Jeff Kent’s new Port Vale book “What if there was no Port in the Vale?” departs from the “traditional” historical approach for what’s billed as a “counterfactual football history.”
If that’s too much of a mouthful for you – look at it this way… the book explores a number of significant Vale events and poses the question – “what would have happened if…”
For example… what if Vale supporter Sir Stanley Matthews had played for the Valiants? What if Bill Bell hadn’t decided on such an expensive plan for the Lorne Street stand? What if John Rudge had been successful with a bid for the then unknown Steve Bull? And so on…
Interestingly, the book also touches on the recent events at Vale Park, asking what may have happened if Mo Chaudry had gained control of the club. Kent concludes, damningly for the Bill Bratt regime, that if Chaudry had taken control then “at least he would have been an improvement on what had gone before.” This final part is fascinating in its own right as it’s the first book we’ve read that reflects on the events of the last twelve months and I feel this book provides a excellent account of the drama as it unfolded.
I think Kent’s unusual approach is an entertaining way to explore how Vale’s history could have turned out very differently and will be a fascinating read for all Vale fans.
Review by OVF editor Rob Fielding
“What if there was no Port in the Vale?” is available in the Port Vale club shop and also Webberley’s and several other local book stores.