Nearly men number one: Steve Bull

Nearly men number one: Steve Bull

In this article we explain how John Rudge nearly pulled off a stunning coup for the Valiants… signing striker Steve Bull!

Nearly men number one: Steve Bull

This is a series of articles about players who could have been Port Vale stars but who ultimately never made the move to Vale Park.

Bull is a Wolves legend and scored numerous times against Vale. But it could all have been very different in 1986 had Rudge been backed by Chairman Bill Bell.

At that time, Bull was still an unknown striker unable to make it into the West Brom first-team. Meanwhile, John Rudge was steadily building his first great Port Vale side having recently added the names of Mark Grew and Ray Walker to his side. But Rudge was not happy yet, he wanted someone to partner the promising Andy Jones (pictured) and Bull had caught his eye.

Rudge made a bid for the striker in October 1986 but chairman Bill Bell informed Rudge that Vale were unable to afford the £65,000 fee the Baggies wanted. In November the striker was sold to Wolves. The rest is history…

So, Vale fans can only dream about how many goals Jones and Bull may have scored if they had been paired up as Vale’s strikeforce…

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