Iron Curtain stars at home: taken from a Sentinel FA Cup semi-final special on display at the Vale Vaults exhibition, here are some unique period portraits of the legendary Freddie Steele side pictured at home.
Iron Curtain stars at home
Inspiration for the salute to Port Vale?
It’s interesting that the “Salute to Port Vale” piece which appeared in national magazine Football Monthly appears to have been inspired by this piece. If you look at the feature you will notice that the captions bear an uncanny resemblance to those in the Sentinel report (although they appear to have attributed some to the wrong players!)
About the 1953-54 Port Vale Iron Curtain side
Known as the “Iron Curtain” for their tremendous defensive qualities, the Port Vale FC side of 1953-54 set numerous club records and are regarded as probably the greatest Port Vale side of all-time.
Managed by Freddie Steele, the side were crowned Third Division North Champions and also reached the FA Cup semi-final where they unluckily lost to West Brom.
Their success was based on a squad of nineteen players, many of whom were locally born. Players included Ray King, Roy Sproson, Tommy Cheadle, Colin Askey, Dickie Cunliffe, Albert Leake and Basil Hayward.
The side set three Football League records including the least number of goals conceded in a season, a club record eleven successive home wins and they were undefeated at home all season.
Read more about them in our dedicated section