In this series we look back at players who only made a solitary appearance for the Valiants. This week we look at midfielder Scott Mean.
Scott Mean in numbers…
The bleached blonde West Ham midfielder made an eye-catching but sadly solitary appearance for the Valiants.
In the 1998-99 season, manager John Rudge was under pressure and would eventually be sacked. However, it can be argued if it hadn’t been for some bad luck: Robin Bernstein played just once and went back to Sweden. The defence, already missing influential veterans AndyHill and Dean Glover then suffered injuries to Michael Walsh and Marc Snijders which saw Rudge forced to bring in trialist Stephane Pounewatchy. Finally, the loan move of the potentially influential Mean ended after just eighty minutes.
Mean had been a star at Bournemouth and had been snapped up by West Ham United who signed him for £100,000. An elegant and classy playmaker, he looked to be the ideal addition to a Vale midfielder now missing the likes of Ray Walker, Andy Porter and Robin van der Laan.
However, the Hammers midfielder’s debut lasted just eighty minutes as he suffered a serious knee injury. It was enough to force him to retire a season later aged just 27. It was a sad end to what could have been an influential career at Vale Park and elsewhere.