Culled from our media archives, here are a selection of press clippings from Port Vale’s fabulous 1953-54 season…
Legends of 1954
Port Vale 1953-54 season
The Port Vale 1953-54 season was arguably the greatest in the long history of the football club. A squad of nineteen mainly local players set numerous club records.
Managed by Freddie Steele, the team became known as the Iron Curtain (or Steele Curtain) due to its formidable defence which contained Vale legends Roy Sproson, Tommy Cheadle and goalkeeper Ray King.
The side coasted to the Third Division North title and also reached the semi-final of the FA Cup where they were unfortunate to lose narrowly to West Bromwich Albion.
Over the course of the season, the side set seven club records and three Football League records – including fewest League goals conceded in a season and eleven consecutive clean sheets. The side were unbeaten at home during the whole season.
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!
Many younger fans never saw the legendary 1953-54 Port Vale side. Geoff Ainsworth did. He watched from the sidelines and here’s his review of the squad from that incredible season.
Port Vale 1954 FA Cup semi-final: we look at the special Sentinel newspaper produced for the biggest game in Port Vale’s history – the FA Cup semi-final against West Bromwich Albion.
Thanks to Stuart Dean, we have a short documentary clip of Port Vale’s 1954 record-breaking side.
Thanks to OVF reader Paul Rafferty, we have an image of Vale’s crucial FA Cup goal against Leyton Orient – the strike that secured Port Vale’s place in the semi-finals.
1953-54 Port Vale player profiles: images and contemporary text from the ‘Pride of Port Vale’ booklet.