Horton: Youth is the Future

Horton: Youth is the Future

Former player and manager Brian Horton talks about ‘signing for half a shandy’ and explains his views on Vale’s youth policy.


Can you tell me about how you joined the Vale as a player? I heard that it quoted that the transfer fee was “a half of shandy”. Is that true?

It’s always nice to be recognised as a good player. I enjoyed my six seasons here and we had a great team spirit…

Gordon Lee bought one of the Hednesford committee a half a shandy when he was watching a game. So it’s not quite true because we went back and played a pre-season friendly at Hednesford and they kept the receipts.

Do you have a favourite match, goal or moment from your time as a player at Port Vale?

There are two games actually. My debut at home against Preston and I played against Archie Gemmell who went to play for Derby, Nottingham Forest and Scotland. We won the game 1-0 and I really enjoyed my home debut. The second game was scoring my first goal for Port Vale at Bury with a header.

Brian Horton has been voted as one of the best midfield players ever to grace Vale Park by visitors to my website. Are you pleased to hear that  the Vale fans think of you in such glowing terms?

It’s always nice to be recognised as a good player. I enjoyed my six seasons here and we had a great team spirit and cameraderie and that is one of the reasons why I chose to come back as manager.

Brian Horton the player (so my Dad tells me – I’m too young unfortunately) was a real competitor and had a fierce will to win. Which current player or players in the Vale side are most similar to you as a player?

Ideally I would like everybody in the squad to be that way. Everybody is different some players are more skilful, some are quicker but I like to believe that the competitive edge, I had, has to come from within.

I’ve been impressed with the amount of youngsters you have brought into Vale first team action. Is youth development the key to the future success of club like Port Vale?

Without a doubt the youth policies are the future for clubs our size and something I feel the fans associate with and it is always nice to help a youngster make it as a professional.

How far can Antony Gardner go in the game – is he a future England player?

Obviously Ant Gardner is a fantastic prospect and everyone was sorry to see him go, but the deal was done in the best interests of Port Vale Football Club. He has many great attributes and the next few years will be a great learning curve for him at Tottenham and I sincerely hope he goes on to play for England as Port Vale will come out all the richer for it.

You receive a good reception and a lot of support from Vale fans accessing my website. Have you got a message to the many exiled Vale fans out there in Australia, the USA and across the world?

It’s always nice to see Port Vale supported wherever on radio, TV or websites. Obviously websites are the new future and the more publicity Port Vale get the better. Please keep up your valuable support.

Do you use the Internet at all? Have you visited my web site at all? Do you feel it is a good way for supporters to keep up to date with the club?

I am not computer-literate at all my children are but I am about to get web-access with a computer from the League Managers’ Association. I haven’t been on the onevalefan site yet – but as soon as I have my computer and find me way around it, it’ll be one of the first places I visit.

Many thanks to Brian Horton for answering our questions

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