Time at club: 1991-1995
Robin van der Laan player profile:
The club’s first foreign signing, Robin van der Laan proved to be a massive success at Port Vale after his move from Dutch football.
Van der Laan was signed by John Rudge for £80,000 in 1991. Originally a striker, he was serving a lengthy ban in his home country and welcomed the chance to move into the English game.
However, manager John Rudge converted van der Laan into a all-action, hard-tackling and goalscoring midfielder and arguably his crowning achievements as a Vale player were cup goals against Liverpool and Stoke City and appearances in the Autoglass Trophy final winning side and the 1993-94 promotion squad.
Eventually the Dutch star was sold to Derby County for £750,000 plus Lee Mills (who Rudge then developed into a £1m sale) in 1995.
He set up a football academy and a coaching career after retiring as a player.
Robin van der Laan images:
More on Robin van der Laan:
- Photo Essay: Vale go Dutch with van der Laan arrival
- Ultimate Port Vale XI: central midfield
- Clipping Heroes #13: Vale Cover Stars
- Robin van der Laan
- Liverpool 2-2 Port Vale video, 1991
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