Mark Grew

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Mark Grew
Personal information
Full name Mark Stuart Grew[1]
Date of birth (1958-02-15) 15 February 1958 (age 59)
Place of birth Bilston, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
West Bromwich Albion
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1976–1983 West Bromwich Albion 33 (0)
1978 Wigan Athletic (loan) 4 (0)
1978 Notts County (loan) 0 (0)
1983–1984 Leicester City 5 (0)
1983 Oldham Athletic (loan ) 5 (0)
1984–1986 Ipswich Town 6 (0)
1985 Fulham (loan) 4 (0)
1986 West Bromwich Albion (loan) 1 (0)
1986 Derby County (loan) 0 (0)
1986–1992 Port Vale 184 (0)
1990 Blackburn Rovers (loan) 13 (0)
1992–1994 Cardiff City 21 (0)
1994–1995 Hednesford Town 1 (0)
Total 277 (0)
Teams managed
1999 Port Vale (caretaker)
2010–2011 Port Vale (caretaker)
2011 Port Vale (caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Mark Stuart Grew (born 15 February 1958) is an English former football goalkeeper and coach.

His career started in 1976 with West Bromwich Albion, where he spent seven seasons as a back-up keeper before moving on to Leicester City. After just a year with the "Foxes" he moved on to Ipswich Town. In 1986, he signed for Port Vale, where he became the first choice goalkeeper. He spent six years at Vale Park, making almost 200 league appearances, twice winning the club's Player of the Year award and playing in the 1989 Third Division play-off victory. He transferred to Cardiff City in 1992, and won the Third Division title with the club in 1992–93, and also picked up two Welsh Cup winners medals. His final club was Hednesford Town, whom he signed for in 1994, and left in 1995. Over the years he also enjoyed short loan spells with Wigan Athletic, Oldham Athletic, Fulham, and Blackburn Rovers.

He remained in the game after retirement as a player, spending eight years as a coach at Port Vale before his sacking in 2002. He quickly returned to his coaching position at the club though, and remains a key member of the backroom staff. He has had three separate spells as caretaker-manager at the club.

Playing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Grew grew up in Bilston, where he attended the goalkeeping academy ran by legendary Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Bert Williams after accepting that he "was probably too fat and lazy to play outfield".[2] He turned professional at First Division club West Bromwich Albion in the 1976–77 season, having just starred in the 1976 FA Youth Cup final, which ended in a 5–0 aggregate victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.[2] During the 1978–79 campaigned he was loaned out to Fourth Division newcomers Wigan Athletic, where he played four league games in the absence of John Brown. He returned to The Hawthorns, and played 33 league games for the "Baggies" as he faced competition from Tony Godden, before he joined Leicester City, also of the First Division, for a £25,000 fee. He played five top-flight games for the "Foxes" in 1983–84, and also played five Second Division games on loan at Oldham Athletic, before he moved to First Division club Ipswich Town on a £60,000 transfer in March 1984. He spent two seasons with the "Tractor Boys", but played just six league games. He also played four Second Division games on loan at Fulham in 1985, and returned to West Brom on loan in 1986 to play one game.

Port Vale[edit]

In June 1986, he joined Third Division Port Vale; aged 28 years old, he was looking for first team football. His debut for the club came in a 2–2 draw against Middlesbrough at Victoria Park, who were at the time close to folding.[3] After he sustained an injury in the game, he suffered from damaged knee ligaments for much of the 1986–87 season.[4] However Alex Williams retired from back injury in September 1987.[5] As Grew took the #1 jersey he never looked back and played fifty games in 1987–88.

Grew was then voted the club's Player of the Year for his performances over his 49 games in 1988–89.[6] He played both legs of Vale's play-off Final victory over Bristol Rovers, conceding just the one goal. He played 51 games in 1989–90, as Vale retained their Second Division status.

