Port Vale F.C.

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Port Vale
Port Vale F.C. logo
Full name Port Vale Football Club
Nickname(s) The Valiants
Founded 1876; 142 years ago (1876) (amateur)
1907; 111 years ago (1907) (refounded)
Ground Vale Park, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent
Capacity 19,052
Owner Norman Smurthwaite
Chairman Norman Smurthwaite
Manager Neil Aspin
League League Two
2017–18 League Two, 20th of 24
Website Club website
Current season

Port Vale Football Club is a professional association football club based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England. The team compete in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system. Port Vale is one of the few English league clubs not to be named after a geographical location, their name being a reference to the valley of ports on the Trent and Mersey Canal. They have never played top-flight football, and hold the record for the most seasons in the English Football League without reaching the top tier (105). After playing at the Athletic Ground in Cobridge and The Old Recreation Ground in Hanley, the club returned to Burslem when Vale Park was opened in 1950. Outside the ground is a statue to Roy Sproson, who played 842 competitive games for the club. The club's traditional rivals are Stoke City, and games between the two are known as the Potteries derby.

After becoming one of the more prominent football clubs in Staffordshire, Burslem Port Vale were invited to become founder members of the Football League Second Division in 1892. They spent 13 non-consecutive seasons in the division, punctuated by two seasons in the Midland League, before they resigned due to financial difficulties and entered liquidation in 1907. The name of Port Vale continued in the North Staffordshire Federation League, and this new club were successful enough to be reinstated into the Football League in October 1919. They spent 16 non-consecutive seasons in the Second Division, punctuated by them winning the Third Division North title in 1929–30, before dropping back into the third tier for a much longer stay at the end of the 1935–36 campaign. The 1953–54 season saw manager Freddie Steele's "Iron Curtain" defence win both a Third Division North title and a semi-final place in the FA Cup. They failed to build on this success however, though went on to finish as champions of the first ever Fourth Division season under Norman Low's stewardship in 1958–59.

The club had little success throughout the 1960s and 1970s, despite being briefly managed by Stanley Matthews, and in fact were forced to apply for re-election after breaking FA rules on illegal payments in 1968. Gordon Lee guided the club to promotion back to the Third Division the following season, where they would remain until relegation at the end of the 1977–78 campaign. John McGrath steered the club to promotion in 1982–83, though he departed after relegation became inevitable the following season. His assistant, John Rudge, stepped up to become the club's longest-serving and most successful manager, leading the club from 1983 to 1999. Under his leadership Port Vale won promotions in 1985–86, 1988–89 and 1993–94, lifted the League Trophy in 1993 and reached a post-war record finish of eighth in the second tier in the 1996–97 season.

After Rudge's reign ended the club entered a decline, slipping into the fourth tier whilst twice entering administration in 2003 and 2012. The decline was arrested when Norman Smurthwaite brought the club out of administration in 2012 and manager Micky Adams achieved automatic promotion from League Two in the 2012–13 season, though they were relegated back into League Two at the end of the 2016–17 season after a failed experiment with a continental staff and playing style.

History[edit]

The official story reported on the club website is that Port Vale F.C. was formed in 1876, following a meeting at Port Vale House, from where the club was supposed to have taken its name.[1] However documented evidence of football from that era is extremely scarce and comprehensive research by historian Jeff Kent indicated that it was probably formed in 1879 as an offshoot of Porthill Victoria F.C. and took its name from the valley of canal ports where the team played.[2][3] In the club's early days the team played their football at Limekiln Lane, Longport and from 1880 at Westport.[4] The club moved to Moorland Road in Burslem in 1884, changing its name to Burslem Port Vale in the process, though stayed in Burslem for just one year before both turning professional and moving to Cobridge to play at the Athletic Ground.[5] In 1892 the club were invited to become founder members of the Football League Second Division after proving themselves a strong club in the Midland League.[6] They spent 13 seasons in the Second Division either side of a two season return to the Midland League (1896–97 and 1897–98).[7]

Chart of table positions of Port Vale in the Football League.

