In a new occasional series, we’re reproducing some of the Vale memoirs and anecdotes that long-serving fan Stuart Dean has given OVF.
In this first “Memory match” we look at an unfortunate Vale debut for right-back Frank Wintle…
Stuart Dean writes…
I remember this particular Port Vale game from 1957 very well. On the Saturday morning I was staying at my grandma’s in Alsagers Bank. At about 12:30 the local fishman called on his normal Saturday round. His name was Frank Wintle and he was captain of the Vale reserve team who played in the Cheshire League at the time.
Well, imagine my surprise when, at about 2:50pm Frank ran out to make his one and only first team appearance for the Vale. He played at right back and was up against Nottingham Forest’s Scottish international winger, Stewart Imlach.
Imlach was one of the quickest and best wingers in the game at the time. The rumour at the time was that Stan Turner deliberately took a “sickie”. Imlach, prompted by former Vale inside forward Eddie Bailey, took the Vale defence to bits and Vale conceded seven as they lost the game 7-1.
I was visiting relatives in Audley a few years back and who called selling fish?
None other that Frank.
We shared a few memories about the game.
The match during which Wintle made his solitary appearance was a home game against Nottingham Forest that took place on Saturday February 2nd, 1957. The game ended Port Vale 1-7 Nottingham Forest.
Who was Frank Wintle?
Locally-born, the defender joined Vale aged 19 in 1949 but didn’t make his first-team debut until eight years later. After his solitary game, Wintle was released and joined Crewe. He failed to make a first-team appearance for the Alex and that game against Forest remained the only league game of Frank’s career.
Image: the above image is taken from the Nottingham Forest home match and shows the luckless Frank Wintle listed in the Port Vale line-up