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Ultimate Port Vale XI: the goalkeeper


robf

Ultimate Port Vale goalkeeper?  

94 members have voted

  1. 1. Ultimate Port Vale goalkeeper?

    • Ray King
      12
    • Ken Hancock
      22
    • Mark Grew
      12
    • Paul Musselwhite
      18
    • Mark Goodlad
      27
    • Chris Neal
      3


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The poll is rather unfair simply because most people are too young and have never seen 'The King' or Hank play.

 

I picked a best team on another thread,Owd.I didn't see Ray King but saw Ken Hancock.I was torn between Ken and Goody and put them joint best,but I have gone for Goody,just.

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A few more observations:

 

1. Southall was the best I saw but he only played seven games. Hence I think a minimum of 50 games to be on the shortlist is fair.

2. I was considering Alnwick but I think a) there can be a knee-jerk reaction and I think time is needed before we look back and recall how good (or not) he was and b) it's called a short-list for a reason there has to be a limit to numbers. In recent years, Neal played more games and arguably did more (he got promotion) than Alnwick did. So Neal got on the list.

3. I understand the call for Jim Arnold (perhaps even Siddall for his performances from 82-83) but as above it is a shortlist and inevitably biased towards my own views hence why I say you can nominate another player if I have clearly missed a contender off.

4. I guess some of you are saying is the concept is flawed - to that I say, it's always going to be but it's not a formal awards nomination it's just a chance for the current generation of fans to place their votes. You can take the results of the vote any way you wish - if you want to disregard them because the generation of fans who didn't see Wilf Kirkham or Roy Sproson in action is no longer with us then that's your right. I simply thought it was a worthwhile diversion from the seemingly endless complaining about lack of signings...

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I never missed a match during the 1953-54 season and have seen all the goalkeepers since Ray King. Ray has to be the best by some distance ( from Kenny Hancock in my opinion) due to way he commanded his area in an era when goalkeepers received no protection at all. Does anyone out there remember the man mountain of a centre forward Arthur Rowley from Leicester City. "Younger" supporters may remember Arthur later becoming player manager of Shrewsbury Town where he converted to centre half and was always a pain in Port Vale's side. He scored 434 goals in 619 Football League appearances - the later of these at centre half. I recall him knocking Ray out twice in the same match - first by barging him into the goalpost as he took a cross into the box - you didn't have to wait for the goalkeeper's feet to be on the ground in those days before you tried to knock them over the line with the ball in their hands. A few minutes later he repeated the medicine, but this time against the other post. Credit to Ray because on both occasions he held onto the ball and stayed the right side of the line. No substitutes in those days and Ray had to carry on. The post script to this match is that Ray got his own back in the return fixture. Another high ball into the box that Ray came to punch, missed by a mile but caught Arthur with both fists right on the chin. It took the Leicester trainer ten minutes to bring big Arthur round. Does anyone else remember these incidents?

 

More recently I remember Chris Martin playing for the Vale at Valley Parade. Bradford had a corner on the left in front of their own fans. Big Peter Thorne (ex Stoke) was centre forward for Bradford and as the cross came in high to the far post the experienced centre forward put his body between Chris and the ball to allow the corner to reach colleagues coming in at the far post - he had no intention of going for the ball. Rookie Chris went straight through Peter and it took the physio some time to bring him round. He didn't try that trick again against Chris. Unfortunately Chris never showed the consistency required to become a regular - but I will forever remember him for flooring Thorne.

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Ken Hancock is my number one over the years I have been watching (since 1961/62).

 

KingRay, I did not see Arthur Rowley against the Vale when Kingy was in goal but I do remember his latter years playing against us for Shrewsbury and he was indeed a thorn in our side during those days.