The club were forced to resign from the league at the end of the 1906–07 season and were subsequently liquidated.[8] However the name of Port Vale was continued after ambitious minor league side Cobridge Church opted to change their name. The new club subsequently moved into their new home of the Old Recreation Ground in Hanley in 1912, and returned to the Football League in October 1919, taking over the fixture list of Leeds City in the Second Division, who were forced to disband because of financial irregularities.[9] Wilf Kirkham made his Vale debut in October 1923, and over the next ten years would score a club record 164 league and cup goals, including a club record 41 goals in the 1926–27 campaign.[10]

The club were relegated for the first time at the end of the 1928–29 season, going from the Second Division to the Third Division North.[11] They came up as champions the following season and in the 1930–31 season they placed fifth in the second tier of English football, their highest ever league finish.[12] Vale went to beat Chesterfield by a club record 9–1 margin on 24 September 1932.[13] However after these achievements the club were once again relegated in the 1935–36 season and remained in the third tier until World War II.[14]

Port Vale moved into their new home of Vale Park in 1950, and a year later Freddie Steele was appointed club manager.[15] Steele quickly established himself at the club, masterminding the celebrated 'Iron Curtain' defence.[15] The 1953–54 season saw Vale winning the Third Division North title as well as reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup, losing out to eventual winners West Bromwich Albion in controversial fashion, in which an Albert Leake goal was disallowed for offside.[15] Three years later, the club were again relegated, and once again became founder members of a division – this time the Football League Fourth Division.[15] Manager Norman Low instilled an attacking philosophy and in the 1958–59 season guided the team to the Fourth Division title with a club record 110 goals scored.[15]

Vale ended a six season stay in the Third Division with relegation at the end of the 1964–65 campaign.[16] In 1967 former Ballon d'Or winner Stanley Matthews succeeded Jackie Mudie as manager, though resigned a year later after Vale were expelled from the Football League after making 'illegal payments' to players in contravention of FA rules – this punishment was reduced on appeal to a re-election vote, which the club won.[17] Gordon Lee took the helm following this punishment, and steered the cub to promotion at the end of the 1969–70 campaign.[18] However, the 1970s did not prove a successful period for the Valiants, as the club languished in the bottom half of the Third Division for much of the decade. Lee left in 1974, and a succession of managers failed to prevent relegation in 1977–1978.[19] The 1979–80 season saw Port Vale finish 20th in the Fourth Division (88th overall), the club's worst ever finish.[20] Despite this poor finish in John McGrath's first season, they eventually achieved their first success for thirteen years in 1982–83 by winning promotion out of the Fourth Division in third place.[21]

Following McGrath's dismissal, his assistant John Rudge was appointed as manager in December 1983.[22] Though he was unable to halt Vale's immediate return to the bottom tier of the Football League, he succeeded in steadying the ship.[23] Helped by the goals of prolific Welshman Andy Jones, Vale were promoted back to the third tier in 1985–86 after losing just once at Vale Park in the league all season.[24] A major cup upset came on 30 January 1988, when Vale defeated First Division side Tottenham Hotspur 2–1, thanks to a superb strike from Ray Walker.[25] After three seasons in the third tier, Rudge's Vale achieved another promotion in 1988–89 after Robbie Earle scored the winning goal at Vale Park to complete a 2–1 aggregate play-off final victory over Bristol Rovers; this marked the club's return to the Second Division after a 33 year absence.[26]

Striker Tom Pope's goals helped the club to win promotion in 2012–13.

Vale suffered relegation on the final day of the 1991–92 league campaign, and though they bounced back well by staying in the promotion picture for most of the 1992–93 season, they narrowly missed out as runners-up to local rivals Stoke City after being overtaken by Bolton Wanderers on the final day.[27] Instead Vale would visit Wembley twice in just over a week. They firstly ran out as 2–1 winners against Stockport County in the final of the League Trophy.[28] However they then lost 3–0 in the play-off final to West Bromwich Albion.[29] Vale recovered from this setback however and went on to confirm promotion as runners-up on the final day of the 1993–94 season. During the 1995–96 season Vale recorded one of their greatest FA Cup giant-killings when they defeated holders Everton 2–1.[30] The team also had some success in the Anglo-Italian Cup, as they qualified for the Final at Wembley, where they lost 5–2 to then Italian Serie B side Genoa.[31] Vale made a slow start to the 1996–97 campaign, with protests forming against chairman Bill Bell, and the sale of Steve Guppy to Leicester City for £800,000. Despite this Rudge masterminded an eighth-place finish – their highest in the pyramid since 1931.

