1906–07 Burslem Port Vale F.C. season

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Burslem Port Vale
1906–07 season
Chairman Robert Audley
Manager Sam Bennion
Stadium Athletic Ground
Football League Second Division 16th (31 Points)
FA Cup Second Round
Staffordshire Senior Cup Semi-final
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+
Home colours

The 1906–07 season was Burslem Port Vale's ninth consecutive season (13th overall) of football in the Football League.[1] The club resigned from the league on 14 June 1907.

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.

Bert Eardley waited until a new Port Vale rose from the ashes of the old before he played league football again.
Even the return of Billy Beats couldn't save the club.
Joe Brough would play for Stoke, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, and Bristol City, yet still return to Vale in time for their return to the Football League.
George Price left the professional game when Port Vale ceased to exist.

Overview[edit]

Second Division[edit]

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.[1] 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.[1] Sam Bennion took charge of team affairs after Tommy Clare's wages were too high to maintain.[1]

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.[1] 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.[1] The club were two different sides at home and away, thumping Stockport County 5–0 at home and losing 6–0 at Burnley.[1] Their first away win in ten months came at Blackpool on 22 December.[1] 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.[1]

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.[1] 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.[1] An extremely settled side, only nineteen players were used in the league, with Dodds a league ever-present.

Cup competitions[edit]

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.[1]

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.[1] 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.[1]

Financial collapse and closure[edit]

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.[1] This appeal was met with resounding indifference and so the club resigned from the Football League on 14 June 1907.[1] 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.[1]

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.[1] 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.[1] That so few came forward to help the club in its time of need came to be the final straw for Audley.[1]

"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.[1]

Many of the players joined Stoke, as well as newly elected Oldham Athletic, and Burslem Port Vale was finished.[1]

Cobridge Church[edit]

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.[2] 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.[2] To signify their roots they renamed their reserve side to Cobridge Church.[2] 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.[3]

Final league table[edit]

Manager Sam Bennion.
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GA GD Pts
1 Nottingham Forest 38 16 2 1 43 13 12 2 5 31 23 74 36 2.056 + 38 60
2 Chelsea 38 18 0 1 55 10 8 5 6 25 24 80 34 2.353 + 46 57
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
7 Burnley 38 12 4 3 45 13 5 2 12 17 34 62 47 1.319 + 15 40
8 Barnsley 38 14 2 3 56 21 1 6 12 17 34 73 55 1.327 + 18 38
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
13 Blackpool 38 9 4 6 25 19 2 7 10 8 32 33 51 0.647 – 18 33
14 Gainsborough Trinity 38 12 3 4 33 20 2 2 15 12 52 45 72 0.625 – 27 33
15 Glossop 38 10 4 5 32 21 3 2 14 21 58 53 79 0.671 – 26 32
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
18 Chesterfield 38 10 3 6 36 26 1 4 14 14 40 50 66 0.758 – 16 29
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

Results[edit]

Burslem 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
Ground H A H H A H A A H A H A H A H H A H A A H A H H A H A H A H A A H A A H A H
Result L D W W L W L L L L W L W L W W W L L L W L D D L D L D L D L D W L L W L W
Position 16 13 8 5 8 6 9 15 15 15 14 16 13 14 11 11 11 11 11 12 12 13 13 14 14 13 14 14 15 14 14 15 15 15 17 16 18 16

Sourced from Statto.[4]

Football League Second Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
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

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1906–07 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
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[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
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

Player statistics[edit]

Transfers[edit]

Transfers in[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
Summer 1906 MF England Joe Brough Smallthorne Free transfer [5]
May 1906 MF England Tom Coxon Middlesbrough Free transfer [5]
May 1906 GK England Howard Matthews Langley St. Michael's Free transfer [5]
June 1906 FW England William Dodds Southwick Free transfer [5]
August 1906 FW England Billy Beats Bristol Rovers Free transfer [5]
August 1906 DF Scotland Hughie Dunn Bristol Rovers Free transfer [5]
August 1906 FW England John Paddock Wellington Town Free transfer [5]

Transfers out[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
June 1907 DF England Sam Baddeley Stoke Released [5]
June 1907 FW England Billy Beats Reading Released [5]
June 1907 GK England Arthur Box Stoke Released [5]
June 1907 MF England William Bradbury Fegg Hayes Released [5]
June 1907 MF England Joe Brough Stoke Released [5]
June 1907 MF England Robert Carter Stockport County Released [5]
June 1907 DF England William Cope Stoke Released [5]
June 1907 MF England Tom Coxon Stoke Released [5]
June 1907 FW England William Dodds Oldham Athletic Released [5]
June 1907 DF Scotland Hughie Dunn Released [5]
June 1907 MF England Bert Eardley Released [5]
June 1907 MF England Ebenezer Grant Released [5]
June 1907 DF England James Hamilton Burslem Town Released [5]
June 1907 MF England Joseph Holyhead Wednesbury Old Athletic Released [5]
June 1907 MF Vic Horrocks Goldenhill United Released [5]
June 1907 GK England Howard Matthews Burton United Released [5]
June 1907 FW England Harry Mountford Hanley Swifts Released [5]
June 1907 FW England John Paddock Wellington Town Released [5]
June 1907 FW England George Price Released [5]
June 1907 DF Arthur Shelley Released [5]
June 1907 MF Hugh Walley Burton Swifts Released [5]

References[edit]

Specific
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v 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. 
  2. ^ a b c 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. 
  3. ^ What If There Had Been No Port In The Vale?: Startling Port Vale Stories! (Witan Books, 2011, ISBN 978-0-9529152-8-7)
  4. ^ Port Vale 1906–1907 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  5. ^ 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 Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
General