1934–35 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1934–35 season
Chairman Frank Huntbach
Manager Tom Holford
Stadium The Old Recreation Ground
Football League Second Division 18th (34 Points)
FA Cup Third Round
Top goalscorer League: Tom Nolan (16)
All: Tom Nolan (16)
Highest home attendance 18,989 vs. West Bromwich Albion (12 January 1935)
Lowest home attendance 3,860 vs. Fulham (27 April 1935)
Average home league attendance 8,463
Home colours

The 1934–35 season was Port Vale's 29th season of football in the Football League, and their fifth successive season (28th overall) in the Second Division.[1] A positive start to the season raised hope of promotion; however, from October onwards the club performed so poorly as to finish fifth-from-bottom. One event of note was a six-week discussion over a possible change of name; the names Stoke Central, Stoke United, Stoke North End, and Hanley Port Vale were considered – however none of these names attracted enough support to institute a change.

Manager Tom Holford.
Chairman Frank Huntbach declared "the prospects of this club are very bright" at the start of the campaign.[1]

Overview[edit]

Second Division[edit]

The pre-season saw the arrival of eight new signings, the most significant of these were: 'safe as houses' goalkeeper John Potts (Leeds United), 'outstanding' outside-right John Friar (Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic), inside-left David Galloway (Preston North End), and centre-half Joe Craven (Swansea Town).[1]

The season started with just one defeat in the opening eight games, leaving the club in fourth place by the end of September – mostly down to the goalscoring partnership of Friar and Nolan.[1] Home victories over Sheffield United, Southampton, Manchester United, and Burnley nevertheless saw attendances of only 7,311 to 11,975.[1] Following this they went on a run of twelve games without a win, with an over-reliance on Friar and Nolan in attack, whilst the defence lacked understanding,[1] the team was changed around but to no avail, as they slipped down the league towards a relegation battle.[1] In the middle of December Friar was sold on to Preston North End, having scored ten goals in eighteen games, with the 'more steady' Ted Critchley heading in the other direction,[1] their poor form was halted with a Christmas day victory over Bradford City.[1] The team were then inconsistent until the end of the season.

The 2 February match programme (for a 2–1 victory over Swansea) recorded a discussion on whether or not the club should change its name.[1] Coming to the conclusion that many people didn't know where Port Vale was, Stoke Central and Stoke United were put forward as possible new names.[1] A discussion with the fans resulted, in which Stoke United was decided as the best alternative, despite calls from some for the name Hanley to be included,[1] on 2 March (a 1–1 draw with Norwich City) each supporter was given a ballot slip upon entering The Old Recreation Ground, with the result of the poll being that 3,737 were in favour of a change of name, and 3,633 opposed a change.[1] A shareholders' meeting on 18 March at the Grand Hotel (Hanley) saw the directors suggest the name of Stoke North End to the 100 members present.[1] Finding little support, a resolution was instead passed for the new name of Hanley Port Vale.[1] The Football League forced them to wait until the end of the season to implement a name change, having already printed countless papers with the original name.[1] However the new name proved to be unpopular with the public, who criticized the club for being too parochial and 'lacking civic pride',[1] the change of name never took place.[1]

Back on the pitch, the team were bobbing along, picking up enough points to avoid concerns over relegation – whereas Oldham Athletic and Notts County were rapidly drifting away from safety,[1] on 9 March at St James' Park the Vale picked up a shock result by beating promotion hopefuls Newcastle United 2–1 – their first away win in 24 attempts, ending a run going back to January 1934.[1] Nolan's stand-in James Baker bagged both of the goals,[1] on 19 April a 5–3 beating of Notts County proved enough to all but guarantee safety, yet Vale still earned just two points from their final four games.[1] On 20 April they lost a massive 8–0 to champions Brentford – the biggest defeat in the division that season.[1]

They finished eighteenth with 34 points, eight points clear of relegation, and 22 points short of promotion.[1] Away from home they recorded just the one win, whilst in front of goal their 55 goals scored was their lowest total since 1925 (after which the offside rule had been changed to make scoring easier).[1] Tom Nolan's sixteen goals and the departed John Friar's ten goals were the only significant contributions.[1]

Finances[edit]

On the financial side, a mere £11,120 was made on the gates, though a £3,775 credit on transfers ensured a profit of £2,415.[1] Only fourteen players were retained, with those leaving including: James Baker (Barrow), Bob Morton (Throckley Welfare), Jack Blackwell (Boston United), Joe Craven (Newport County), David Galloway (Carlisle United), Ted Critchley (South Liverpool), and 128 game veteran Jack Round (also Carlisle).[1]

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, Vale were defeated 2–1 by eventual runners-up West Bromwich Albion of the First Division at The Hawthorns.[1] The 18,989 crowd saw £1,000 raised in gate receipts, and a comeback from the "Throstles" just six minutes from time,[1] this meant they exited at the Third Round for the third consecutive season.

