Local lad Robbie Earle is the hero as Vale clinch promotion in the play-off final.
Match details: Port Vale 1-0 Bristol Rovers, Play-Off final second leg, June 3rd, 1989
Fan view – Neil Lewis
This was the second leg of the play-off game against Bristol Rovers. I think we had drew the first game 1-1. I can remember the game for being a very tense one since this was not only the culmination of a season’s hard graft but also the possibility of making it into the old Second Division for something like thirty odd years.
I vaguely remember Robbie Earle scoring from one of those near post flick ons that seemed to be Vale’s only corner routine in the eighties yet nobody ever seemed to latch onto the idea as we were consistently successful with it. Anyway I think we scored half way through the second-half so it was a very tense last twenty minutes.
The whistles must have started with about five minutes to go and it seemed like an eternity until that final whistle went.
The expected celebrations happened with a lap of honour. But what brought it home for me was that about 30 mins after the final whistle had gone and the players had left the pitch. There was still people standing on the paddock taking it all in, you could see the fans had kicked every ball and saved every shot. Also for a lot of the older generation who had seen Vale 30 odd years before in this division, this was the reward of watching Vale through the desperate times over the last 30 years.
All in all a very emotional day.
Fan view – Joe Howle
That win gave the Vale a lot of good publicity. and boosted their confidence, I believe it was also televised live in Scandinavia.
The revenue allowed them to invest in new players, That result completely changed the direction of the Club. From that event they started to rise.
Note: the picture shows Robbie Earle weeping tears of joy after the game as he realises he has managed to get the club promoted.