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My first trip to Vale Park


Phil1965
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My first trip to Vale Park was for our away game in 1978-79, which ended in a 2-2 draw, I think we equalised in the last minute, and the crowd was about 4,600. We finished bottom of the football league that season and should probably have lost our place in the league, but we had friends in high places, and it was clubs like Barrow and Workington who suffered due to geographic reasons……

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I also randomly went to watch Port Vale v Oldham Athletic on 17 November 1990, which finished as a 1-0 win for Port Vale, with Nicky Cross scoring the only goal. The crowd was 11,384, with about 3,000 from Oldham?

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I fear this will show just how old I am! My first visit to Vale Park was in 1953 with my granddad, father and two uncles and I've been hooked ever since! 

The actual shape & size of the ground has, of course, altered a few times since then, and my only regret is that in terms of atmosphere, because the stands are in relative terms much further away from the playing area than most grounds, anything less than a 20K+ attendance doesn't make for a really 'fearsome' atmosphere. I am old enough and lucky to have been in attendance a few times when the crowds were over 40,000 and the ecitement and noise generated in those games still burn brightly in my memory!  

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My first trip to Vale Park was the 8th April 1989 v Gillingham. My dad took me into the Paddock. I remember very little about the game other than we won 2-1. Attendance was 5358.
 

My sister went with her school and I think my dad probably thought he fancied a bit of Vale action. We didn't go again until 1993 against Huddersfield, it was the second half of the season, 23rd March 1993 and from then I missed about 4 home games in that decade, we went to all home cup games and most of the reserve games too. In 1997 during the back end of the summer as the new season started I got a match day job in the club shop, Andy took me on and over term breaks at college he gave me more hours and I got free tickets to home games as a perk. I worked there until 1999 and left because I was juggling two jobs and studying and one had to give. I look back on those times very fondly and I've always been grateful to Andy the shop manager for giving me a chance.

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For me it was 15 December 1962, a 2-2 draw with Wrexham. Our scorers were Colin Grainger and Bert Llewellyn.  We were 2-1 up at half time, but Wrexham equalised with a magnificent diving header that their striker Brian Anderson curled round Ken Hancock in our goal.  How odd that I have such a vivid memory of their equaliser.

This was the last home game before the big freeze of 62/63, we had to wait until 9 March 1963, 3 months all but a week, for the next game, a 2-0 win against Carlisle.

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  • 2 weeks later...

1995 in a 1-0 win against Portsmouth. 

We were in the family stand.  I was only 8 and was told off by a steward for climbing up the gate at the front.  I sulked for the rest of the game and said i was never coming back.  There have been many times in the last 27 years where i wish I had followed through on that promise but alas i'm still here.

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1 hour ago, Conrad said:

70/71 season Aston Villa 4-4 draw,

That was my first. Thought it would be like that every week. Next up was 0-0 Tranmere, welcome to reality.  In fact my first ten games or so were all draws.  My Welsh cousin who tagged along now and again had a run of twenty odd draws over a ten year period. Until we lost (vs Newport in his neck of the woods).

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1967 for me. Can't remember the game or result! My uncle and cousin took me and we stood on the Hamil end bank!

I can remember the interior turnstiles as you could change ends during the game.

Loved John Rowlands and later John Green. Have visited 46 grounds watching the Vale and took in FGR for the first time this season.

Elated when we win, grumpy when we get a bad result. My second visit to VP will be watching v FGR.

 

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Mid 70’s. Couldn’t afford to pay to go in so sat on the wall behind the church to watch from behind the Lorne street and when they opened the gates we went into the Lorne Street. When I see the wall now can’t believe we did that as I wouldn’t want to be up on there now. Due to the height, not the fact that we wouldn’t be able to see the pitch. 

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Early 70's as a kid sitting on the tall wall that over looking the ground before it got developed and you can't see the pitch anymore from the wall.  Then when they opened the gate we would rush in the ground to watch the last part of the game.  One kid fell off the wall and landed on a car below so they put glass on top of the wall to stop the kids sitting on it.  All we did was take several thick layers of card to go on top of the glass shards and watch the game as before. 

Always makes me smile when I walk past the wall now and think how the hell did we not kill ourselves.  But it was part of being a kid then and our chance to watch the Vale I suppose.  My kids said you lot were mad sitting on there as it was so high with your legs swinging over it. 🤣 

 

See Playa Amodores did the same.  Probably one of the many that used to do it. 🤣

Edited by PVFC764

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For me it was the first game under floodlights against West Brom so my Dad told me. I dont remember the game as I was only six ! For gods sake i feel owd. 😂😂

Ps it was 1958. 😭😭😭

Edited by barny61

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On 14/01/2022 at 12:31, Valiant62 said:

03 Oct 1970 : Vale1-1 Barnsley

A very sad day for my better half.  He was at the game with his father and they left about 10 minutes early because his Dad didn't feel well.  About an hour after they got home his Dad died of a heart attack. 

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