1967–68 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1967–68 season
Chairman Fred Pinfold
Manager Stanley Matthews
Stadium Vale Park
Football League Fourth Division 18th (39 Points)
FA Cup First Round
League Cup Second Round
Top goalscorer League: Roy Chapman (24)
All: Roy Chapman (25)
Highest home attendance 8,228 vs. Bradford City (23 October 1967)
Lowest home attendance 3,151 vs. Rochdale (23 March 1968)
Average home league attendance 4,886
Home colours

The 1967–68 season was Port Vale's 56th season of football in the Football League, and their third successive season (fourth overall) in the Fourth Division.[1] A poor season saw them battle to mid-table in order to avoid the re-election zone. Yet it would be off-the-field developments that would worry Vale supporters the most. An FA/Football League Joint-Inquiry investigated the club as club officials were forced to admit several breaches of the rules in regard to payment of players. The result was expulsion from the League, however before the start of the following season a vote of 39 to 9 allowed the club to be immediately readmitted to the competition. The whole saga was rather ironic, as the club re-entered the League in 1919 after Leeds City were expelled over illegal payments to their players. On the playing front it was the final season of both Harry Poole and Terry Miles' careers.

Overview[edit]

Fourth Division[edit]

The pre-season saw the departure of Terry Alcock to Blackpool, after the club 'reluctantly' accepted a £25,000 offer.[1] In came £35-a-week striker Roy Chapman from Lincoln City and forward Mick Morris from Oxford United.[1] In August there was a pre-season tour of Czechoslovakia to help with fitness, as the players also toured the spa at Luhačovice, the wine cellars at Čelákovice, as well as a giant footwear factory.[1]

The season opened with seven games without a win, with just three goals scored.[1] Stanley Matthews then returned to Czechoslovakia on business, much to the dismay of supporters.[1] In came skilful midfielder John Green, who made a 'superb' debut in a 2–0 defeat at high-flying Aldershot.[1] By now Vale were bottom of the league, but a remarkable turnaround then saw Vale hit four goals in each of their next four home games with the useful partnership of Cullerton and Chapman, and the skill of Green.[1] Harry Poole picked up an injury and 'the spell was broken' with a 2–1 defeat in Burslem to league leaders Bradford City.[1] In November Vale again suffered, and more problems came as the Football League began an examination into the club's books over alleged breaches of rules in regard to payment of players.[1] Back on the pitch, Roy Sproson made his 700th appearances in a 1–1 draw with Newport County at Somerton Park.[1] The next month held more financial problems, as lifelong Vale supporter and self-styled 'holiday camp king' Graham Bourne was denied a seat on the board despite buying up 13,000 shares – Chairman Pinfold stated 'we must proceed cautiously' and Bourne quickly sold his shares.[1] On the field, the "Valiants" improved with a seven-match unbeaten run to take them into mid-table, their run was helped by the arrival of Bill Asprey from Oldham Athletic for £2,000.[1]

In January the League's investigation resulted in a Football Association commission to investigate six charges: numerous amateurs had received a weekly wage; associate schoolboys played for the club despite this being against the rules; extra bonuses were offered for reaching the Second Round of the League Cup; John Ritchie had received illegal payments; Clint Boulton and Gordon Logan had received illegal bonuses; and that young players had been given gifts in breach of league rules.[1] With this hanging over the club's head form suffered, and Jimmy Hill left the club to become player-manager of Derry City.[1] Stan Steele returned from South Africa and joined on a month-long trial, however he only managed to score an 'incredible' own goal by lobbing Stuart Sharratt in a 3–0 loss to Aldershot.[1] On 20 February the FA-Football League joint-inquiry 'severely censured' Port Vale officials at Lancaster Gate after the officials admitted the charges held against them.[1] The club received a £2,000 fine and a recommendation that they be expelled from the league, a month later on 6 Mach another £2,000 fine was issued and the club were informed that they would be expelled from the Football League at the end of the season.[1] The club's officials were 'shocked and appalled' at the 'savage penalties', and Stoke City chairman Albert Henshall also called the punishment 'severe'.[1] The club changed the leadership structure and defiantly stated their aim to win promotion from the Fourth Division, and also their decision to appoint a new player-manager to lead them to such an aim.[1] On the pitch, Vale hovered uncomfortably above the re-election zone, and were only safe of having to beg for readmission with a 1–0 win over Lincoln City at Sincil Bank on the final day.[1]

