Twenty years ago…

Twenty years ago…

Barry Edge reflects on a forum post celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Autoglass Trophy win and some happy memories for one of our forum users.

Barry Edge writes…

It never ceases to amaze me the rich tapestry of support for football teams in general and Port Vale in particular. We have local born true blue Valiants living in exile plus others born across the UK and other foreign climes proudly linking their allegiance to all things Port Vale.

We come in all shapes and sizes. We range in age from the very young to ‘old timers who have seen all the ups and downs several times over. We debate, argue and banter just about all and everything in the Hamil. But through it all we remain collectively focused on one goal only – the continuing success of Port Vale FC.

In the following introduction and poem you will learn of a ‘ foreigner’ (strugg in Potteries parlance) who first gave her love and allegiance to all things Port Vale when she was in her late sixties / early seventies and was still going strong when nearly eighty years old.

***

When one of OVF’s favourites – Jean Jackson, aka Jacko51 – posted at 19:10 hours GMT 22nd May 2013 that today was the 20th Anniversary of our famous win at Wembley in the Autoglass Trophy it prompted David Williams aka davidatpreston to share with us a lovely story about his mum and that magic day in London.

***

David Williams is a born and bred Dagenham boy who lives in Preston and is a true blue Port Vale supporter. Yep, nothing unusual about that – is there?!

But as you are about to see David will surprise you even more when talking about his ‘lovely dear old mum R.I.P’ and the 1993 Autoglass Trophy Final.

David’s Dad ‘crossed over’ in 1984 after which his mum would visit David 4 or 5 times a year and stay for 10 or so days each time.

Knowing that David’s mum lived near the Nation’s capital it will come as a surprise to learn that when ‘up in Lancashire’ during the football season she was always eager to go to Vale Park to see the ‘Lads in action. This too was unusual because she only started to take an active interest in football in the mid 1980s.

David and his mum would stand in the Lorne Street over by the Hamil end. As time went they would go into the Railway Stand. They even went to the odd away game together with Wigan 1993 being memorable – not just because we’d won 4-0, but for a very steep climb to get to the top of a rickety old stand.

Of all the players Robin van der Laan was her favourite. To say she was disappointed when he left would be an understatement.

Anyway, here’s David’s story:

***

My Mum (R.I.P) and the Autoglass Final
May 22, 1993

When Mrs. Jackson mentioned ‘twas twenty years today
When we travelled down to Wembley to see the Valiants play
I found myself reflecting, not just because we’d won,
But because I’d shared it all with my lovely dear old mum

The day we reached the ‘Final my mum slipped into gear
And organised the tickets for her loved ones close and dear
Which really was amasing for the reason is you see
The only Port Vale followers were my dear old mum and me

We were walking near the ‘Stadium when the ‘Team bus drove on by –
A scene that I’ll remember until the day I die,
Such excitement in the air; a crowded Wembley Way,
And somehow we just knew it would be an awesome day

My lovely dear old mum was almost eighty at the time
But she kept keeping on did this Dagenham mum of mine,
There was absolutely nothing that would keep her from the game
And to cheer the Boys from Burslem to victory and fame

As John Rudge led his team onto the hallowed ground
All Valiant hearts believed that we were glory bound,
And when a Valiant chorus went reaching for the sky
‘Twas enough to stir emotions; ‘twas enough to make us cry

The first half was all ‘Vale, the second half not so
With Stockport County stepping up and putting on a show,
And when they pulled one back with thirty minutes still to play
The ‘Vale began to wilt with tempers fit to fray

The clock showed ninety minutes, we had one hand on the ‘Cup,
But the boys from Stockport County refused to give it up,
And when the fourth official called nine minutes extra time
Our hearts were in our mouths that we would win the line

The minutes ticked down slowly, the ‘Vale just hanging on,
But we finally won the day thanks to Glover, Aspin, Swan,
And for Valiants everywhere it was history in the making,
A time to pop the bubbly, a time for celebrating

Then as we did before the game we had a drink or two
But my mum was not allowed to shove and join a queue
Or even pay her ‘shout’ to salute Port Vale’s success
‘Cus every drink was bought for her by some lads in fancy dress

When Mrs. Jackson mentioned ‘twas twenty years today
When we travelled down to Wembley to see the Valiants play
I found myself reflecting, not just because we’d won,
But because I’d shared it all with my lovely dear old mum

Barry Edge
Western Australia
May 22, 2013

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