Heroes all

Heroes all

Right now we’d probably agree that the game on the pitch is indifferent – to say the least. But if we focus off field we will see there are other reasons to enjoy our ‘Club, and this lovely story is one of those reasons why this writer supports Port Vale F.C.


William Bentley goes to Smallthorne Primary School, and lives with his mum and dad – Matt and Wendy – and 16 month old brother George. He has a Cocker Spaniel named Jasmine and together they all live in Norton.

William’s first home game was against Peterborough when Barry Fry played his last game as their manager. Dinning scored the only goal. His first away game was at Scunthorpe, but we try not to talk too much about the result.

He has two favourite Port Vale players: Leon Constantine – whom he first met at Blackpool after the last game of the 2005/06 season; the other is Akpo Sodje.

However, this story reveals another Port Vale hero, and here’s William’s dad to tell us all about it.


Heroes All

I checked with Gerard Austin to see what could be done
To get a match day photo’ for Will our eldest son,
I told him that our boy was a mad keen Leon fan
As well as Akpo Sodje – our number twenty man.

With e-mails back and forth we could scarce believe our eyes
When Gerard Austin wrote he’d got a big surprise,
He said that we should turn up before the ‘Rangers game,
Then he added that our eldest may never be the same.

So on that early morning as the ‘Lads were warming up
To play against those Londoners in the Carling Cup
Gerard went and grabbed young Leon, Akpo Sodje too,
They turned and saw a little boy and knew just what to do.

‘Look daddy’ said my son ‘They’re coming over here’
As he tugged upon my coat and gave a little cheer,
His eyes were filled with joy, his heart at racing pace
When they smiled and said hello to him outside the players’ race.

William stepped up to the ball, his heroes looking on,
A gentle tap followed by a right wing mazy run,
Okay, I made that last bit up – the first part though is true,
And here is Gerard’s photo’ to share with all of you.

It’s sometimes said that we should save the best until the last,
And that’s just what our Gerard did – it truly was a blast,
A ‘photo with his heroes whilst sitting on their knees,
And here’s that very moment our camera man did freeze.

I’m sure this wouldn’t happen at the Chelseas’ and the like,
Most likely I’d be shown the door and told be on my bike,
That’s why I love Port Vale ’cus there’s nothing they wont do
To please the little kids, oh, and all the big kids too.

When we tumbled Queens Park Rangers from the Carling Cup
‘Twas the icing on the cake for a little Valiant pup,
A photo’ with his heroes, a walk upon the pitch,
A victory to the ‘Lads, great memories full and rich.

Well that’s my story told, but just before I go,
There’s something I must tell, something you should know,
There is another hero I’d like to recommend,
That’s right, it’s Gerard Austin, a true blue Valiant friend.

Barry Edge
Western Australia
November 8, 2006


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