In 1997–98, relegation was avoided on the final day of the season with a 4–0 win over Huddersfield Town, at the expense of Manchester City and Stoke City.[32] The next season was another struggle, and John Rudge was controversially sacked in January 1999.[33] He was replaced by former player Brian Horton, who spent big to secure the club's second consecutive final-day escape from relegation.[34] There was no avoiding relegation in 1999–2000 however, as they were some thirteen points short of safety. Horton led the club to League Trophy success in 2001, as Marc Bridge-Wilkinson and Steve Brooker scored the goals to secure a 2–1 victory over Brentford in the final at the Millennium Stadium.[35] In December 2002, Bill Bell called in the administrators, with the club around £1.5 million in debt.[36]

The club came out of administration in 2003–04 under a fan-ownership consortium headed by Bill Bratt's Valiant 2001 consortium.[37] However, Horton left in February 2004, unwilling to accept the financial cutbacks imposed by the new board, and was replaced by former player Martin Foyle.[38] Foyle was dismissed in November 2007, and his successor, Lee Sinnott, proved unable to prevent the club from being relegated into League Two after a 23rd-place finish and also oversaw a defeat to Southern League Division One Midlands club Chasetown in the FA Cup.[39] Sinnott was sacked in September 2008 and following an unsuccessful tenure from Dean Glover, Micky Adams was appointed as the club's new manager in June 2009.[40][41] Adams left the club in December 2010 with Vale second in the table and Jim Gannon was selected to finish the promotion job.[42][43] However Gannon's remarkably turbulent reign ended after 74 days.[44] Adams returned as manager at the end of the 2010–11 campaign, but this was not enough to placate fans who demanded a change in the boardroom after a series of promised investments failed to come to fruition.[45][46]

Genuine hopes of promotion in 2011–12 were brought to an end after the club was issued with a winding up petition by HM Revenue and Customs on 29 February 2012; the club were by this time unable to pay tax bills, creditors, or staff wages.[47] The club entered administration on 9 March.[48] The club finally exited administration on 20 November 2012,[49] and Tom Pope scored 33 goals to fire Vale to promotion back to League One with a third-place finish.[50] They stabilised in the division under new boss Rob Page, before chairman Norman Smurthwaite orchestrated the departure of Page and his squad in favour of the club's first foreign manager, Bruno Ribeiro, in June 2016.[51][52] The result was relegation back into League Two at the end of the 2016–17 season, after which Smurthwaite resigned as chairman.[53]

Kit and badge[edit]

The kit used in Vale's first League season (1892)[54]

In 1921 the club adopted their familiar white and black strip after having experimented with numerous colours, including plain red, gold and black stripes, claret and blue, and even during 1898–1902 playing in the red and white stripes now used by rivals Stoke City for over a century. However, the kit soon changed to plain red shirts with white shorts in 1923, a look which lasted until 1934, where the white shirt, black shorts and socks kit once again was adopted. Between 1958 and 1963 the club adopted various gold and black designs, before once again returning to the black and white theme.[54]

The club crest first featured on the kit in 1956, which at the time was modelled on the coat of arms of the Borough of Burslem. It featured the scythe of the Tunstall arms, the fretted cross of Audley, and two Josiah Wedgwood pots.[54] The crest was removed in 1964, and replaced by a 'P.V.F.C.' monogramme, which in turn was abandoned in 1981.[54] The eighth cumulative crest was introduced in 1983. The two symbols on the club's badge were a bottle oven and the Stafford knot, associated with the city of Stoke-on-Trent's pottery industry and the history of the local area.[54] The current crest was introduced in February 2013, which was a modern rehash of the crest the club introduced in 1956; it included local historical references – the Portland Vases representing Josiah Wedgwood, the Scythe coming from the house crest of the Sneyd family, and the silver cross appearing from the house crest of the Audley family, as well as the Stafford knot above the crest.[55]

Club mascot Boomer.

