On the 25th anniversary of his death at the age of 74, here is a brief tribute from OVF.
The following images or clippings are from the OVF Archives and document some of Tommy’s time at the club.
The legendary captain of the “Iron Curtain” side, Tommy Cheadle, a former centre-forward, was an ever-present during 1949-1950 and 1952-1953 and formed a formidable defensive partnership with Roy Sproson.
He signed as a professional in 1946 and made his debut later that year. After an eleven year spell with Vale, he moved to Crewe as player-coach in 1957.
Time at club: 1946-1955
A photograph from the Sentinel’s special edition brought out to commemorate Port Vale’s FA Cup semi-final against West Brom. Tommy was captain of the Vale team that season.
“It was Matt Busby and a faulty no. 69 grenade that made Tommy Cheadle into Port Vale’s centre-half and captain. Matt Busby, then captain of Liverpool, was Cheadle’s PTI. Matt was the Unit centre-half. Playing behind the cultured Scot, Tommy studied the art of centre-half and finally moved into the position himself.Move now to 1944, a battlefield in Holland. The Monmouths are attacking. Private Cheadle throws a grenade. It goes off almost in his hand and Tommy wakes up in Hospital. Enter now another PTI – Ken Fish, trainer of Port Vale.Demob…a social call on Ken Fish…a trial…the immediate signing of professional forms. Thus began at 26 a career that might have won national fame had his rich gifts of speed, strength and courage been recognised earlier.”
Tommy Cheadle’s signature (top row, second from left and next to manager Freddie Steele) from a team photo from 1953-54.
A salute to the 1953-54 side from Football Monthly magazine.
A 1957 press cutting predicting the exit of Cheadle – he would later join Crewe Alex that year.
Tommy Cheadle 1919-1993 – RIP Forever Valiant