Age is no barrier to these older Port Vale players who starred during their senior years.
If you disagree (or agree) with our selection of the best veteran Port Vale players, please let us know in the forum.
The 1929-30 Port Vale season was an extraordinary one. The club recovered from the shock death of manager Joe Schofield to win the Third Division title. And they did it with a strikeforce with a combined age of 65. There was 31 year-old Sam Jennings and his older partner Albert Pynegar, 35. Jennings hit 27 and Pynegar contributed 22 goals. Fascinatingly, the pair apparently detested each other. Pynegar moved to Chesterfield after 34 goals in 56 games and carried on playing until the age of 39.
In recent years it was a close call between Ron Futcher and Brown for the role of best old mentor but we’ve given it to Brown on account of Ally being older and staying at the club longer. Former West Brom striker Brown was 33 when he joined from Walsall. He helped the club to promotion in 1984-85 and was also key in developing the attacking skills of youngsters Robbie Earle and Andy Jones.
A player who made over 200 appearances for the Valiants, Capes had two spells with the club with the second one lasting until he was 38 years of age. Capes first joined Vale in 1900 and was top-scorer for four seasons in a row. In 1908 he returned for a second spell before retiring from playing in 1911 at 38 years of age. But that was the end of Capes’ association with the Valiants. He remained as a trainer and a member of the backroom team for the next 23 years which means Adrian spent a total of 31 years with the club as player and coach.
If it weren’t for the next person, Holford could lay claim to be the ultimate Port Vale veteran, Tom Holford was a former England International who joined the club as a player aged 36. He made 54 appearances as player-manager. After retiring as a player he remained with the club as a trainer and even made an emergency appearance at the age of 46 for the club – it remains a club record to this day. He was given a second spell as manager in 1934 and he led the Vale to a club record 9-1 win over Chesterfield.
It goes without saying that the club’s greatest player has to make this list. Vale legend Sproson finished his twenty two year playing career at the grand old age of 42. He had amassed a total of 837 starts. Simply untouchable.