Sponsorship[edit]

Period Sportswear Sponsor
1974–1976 Admiral None
1977–1978 Bukta
1978–1979 Admiral
1980–1981 Adidas
1981–1982 BGR
1983–1984 Hobott PMT
1984–1985 EDS
1985–1986 ECI
1986–1987 Bourne Sports Browns Transport
Period Sportswear Sponsor
1987–1988 New Olympic ABC Minolta Copiers
1989–1990 Bourne Sports
1990–1991 Kalamazoo
1991–1992 Valiants Leisure
1992–1995 Tunstall Assurance
1995–2001 Mizuno
2001–2003 Patrick
2003–2005 Vandanel Tricell
2005–2007 BGC Gas
Period Sportswear Sponsor
2007–2008 Vandanel Sennheiser
2008–2012 Harlequin Property
2012–2013 Sondico UK Windows Systems Ltd
2013–2014 GMB
2014–2017 Erreà
2017–2018 Manorshop.com
2018– BLK
Source
historicalkits.co.uk[56]

Stadium[edit]

Vale Park, Port Vale's home ground since 1950.

Before joining the English Football League, the club started its existence at the Meadows in Limekiln Lane, Longport – now Scott Lidgett Road.[57] The club moved on to Westport Meadows in 1881, where they played for three years.[57] An area prone to flooding, today Westport Lake now lies where the ground once stood.[57] In 1884, the club moved to the Burslem Football and Athletic ground, though would stay for just two years.[57] Located close to Burslem railway station, the club took the area's name.[57] The first match was a 6–0 win over Everton in a friendly, though the club would also host FA Cup matches for the first time at the ground.[57] It proved to be inadequate however, and the club moved on to the Athletic Ground.[57] Located opposite the church on Waterloo Road, directly on the Hanley and Burslem tram line, it played host to the club for 27 years, including twelve Football League seasons.[58] It was named due to the fact that it also hosted athletics.

The Old Recreation Ground was Vale's home from 1913 to 1950, and was located in Hanley, standing on what is now the multi-storey car park for the Potteries Shopping Centre. The club endured hard financial times during World War II, and sold the ground to the council, who were reluctant to allow the club to rent it back.[59] The club received £13,500 for the ground, which they needed to pay off a £3,000 debt.[60]

Vale Park has been Port Vale's home ground since 1950; it is located on Hamil Road, opposite Burslem Park. Originally planned to be as massive as an 80,000 capacity stadium, the development was known as the "Wembley of the North".[61] However the £50,000 project opened at a capacity of 40,000 (360 seated) – still highly ambitious.[59] The capacity was increased to a sell-out 49,768 for an FA Cup tie with Aston Villa in 1960.[59] The stadium underwent numerous upgrades after Bill Bell was elected as chairman in 1987, who aimed to make it "fit for the Premiership", though the job was never entirely completed and the Lorne Street stand remained half-finished.[62] Outside the ground is a statue to Roy Sproson, who played 842 competitive games for the club.[63]

Supporters and rivalries[edit]

Average home attendances from 1892–93 to 2009–10.

Vale receive most of their support in the north of Stoke-on-Trent, particularly the towns of Tunstall and Burslem. The club also enjoys support from fans scattered all over the city, and the local area in general. The club has a healthy rivalry with Stoke City, as City are based in the town of Stoke-upon-Trent, only a small percentage of residents in the town are Vale fans. Stoke City also enjoy a higher support base in the city as a whole, especially in recent times when they have achieved promotion to the country's top division. With 215,206 supporters turning out in 46 League Two games during the 2009–10 season, Vale attracted an average league attendance of 4,678.[64] The club enjoyed the best away support in proportion to home support in the Football League in the 2012–13 season.[65]

Stoke and Vale first met on 2 December 1882, and played out a total of 44 Football League games up until 10 February 2002, when the two clubs last met in the Second Division; Stoke won the first match 1–0, whilst Vale were 1–0 victors in the latest encounter.[66] Stoke have been the more successful team over the years, as Vale have finished higher in the league on only seven occasions.[66] Port Vale also maintain a minor rivalry with Crewe Alexandra, which has taken on greater significance since Stoke were promoted to a higher league than Vale at the end of the 2001–02 season.[67]

