8||8||3||26||12||4||3||12||16||40||42||52||0.808||– 10||35|
|14||Gainsborough Trinity||38||12||3||4||33||20||2||2||15||12||52||45||72||0.625||– 27||33|
|16||Burslem Port Vale||38||11||5||3||45||26||1||2||16||15||57||60||83||0.723||– 23||31|
|17||Clapton Orient||38||9||7||3||25||13||2||1||16||20||54||45||67||0.672||– 22||30|
|19||Lincoln City||38||10||2||7||29||24||2||2||15||17||49||46||73||0.630||– 27||28|
|20||Burton United||38||7||3||9||24||23||1||4||14||10||45||34||68||0.500||– 34||23|
Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against;
GA = Goal average; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points
Burslem Port Vale's score comes first
Football League Second Division
Results by matchday
; = Away; = Home; = Win; = Draw = Loss
|1 September 1906||Leicester Fosse||H||1–2||6,000||Dodds|
|8 September 1906||Nottingham Forest||A||2–2||4,500||Coxon, Beats|
|10 September 1906||West Bromwich Albion||H||2–1||4,000||Beats, Paddock|
|15 September 1906||Lincoln City||H||4–2||5,000||Mountford, Beats, Coxon, Carter|
|22 September 1906||Burton United||A||0–2||3,000|
|29 September 1906||Grimsby Town||H||3–2||4,000||Mountford, Beats, Holyhead|
|6 October 1906||Chesterfield||A||2–4||2,000||Mountford, Dodds|
|13 October 1906||Burnley||A||0–6||4,000|
|20 October 1906||Leeds City||H||1–2||4,000||Beats|
|27 October 1906||Barnsley||A||2–3||1,000||Paddock, Coxon|
|3 November 1906||Chelsea||H||2–0||5,000||Dodds (2)|
|10 November 1906||Wolverhampton Wanderers||A||2–6||3,000||Dodds, Price|
|17 November 1906||Clapton Orient||H||3–2||Beats, Carter, Eardley|
|24 November 1906||Gainsborough Trinity||A||0–2|
|1 December 1906||Stockport County||H||5–0||6,000||Dodds, Carter, Holyhead, Beats, Mountford|
|15 December 1906||Glossop||H||4–1||5,000||Beats, Dodds, Mountford, Carter|
|22 December 1906||Blackpool||A||1–0||2,000||Dodds|
|25 December 1906||Bradford City||H||2–3||8,000||Beats, Carter|
|26 December 1906||West Bromwich Albion||A||0–3||12,000|
|29 December 1906||Leicester Fosse||A||1–4||8,000||Beats|
|5 January 1907||Nottingham Forest||H||4–2||4,000||Coxon (2), Mountford, Beats|
|19 January 1907||Lincoln City||A||0–4||3,000|
|26 January 1907||Burton United||H||0–0||3,000|
|9 February 1907||Chesterfield||H||2–2||Carter, Mountford|
|12 February 1907||Bradford City||A||2–3||3,000||Beats, Coxon|
|16 February 1907||Burnley||H||4–4||3,000||Coxon, Carter, Dodds, Beats|
|23 February 1907||Leeds City||A||0–2||7,000|
|2 March 1907||Barnsley||H||2–2||3,000||Price, Dodds|
|9 March 1907||Chelsea||A||1–2||8,000||Carter|
|16 March 1907||Wolverhampton Wanderers||H||0–0||1,500|
|21 March 1907||Grimsby Town||A||0–2||2,000|
|23 March 1907||Clapton Orient||A||1–1||Carter|
|30 March 1907||Gainsborough Trinity||H||1–0||4,000||Mountford|
|1 April 1907||Hull City||A||1–4||8,000||Paddock|
|6 April 1907||Stockport County||A||0–3||1,000|
|13 April 1907||Hull City||H||2–1||2,000||Brough, Carter|
|20 April 1907||Glossop||A||0–4||2,000|
|27 April 1907||Blackpool||H||3–0||3,000||Coxon (2), Dodds|
|5Q||8 December 1907||Swindon Town||A||2–1||6,000||Coxon, Dodds|
|1R||12 January 1907||Irthlingborough Town||H||7–1||10,000||Coxon (2), Dodds (2), Beats, Carter, Mountford|
|2R||2 February 1907||Notts County||H||2–2||10,000||Beats, Mountford|
|1R Replay||6 February 1907||Notts County||A||0–5||10,000|
Staffordshire Senior Cup
|1||5 November 1906||Burton United||H||3–3||Mountford, unknown|
|Replay||25 December 1906||Burton United||A||1–1||unknown|
|Replay||1 April 1907||Burton United||H||7–0||unknown|
|SF||15 April 1907||Aston Villa Reserves||A||0–3||unknown|
|Place||Position||Nation||Name||Second Division||FA Cup||Staffs Cup||Total|
|Summer 1906||MF||Joe Brough||Smallthorne||Free transfer|||
|May 1906||MF||Tom Coxon||Middlesbrough||Free transfer|||
|May 1906||GK||Howard Matthews||Langley St. Michael's||Free transfer|||
|June 1906||FW||William Dodds||Southwick||Free transfer|||
|August 1906||FW||Billy Beats||Bristol Rovers||Free transfer|||
|August 1906||DF||Hughie Dunn||Bristol Rovers||Free transfer|||
|August 1906||FW||John Paddock||Wellington Town||Free transfer|||
|June 1907||DF||Sam Baddeley||Stoke||Released|||
|June 1907||FW||Billy Beats||Reading||Released|||
|June 1907||GK||Arthur Box||Stoke||Released|||
|June 1907||MF||William Bradbury||Fegg Hayes||Released|||
|June 1907||MF||Joe Brough||Stoke||Released|||
|June 1907||MF||Robert Carter||Stockport County||Released|||
|June 1907||DF||William Cope||Stoke||Released|||
|June 1907||MF||Tom Coxon||Stoke||Released|||
|June 1907||FW||William Dodds||Oldham Athletic||Released|||
|June 1907||DF||Hughie Dunn||Released|||
|June 1907||MF||Bert Eardley||Released|||
|June 1907||MF||Ebenezer Grant||Released|||
|June 1907||DF||James Hamilton||Burslem Town||Released|||
|June 1907||MF||Joseph Holyhead||Wednesbury Old Athletic||Released|||
|June 1907||MF||Vic Horrocks||Goldenhill United||Released|||
|June 1907||GK||Howard Matthews||Burton United||Released|||
|June 1907||FW||Harry Mountford||Hanley Swifts||Released|||
|June 1907||FW||John Paddock||Wellington Town||Released|||
|June 1907||FW||George Price||Released|||
|June 1907||DF||Arthur Shelley||Released|||
|June 1907||MF||Hugh Walley||Burton Swifts||Released|||
- Kent, Jeff (1990). "The Hopeless Struggle (1898-1907)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 50–70. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7.
- Kent, Jeff (1990). "The Hard Road Back (1907-1919)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 50–70. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7.
- What If There Had Been No Port In The Vale?: Startling Port Vale Stories! (Witan Books, 2011, ISBN 978-0-9529152-8-7)
- Port Vale 1906–1907 : Results & Fixtures Archived 6 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.