Stan Steele

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Stan Steele
Personal information
Full name Stanley Frederick Steele[1]
Date of birth (1937-01-05) 5 January 1937 (age 80)[1]
Place of birth Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, England[1]
Playing position Half-back / Inside forward
Youth career
Foley and Hewitt's
Port Vale
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1955–1961 Port Vale 185 (66)
1961 West Bromwich Albion 1 (0)
1961–1965 Port Vale 148 (22)
1965–1967 Port Elizabeth City 43 (5)
1968 Port Vale 2 (0)
1968 Port Elizabeth City 17 (0)
Eastwood Town
Armitage
Total 396+ (93+)
Teams managed
Great Haywood
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Stanley Frederick Steele (born 5 January 1937) is an English former footballer. A half-back and inside-forward, he scored 97 goals in 370 league and cup games for Port Vale between 1955 and 1968. His parents named him Stanley Frederick in honour of Stanley Matthews and Freddie Steele.[2]

He was prolific in his first spell at Port Vale between 1955 and 1961, and hit 66 goals in 185 league games, helping the "Valiants" to the Fourth Division title in 1958–59. He was sold to West Bromwich Albion in March 1961 for £10,000, but returned to Port Vale for the same fee four months later. He proved to be less prolific in his second spell at the club, and was given a free transfer in April 1965. He spent time in South Africa with Port Elizabeth City before a brief and unsuccessful third spell at Port Vale in January 1968. He later had spells with non-league outfits Eastwood Town, Armitage, and Great Haywood.

Playing career[edit]

Steele graduated from the Port Vale juniors to sign professional forms in May 1955.[1] He did not feature in the 1955–56 season, but instead made his debut on 6 October 1956, in a 3–1 defeat to Middlesbrough at Ayresome Park.[1] He scored his first senior goal on 3 November, in a 4–1 win over Liverpool at Anfield.[1] On the last day of the 1956–57 season he scored past Potteries derby rivals Stoke City in a 2–2 draw at Vale Park, and finished the campaign with three goals in 12 games.[1] However the season was a disaster for the club, and legendary manager Freddie Steele resigned from his post with Vale plummeting to the bottom of the Second Division.[1]

With the "Valiants" now in the Third Division South and under the stewardship of Norman Low, Steele managed to establish himself in the first team.[1] He hit a hat-trick past Southampton in a 4–0 home win on 16 September, and finished the 1957–58 season as the club's top scorer with 22 goals in 49 appearances.[1] On 30 October 1957, he was selected to play for the Third Division South representative team in what finished as a 2–2 draw with the Third Division North team.[1] Due a restructuring of the Football League, Vale were placed in the Fourth Division in 1958–59.[1] They proved to be too strong for the division, and won the title with a record 110 goals scored; Steele himself was described by Low as "the model of consistency" and "did the work of two men" as he hit 22 goals in 47 games to again finish as the club's top scorer.[1] He then hit 11 goals in 54 appearances in 1959–60, as Vale finished in 14th place in the Third Division. Steele hit 14 goals in 43 games in 1960–61, but was rested after 199 consecutive appearances between April 1957 and March 1961.[1] He immediately put in a transfer request, and was sold to West Bromwich Albion for £10,000 in March 1961.[1]

Steele appeared in one First Division game for the "Baggies",[3] before he was bought back by Port Vale for £10,000 in July 1961.[1] He hit just eight goals in 38 games in 1961–62, and started the 1962–63 season on the transfer-list after being singled out for abuse by hecklers.[1] He retained his first team place under returning manager Freddie Steele, and hit seven goals in 40 games as the Vale missed out on promotion by just four points.[1] Steele was limited to six goals in 50 appearances in 1963–64 and scored just three goals in 35 games in 1964–65.[1] Vale were relegated at the end of the season, and he was not retained by new manager Jackie Mudie, and so was handed a free transfer in April 1965.[1]

Steele played for South African side Port Elizabeth City, but rejoined Port Vale on trial in January 1968.[1] He did not re-sign however, only playing two games, and in the match against Aldershot on 3 February 1968 managed to score an 'incredible' own goal by lobbing the ball over Stuart Sharratt's head as Vale lost 3–0 at home.[1] He later returned to Port Elizabeth City and also played for Eastwood and Armitage before retiring.[1] Upon his retirement from playing, he became the coach of Great Haywood.[1]

Statistics[edit]

  • Sourced from Stan Steele profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
Club Season Division League FA Cup Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Port Vale 1956–57 Second Division 12 3 0 0 0 0 12 3
1957–58 Third Division South 46 21 3 1 0 0 49 22
1958–59 Fourth Division 46 22 1 0 0 0 47 22
1959–60 Third Division 46 10 6 1 0 0 52 11
1960–61 Third Division 35 10 3 0 3 3 41 13
Total 185 66 13 2 3 3 201 71
West Bromwich Albion 1960–61 First Division 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Port Vale 1961–62 Third Division 35 8 2 0 1 0 38 8
1962–63 Third Division 35 6 4 1 1 0 40 7
1963–64 Third Division 44 5 5 1 1 0 50 6
1964–65 Third Division 34 3 1 0 0 0 35 3
Total 148 22 12 2 3 0 173 24
Port Vale 1967–68 Fourth Division 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Career total 336 88 25 4 6 3 366 95

Honours[edit]

with Port Vale

References[edit]

  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 Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 280. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  2. ^ Kent, Jeff (1990). "Fame and Fortune (1950–1959)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 171–196. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  3. ^ "Stats". neilbrown.newcastlefans.com. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Kent, Jeff (1990). "Fame and Fortune (1950–1959)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 171–196. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7.