The club's official matchday programme is highly rated, and was voted the best in League Two in 2010–11.[68] Supporters also produced three unofficial fanzines. The oldest are The Memoirs of Seth Bottomley printed in the 1990s and the Vale Park Beano, which has been printed since 1997.[69] Derek I'm Gutted! is also a long-running fanzine, and has been printed since August 2000; the name was inspired by a remark by then-manager Brian Horton to local journalist Derek Davis following a defeat to Tranmere Rovers.[70]

Williams at a concert in Vienna

The club's most famous supporter is singer Robbie Williams, who was raised in Stoke-on-Trent. Before administration in 2012, he was a major shareholder, having bought £240,000 worth of available shares in the club in February 2006.[71] For this investment, a restaurant at Vale Park is named after him.[72]

For the football game FIFA 2000, he provided an original theme song with "It's Only Us", on the condition that Port Vale should be included in the game, which they were, located in the Rest of World section. This song was also featured on the only FIFA Soundtrack CD release by EMI.[73] In 2005 Williams founded Los Angeles Vale F.C., a Super Metro League team in the United States, named after Port Vale and based at his L.A. home. His best friend, TV presenter Jonathan Wilkes, is also a Vale fan.[74]

Another famous fan is darts legend Phil Taylor; Burslem born, "The Power" is a 16 time world champion of the sport.[75] The singer Simon Webbe was signed up to the club's youth side as a teenager until a torn ligament at age seventeen put an end to any sporting ambitions.[76] The children's illustrator and author Bob Wilson, is also a fan.[77] His Stanley Bagshaw series of books is set in an area based on Stoke, and the protagonist supports a thinly disguised version of the Vale; even basing a book on their 1954 Cup run – albeit with a successful conclusion.[78] Fans that have gone on to play for the club in recent times include Tom Pope, Adam Yates, Ritchie Sutton and Chris Birchall.

Honours and achievements[edit]

Football League Third Division / Third Division North / League One (3rd tier)

Football League Fourth Division / League Two (4th tier)

Football League Trophy

Club records[edit]

Gareth Ainsworth, the club's most expensive signing, at £500,000, was sold for a £1.5 million profit after 13 months.
Highest Football League finish 1930–31, 5th place in Second Division (second tier)[79]
Best FA Cup finish 1953–54, semi-finalists[79]
Highest home attendance 49,768: vs Aston Villa, 20 February 1960, FA Cup Fifth Round[79]
Largest league victory 9–1: vs Chesterfield, 24 September 1932, Second Division[79]
Heaviest league defeat 0–10: vs Sheffield United, 10 December 1892, Second Division[79]
Most capped player Chris Birchall: 24, Trinidad and Tobago
Most appearances in all competitions Roy Sproson: 842, 1950–72[81]
Most goals in all competitions Wilf Kirkham: 164, 1923–33[82]
Most goals in a season Wilf Kirkham: 41, 1926–27[83]
Highest transfer fee paid £500,000: Gareth Ainsworth from Lincoln City, 11 September 1997[84]
Highest transfer fee received £2,000,000: Gareth Ainsworth to Wimbledon, 29 October 1998[84]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 28 June 2018.[85]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 England GK Scott Brown
2 England DF James Gibbons
3 Colombia MF Cristian Montaño
4 England MF Luke Joyce
5 England DF Leon Legge
6 England DF Antony Kay
7 England MF David Worrall
8 England MF Manny Oyeleke
9 England FW Tom Pope (captain)
10 England FW Ricky Miller
11 England MF Luke Hannant
12 England GK Sam Hornby
13 Wales DF Connell Rawlinson
14 England FW Scott Quigley (on loan from Blackpool until end of season)
No. Position Player
15 England DF Nathan Smith
16 England MF Danny Pugh
17 England FW Idris Kanu (on loan from Peterborough United until end of season)
18 England MF Michael Tonge
19 England FW Louis Dodds (on loan from Chesterfield until end of season)
20 England MF Brendon Daniels
21 England DF Theo Vassell
22 England MF Tom Conlon
23 Wales DF Mitch Clark (on loan from Aston Villa until end of season)
24 England MF Ben Whitfield
25 England MF Lewis Hardcastle (on loan from Blackburn Rovers until end of season)
England DF Joe Davis
England FW Dan Turner

