OVF would like to pay tribute to Port Vale players, officials, fans and all other men and women who gave their lives serving their country.
According to our research, Port Vale lost two players during World War One. One was inside-right Frank Cannon who was killed on the Western Front on 15th February 1916 and was buried in Potijze in Belgium. The other was John (Jack) Shelton who was conscripted in the summer of 1917 and died in September 1918. Inside-forward Alf Smith was also seriously wounded and never played football again.
Meanwhile, former player Leigh Roose (Vale, 1910) was killed at the battle of the Somme. A larger-than-life character, Roose really deserves a feature all to himself. A Welsh International, he was once named as one of the country’s most-eligible batchelors by a national newspaper. A goalkeeper with a noted long-throw expert, his role in the army was that of grenade thrower. He received the Military Medal for his bravery but sadly died towards the end of the Battle of the Somme.
In World War Two, Vale lost former players Tom Cooper (Vale 1924-1926), Haydyn Dackins (1935-1936) and Sam Jennings (1929-1931). Meanwhile, future captain Tommy Cheadle was injured by a German grenade and Jack Roberts managed to escape from a German prisoner of war camp in 1944.
Apart from players and Vale staff mentioned above, there have also been several Port Vale fans who have also lost their lives serving their country. Finally, this is not just purely a Port Vale “thing”, so OVF would like to remember all men and women who have died serving their country.
The “Ode of Remembrance”
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.