2016 marks the twentieth anniversary of this website and in this special feature we take a look at the history of the site and some of its highlights through the years.
OVF was created back in the dawn of the world wide web as a project by site founder Rob Fielding. Rob was working for a computer company and decided to explore the then new “world wide web” by creating a “homepage” that he named “There’s Only one Vale fan in Bristol?”.
The title was a reference to the fact that he was living in Bristol and wanted to find other Valiants based nearby for lift-shares. One of the very first articles on the site was a tribute to his Vale hero Andy Jones. When Rob moved to London and the site had evolved, the title changed to the more simple “one Vale fan” – both a nod to the site originally being a one-man operation plus an ironic response to critics who claim Vale are poorly supported.
Over the years, OVF has been developed and now has over 5,000 pages along with a busy forum, a player database containing hundreds of profiles, hundreds of photographs and a thriving community of Vale fans from around the world.
Over the years, OVF has sponsored over a dozen Port Vale first-team matches and has raised well over £50,000 for the club in the form of competition prizes and sponsorships.
The site has won several awards including the “2014 website of the year” award from Six Towns Radio. The site also inspired a unique artwork by renowned artist Paine Proffitt detailing his experiences on the website. In 2014, OVF curated a unique “Vale Vaults” free exhibition of Port Vale memorabilia at the Barewall Gallery, Burslem. And in 2016, Rob has another project he is working on.
Over the next few days, we will be adding some more articles and features to celebrate OVF’s birthday.
OVF in numbers
Over the last twelve months OVF:
- Has had 1.5 million visits
- By 200,000 unique (i.e. different) users
- Who have read seven million pages
- And who stayed on OVF for an average of seven minutes.