1936–37 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1936–37 season
Chairman Frank Huntbach
Manager Warney Cresswell
Stadium The Old Recreation Ground
Football League Third Division North 11th (44 Points)
FA Cup Third Round
Football League Third Division North Cup Semi-finals
Top goalscorer League: Tommy Ward (14)
All: Tommy Ward (18)
Highest home attendance 12,950 vs. Chester (5 December 1936)
Lowest home attendance 2,148 vs. Rochdale (17 April 1937)
Average home league attendance 7,298
Home colours

The 1936–37 season was Port Vale's 31st season of football in the Football League, and their first season (second overall) back in the Third Division North following their relegation from the Second Division.[1] For the first time in the club's history, rivals Stoke City were playing two leagues above them. The "Valiants" played in white shirts and black socks – a look that they kept for the rest of the century and beyond. Manager Warney Cresswell would prove to be the first of Vale's managers to be recognizable as a manager to modern observers, training the players to ensure fitness, allowing them to relax together as a group, and searching the country for fresh talent. His modern techniques were not enough to ensure promotion, despite a mid-season unbeaten run of thirteen games in an otherwise unremarkable season.

Chairman Frank Huntbach.

Overview[edit]

Third Division North[edit]

During the pre-season build-up, former England international full-back Warney Cresswell was appointed as manager-coach, filling a position which had remained vacant since September 1936.[1] Described as 'a very knowledgeable man about football', he increased the playing staff to twenty, signing winger Gerry Kelly (Chester); right-half Tommy Ward (Grimsby Town); and left-half Spencer Evans (Altrincham).[1] Cresswell also began running the players and pushing them in the gym, in order to get them fit for the season.[1] In between heavy training sessions he encouraged the players to relax with snooker and billiards competitions.[1] The club also decided to introduce a new strip of white shirts and black shorts, a look they retain to this day.[1]

The season opened with two defeats, as Vale found it tough to acclimatize to third tier football, their 3–1 home defeat to Hull City came despite them doing the double over the "Tigers" the previous season.[1] Following this, George Stabb transferred to Bradford Park Avenue, in a deal which saw Tom Nolan return to The Old Recreation Ground.[1] Continuing their poor form, by the end of September they were seventh from bottom.[1] This prompted Cresswell to sign inside-forward Alfred Dickinson from Everton.[1] On 26 September, Nolan scored a hat-trick past Stockport County, but the Vale would have to wait a little longer before getting into their stride.[1] Seven changes were made for the 24 October win over Hartlepools United, and the wait would be worth it, as Vale then went on a thirteen game unbeaten run.[1] Nevertheless, Cresswell continued to travel the country in the hunt for talented young amateurs.[1] By the end of October the 40,000 Shilling Fund completed its mission.[1] With Ward scoring two hat-tricks during the spell, Michael Curley and George Heywood were judged as surplus to requirements, and moved on to Colwyn Bay and Southport respectively.[1] Fred Obrey also proved to be a revelation in the centre of the pitch.[1]

By the time Vale lost their unbeaten run – 1–0 at struggling Darlington's Feethams – they were up to fourth in the table.[1] Vale were then in indifferent form for the remainder of the season, as their promotion hopes petered away.[1] On 27 March a heavy 7–1 defeat was recorded to Mansfield Town at Field Mill.[1] Cresswell's contract was cancelled by mutual consent, and he quickly took up the management reins at Third Division South side Northampton Town.[1]

They finished in eleventh position with 44 points.[1] This meant they were sixteen points short of promotion and twelve points clear of the re-election zones. With 58 goals scored they had the third weakest attack in the division, and had almost half the tally of runners-up Lincoln City.[1]

Finances[edit]

On the financial side, a profit of £401 was made, though £1,923 of income came through the Shilling Fund.[1] Gate receipts had tailed off by another £1,065; whilst the wage bill was trimmed to £5,656 and a transfer credit of £465 was made.[1] Fourteen players departed at the season's end, including: Ken Gunn (sold to Creswell's Northampton Town); Eric Hayward (sold to Blackpool); goalkeeper Allan Todd (refused terms and was transferred to Nottingham Forest); fourteen year club veteran Roger Jones (retirement); and Gerry Kelly (signed with Southampton).[1] The club also petitioned the Football League for a switch to the Third Division South, where gates were believed to be higher, however the League replied that circumstance and not applications determined where club's were placed – despite this Mansfield Town were the ones transferred, Mansfield being a town some forty miles north of Stoke-on-Trent.[1]