Final league table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GA GD Pts
1 Brentford 42 19 2 0 59 14 7 7 7 34 34 93 48 1.938 + 45 61
2 Bolton Wanderers 42 17 1 3 63 15 9 3 9 33 33 96 48 2.000 + 48 56
3 West Ham United 42 18 1 2 46 17 8 3 10 34 46 80 63 1.270 + 17 56
4 Blackpool 42 16 4 1 46 18 5 7 9 33 39 79 57 1.386 + 22 53
5 Manchester United 42 16 2 3 50 21 7 2 12 26 34 76 55 1.382 + 21 50
6 Newcastle United 42 14 2 5 55 25 8 2 11 34 43 89 68 1.309 + 21 48
7 Fulham 42 15 3 3 62 26 2 9 10 14 30 76 56 1.357 + 20 46
8 Plymouth Argyle 42 13 3 5 48 26 6 5 10 27 38 75 64 1.172 + 11 46
9 Nottingham Forest 42 12 5 4 46 23 5 3 13 30 47 76 70 1.086 + 6 42
10 Bury 42 14 1 6 38 26 5 3 13 24 47 62 73 0.849 – 11 42
11 Sheffield United 42 11 4 6 51 30 5 5 11 28 40 79 70 1.129 + 9 41
12 Burnley 42 11 2 8 43 32 5 7 9 20 41 63 73 0.863 – 10 41
13 Hull City 42 9 6 6 32 22 7 2 12 31 52 63 74 0.851 – 11 40
14 Norwich City 42 11 6 4 51 23 3 5 13 20 38 71 61 1.164 + 10 39
15 Bradford Park Avenue 42 7 8 6 32 28 4 8 9 23 35 55 63 0.873 – 8 38
16 Barnsley 42 8 10 3 32 22 5 2 14 28 61 60 83 0.723 – 23 38
17 Swansea Town 42 13 5 3 41 22 1 3 17 15 45 56 67 0.836 – 11 36
18 Port Vale 42 10 7 4 42 28 1 5 15 13 46 55 74 0.743 – 19 34
19 Southampton 42 9 8 4 28 19 2 4 15 18 56 46 75 0.613 – 29 34
20 Bradford City 42 10 7 4 34 20 2 1 18 16 48 50 68 0.735 – 18 32
21 Oldham Athletic 42 10 3 8 44 40 0 3 18 12 55 56 95 0.589 – 39 26
22 Notts County 42 8 3 10 29 33 1 4 16 17 64 46 97 0.474 – 51 25

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against;
GA = Goal average; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points

Results[edit]

Port Vale's score comes first

Legend[edit]

Win Draw Loss
Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42
Ground H A A H H H A H A H A H A H A H A H A H H A A H A H A A H A H A H A H A H H A A H A
Result W D L W D W D W L L D L L D L L L D L D W L L W L W L D W L D W D L L L W W L L D D
Position 1 4 11 4 5 4 4 4 5 10 9 12 13 14 15 18 18 18 19 20 16 18 19 19 19 18 18 18 17 18 17 17 16 17 19 19 18 17 17 18 19 18

Sourced from Statto.[2]