However, he losing his place to Trevor Wood in August 1990, and had a successful loan spell with league rivals Blackburn Rovers in October 1990, playing thirteen league games. He won his first team spot back at Vale in February 1991, and played fourteen games for the "Valiants" in 1990–91. He became the club's Player of the Year once more in 1992 for his ever-presence in the 53 game 1991–92 season.[4] However, he left on a free transfer for Cardiff City in May 1992.[7]

Later career[edit]

He was between the posts for Cardiff City when they beat Manchester City 1–0 in the FA Cup Fourth Round on 29 January 1994.[8] He became an "instant hero" with the Cardiff supporters after saving a penalty from Keith Curle.[8] He joined non-League side Hednesford Town in 1994 after leaving Cardiff and made one appearance during the 1994–95 season.[9]

Style of play[edit]

He was a shot-stopping goalkeeper, who mostly remained on his line and relied on his defenders to deal with crosses.[10]

"A fine keeper who also brought professionalism and experience from his time at Ipswich and West Bromwich Albion. I'm not sure who gave him the title, but he quickly became John Rudge's voice of reason in the dressing room. Never short of something to say, he changed the whole culture of the club."

— Robbie Earle writing in 2012.[11]

Coaching career[edit]

Grew was appointed the Port Vale youth coach in December 1994 and stayed with the club for the next eight years. He was appointed assistant manager under Brian Horton in 1999,[12] until he was sacked in December 2002 by the club's administrators.[13] In March 2003 he was appointed as assistant manager at Stafford Rangers, until he returned to Port Vale in a coaching capacity for the youth-team, after the club was taken over by Valiant 2001.[14] Following a capitulation to Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road on 20 October 2007, Grew gave a memorable post-match interview, saying that the team was "gutless... spineless... the worst bunch of players I have seen at Vale Park in 17 years".[15] On 8 October 2008, Grew rejected the opportunity to become assistant to recently appointed Port Vale manager Dean Glover.[16]

In December 2010, he was made joint caretaker manager at Vale, along with Geoff Horsfield, following the departure of Micky Adams.[17] Vale were hammered 5–0 by Rotherham United in his first game in charge,[18] but rallied to beat Burton Albion 2–1,[19] before Jim Gannon was appointed manager.[20] During Adams' reign Grew had doubled up as a first team coach, but when Gannon arrived at the club Grew chose to focus solely on his role as youth team coach.[21] Following Gannon's swift departure in March 2011, Grew was elevated to the position of caretaker-manager for the third time in twelve years.[22] Assisted by Horsfield, Marc Richards told the press that "it's absolutely brilliant that Grewy and Geoff are in charge again".[23] After his first match back in charge ended in a 1–1 draw, Grew stated that if offered the job first time he would "seriously consider it".[24] Defeat to bottom club Stockport County all but ended the club's promotion campaign, as well as Grew's hopes of a permanent appointment. He slammed both his players and the directors, claiming that "I was never in the picture to become the next manager".[25]

Upon Adams' return as manager he reshuffled the club's coaching set-up, and in July 2011 Grew was made assistant manager.[26] In July 2014 his role changed to that of goalkeeping coach and scouting co-ordinator.[27] He left the club in May 2015 as part of new manager's Rob Page's reshuffle of his backroom staff, and decided to take time out of football to undergo a back operation.[4] He left the club following his testimonial game to honour his 25 years of service to the club.[28]

Grew, as a coach at Port Vale.

Personal life[edit]

Grew's daughter, Melissa (born 1992), is a model.[29]

Career statistics[edit]

Playing statistics[edit]

  • Sourced from Mark Grew profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season Division League FA Cup Other[A] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Wigan Athletic (loan) 1978–79 Fourth Division 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Notts County (loan) 1978–79 Second Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
West Bromwich Albion 1978–79 First Division 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
1979–80 First Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1980–81 First Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1981–82 First Division 23 0 5 0 7 0 35 0
1982–83 First Division 10 0 0 0 1 0 11 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Oldham Athletic (loan) 1983–84 Second Division 5 0 0 0 1 0 6 0
Leicester City 1983–84 First Division 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Fulham (loan) 1985–86 Second Division 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
West Bromwich Albion (loan) 1985–86 First Division 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Derby County (loan) 1985–86 Third Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ipswich Town 1984–85 First Division 6 0 1 0 0 0 7 0
1985–86 First Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 6 0 1 0 0 0 7 0
Blackburn Rovers (loan) 1990–91 Second Division 13 0 0 0 1 0 14 0
Port Vale 1986–87 Third Division 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 0
1987–88 Third Division 41 0 6 0 3 0 50 0
1988–89 Third Division 37 0 3 0 9 0 49 0
1989–90 Second Division 43 0 3 0 5 0 51 0
1990–91 Second Division 14 0 0 0 0 0 14 0
1991–92 Second Division 46 0 1 0 6 0 47 0
Total 184 0 13 0 24 0 221 0
Career Total 276 0 25 0 40 0 341 0
A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Football League Cup, Football League Trophy, Football League play-offs and Full Members Cup.

