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OVF feature: Five of the best Port Vale signings by Gordon Lee

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Five of the best Port Vale signings by Gordon Lee

As one of the small group of Port Vale managers to win promotion, there’s plenty of decent signings to pick from – but here’s our personal top five best Port Vale signings by Gordon Lee…

If you disagree (or agree) with our selection of the best Port Vale signings by Gordon Lee, please let us know in the forum.

Continue reading Five of the best Port Vale signings by Gordon Lee at onevalefan.co.uk.

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One of my all time vale favourites on that list,Sammy Morgan, no one used to leave the ground early when he was playing, he always scored a last minute goal.

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Gordon Lee's boys of 69-70 were one of my first and clearest memories of a successful Port Vale team. I recall that lot with great fondness and nostalgia.

For much of the mid to late sixties we were not great, went through the saga of being relegated and voted back in again, and eventually Gordon built that promotion team.

Every older fan will recall their names including Green, McLaren, James and Sproson. Wasn't James converted from a defender to centre forward or is my memory hazy?

I was at the Club the day we signed Horton and I guess I was one of the first fans to greet him. What a bargain buy he was. We were all mortified the night we found out he'd being sold. Definitely one of my favourite midfield players - though we've had a large number of really good players in that role.

 

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1 hour ago, TheSage said:

 

Every older fan will recall their names including Green, McLaren, James and Sproson. Wasn't James converted from a defender to centre forward or is my memory hazy?

 

 

Early in the day,  James  started as  part of the teenage half back trio with Clint Boulton and Terry  Alcock

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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.

 

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I think we've all got wonderful memories of that era, including the late lamented Micky Morris, of course.

At their best I thought that Williams and Woodward were a really good striking partnership. Not the normal pairing of a big un and a little un. Both were fast, very direct and had an eye for goal. I loved watching those two.

I remember Lee getting a lot of stick when he returned with his promotion winning Blackburn team.

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1 hour ago, Essex Vale said:

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.

 

Funnily enough I ran through similar arguments when I put this up. Bill Summerscales was number six on my notepad if that is any consolation.

In terms of Tartt - my argument is that Lee first brought him to the club. In other words, his form in his second spell may never have happened if Lee hadn't brought him in the first place.

To put it in the current context - Neil Aspin brought Luke Joyce to the club although his form has been much better under John Askey, Aspin deserves credit for the initial signing.

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2 hours ago, robf said:

 

To put it in the current context - Neil Aspin brought Luke Joyce to the club although his form has been much better under John Askey, Aspin deserves credit for the initial signing.

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.

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Horton has to spearhead this thread. His performances for us speak for themselves.

However, in a period when all we could afford to sign were free transfers, I would like to add Roy Cross to the list. 

He was a solid and consistent performer who, until injury ultimately cost him his career, was a regular on the team sheet.

He won’t go down as a Vale great, but in the context of this thread he is well worth a honorary mention.

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4 minutes ago, RailwayRowdy said:

 

He won’t go down as a Vale great, but in the context of this thread he is well worth a honorary mention.

Yep. Also Neil Griffiths who was steady and put in some service for Vale, mostly in a crap team.

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1 hour ago, Essex Vale said:

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.

If I've learned one thing in 20-odd years of OVF it's if you come up with a list, someone is bound to disagree - and that's all fine and I welcome the debate.

My view is just that of (ahem) one Vale fan and certainly not trying to be some sort of definitive choice. If my posts prompt a debate then that's great.

I always find it educational and illuminating to hear some contrasting views (and many times you lot make very convincing cases, far better than my own) so long may it continue... after all football is a game of opinions.

😃

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On 06/06/2020 at 16:53, robf said:

If I've learned one thing in 20-odd years of OVF it's if you come up with a list, someone is bound to disagree - and that's all fine and I welcome the debate.

My view is just that of (ahem) one Vale fan and certainly not trying to be some sort of definitive choice. If my posts prompt a debate then that's great.

I always find it educational and illuminating to hear some contrasting views (and many times you lot make very convincing cases, far better than my own) so long may it continue... after all football is a game of opinions.

😃

Indeed so, a thread that did not provoke comment and discussion would be a thread with no value.

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On 06/06/2020 at 16:26, toyahw said:

Yep. Also Neil Griffiths who was steady and put in some service for Vale, mostly in a crap team.

Didn't we have another left back before him, Tony Loska? Didn't stay long though.

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1 hour ago, TheSage said:

Didn't we have another left back before him, Tony Loska? Didn't stay long though.

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.

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