Port Vale lost their famous FA Cup semi-final against West Bromwich Albion in 1954 but what if there had been a replay. This unique ticket gives an indication of the plans… and the location may raise a few eyebrows!
Port Vale’s 1953-54 was one of the best in the club’s history and as the team coasted to promotion it also engaged in a memorable FA Cup run. The side reached the semi-final stages and a game against West Bromwich Albion held at Aston Villa. Astonishingly, third flight Vale took the lead only to be pegged with over an hour of the game played. The Valiants were then denied a replay by a controversial penalty given for a foul which Vale goalkeeper Ray King claimed was “easily outside the box.” Former Vale striker Ronnie Allen converted it to send Vale out but what if there had been a replay?
A limited run of tickets for the replay were apparently printed as a test run. This surviving ticket shows that the replayed game would have taken place at Vale’s neighbours Stoke City’s ground.
About the 1953-54 Port Vale Iron Curtain side
Managed by Freddie Steele, the side were crowned Third Division North Champions and also reached the FA Cup semi-final where they unluckily lost to West Brom.
Their success was based on a squad of nineteen players, many of whom were locally born. Players included Ray King, Roy Sproson, Tommy Cheadle, Colin Askey, Dickie Cunliffe, Albert Leake and Basil Hayward.
The side set three Football League records including the least number of goals conceded in a season, a club record eleven successive home wins and they were undefeated at home all season.
We have a series of special features, press clippings, images and video about the 1954 Port Vale side