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I never missed a match during the 1953-54 season and have seen all the goalkeepers since Ray King. Ray has to be the best by some distance ( from Kenny Hancock in my opinion) due to way he commanded his area in an era when goalkeepers received no protection at all. Does anyone out there remember the man mountain of a centre forward Arthur Rowley from Leicester City. "Younger" supporters may remember Arthur later becoming player manager of Shrewsbury Town where he converted to centre half and was always a pain in Port Vale's side. He scored 434 goals in 619 Football League appearances - the later of these at centre half. I recall him knocking Ray out twice in the same match - first by barging him into the goalpost as he took a cross into the box - you didn't have to wait for the goalkeeper's feet to be on the ground in those days before you tried to knock them over the line with the ball in their hands. A few minutes later he repeated the medicine, but this time against the other post. Credit to Ray because on both occasions he held onto the ball and stayed the right side of the line. No substitutes in those days and Ray had to carry on. The post script to this match is that Ray got his own back in the return fixture. Another high ball into the box that Ray came to punch, missed by a mile but caught Arthur with both fists right on the chin. It took the Leicester trainer ten minutes to bring big Arthur round. Does anyone else remember these incidents?

 

More recently I remember Chris Martin playing for the Vale at Valley Parade. Bradford had a corner on the left in front of their own fans. Big Peter Thorne (ex Stoke) was centre forward for Bradford and as the cross came in high to the far post the experienced centre forward put his body between Chris and the ball to allow the corner to reach colleagues coming in at the far post - he had no intention of going for the ball. Rookie Chris went straight through Peter and it took the physio some time to bring him round. He didn't try that trick again against Chris. Unfortunately Chris never showed the consistency required to become a regular - but I will forever remember him for flooring Thorne.

 

 

 

If you actually saw Ray King no one can argue that point based on his record. He very nearly went to the 1954 World Cup with England, if Walter Winterbottom had been able to pick his squad,and not take what a selection committee of club directors gave him, I suspect Ray would have gone.

 

Perhaps we should decide on an XI based not on who we saw,but on their overall record of playing for Port Vale and total career achievements, so we have to make a reasoned assessment of their worth. In that way Ray King and Wilf Kirkham would be certain to get the nod. Bill McGarry and Ronnie Allen, would have to be included, as they went to play for the full England team, along with Ant Gardner and Mark Chamberlain.

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A few more observations:

 

1. Southall was the best I saw but he only played seven games. Hence I think a minimum of 50 games to be on the shortlist is fair.

2. I was considering Alnwick but I think a) there can be a knee-jerk reaction and I think time is needed before we look back and recall how good (or not) he was and b) it's called a short-list for a reason there has to be a limit to numbers. In recent years, Neal played more games and arguably did more (he got promotion) than Alnwick did. So Neal got on the list.

3. I understand the call for Jim Arnold (perhaps even Siddall for his performances from 82-83) but as above it is a shortlist and inevitably biased towards my own views hence why I say you can nominate another player if I have clearly missed a contender off.

4. I guess some of you are saying is the concept is flawed - to that I say, it's always going to be but it's not a formal awards nomination it's just a chance for the current generation of fans to place their votes. You can take the results of the vote any way you wish - if you want to disregard them because the generation of fans who didn't see Wilf Kirkham or Roy Sproson in action is no longer with us then that's your right. I simply thought it was a worthwhile diversion from the seemingly endless complaining about lack of signings...

 

Didn't realise Southall only played 7 games, I was thinking it was a lot longer, maybe a season long loan.

I can maybe see why he wasn't on the list if that's the case.

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I always liked Alex Williams tbh but I'll vote for Grew by far the best we've had

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using onevalefan

 

 

Alex Williams - certainly memorable, but not as a good keeper. When he "dived" it was like watching a tree fall, in slow motion.

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My years of Vale watching goes back to 1989 and out of the choices my vote goes to Goodlad who's undoubtedly the most consistent of the choices. But if Alnwick was up there I'd vote for him because he's simply pulled off saves that I've never seen from any other Vale keeper. Granted he probably had more practice that most but saves such as at Oldham and Huddersfield this season and especially his impossible save from Billy Sharp a couple of seasons ago, make him my No 1.

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