Liverpool v Port Vale, 1991

This feature has been produced on the nineteenth anniversary of this famous Vale cup game.




In 1991, John Rudge’s men faced a daunting Carling Cup third round tie against Liverpool. Vale boasted the worst Carling Cup record in the land (in contrast to the team’s famed FA Cup giantkilling exploits). At the time, in the 31 years the competition had been running, Vale had failed to reach the third round stages until the tie at Anfield (they have, at least, managed to reach the third round twice since 1991).

The visit to Anfield was to lift the side’s league cup gloom at last (well, until the replay, at least). The match ended 2-2 with Robin van der Laan giving Vale a shock lead, before goals from McManaman and Rush gave the Reds a 2-1 advantage in the second-half. But with 17 minutes remaining, John Jeffers’ mazy run set up Martin Foyle to score a dramatic equaliser.

The 7,000 strong Vale following celebrated a famous draw and chairman Bill Bell took champagne into the dressing room.

OVF founder Rob Fielding recalls, “This is my own programme from that night. I remember the evening well as it was my first visit to Anfield. The support was fantastic from the Vale fans as Foyle’s goal silenced the famous Kop.

“Our car arrived home just in time to see the match highlights on ITV Sport. And the next day my throat was so hoarse, I could barely speak. According to some people, that was no bad thing…”

You can read our feature on that game (including match reports, photos and quotes) here –

The less said about the replay, the better. Liverpool turned on the style in front of TV cameras to record a 4-1 win, thanks to goals from McManaman, Houghton, Saunders and Walters.

The front cover featuring Tommy Smith

The programme’s guess at the line-ups. In fact Vale lined-up as –
Mills, Aspin, Glover, Hughes
Porter, Jalink, van der Laan (Kidd 74), Jeffers
Swan, Foyle

Liverpool were –

Harkness, Hysen, Tanner, Burrows
Walters, Molby (sub Marsh 62), McMahon, McManaman (sub Rosenthal 80)
Rush, Saunders

Somewhat inevitably, the programme featured a piece on
former Liverpool trainee John Jeffers

We wouldn’t want to perpetuate myths about the Liverpool
public, but this advert for a certain item of clothing really
doesn’t help their cause…

A small clipping that accentuates the difference
between the two sides – in contrast, Vale’s record
signing at the time was £375,000 for Martin Foyle

The Vale team is profiled (we think someone was watching a re-run of “Kes” when it came to Dean Glover’s profile… BRIAN Glover anyone..?

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