Nearly men 15-16: the two signings Port Vale missed before netting Darren Beckford

One is a very well-known name to Vale fans and the other is somewhat surprising – we reveal more two Port Vale transfer near-misses.

About Nearly Men

This is an occasional OVF series about transfer moves that failed to materialise. In other words, players who perhaps in a parallel universe would have been playing for the Valiants…

It covers failed Vale bids for the likes of Steve Bull, Keith Gillespie and Tom Finney

More Nearly men features

Port Vale had started the 1985-86 season well but were worried that their relatively inexperienced attack of Andy Jones and Robbie Earle needed experienced cover. In the new year, Rudge tried to re-sign striker Bob Newton. Newton had been a huge success during the 1982-83 season but was controversially sold by Rudge’s predecessor John McGrath the next season. In 1985 Newton had moved onto Hartlepool but was struggling to make the first-team. Sadly for his many admirers on the Vale terraces, the move failed to happen.

The following season, Andy Jones was on fire as he approached a season-end tally of 37 goals but no other player was to reach double figures. Rudge made an even more ambitious move to add a striker when he tried to sign Don Goodman from Bradford City. At that stage, Goodman was a promising 20 year-old but Vale were thwarted when City asked for £100,000 for the forward. Goodman would go on to have an illustrious career for Wolves and West Brom among others.

Later in the 1986-87 season, Rudge finally landed his man. In March, youngster Darren Beckford joined on loan from Manchester City. It was to be the start of a legendary Port Vale career and for Rudge it was definitely third time lucky…

 

 

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