Local lad John (Jack) Maddock’s determination to play the sport of football should serve as an inspiration to all modern footballers.
Name: John (Jack) Maddock
Cult credentials: Dedicated and defied the odds to play for Vale
Time at Port Vale: 1923 to 1931
Many Port Vale supporters will not have heard of Audley-born right-back Jack Maddock, but his determination to succeed and desire to play football is an inspiration and I hope this feature brings Jack Maddock’s cult credentials to the attention of current generation of Port Vale supporters.
Before I begin to explain Maddock’s cult credentials, perhaps it’s best if I once again define what is a “cult hero”. For the purposes of this series, a cult hero is a Vale player who, while not the most famous or talented Vale star (you won’t find any Cheadles, Sprosons or Walkers in our cult hall of fame), nevertheless did something that endeared them to supporters. It could be their personality, their unpredictability or in the case of Maddock, their drive and passion. On with the story…
Young Jack was a very decent footballer and was spotted by Stoke City after some eye-catching performances for local sides Bignall End and Audley. He was soon established as the team’s first-choice right-back until tragedy struck and Maddock suffered a serious cartilage injury.
In those days there was no medical insurance and seemingly destined to leave the game forever, Maddock’s injury also prevented him working in his family’s carpenters’ factory. He was on the verge of being unplayable and unemployable.
So, extraordinarily, Maddock raised the 75 guineas (around £2-3,000 in today’s money) to pay for an operation himself. Even more incredibly the operation was a complete success. Enter Port Vale…
Of all things, Maddock was playing cricket when he was spotted by Port Vale secretary Joe Schofield. In another lucky twist, Schofield had worked for Stoke when Maddock was a player there and immediately offered the now fully-recovered right-back a trial. It was successful and Maddock spent the next eight years as Vale’s first-choice right-back.
Maddock’s impressive tally of 173 Port Vale appearances is a tribute to his determination to beat his injury problems.
He sadly passed away in 1972 aged 75 years of age.
Jack Maddock: 1896 to 1972. RIP forever Valiant