Following Chris Birchall’s return to Vale Park for a second spell, we take a look at some other Port Vale players who have made two (or more) stops in Burslem.
Chris Birchall is not alone in the current Port Vale squad. Three other players are currently in their second spell at Vale Park (Jennison Myrie-Williams, Liam Chilvers and Tom Pope) but how many other Vale players have returned for a second spell for the Valiants?
Well, here’s a list of some (but not all) of the more well-known players who’ve enjoyed two (or in some cases more) spells at the club…
1962-1967 and 1977
A locally born right-back who switched to centre-half. In August 1967, he signed for Blackpool for a fee of £30,000, a club record at the time. He rejoined Vale for a second spell in 1977.
1992 and 1994-1995
A much-travelled striker who initially joined on loan. He arrived permanently two years later and despite a good strike rate he departed after failing to gain a regular starting spot.
1975-1978 and 1978-1981
A locally born player who graduated from Vale’s youth team, Kenny played in midfield for three years for Vale before being sold to Cleveland Cobras in 1978. He returned to the Vale the same year and was voted Player of the Year in 1980.
1918, 1919-1923 and 1925
A former Stoke and Leeds forward who played for the club over three spells. He was top scorer in the 1924-1925 season.
1906-1910 and 1913-1922
A locally born half-back who became a regular in 1907. He netted a club record 43 goals in 1909-1901, He then moved to Liverpool in 1910 but rejoined the club in 1913, scoring an impressive 35 goals on his return before retiring in 1922.
1999-2001 and 2008
Midfielder Brammer cost a club-record £500,000 when he was signed from Wrexham. He was made club captain and departed to Crewe Alexandra for the same fee as a cost cutting measure. He returned to Vale on loan in 2008 but it was less successful and he left under a cloud as he accused Vale of cancelling his contract via text message.
1965-1969 and 1976
A Scottish striker who spent two spells as a player and has also worked as club commercial manager. He was top scorer in the 1975-1976 season. He is currently a popular match summariser on BBC Radio Stoke.
2005-2006 and 2007
Powerful central defender who twice joined the Vale on loan. He initially joined from Bristol City in 2005-06 and arrived again on loan from Leyton Orient the following season.
1967 and 1968-1971
A cultured midfielder who initially joined Vale on loan in 1967. He sealed a permanent move in 1968 and was voted Player of the Year and was an ever-present during the 1969-1970 promotion season.
1985-1987 and 1989
A prolific striker who joined the club for £3,000 from Rhyl. Jones equalled the post-war scoring record with 37 during the 1986-1987 and was picked for the Welsh International side. He was sold for a club-record £375,000 fee to Charlton Athletic but returned for a brief loan spell during Vale’s 1988-1989 promotion season.
1920-1929 and 1932-1933
Legendary striker who tops the all-time scoring charts. Kirkham was top scorer for three years and set the club-record of 38 goals in one season. During two spells with Vale, he scored four goals in a game twice and hit twelve hat-tricks.
1992 and 1994
A talented forward who enjoyed two productive loan spells at Vale Park.
2008 and 2012
An elegant midfielder who joined on loan from Manchester City in 2008. He rejoined the side in 2012 but was released at the end of the season.
1941-1951 and 1957-1959
An inside-forward and full-back who spent two spells at the club and was ever-present for the 1947-1948 and the 1948-1949 seasons.
1995-1997 and 2002
An elegant right-winger who was signed for a club-record fee of four hundred and fifty thousand pounds from York City. McCarthy formed a quality wing partnership with Steve Guppy and the pair were instrumental in the FA Cup defeat of Everton. McCarthy departed to Birmingham City for a club record one and a half million pounds and returned to the club for a brief spell five years later. He also enjoyed a brief spell as match commentator on BBC Radio Stoke.
2008 and 2009
A young left-back signed on loan from Plymouth Argyle on two occasions.
1992-2000 and 2007
Record-breaking goalkeeper who was the club’s record goalkeeping signing at £17,000 and who holds the club record for goalkeeping appearances. He was in goal for the Autoglass Trophy win. He returned in 2007 to act as cover for the injured Mark Goodlad, without making an appearance.
1985 to 1998 and 2004 to 2006
A battling midfielder who progressed through the junior ranks to become a firm crowd favourite. He was a member of the 1988-1989 promotion side, the Autoglass Trophy winning side and captain for the Anglo-Italian Cup Final with Genoa. He also scored a crucial goal in the 3-1 FA Cup victory over Stoke City. After thirteen years service he joined Wigan on a free transfer but returned to Vale Park in a coaching capacity. He made a shock comeback during an injury crisis in 2004, making the odd highly effective cameo appearance when required.
1973-1978 and 1982-1985
A tall utility player who spent two spells at the club. He was sold to Leicester City for a then club-record £55,000 fee in 1978 before returning on a free transfer from Chesterfield in 1982. He then helped the club to promotion in 1982-1983.
1979-1980 and 1982-1983
A prolific striker who spent two successful loan spells at the club.
1956-1961 and 1961-1968 and 1968
A long-serving striker who spent three spells at the club. He was ever-present for four years and 199 appearances and was leading scorer in the 1957-1958 and 1958-1959 seasons. He was sold to West Bromwich Albion for £10,000 but returned to Vale Park in 1961 and spent a brief third spell with the club in 1968.
1972-1977 and 1981-1985
An attacking right-back who had two spells at the club. He was sold to Chesterfield for £15,000 before returning to Vale Park for the same fee and playing a part in the 1982-1983 promotion side.
1999-2001 and 2005
A tough-tackling midfielder who initially joined on loan before finalising a free-transfer move from Grimsby Town. He was voted Player of the Year in 2000 before moving on to Hartlepool. After a spell at Macclesfield Town, he dramatically returned to Vale during an injury crisis and gallantly agreed to play for nothing on a non-contract basis. His second spell ended when he moved on to non-league Salisbury City.