Sproson: Rudge was a great coach



We talk to Valiant legend Phil Sproson about his time at the club and his thoughts on his famous Vale family.


What is your favourite Vale match or memory from your time at the club?

In 1982 we played Stockport away and won 1-0 to go up from Division 4 to Division 3.

This site is running a campaign to rename the Lorne St stand after Port Vale’s most loyal player – Roy Sproson. Do you have any thoughts on this campaign? Do you feel is is a good idea for the club to honour their former players?

I think that it is long overdue that Port Vale FC should name a stand, entrance or clock after my family name…

I think that it is long overdue that Port Vale FC should name a stand, entrance or clock after my family name. My Dad played from 1939-1942, my Uncle from 1959 to 1970 and myself from 1978 to 1989 and between us we played over thousand games.

Both Roy Sproson and yourself feature heavily amongst the votes on the website for our “best Vale side of all-time”. Are you pleased to hear that many Vale fans still remember your contribution to the club with fondness?

I’m very pleased to hear this although in Stoke-On-Trent I am still well known as past Vale player and captain. Which is always nice.

By the way, my son Warren has signed for Vale’s under 10’s!

So there may be another representative from the Sproson family in Vale colours soon. Talking of Vale players, you seemed to have a solid understanding with Bob Hazel in the late 1980’s – was he the best central defensive partner you played with?

Yes. His will to win was outstanding. Such a nice man OFF the field of play.

Who was the most difficult centre-forward you played against?

David Speedie.

What influence did John Rudge have upon your career?

He made me his first captain. He is a great coach, man-manager and person (it’s just a shame about his golf).

So, back to the present day, how do you feel the club will fare this season under Brian Horton?

I think they’ll be mid-table by Christmas. They need to re-group and get some pride back in that white shirt. It is always going to be hard to come back up after two poor seasons (and they need a good centre-half).

Do you still watch out for the club’s results or go to the matches?

I work part-time for the BBC on matchdays with BBC Radio Stoke. I give my views on the games played and the current Vale players.

Do you access the Internet at all?

Not very often (not yet).

Finally, do you have a  message for the Port Vale supporters out there on the Internet?

I wish I was 20 years younger. It’s great to know you’re all out there. Keep the faith – it’s in the blood.

Thanks to Phil Sproson and Chris Maitland for this interview

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