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
England FW Dior Angus (on loan at Nuneaton Town until end of season)
England FW Tyrone Barnett (on loan at Cheltenham Town until January 2019)
England MF Harry Benns (on loan at Stafford Rangers)
England MF Mike Calveley (on loan at Nuneaton Town until end of season)
England GK Rob Lainton (on loan at Wrexham until end of season)

Club management[edit]

Coaching positions[edit]

Position Name Nationality
Manager: Neil Aspin England English
Assistant manager: Lee Nogan Wales Welsh
Player-coach: Danny Pugh England English
Football Advisor: John Rudge England English
Goalkeeping coach: Ronnie Sinclair Scotland Scottish
Football and Education Academy Head Coach: Andy Turner Republic of Ireland Irish
Source
Port Vale F.C.[86]

Managerial history[edit]

Source
Soccerbase[87]

References and notes[edit]

General
  • Kent, Jeff: "The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale" (Witan Books, 1990, ISBN 0-9508981-4-7).
  • Kent, Jeff: "The Port Vale Record 1879–1993" (Witan Books, 1993, ISBN 0-9508981-9-8).
  • Kent, Jeff: "Port Vale Personalities: A Biographical Dictionary of Players, Officials and Supporters" (Witan Books, 1996, ISBN 0-9529152-0-0).
  • Kent, Jeff. "What If There Had Been No Port in the Vale?: Startling Port Vale Stories!" (Witan Books, 2011, ISBN 978-0-9529152-8-7).
Specific
  1. ^ "A Brief Club History". www.port-vale.co.uk. 4 October 2011. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  2. ^ Kent 1990, p. 9
  3. ^ "21 things you didn't know about Port Vale". The Sentinel. 30 October 2014. Archived from the original on 7 December 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  4. ^ Kent 1990, p. 13
  5. ^ Kent 1990, p. 19
  6. ^ Kent 1990, p. 34
  7. ^ Kent 1990, p. 49
  8. ^ Kent 1990, p. 70
  9. ^ Kent 1990, p. 99
  10. ^ Kent 1990, p. 118
  11. ^ Kent 1990, p. 123
  12. ^ Kent 1990, p. 129
  13. ^ Kent 1990, p. 132
  14. ^ Kent 1990, p. 141
  15. ^ a b c d e King, Ray. Port Vale FC: The Valiants in the 50s and 60s. Cheshire: Staffordshire Sentinel Newspapers Limited. p. 13. ISBN 1-84547-090-7.
  16. ^ Kent 1990, p. 213
  17. ^ Maul, Rob (13 August 2006). "Caught in Time: Port Vale pre-season tour of Czechoslovakia, 1967". Times Online. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
  18. ^ Kent 1990, p. 224
  19. ^ Kent 1990, p. 253
  20. ^ Kent 1990, p. 260
  21. ^ Kent 1990, p. 268
  22. ^ Kent 1990, p. 270
  23. ^ Kent 1990, p. 271
  24. ^ Kent 1990, p. 276
  25. ^ Kent 1990, p. 282
  26. ^ Kent 1990, p. 286
  27. ^ "Dodgy penalty was not enough for a promotion". The Sentinel. 19 February 2011. p. 26.
  28. ^ "Vale rise to the occasion with a win at Wembley". The Sentinel. 19 March 2011.
  29. ^ McOwan, Gavin (2002). The Essential History of West Bromwich Albion. Headline. pp. 158–159. ISBN 0-7553-1146-9.
  30. ^ Baggaley, Mike (12 February 2016). "Happy anniversary Vale - was Everton win the club's greatest ever performance?". The Sentinel. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  31. ^ "Anglo-Italian Cup 1995/96". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  32. ^ Baggaley, Mike (20 February 2016). "Were these Vale's five greatest games ever?". The Sentinel. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  33. ^ Shaw, Phil (30 January 2011). "No grudge for Rudge, only old golden memories". The Independent. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
  34. ^ "Profile on Brian Horton". BBC Sport. 18 April 2001. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
  35. ^ "Matt Carragher tribute: The day he captained Vale to Trophy glory". Stoke Sentinel. 30 December 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  36. ^ "Vale go into administration". BBC Sport. 16 December 2002. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  37. ^ "Vale fans to take control". BBC Sport. 7 April 2003. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  38. ^ "Port Vale appoint Foyle". BBC Sport. 13 February 2004. Retrieved 19 May 2008.
  39. ^ "The defeat of Port Vale". BBC Sport. 16 December 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