Football League Second Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
25 August 1934 Sheffield United H 2–0 11,975 Nolan, Friar
27 August 1934 Southampton A 0–0 6,977
1 September 1934 Barnsley A 0–2 9,370
3 September 1934 Southampton H 4–1 7,746 Friar (2), Nolan, Morton
8 September 1934 Plymouth Argyle H 2–2 10,133 Nolan (2)
15 September 1934 Manchester United H 3–2 9,037 Friar (2 [1 pen]), Nolan
22 September 1934 Swansea Town A 1–1 5,698 Nolan
29 September 1934 Burnley H 3–1 7,311 Friar (2), Nolan
6 October 1934 Oldham Athletic A 0–2 6,069
13 October 1934 Bolton Wanderers H 1–3 16,839 Nolan
20 October 1934 Norwich City A 0–0 14,195
27 October 1934 Newcastle United H 1–3 11,036 Rhodes
3 November 1934 West Ham United A 1–3 19,391 Rhodes
10 November 1934 Blackpool H 2–2 7,656 Gunn, Rhodes
17 November 1934 Bury A 1–3 8,278 Friar
24 November 1934 Hull City H 1–2 6,086 Friar
1 December 1934 Nottingham Forest A 0–2 13,576
8 December 1934 Brentford H 2–2 8,054 Friar, Nolan
15 December 1934 Fulham A 0–2 8,138
22 December 1934 Bradford Park Avenue H 1–1 6,251 Morton
25 December 1934 Bradford City H 1–0 8,436 Nolan
26 December 1934 Bradford City A 0–3 13,727
29 December 1934 Sheffield United A 0–3 16,520
5 January 1935 Barnsley H 4–0 6,074 Rhodes, Morton, Mitcheson, Blackwell
19 January 1935 Plymouth Argyle A 1–2 14,051 Rhodes
2 February 1935 Swansea Town H 2–1 7,081 Nolan (2)
6 February 1935 Manchester United A 1–2 7,372 Rhodes
9 February 1935 Burnley A 2–2 9,830 Dean (2)
16 February 1935 Oldham Athletic H 2–0 5,473 Dean, Critchley
23 February 1935 Bolton Wanderers A 0–2 18,897
2 March 1935 Norwich City H 1–1 8,284 Morton
9 March 1935 Newcastle United A 2–1 23,934 Baker (2)
16 March 1935 West Ham United H 2–2 12,853 Baker, Mitcheson
23 March 1935 Blackpool A 1–3 7,268 Baker
30 March 1935 Bury H 0–1 7,869
6 April 1935 Hull City A 0–1 3,569
13 April 1935 Nottingham Forest H 2–0 6,389 Nolan (2)
19 April 1935 Notts County H 5–3 9,010 Birks (2), Mitcheson (2), Nolan
20 April 1935 Brentford A 0–8 18,194
22 April 1935 Notts County A 2–3 6,765 Blackwell, Nolan
27 April 1935 Fulham H 1–1 3,860 Birks
4 May 1935 Bradford Park Avenue A 1–1 3,634 Birks

FA Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R3 12 January 1935 West Bromwich Albion A 1–2 18,989 Morton

Player statistics[edit]

Transfers[edit]

Transfers in[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
May 1934 GK England John Potts Leeds United Free transfer [3]
May 1934 MF England Albert Titley West Bromwich Albion Free transfer [3]
June 1934 FW England James Baker Charlton Athletic Free transfer [3]
June 1934 DF England Joe Craven Swansea Town Free transfer [3]
June 1934 FW Scotland David Galloway Preston North End Free transfer [3]
June 1934 DF Scotland Jim Kelso Bradford Park Avenue Free transfer [3]
July 1934 MF Scotland John Friar Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic Free transfer [3]
July 1934 DF England Eric Hayward Hanley and Wardle's Free transfer [3]
August 1934 FW England Luke Dean Downing's Tileries Free transfer [3]
November 1934 DF England Percy Thorpe Accrington Stanley Free transfer [3]
December 1934 FW England Ted Critchley Preston North End Exchange [3]
May 1935 MF England Arthur Caldwell Winsford United Free transfer [3]

Transfers out[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
December 1934 MF Scotland John Friar Preston North End Exchange [3]
May 1935 FW England Jack Blackwell Boston United Released [3]
May 1935 DF Scotland Jim Kelso Newport County Free transfer [3]
May 1935 MF England Albert Titley Macclesfield Town Free transfer [3]
July 1935 FW England Tom Nolan Bradford Park Avenue Free transfer [3]
Summer 1935 DF England Joe Craven Newport County Free transfer [3]
Summer 1935 FW England Ted Critchley South Liverpool Released [3]
Summer 1935 FW Scotland David Galloway Carlisle United Free transfer [3]
Summer 1935 MF England Bob Morton Throckley Welfare Free transfer [3]
Summer 1935 MF England Albert Purcell Released [3]
Summer 1935 DF England Percy Thorpe Released [3]

References[edit]

Specific
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Kent, Jeff (1990). "From Glory to Despair (1929–1939)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 124–150. ISBN 978-0-9508981-4-8. 
  2. ^ Port Vale 1934–1935 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
General