They finished in eighteenth position with 39 points, three points clear of the re-election zones.[1] They finished ahead of Rochdale and Exeter City by one point; ahead of York City by three points; ahead of Chester by seven points; ahead of Workington by eight points; and a massive sixteen points clear of Bradford Park Avenue. Recording just two away wins all season, their home form was also poor.[1] Roy Chapman had excelled however, his 25 goals in all competitions the highest since 1960–61.[1]

Finances[edit]

On the financial side, a loss of £6,279 had been made.[1] Poor attendances reduced gate receipts by almost £5,000, though expenditure was cut by over £6,000.[1] The club's total debt stood at £168,151.[1] Seven players were given free transfers, including youngsters Alex Donald and Malcolm James MacKenzie; as well as club veterans Terry Miles and Harry Poole – who had almost thirty years and some 716 league appearances for the Vale between them.[1] Developments at the club included the opening of Vale Shop at the Hamil End, and the appointment of 'young... modern track-suited' Gordon Lee as manager.[1] The club were in dire straits however, and Lee had to persuade Sproson to continue playing.[1]

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, Chester knocked the Vale out at the First Round with a 2–1 victory in the snow at Vale Park.

In the League Cup, the "Valiants" reached the Second Round after a Mick Cullerton hat-trick in a 3–0 win over Chester at home. Defeat then came at Fratton Park to Second Division Portsmouth after Clint Boulton 'gave away two needless penalties'.[1] It was the first time the club progressed further in the League Cup than in the FA Cup – an occurrence that would not be repeated until 1983–84.

Final league table[edit]

P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Luton Town 46 27 12 7 87 44 1.977 66
2 Barnsley 46 24 13 9 68 46 1.478 61
3 Hartlepools United 46 25 10 11 60 46 1.304 60
4 Crewe Alexandra 46 20 18 8 74 49 1.510 58
5 Bradford City 46 23 11 12 72 51 1.412 57
6 Southend United 46 20 14 12 77 58 1.328 54
7 Chesterfield 46 21 11 14 71 50 1.420 53
8 Wrexham 46 20 13 13 72 53 1.358 53
9 Aldershot 46 18 17 11 70 55 1.273 53
10 Doncaster Rovers 46 18 15 13 66 56 1.179 51
11 Halifax Town 46 15 16 15 52 49 1.061 46
12 Newport County 46 16 13 17 58 63 0.921 45
13 Lincoln City 46 17 9 20 71 68 1.044 43
14 Brentford 46 18 7 21 61 64 0.953 43
15 Swansea Town 46 16 10 20 63 77 0.818 42
16 Darlington 46 12 17 17 47 53 0.887 41
17 Notts County 46 15 11 20 53 79 0.671 41
18 Port Vale 46 12 15 19 61 72 0.847 39
19 Rochdale 46 12 14 20 51 72 0.708 38
20 Exeter City 46 11 16 19 45 65 0.692 38
21 York City 46 11 14 21 65 68 0.956 36
22 Chester 46 9 14 23 57 78 0.731 32
23 Workington 46 10 11 25 54 87 0.621 31
24 Bradford Park Avenue 46 4 15 27 30 82 0.366 23

P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GA = Goal average; 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 H A H H A H A H A A H A H H A A H H A H A H A A H H A H A A H H A A H A
Result L D L D L L L W W L W D W L L W L L D L W D D W W D D L D D D W L L D W L L D D L W L L D W
Position 19 16 21 20 23 23 24 20 19 21 19 17 14 17 18 17 18 20 20 20 18 18 18 13 15 16 15 17 17 17 17 16 16 16 16 14 16 16 16 17 19 17 18 18 19 18

Sourced from Statto.[2]

