The premise of this series is very simple – press clippings of a prominent Port Vale figure. In this episode it’s Darren Beckford.
Here are some clippings of the Port Vale striker during his Vale Park career.
A twenty year-old Beckford has just signed for the Valiants. Here he is next to (from left) Andy Porter, chairman Bill Bell, Alan Webb, Gary Hamson, Paul Smith, Richard O’Kelly and manager John Rudge. Vale were cash strapped at the time of the signing so fans organised bucket collections to raise half of the £15,000 fee. It proved to be money well spent as Beckford was later sold for £975,000 to Norwich City.
The young striker wasn’t particularly prolific in his first season at the club. He managed just ten goals at the end of the season but there was one notable feat as he scored his first senior hat-trick in a 5-0 thrashing of Doncaster Rovers in April.
Beckford starting to find a prolific touch when paired with the experienced Ron Futcher during the 1988-89 season. Beckford began the campaign with four goals in three games as Vale thrashed Cardiff and Chesterfield.
Here is another profile of the player in the matchday programme which marks his 150th appearance for the club.
Finally, here is an image of Beckford challenging legendary goalkeeper Peter Shilton as Vale play Derby County in the FA Cup.