Managerial statistics[edit]

Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record
P W D L Win %
Port Vale (caretaker) 18 January 1999 22 January 1999 0 0 0 0 !
Port Vale (caretaker) 30 December 2010 6 January 2011 2 1 0 1 50.0
Port Vale (caretaker) 21 March 2011 8 May 2011 10 2 4 4 20.0
Total[30] 12 3 4 5 25.0

Honours[edit]

as a player[edit]

Individual
with Port Vale
with Cardiff City

as a coach[edit]

  • Performance of the Month Award winner: 2008 (December)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hugman, Barry J. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 251. ISBN 1-85291-665-6. 
  2. ^ a b "Port Vale assistant manager Mark Grew relishing return to Wolves". The Sentinel. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Memory Match: Middlesbrough 2 Port Vale 2". The Sentinel. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c Smith, Pete (6 May 2015). "Mark Grew to leave Vale Park after 25 years". The Sentinel. Retrieved 7 May 2015. 
  5. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 310. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  6. ^ a b Kent, Jeff (1990). The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. p. 305. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  7. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 118. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  8. ^ a b "Grew's Ninian cup return". BBC Sport. 18 November 2001. Retrieved 24 December 2008. 
  9. ^ "Cardiff City : 1946/47 – 2007/08". Post War English & Scottish Football League A – Z Player's Database. Retrieved 24 December 2008. 
  10. ^ Kent, Jeff (December 1991). Port Vale Tales: A Collection Of Stories, Anecdotes And Memories. Witan Books. p. 295. ISBN 0-9508981-6-3. 
  11. ^ Earle, Robbie (12 January 2012). "Here's my promotion-winning Vale team". The Sentinel. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Port Vale: Club stalwart Grew is Micky's new right-hand man". The Sentinel. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  13. ^ "Vale axe Grew". BBC Sport. 18 December 2002. Retrieved 24 December 2008. 
  14. ^ "Grew left haunted by dole blow". The Sentinel. September 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  15. ^ "Mark Grew: Players are spineless". portvale.vitalfootball.co.uk. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  16. ^ "Grew and Porter reject Vale role". BBC Sport. 8 October 2008. Retrieved 24 December 2008. 
  17. ^ "Micky Leaves Vale". port-vale.co.uk. 30 December 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  18. ^ "Rotherham 5 – 0 Port Vale". BBC Sport. 1 January 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  19. ^ "Port Vale 2 – 1 Burton Albion". BBC Sport. 3 January 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  20. ^ "Port Vale appoint Jim Gannon as new manager". BBC Sport. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  21. ^ Shaw, Steve (28 January 2011). "Port Vale: Grew turns back on first team duties". The Sentinel. Retrieved 28 January 2011. 
  22. ^ "Manager Jim Gannon parts company with Port Vale". BBC Sport. 21 March 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  23. ^ Shaw, Steve (22 March 2011). "Port Vale: We'll be right behind management duo, says Richards". The Sentinel. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  24. ^ Shaw, Steve. "Port Vale: Grew ponders making a pitch for manager's job". The Sentinel. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  25. ^ Shaw, Steve (25 April 2011). "Port Vale: Angry Grew slams players ... and Vale directors". The Sentinel. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  26. ^ "New Coaching Set-up". port-vale.co.uk. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  27. ^ "Port Vale sign Coventry City winger". BBC Sport. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  28. ^ Earle, Robbie (7 May 2015). "Mark Grew was key reason Port Vale enjoyed so much success". The Sentinel. Retrieved 7 May 2015. 
  29. ^ "Port Vale: Catwalk hopeful looking for help". The Sentinel. 20 December 2008. Retrieved 24 December 2008. 
  30. ^ Mark Grew management career statistics at Soccerbase
  31. ^ Kent, Jeff (1989). Port Vale Promotion Chronicle 1988-1989: Back to Where We Once Belonged!. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9508981-3-9. 

External links[edit]