One of the most notorious incidents in the short but incident packed Jim Gannon regime, here is the story of “busgate”…
In the early days of social media use by Vale players, it was goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson’s tweet that broke the news that something extraordinary was happening the day before Vale’s away game at Aldershot.
Tomlinson tweeted: “Awesome events on the team bus” and later added: “Someone has left the bus.”
It soon transpired that it was manager Jim Gannon who had left the team bus after an argument with assistant Geoff Horsfield in front of the bemused Vale first-team.
The Sentinel claimed that the pair were not on speaking terms for a week before the incident so tensions were already high before the long journey to Aldershot.
This is the Daily Mail’s account of what happened on the coach: Horsfield, who remained in situ after Adams’s departure to Sheffield United, asked formally for a day off on Thursday to attend to a family matter.
He was granted leave by Gannon to do so. However, Horsfield was staggered to learn on Friday, minutes before the coach left Vale Park, that a letter had been written by the club’s manager, complaining about his conduct.
He was called to see a director and the letter was produced. When Horsfield boarded the coach he confronted Gannon who initially denied the existence of the correspondence.
When the former Birmingham and West Brom forward argued that he had seen it with his own eyes, Gannon was forced into an embarrassed climbdown that led to him disembarking, but not before he had sworn at his number two.
Horsfield remained with the team but then received a phone call ordering him to return to the Potteries. The coach continued to Aldershot without a member of the management team on board.
Bizarrely, Gannon met his legal representative who was at an M6 service station and following the event both Horsfield and Gannon asked the PFA and LMA to represent them.
Gannon took charge of the game against Aldershot and after the game Horsfield was asked to stay away by the club.
Two and half weeks later the club announced that their investigation was concluded, Horsfield was invited back and tellingly no action was taken.
Three days later, Gannon was sacked after a controversial defeat to Accrington.