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Monday's "live" classic Port Vale game is...

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a bit of an obscure one this but it's a trip to Barnsley in 1998.

Vale's team includes Gareth Ainsworth (in one of his last appearances before he moved to Wimbledon) plus Dave Barnett, Paul Beesley and Simon Barker to name a few others, so it's a good chance to remind yourself of those old players. Former Valiant Robin van der Laan is in the Barnsley side alongside Ashley Ward and player manager John Hendrie.

A huge thank you to @Tapper who has helped with the audio on this video.

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17 minutes ago, TheSage said:

Sounds good. Looking forward to it.

I've really enjoyed these Monday evening rewinds. Thanks.

Thanks.

I've inadvertedly left the word "classic" on the thread title (as the first 2 or 3 were very much classic games).

This one isn't really a "classic" though I still hope you will all enjoy it.

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I remember watching this game on my own in Manchester. It was a ridiculous time to be getting up on a Sunday morning. Nobody else was in the pub except me and the bloke behind the bar.

There is a bit of a back story to this game, things were coming to a head with the Bell/Rudge relationship and I think one of the coaches, Phil Bonnyman, had just been sacked. I'm sure there are others who can tell the story better than me.

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5 minutes ago, Santa said:

things were coming to a head with the Bell/Rudge relationship and I think one of the coaches, Phil Bonnyman, had just been sacked. I'm sure there are others who can tell the story better than me

As I recall, Bell had been gunning for Bonnyman (who he viewed as uneccesary expenditure) long before he eventually forced Rudge to sack him.

In one incident, as the story goes, Rudge and Bonnyman were in deep conversation when Rudge heard Bill storming through the offices like a bell in a china shop.

Knowing that Bell was looking for Bonnyman so as to sack him,  Rudge apparently bundled the Scot into a cupboard and out of view whilst telling the chairman that he had no idea where his assistant was ! 

Only at the Vale !

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It's funny you should both mention that. I've literally just been checking the end of the video. Post-match there is an interview with Rudge. He mentions that he needs to "clear up something" (think those are his words) with Mr Bell on Monday but refuses to say what. He could well be aluding to @Santa's comments.

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There were loads of rumours that Rudge would have been sacked if we didn't get 3 points from this. Bell seemed to have been gunning for him for ages. Even after the game, the front page (or possibly the back) of The Sentinel was a photo of Rudge waving to the Vale fans with the headline 'The Last Goodbye?'

Think this game also screws up any chance I had of getting anyone to support my inclusion of Beadle on the worst subs bench.

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As Mr H says, Bell just wanted Rudge out and had done so for quite a while. I think he hated all the limelight that went Rudge’s way while little, as he saw it, came his.

The popular opinion nowadays is that they were a good partnership. My take on it is that Rudge did well despite Bell, not because of him.

I always wondered what we could have achieved if the manager had enjoyed the chairman’s full and unreserved backing.

The Bonnyman situation was just another hurdle thrown in front of Rudge. Eventually, you have to fall. 

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Yeah, I agree. I heard some stuff before Rudge was sacked about how it was basically a done deal. One senior player at the time was in on it too. The weekend after the sacking was a free (FA Cup) week and Grimsby had proposed moving their midweek game to the 23/1, but this was declined with the sacking and subsequent fortnight to get Horton in, in mind. We were on a pretty appalling run (1:1:11) but still no excuse. As I said, there was at least one senior player that knew foylly well what was going on and they got a nice little promotion in to the management team on the back of it, with Horton's car spotted outside his house mere days after Sir John was <ovf censored> over.

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