Football League Fourth Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
19 August 1967 Southend United H 1–2 7,451 Cullerton
26 August 1967 Chester A 1–1 7,932 Cullerton (pen)
2 September 1967 Chesterfield H 0–1 6,214
6 September 1967 Notts County A 0–0 4,338
9 September 1967 Exeter City A 1–3 3,722 Hill
16 September 1967 Darlington H 0–1 4,599
23 September 1967 Aldershot A 0–2 6,138
25 September 1967 Notts County H 4–1 4,021 Chapman (2), Goodfellow, Poole
30 September 1967 Workington H 4–2 4,752 Poole (2), Chapman, MacKenzie
4 October 1967 Bradford City A 1–2 5,257 Chapman
7 October 1967 Doncaster Rovers H 4–2 5,436 Chapman (2), James, Mahon
14 October 1967 Bradford Park Avenue A 2–2 3,648 Chapman, Cullerton (pen)
21 October 1967 Brentford H 4–1 5,944 Morris, Cullerton, Chapman, o.g.
23 October 1967 Bradford City H 1–2 8,228 Mahon
28 October 1967 Rochdale A 1–3 2,566 Chapman
4 November 1967 York City H 1–0 4,786 Chapman
13 November 1967 Chesterfield A 0–3 13,183
18 November 1967 Hartlepools United H 2–3 3,875 Chapman (2)
21 November 1967 Newport County A 1–1 2,434 Cullerton
25 November 1967 Swansea Town A 2–4 4,827 Morris, Chapman
2 December 1967 Barnsley H 2–0 3,724 Morris, Chapman
15 December 1967 Southend United A 1–1 8,543 Mahon
23 December 1967 Chester H 4–4 3,740 Mahon, Chapman, Sproson, Morris
26 December 1967 Halifax Town H 2–1 6,946 Chapman, Sproson
30 December 1967 Halifax Town A 1–0 3,956 Chapman
20 January 1968 Darlington A 2–2 3,596 Chapman, Morris
26 January 1968 Luton Town H 0–0 5,970
3 February 1968 Aldershot H 0–3 4,241
10 February 1968 Workington A 1–1 2,880 Chapman
16 February 1968 Lincoln City H 1–1 4,187 James
24 February 1968 Hartlepools United A 2–2 4,388 Mahon (2)
2 March 1968 Bradford Park Avenue H 4–0 3,938 Chapman (2), Morris, o.g.
9 March 1968 Luton Town A 0–2 12,749
16 March 1968 Brentford A 1–3 5,111 Chapman
23 March 1968 Rochdale H 1–1 3,151 Chapman
25 March 1968 Exeter City H 1–0 3,395 McLaren
30 March 1968 York City A 1–5 5,153 Mahon
6 April 1968 Newport County H 0–1 3,607
12 April 1968 Crewe Alexandra A 1–1 8,775 Mahon
13 April 1968 Doncaster Rovers A 0–0 10,782
15 April 1968 Crewe Alexandra H 0–2 7,048
20 April 1968 Swansea Town H 4–2 3,555 Cullerton (3), Chapman
22 April 1968 Wrexham A 0–1 4,192
26 April 1968 Barnsley A 0–2 15,913
4 May 1968 Wrexham H 1–1 3,575 Mahon
11 May 1968 Lincoln City A 1–0 6,649 Cullerton

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1967–68 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 9 December 1967 Chester H 1–2 4,171 Goodfellow

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 22 August 1967 Chester H 3–0 5,006 Cullerton (3 [1 pen])
R2 13 September 1967 Portsmouth A 1–3 16,960 Chapman

Player statistics[edit]

Transfers[edit]

Transfers in[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
May 1967 MF England Malcolm Bailey Free transfer [3]
June 1967 FW England Roy Chapman Lincoln City Free transfer [3]
July 1967 FW England Mick Morris Oxford United Free transfer [3]
August 1967 MF England David McClelland Bishop Auckland Free transfer [3]
September 1967 MF England John Green Blackpool Free transfer [3]
October 1967 DF England Keith Broomhall Free transfer [3]
November 1967 MF Scotland Tommy McLaren Scotland Berwick Rangers Free transfer [3]
December 1967 DF England Bill Asprey Oldham Athletic £2,000 [3]
January 1968 FW England Stan Steele South Africa Port Elizabeth City Trial [3]

Transfers out[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
April 1968 MF England David McClelland Wellington Town Free transfer [3]
May 1968 MF Scotland Alex Donald Republic of Ireland Derry City Free transfer [3]
May 1968 FW England Mel Lintern Carlisle United Free transfer [3]
May 1968 MF Scotland Malcolm James MacKenzie Released [3]
May 1968 GK Scotland Billy McNulty Chesterfield Free transfer [3]
May 1968 MF England Terry Miles Sandbach Ramblers Free transfer [3]
July 1968 FW England Paul Bannister Eastwood Released [3]
Summer 1968 MF Northern Ireland Jimmy Hill Released [3]
Summer 1968 MF England Harry Poole Sandbach Ramblers Free transfer [3]
Summer 1968 FW England Stan Steele South Africa Port Elizabeth City Released [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 ad ae Kent, Jeff (1990). "Flattering Only to Deceive (1960–1969)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 196–226. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  2. ^ Port Vale 1967–1968 : 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 Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
General
  • Kent, Jeff (1993). The Port Vale Record 1879-1993. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9508981-9-8.