OK, it won’t be the full strength side but surely the visit of a Man Utd XI is a reason to get a little bit excited…
In the picture
The story behind our choice of image we’ve chosen to lead the article with…
The two sides met in a league cup meeting back in 1983. This photo was taken at the Vale Park leg which finished in a narrow 1-0 win to the visitors. The game drew a crowd of 19,855 – the highest since the visit of West Ham back in 1973. Man Utd won the second leg 2-0 giving them a 3-0 aggregate win.
Frank Stapleton scored the winning goal on the night and here it is captured on camera.
30th July, 3pm
- Lorne Street (KMF Stand)
- Hamil Road (Signal 1 Stand)
- Disabled Stand
- Adults: £10
- Juniors (Under 16): £5
- Seniors (Over 65): £5
- Concessions: £5
Tickets for the game will not be sold on the gate, all fans who need to buy a ticket will have to go to the Main Ticket Office. Away tickets will be sold near to the away stand entrance but payment is cash only.
Everyone is obviously worried about the language barrier [with the foreign signings] but most of their English is better than the English lads so there’s nothing to worry about there…
– Sam Foley
The Valiants are awaiting injury updates on a number of players including Jerome Thomas (above), Rigino Cicilia and JJ Hooper. Depending on those injuries, Vale intend to name a near full-strength side against a youthful Man Utd XI. New signing Nathan Ferguson could also take part for the first time since joining from Burton Albion.
The Valiants could also be announcing a new signing either before, during or after the game. It could be an interesting day…
Who to watch out for…
Vale fans will remember a famous League Cup clash back in 1994 (more on that below) when a reletively unknown Man Utd team faced the Vale. Several of the players that night – David Beckham, Paul Scholes and the Neville brothers went on to become household names so who should the Vale look out for? Here is a selection of names to note…
Sam Johnstone – A highly rated goalkeeper who has loan spells at Doncaster and Preston
Sadiq El Fitouri – Libyan international right-back
Axel Tuanzebe – Strong defender and former U18 captain
Donald Love – Scottish defender who has already made an appearance for the senior side
Joe Riley – A midfielder who played in the Europe League for Man Utd last season
James Weir – midfielder who played against Arsenal in the Premier League last season
Please note: there is no guarantee that all of these players will actually make an appearance as it is not clear what sort of team Man Utd will bring.
Last time we met…
We’ve already mentioned it but the last meeting was that League Cup game where Paul Scholes memorably scored a brace on his full debut. Man Utd won 2-1 at Vale Park and 2-0 at Old Trafford to progress 4-1 on aggregate. You can watch the highlights from our OVF YouTube channel.
Port Vale wins: 10
Port Vale losses: 30
Man Utd legend Billy Meredith (right) actually played a game against United while wearing Port Vale colours. It occurred during World War One when Meredith was a guest player for Vale during their game with Man Utd. The Valiants won that game 5-2.
Meredith played an astonishing 670 games for both Manchester clubs including 339 games for Man Utd. He eventually retired in 1924 at the age of 47.
There have been a number of players to appear for both sides including:
- Defender Freddie Veseli
- David Healy (who spent a loan spell with Vale)
- Danny Webber (ditto)
- Adam Eckersley (ditto)
- Colin Gibson (ditto)
- Goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington
- Goalkeeper John Connaughton
- Midfielder Ashley Dodd
Did you know…
- The two sides first met in 1894 with Vale losing 5-2 at home.
- Vale completed the double in 1922-23 winning 1-0 at home and 2-1 in the reverse fixture.
- Port Vale were the final opponents for Newton Heath (Man Utd’s name before it was changed). The game was played on the 19th April and ended in a 1-1 draw. That summer, Newton Heath changed their name to Manchester United.