Two years after me Rob. I think Phil may have started before you too.
Remember going training at the Vale with Phil when we were sixteen i think. God that pitch was big , too big for me. Before we started playing we had to run around the pitch a few, several times and that was not for me. Great for Phil and he did well.
My first memory, stuck with me forever and i view i will treasure forever. First game was 1967 i think and we played Southport. Drew 1 - 1 i think, first game of season.
Before that we went up to the Vale a couple of weeks before start of season. The gates were open on the Hamil end. I was only 9 and my mate Steve Robinson about 12. We walked from Bradwell, he knew where we were going. So through the Hamil gates and up towards the ground. Then you saw this view of Vale Park. The pitch was huge, the ground looked massive to me. WOW i must have thought what is this. Its a bit bigger than the pitch on the crem at Bradwell. Even then we walked higher up on the gravel bank at the top of the Hamil. Am sure there were a couple of barriers on top of the bank.
Absolutely amazing view. I was hooked. 54 years later and still am.
To think it was Steve Robinson who set me up for this. My Vale life. Do i thank him or swear at him.