A quintet of Port Vale’s finest imports from North of the border…
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Born in Edinburgh, the long-serving left-back played for the Valiants for seven years from 1963 to 1970. Wilson was voted player of the year in 1969 before helping the club to promotion to the Third Division the following season. In total he made 293 appearances and scored five goals for the club.
Frank’s tale is one of tragedy. Part of an influx of Scottish players into the English game called the “Scotch Professors” Kilmarnock-born McGinnes was said to be the “finest centre-forward in Scotland.” Early signs looked highly promising. Vale were not in the Football League in his first four seasons but McGinnes hit an extraordinary 109 goals in 140 games. His form undoubtedly brought Vale to the attention of the Football League and in 1892 the Valiants were accepted into Division Two. Surely the stage was set for the young forward to grab the headlines? Sadly not, McGinnes was denied his league chance in the most tragic of circumstances. Just before the season started Frank died of kidney disease aged just 22.
A long-serving striker who had two spells with the club, Edinburgh-born Cullerton scored 58 goals in 200 appearances for the club. He first joined in 1965 and was part of a teenage front-line picked by Vale manager Stanley Matthews. He left to join Derby County in 1969 and then rejoined the Valiants in 1975 for a final three year spell.
The Glaswegian midfielder played 337 times for Port Vale, his only Football League club. Connelly joined in 1921 and from 1927 to 1929 he was an ever-present. He was a regular member of the 1929-30 title winning side and eventually left the club in 1932 on a free transfer after an eleven year spell with the Valiants.
The epitome of a cult hero and still revered by the Vale fans who saw him from the terraces, McLaren’s tenacity and commitment endeared him to the supporters. Born in Livingston, he first joined the club from Berwick Ranger in 1967 and stayed for ten years until his release in 1977. During his time at the club he won promotion in 1970 and was voted player of the year in 1971. Tragically Tommy died at the age of 29 shortly after leaving the club.