John Poole (footballer, born 1932)

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John Poole
Personal information
Full name John Arthur Frederick Poole[1]
Date of birth (1932-12-12)12 December 1932[1]
Place of birth Stoke-upon-Trent, England[1]
Date of death 2020 (aged 87)
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)[2]
Playing position(s) Goalkeeper
Youth career
Ashley
Penkhull Youth Club
Stoke City
Port Vale
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1953–1961 Port Vale 33 (0)
1961–1963 Macclesfield Town 79 (0)
1963 Werrington
Total 112 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

John Arthur Frederick Poole (12 December 1932 – 2020) was an English football goalkeeper who made 33 league appearances for Port Vale in the Football League between 1953 and 1961. He later played for non-League sides Macclesfield Town and Werrington.

Playing career[edit]

John Poole was born in Stoke-on-Trent on 12 December 1932.[3] After playing for numerous youth sides, including Ashley, Penkhull Youth Club, and Stoke City's youth team, Poole graduated through the Port Vale juniors to sign professional forms in September 1953.[1] He did his national service with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and served in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.[4] Manager Freddie Steele handed him his debut on 28 April 1956, in a 3–2 win over Middlesbrough at Vale Park.[1] Remaining as understudy to Ray King, he featured in three Second Division games in the 1956–57 relegation campaign.[1] He played three Third Division South games in 1957–58, as new manager Norman Low recruited former Wales international Keith Jones as the "Valiants" new number one.[1]

Poole did not play in the 1958–59 Fourth Division winning campaign, but had a run of games in the 1959–60 season, including playing in front of a Vale Park record crowd of 49,768 in 2–1 defeat to Aston Villa in the FA Cup.[3][1] He managed to earn the first team goalkeeping spot off Ken Hancock in November 1959, but he lost this position after fracturing his nose in a 6–3 defeat at Mansfield Town on 25 April 1960 – the penultimate game of the season.[1] Manager Norman Low informed Poole's wife with a brief phone call: "Hello, Mrs Poole, Norman Low here. John's in the hospital with a broken nose. The good news is he hasn't fractured his skull. Goodnight!"[5] He played just three Third Division matches in 1960–61, as Hancock firmly established himself as the club's preferred goalkeeper.[1] Poole left on a free transfer in May 1961, and later played for Macclesfield Town and Werrington.[1] Poole retired from playing in 1963.[3]

Style of play[edit]

Poole was a goalkeeper with great anticipation and bravery.[4] He played one game with a broken wrist.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Upon his retirement he became a keen Port Vale fan; he co-founded the club's Ex-Players Association with former teammate Ken Hancock.[6] He worked as a motor mechanic.[4] He married Pat, who was named as Miss Port Vale 1954.[3] He had two sons: Greg and Duncan; and two grandchildren: Reece Poole and Katie Poole. His uncle, Tom Davis, also played for Port Vale in the 1920s.[7] Poole's death was announced by Port Vale on 19 November 2020.[3]

Statistics[edit]

Source:[8]

Club Season Division League FA Cup Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Port Vale 1955–56 Second Division 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1956–57 Second Division 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
1957–58 Third Division South 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
1958–59 Fourth Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1959–60 Third Division 23 0 5 0 0 0 28 0
1960–61 Third Division 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Total 33 0 5 0 0 0 38 0
Macclesfield Town 1961–62[9] Cheshire County League 42 0 2 0 7 0 51 0
1962–63[9] Cheshire County League 37 0 2 0 4 0 43 0
Total 79 0 4 0 11 0 94 0
Total 112 0 9 0 11 0 132 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 234. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.
  2. ^ King, Ray (2011), To the End of the Road, p. 108, ISBN 9781844269501
  3. ^ a b c d e "Remembering John Poole and Stan Trafford". www.port-vale.co.uk. 19 November 2020. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d Baggaley, Michael (23 November 2020). "'Wonderful guy' - Tributes paid to former Port Vale keeper John Poole". StokeonTrentLive. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  5. ^ Johnson, Dave. Fifty Shades of Black & White: Tales From the Vale. p. 183.
  6. ^ "Port Vale: Ex-players chip in to help fans stay dry". The Sentinel. 17 December 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  7. ^ Jackson, Barry (8 December 2018). "Great-uncle Tom played for Port Vale in the 1920s". The Way We Were. The Sentinel.
  8. ^ John Poole at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
  9. ^ a b "Stats". silkmenarchives.org.uk. Retrieved 12 July 2016.