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, they fell at the Third Round to First Division Sheffield Wednesday with a 2–0 defeat at Hillsborough, having been forced to play six reserves due to injury.[1] In the short-lived Football League Third Division North Cup, the club progressed to the semi-finals with victories over Mansfield Town (2–0), Stockport County (4–0), and Rotherham United (1–0); where they lost 3–0 to Chester.[1] Attendances of around 100 exemplified the lack of interest in the competition.[1]

Final league table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GA GD Pts
1 Stockport County 42 17 3 1 59 18 6 11 4 25 21 84 39 2.154 + 45 60
2 Lincoln City 42 18 1 2 65 20 7 6 8 38 37 103 57 1.807 + 46 57
3 Chester 42 15 5 1 68 21 7 4 10 19 36 87 57 1.526 + 30 53
4 Oldham Athletic 42 13 7 1 49 25 7 4 10 28 34 77 59 1.305 + 18 51
5 Hull City 42 13 6 2 39 22 4 6 11 29 47 68 69 0.986 – 1 46
6 Hartlepools United 42 16 1 4 53 21 3 6 12 22 48 75 69 1.087 + 6 45
7 Halifax Town 42 12 4 5 40 20 6 5 10 28 43 68 63 1.079 + 5 45
8 Wrexham 42 12 3 6 41 21 4 9 8 30 36 71 57 1.246 + 14 44
9 Mansfield Town 42 13 1 7 64 35 5 7 9 27 41 91 76 1.197 + 15 44
10 Carlisle United 42 13 6 2 42 19 5 2 14 23 49 65 68 0.956 – 3 44
11 Port Vale 42 12 6 3 39 23 5 4 12 19 41 58 64 0.906 – 6 44
12 York City 42 13 3 5 54 27 3 8 10 25 43 79 70 1.129 + 9 43
13 Accrington Stanley 42 14 2 5 51 26 2 7 12 25 43 76 69 1.101 + 7 41
14 Southport 42 10 8 3 39 28 2 5 14 34 59 73 87 0.839 – 14 37
15 New Brighton 42 10 8 3 36 16 3 3 15 19 54 55 70 0.786 – 15 37
16 Barrow 42 11 5 5 42 25 2 5 14 28 61 70 86 0.814 – 16 36
17 Rotherham United 42 11 7 3 52 28 3 0 18 26 63 78 91 0.857 – 13 35
18 Rochdale 42 12 3 6 44 27 1 6 14 25 59 69 86 0.802 – 17 35
19 Tranmere Rovers 42 10 8 3 52 30 2 1 18 19 58 71 88 0.807 – 17 33
20 Crewe Alexandra 42 6 8 7 31 31 4 4 13 24 52 55 83 0.663 – 28 32
21 Gateshead 42 9 8 4 40 31 2 2 17 23 67 63 98 0.643 – 35 32
22 Darlington 42 6 8 7 42 46 2 6 13 24 50 66 96 0.688 – 30 30

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]

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
Ground H A A H H A A H A H A H A H A H A H A H A A H H A A H A H A H A H A H H A A H H A H
Result L L W W D L L W L D L W D W W W D W W W W D D W L W L L W W W L L L W D L L D D L W
Position 18 21 17 9 12 13 16 11 15 14 18 14 13 13 13 9 8 6 6 5 5 5 5 4 5 5 6 6 5 4 4 4 6 5 4 4 6 6 6 7 11 11

Sourced from Statto.[2]

