Port Vale Fail 4: Bob Delgado

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Bob Delgado’s time with Port Vale coincided with one of the club’s poorest-ever seasons? A coincidence? Perhaps not…

Time at the club:
1978-1980

The case for the defence:

Joined at a low point for Port Vale in a poor team.

The case for the prosecution:

Hugely overpriced transfer fee and contributed to Port Vale’s woeful form.

Games:

43

Goals:

None

About Port Vale Fail – Bob Delgado

Welsh defender Bob Delgado’s time with Port Vale coincided with one of the club’s poorest-ever seasons? A coincidence? Perhaps not.

The centre-half had started his career in the Welsh leagues before being signed by Luton Town. Further spells at Carlisle United and Rotherham United followed.

He moved to Chester for £6,000 in 1975 and won fans over with his “hard man” style. He apparently won over Vale manager Dennis Butler too. In 1978, Butler paid a not insignificant £30,000 for Delgado. Delgado’s transfer came after some bewildering transfer moves by Butler earlier that season. The Vale boss had sold star players Ken Beamish and John Ridley and replaced them with rookie midfielder Ken Todd, a club record buy from Wolves and Peter Farrell for a fee which broke Todd’s fee. Both massively underperformed.

Sadly, Delgado followed that path. He made his debut on Boxing Day in a 6–2 defeat to Barnsley at Oakwell and the following season he scored an own goal in a 7–1 defeat to Huddersfield Town at Leeds Road. Sidelined for three months by new Port Vale manager John McGrath Delgado’s contract was eventually cancelled in May 1980.

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