With the FA Cup tie fast approaching we take a look at ten players to play for both clubs.
A player with strong connections with both clubs, Arthur Bridgett was born in Forsbrook, North Staffordshire and began his career with Stoke City. He moved to First Division rivals Sunderland in December 1902 and went on to captain the “Black Cats” for ten years and gain eleven England caps, making him Sunderland’s second most-capped England International. In his dotage he guested for Port Vale during World War One and then returned to the Valiants as a player after the war ended. At the grand old age of 42 he returned and scored ninety seconds into his debut against Clapham Orient. He moved to Sandbach Ramblers in 1907 after an impressive spell of 14 appearances and seven goals for the Valiants.
Winger Craig Russell began his career at Sunderland after progressing through the youth ranks. He joined Manchester City in 1997 and was loaned to Port Vale in 1999 becoming manager Brian Horton’s first signing for the club.
A diminutive left-back who was capped by Nigeria, Agboola was loaned by Port Vale in 1990 and made nine appearances for the Valiants. In contrast he made 170 appearances for Sunderland over a seven year stay.
A veteran when he joined Port Vale in 1982, Siddall helped the club to promotion but then soured things by subsequently spending a spell with rivals Stoke City. He also made almost 200 appearances for Sunderland in the 1970’s and 80’s.
A tall striker, Colin West began his career at Sunderland and made over a hundred first-team appearances. In 1991, while at West Brom, he was loaned to Port Vale where he made five appearances, scoring once.
A creative midfielder, Billy Knott made a solitary appearance for Sunderland. His impact at Port Vale was greater. Knott arrived on loan in 2014 and was a popular addition with two goals in seventeen appearances. He impressed enough that Vale made moves to sign him but the player opted for a move to Bradford City instead.
The tall left-back only made two appearances for Sunderland before joining the Valiants in 2004. After a bright start which included a debut goal he gradually faded from first-team contention at Vale Park.
The goal-scoring left winger played for Sunderland for four seasons and made over 75 appearances. Sadly, his Port Vale career was much shorter as it was ravaged by injuries and eventually forcing him to retire from the game.
The singing winger (so called due to a successful side career as a singer) Colin Grainger inspired a famous FA Cup upset over his former club while playing for Port Vale. The former England International had joined Sunderland in 1957 for £6,000 and had made over a hundred appearances.
A veteran by the time he arrived at Vale Park, Angell was signed by Sunderland for £600,000 in 1995. It’s fair to say it was a disastrous move all round as Angell made eleven appearances, scoring once.