Time at club: 1950-1972
Roy Sproson player profile
Roy Sproson is perhaps the ultimate Port Vale legend as he spent his entire, long playing career at Vale Park and also managed the club for a spell.
A locally-born player, Sproson made his debut in a 1-1 draw with Gillingham in November 1950. After a spell out of the side he won his place back in 1952 and was ever-present for five seasons and was voted Player of the Year in 1967. He was also a key part of the famed ‘Iron Curtain’ defence during the 1953-1954 promotion season when the club won promotion and reached the semi-final of the FA Cup.
In total, Roy Sproson won three promotions with the Valiants and was also named as the Gillette Sportsman of the Year in 1970. His final playing appearance came on 8 May 1972 in a 2–1 defeat to Rotherham United at Vale Park. He had served under eight managers during his time as a player at the club.
After the departure of manager Gordon Lee, Roy Sproson was appointed Vale’s new manager in 1971. He told the media that his philosophy was to “entertain the public” and Roy was in charge for five years until his sacking in October 1977.
Sproson Park where the club training pitches are located is fittingly dedicated to the Sproson family’s immense contribution to Port Vale FC while a large statue of Roy Sproson proudly overlooks the club’s main entrance.
Roy’s love of the club is best summed up by these words – “I have always loved the game and I have always loved the club. The satisfaction of playing the game I love for the club I love has always been enough for me.”
Roy Sproson sadly passed away in 1997 at the age of 66, but his impact and loyalty to the Valiants will not be forgotten.
Roy Sproson images
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