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Essex Vale

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  1. I agree with all that is said. I would, however, add one little rider. I understand that Nathan has not rejected, nor accepted, Vale's contract offer. I think that as this stage he ought to formally reject it. Perhaps he has had a private word with the manager. Perhaps the failure to formally reject the offer is a bit of a belt and braces job, where I suspect the agent is the power behind the strategy. I think it is the failure to reject the offer, and failure to say a fond and formal farewell to Vale and the fans that is behind some of the negative comments. Nathan has the right to advance his career, and he would have the good wishes of almost all Vale fans. Vale fans have the right to know that he has decided to move on, and will not accept the contract offer. They also have the right to receive an acknowledgement of their support for Nathan over the years. He leaves with my best wishes, and like The Man in the Pub I would warmly applaud him if he ever returned to play against us. Time and tide wait for no man, but Nathan please just confirm that you are leaving. The way it seems is that you are hanging on just in case the big move your agent has lined up falls through. That may not be the case, and there may be other reasons for the silence behind his plans. The fans would not like to think that we are second best and you will sign the new contract because its a good fall back if the big team doesn't sign you for any reason.
  2. Welcome to Devante. His goals on You Tube show someone with a bit of pace who is willing to run at defenders. For the boss to give him a three year contract shows that he really rates him. I trust our manager's judgement. Let's hope Devante has a great career with us.
  3. Tony Loska went to Chester as part of the deal that brought Neil Griffiths to us, it was a player exchange but we also had to pay money to Chester as well. Tony went on to play lots of games for Chester and Halifax in the football league. As an aside Neil Griffiths was Gordon Lee's last, and most expensive, signing.
  4. Indeed so, a thread that did not provoke comment and discussion would be a thread with no value.
  5. I understand Rob, but I must disagree with the comparison. Luke Joyce has never left Port Vale, he was signed by Aspin he is still here under Askey. Colin Tartt was signed by Gordon Lee and he left Port Vale. When he was signed for the second time, and enjoyed the only promotion of his career and his highest goals per games ratio he had been signed by John McGrath, and continued under John Rudge. Of course these threads are a bit of fun and there is never a definitive answer, it is always good to compare though. I did not mention John King, fabulous skipper. In terms of a central defender signed by Gordon Lee, Roy Cross played more games, at a higher level, before injury prematurely halted his career. Just a thought of another alternative. A good thread to get old memories going and to facilitate an interesting debate where opinions will always differ a little.
  6. Great thread, Horton and Morgan no one can possibly disagree with those two, cast iron certainties in everyone's selection. I would not put Colin Tartt in on the basis that his promotion and some of his best times for Vale came after he was signed for the second time by John McGrath, but it is a close call. I would put in Bill Summerscales who he signed from Leek for £400. He broke his neck, and whilst he returned, he was never the same player. Ray Williams, yes, can't argue with him really, although Bobby Gough runs him very close.
  7. Old Sage wrote with wit and humanity, imbibed in truthfulness. I will miss his posts. I regret that I never met him face to face. This awful disease strikes so quickly and with such finality. RIP Old comrade and Valiant in arms.
  8. Colin Grainger was the first Port Vale player I saw score a goal. He also scored the first FA Cup goal I ever saw. His book is well worth reading, he talks about the Vale in quite some detail. He talks with much admiration about the ability of Roy Sproson, who he felt could easily have played in the top level. He also speaks well of local players Terry Miles and Harry Poole. He makes a very nice tribute to the late great John Nicholson who sadly lost his life at the age of 30. He refers to the madness of the Vale Board and Freddie Steele, in his second spell, when they decimated the club and almost took us out of business by embarking on the most ridiculous buying spree of old players, well past their sell by date, signed at exorbitant fees. The madness was started by selling our two top scorers and spending the total sum on buying one player, Tony Richards. Vale aside,his book talks about the game and his experience at all his clubs, including Leeds, Sheffield United, Wrexham, Macclesfield and Doncaster. He talks about his manager at Macclesfield, another Vale legend, Albert Leake. Younger fans may be astonished to learn that he was an England international, who scored two goals on his debut, against Brazil at Wembley. One year later that Brazil team won the world cup in Sweden.
  9. Only older fans will remember Butler. Recent memory suggests Jim Gannon. Gannon was not a bad manager technically, his big mistake at Vale was failing to supress his superiority complex. His approach quickly left him with no one on the staff to support him. His error was around behaviour and personality. In terms of sheer incompetence and ineptitude Dennis Butler stands alone. However, the Board at the time allowed him to spend lots of money, by Port Vale standards of the day, significant amounts of money, breaking our transfer record a few times over. A measure of his incompetence should come from looking at the list of players nominated for worse ever in their position, and there are plenty, all Butler signings: Kevin Tully, Kenny Todd, Bob Delgado, Peter Farrell, Andy Proudlove. He got rid of Terry Bailey, Ken Beamish and John Ridley. Although he sold the late John Ridley for a club record selling fee, he then spent all of that fee plus another third on signing Delgado and Farrell. He more than doubled the wage bill then led us to our lowest league finish. He also called the supporters a bunch of yobs. His record of ineptitude is truly beyond compare.
  10. Ooops pressed the send button too quickly, my link gives you home attendances total no breakdown so it will be of no use to you I am afraid
  11. https://www.footballwebpages.co.uk/port-vale/attendances All contained in this link
  12. Another sad day, too many of them recently. John was a very elegant player, he always seemed to have time on the ball. He was a man of many talents who built two different careers. Followers of Coronation Street will know about that reference to Newton and Ridley. There was only one occasion when Bob Newton and John Ridley scored in the same game, at Hereford in 1983 our promotion season. I lived in Hereford at the time, and greatly enjoyed my very short journey home from Edgar Street that day. We mourn his passing, but celebrate his life.
  13. Thanks Rob, those two goals speak for themselves really.
  14. I remember that game well, but Mick Cullerton eclipsed him on the day, and we won 3-1. The crowd was not 11,000, the 11,000 crowd for that season's youth team was the quarter final against Scunthorpe. The Coventry game got over 5,000 though, which was pretty damn healthy. I agree your observation that he was mature for his age and he clearly stood out. It is all about opinion, of course, but I stick with my thought that Mick Cullerton outshone him that day.
  15. Not necessarily the best every player, but I think the best and most influential performance. FA Cup 1989 home to Norwich, they were top of what is now the Premier League. We led 1-0 at half time, a screamer from Alan Webb. Andy Townsend took us on virtually single handed in the second half and we lost 3-1. He was unplayable that day.
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