  40. ^ "Sinnott parts company with Vale". BBC Sport. 22 September 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2008.
  41. ^ "Adams to be named Port Vale boss". BBC Sport. 4 June 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
  42. ^ "Micky Adams confirmed as Sheffield United manager". BBC Sport. 30 December 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
  43. ^ "Port Vale appoint Jim Gannon as new manager". BBC Sport. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2011.
  44. ^ "Manager Jim Gannon parts company with Port Vale". BBC Sport. 21 March 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  45. ^ Steve Shaw (13 May 2011). "Port Vale: Micky Adams is back to finish the job he started". The Sentinel. Archived from the original on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  46. ^ "Port Vale: Fans vote to call EGM in bid to vote out board". The Sentinel. 13 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  47. ^ "Port Vale: Winding-up petition served against Valiants by HMRC". The Sentinel. 29 February 2012. Archived from the original on 14 January 2013. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  48. ^ "Port Vale formally enter administration". BBC Sport. 9 March 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  49. ^ "Port Vale exit administration as Paul Wildes completes takeover". BBC Sport. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  50. ^ Sherwin, Phil; Johnson, Dave (2013), Port Vale This Side Up: 2012–2013 Promotion Celebration, BGL, ISBN 978-0-9926579-0-1
  51. ^ "Port Vale: Norman Smurthwaite says he wanted Rob Page out". The Sentinel. 14 June 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2016.[permanent dead link]
  52. ^ Baggaley, Mike (20 June 2016). "Valiants confirm Bruno Ribeiro is new manager". The Sentinel. Retrieved 20 June 2016.[permanent dead link]
  53. ^ "Norman Smurthwaite: Port Vale chairman steps down". BBC Sport. 2 May 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  54. ^ a b c d e "Kit History". Historical Football Kits. Retrieved 24 December 2008.
  55. ^ "Port Vale new crest 2013". Port Vale F.C. official website. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  56. ^ "Port Vale". historicalkits.co.uk. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  57. ^ a b c d e f g "Community Cycle Ride". port-vale.co.uk. 15 April 2009. Archived from the original on 20 April 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2010.
  58. ^ Kent 1990, p. 19
  59. ^ a b c Sherwin, Phil (24 August 2010). "Port Vale: 60-years ago today, Vale came back home to play". The Sentinel. Archived from the original on 14 January 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  60. ^ Kent 1996, p. 103
  61. ^ Kent 1990, p. 172
  62. ^ Kent 2011, p. 168
  63. ^ "Port Vale: Tributes paid to legend Roy Sproson after statue is unveiled". The Sentinel. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  64. ^ Spinks, Martin; Michael Baggaley (30 November 2010). "Football: Contrasting arrest figures for Stoke and Vale". The Sentinel. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  65. ^ "Fans urged to follow Valiants to even more success". The Sentinel. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  66. ^ a b Kent, Jeff (November 1998). The Potteries Derbies. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9529152-3-5.
  67. ^ Baggaley, Michael (25 August 2017). "Yes, Port Vale v Crewe is a derby and there's plenty at stake, says Tom Pope". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  68. ^ "Vale Programme Wins Award". port-vale.co.uk. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  69. ^ "The Beano". port-vale.co.uk. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  70. ^ "Kelly high as double sinks Vale; Tranmere 2 Port Vale 1". The Mirror. 19 April 2000. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  71. ^ "Robbie buys into Vale", BBC Stoke & Staffordshire, 27 February 2006
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