Football League Third Division North[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
29 August 1936 Hull City H 1–3 9,207 Miller
2 September 1936 New Brighton A 0–2 4,522
5 September 1936 Gateshead A 1–0 4,538 Rhodes
7 September 1936 New Brighton H 3–1 6,096 Roberts (2), Rhodes
12 September 1936 Darlington H 2–2 7,628 Caldwell, Nolan
14 September 1936 Oldham Athletic A 1–5 3,622 Roberts
19 September 1936 Wrexham A 0–1 7,746
26 September 1936 Stockport County H 3–0 9,407 Nolan (3)
3 October 1936 Rotherham United A 0–2 7,032
10 October 1936 York City H 1–1 7,627 Caldwell
17 October 1936 Carlisle United A 2–5 4,691 Nolan, Rhodes
24 October 1936 Hartlepools United H 1–0 6,659 Roberts
31 October 1936 Southport A 3–3 7,483 Roberts (2), Nolan
7 November 1936 Tranmere Rovers H 2–1 6,551 Roberts, Nolan
14 November 1936 Halifax Town A 1–0 7,443 Goodfellow
21 November 1936 Mansfield Town H 5–1 8,983 Jones (3), Ward, Dean
28 November 1936 Chester A 0–0 7,616
5 December 1936 Chester H 4–0 12,950 Ward (3), Rhodes (pen)
12 December 1936 Rochdale A 0–0 2,218
19 December 1936 Barrow H 3–2 8,431 Nolan (2), Kelly
25 December 1936 Accrington Stanley A 3–2 5,997 Ward (2), Jones
26 December 1936 Hull City A 1–1 14,928 Ward
28 December 1936 Accrington Stanley H 1–1 8,030 Ward
2 January 1937 Gateshead H 4–2 8,472 Ward (3), Dean
9 January 1937 Darlington A 0–1 5,177
20 January 1937 Crewe Alexandra A 1–0 2,059 Kelly
23 January 1937 Wrexham H 0–3 7,432
30 January 1937 Stockport County A 0–1 10,690
6 February 1937 Rotherham United H 2–1 7,440 Dean, Rhodes
13 February 1937 York City A 2–1 4,241 Obrey, Jones
20 February 1937 Carlisle United H 1–0 6,585 Ward
27 February 1937 Hartlepools United A 0–2 2,645
6 March 1937 Southport H 0–2 6,986
13 March 1937 Tranmere Rovers A 2–4 5,732 Ward (2)
20 March 1937 Halifax Town H 3–1 8,815 Jones (3)
26 March 1937 Lincoln City H 1–1 6,243 Dean
27 March 1937 Mansfield Town A 1–7 6,348 Jones
29 March 1937 Lincoln City A 0–1 13,715
3 April 1937 Crewe Alexandra H 0–0 6,365
17 April 1937 Rochdale H 1–1 2,148 Nolan
24 April 1937 Barrow A 1–3 4,298 Nolan
1 May 1937 Oldham Athletic H 1–0 2,353 Roberts

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1936–37 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R3 16 January 1937 Sheffield Wednesday A 0–2 27,450

Third Division North Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
1 11 November 1936 Mansfield Town A 2–0 1,000 Ward (2)
2 8 February 1937 Stockport County H 4–0 100+ Ward (2), Evans, Tunnicliffe
3 8 March 1937 Rotherham United H 1–0 1,000 Nolan
SF 10 April 1937 Chester A 0–3

Player statistics[edit]

Transfers[edit]

Transfers in[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
May 1936 MF England Jack Harrison Sneyd Colliery Free transfer [3]
June 1936 DF England Claude Barrett Bradford Park Avenue Free transfer [3]
June 1936 MF England Gerry Kelly Chester 'Substantial' [3]
June 1936 FW Scotland Peter Miller Rotherham United Free transfer [3]
June 1936 MF England Tommy Ward Grimsby Town Free transfer [3]
July 1936 DF Wales Spencer Evans Altrincham Free transfer [3]
August 1936 FW England Arthur Ford Wolverhampton Wanderers Free transfer [3]
August 1936 GK Wales John Jones Free transfer [3]
September 1936 FW Wales Alfred Dickinson Everton Free transfer [3]
September 1936 FW England Tom Nolan Bradford Park Avenue Exchange [3]
October 1936 FW England Syd Goodfellow Silverdale Free transfer [3]
January 1937 FW England Billy Tunnicliffe Free transfer [3]

Transfers out[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
May 1936 MF England Fred Obrey Longton Free transfer [3]
September 1936 MF England George Stabb Bradford Park Avenue Free transfer [3]
October 1936 FW Wales Alfred Dickinson Everton Free transfer [3]
October 1936 MF England Wilf Smith Sneyd Colliery Free transfer [3]
November 1936 MF England Michael Curley Colwyn Bay Free transfer [3]
November 1936 DF England Roderick Welsh Southport Free transfer [3]
April 1937 DF England Claude Barrett York City Free transfer [3]
April 1937 FW England Syd Goodfellow Northern Ireland Glentoran Free transfer [3]
April 1937 MF England Jack Harrison Released [3]
April 1937 GK Wales John Jones Northampton Town Free transfer [3]
April 1937 FW Scotland Peter Miller Released [3]
April 1937 MF England Frank Ryder Released [3]
May 1937 MF Scotland Ken Gunn Northampton Town Free transfer [3]
May 1937 DF England Eric Hayward Blackpool Free transfer [3]
Summer 1937 MF England Roger Jones Released [3]
Summer 1937 GK Scotland Allan Todd Nottingham Forest Exchange [3]
August 1937 FW England Luke Dean Northwich Victoria Free transfer [3]
August 1937 MF England Gerry Kelly Southampton Free transfer [3]

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 w x y z aa ab ac Kent, Jeff (1990). "From Glory to Despair (1929–1939)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 124–150. ISBN 978-0-9508981-4-8. 
  2. ^ Port Vale 1936–1937 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  3. ^ 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 Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
General