1962–63 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1962–63 season
Chairman Joe Machin
Manager Norman Low
(until October)
Freddie Steele
(October onwards)
Stadium Vale Park
Football League Third Division 3rd (54 Points)
FA Cup Fourth Round
League Cup First Round
Top goalscorer League: Tony Richards (13)
All: Tony Richards (13)
Highest home attendance 22,207 vs. Sheffield United (13 March 1963)
Lowest home attendance 4,673 vs. Hull City (20 April 1962)
Average home league attendance 8,130
Home colours

The 1962–63 season was Port Vale's 51st season of football in the Football League, and their fourth season in the Third Division.[1] An impressive season saw them finish in third position, one away from promotion. However promotions for both their rivals Stoke City (second to first tier) and Crewe Alexandra (fourth to third tier) meant that Vale had a poor season in comparison. The major talking point of the season was Norman Low's departure and Freddie Steele's return, which came as a shock to the fans.

Overview[edit]

Third Division[edit]

The pre-season saw the arrival of John Rowland, a 'tall and skilful' outside-right from Nottingham Forest for £6,000.[1]

The season opened with six points from four games, with three clean sheets to boot. Rowland was dropped from the first eleven following a 2–0 defeat at Ashton Gate on 1 September.[1] Vale then became inconsistent, and so Low added young forward Terry Harkin to the squad from Coleraine, and transfer-listed Stan Steele after he began to be targeted by hecklers at Vale Park.[1] Despite beating Southend United 5–1, the club continued to sink down the table.[1] They then began a nine-game unbeaten streak on 20 October with a 1–1 draw with Carlisle United at Brunton Park.[1] However ten days later manager Norman Low tendered his resignation, to the shock of fans and pundits.[1] Low cited disagreements with the board as the reason for his departure.[1] His replacement was his predecessor, Freddie Steele, in another development that took many by surprise.[1] Roy Sproson later noted "He [Steele] had changed. He had not got the enthusiasm or drive as before, but the lads still responded to him".[1]

It took until the sixth game of Steele's reign for a goal to be conceded (525 minutes) as 'the Steele Curtain' again descended upon Vale Park.[1] The goal was scored by former Valiant turned bogey player Ronnie Allen for Crystal Palace in a 4–1 home win for Vale.[1] They finished the year chasing promotion, despite losing 4–3 to Reading at Elm Park. No league games were played in January or February due to the Big Freeze.[1] To help with finances during this spell of two months without competitive action, Bert Llewellyn was sold to Northampton Town for £7,000 and Arthur Longbottom was sold to Millwall for £2,000.[1] Back in action in March, Steele found his offence wanting, and so purchased Tony Richards from Walsall for £9,000.[1] Richards immediately impacted himself on the club's scoring charts, eventually finishing as top-scorer for his two months work.[1] For the four weeks following 20 April, Vale recorded eight wins from their final ten matches, though this would prove to be too little to late as far as promotion was concerned.[1]

They finished in third spot with 54 points, four short of promotion, though enough to earn them £500 in talent money.[1] Their 58 goals conceded total was fewer only than Swindon Town.[1]

Finances[edit]

On the financial side, a profit of £2,275 was made despite an operating loss of £20,557.[1] A donation from the Sportsmen's Association and social club stood at a highly impressive £22,832.[1] Whilst wages remained fairly constant at £33,120, gate receipts had fallen by £8,000.[1] The club's overdraft stood at £41,000, leading to a discussion over whether or not to take out a mortgage on Vale Park.[1] The club management took the decision to replace the black and amber kit with the traditional white shirts, black shorts and black and white socks – the kit Steele's men triumphed in almost ten years previously.[1] On the playing front, Peter Ford's departure to Macclesfield Town was the only transfer of note.

Cup competitions[edit]

In the FA Cup, Vale took their revenge upon Bristol Rovers, dumping them out of the competition at the first stage with a 2–0 win at Burslem on 21 November. Three weeks later Aldershot suffered the same fate, in what was Sproson's 500th appearance for the club.[1] In the Third Round they beat Fourth Division Gillingham 4–2 at Priestfield. They then lost 2–1 to First Division Sheffield United in front of 22,207 rain-soaked supporters.[1]

In the League Cup, Bristol Rovers won the First Round clash at the Memorial Stadium 2–0.

Final league table[edit]

P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Northampton Town 46 26 10 10 109 60 1.817 62
2 Swindon Town 46 22 14 10 87 56 1.554 58
3 Port Vale 46 23 8 15 72 58 1.241 54
4 Coventry City 46 18 17 11 83 69 1.203 53
5 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic 46 18 16 12 63 46 1.370 52
6 Peterborough United 46 20 11 15 93 75 1.240 51
7 Notts County 46 19 13 14 73 74 0.986 51
8 Southend United 46 19 12 15 75 77 0.974 50
9 Wrexham 46 20 9 17 84 83 1.012 49
10 Hull City 46 19 10 17 74 69 1.072 48
11 Crystal Palace 46 17 13 16 68 58 1.172 47
12 Colchester United 46 18 11 17 73 93 0.785 47
13 Queens Park Rangers 46 17 11 18 85 76 1.118 45
14 Bristol City 46 16 13 17 100 92 1.087 45
15 Shrewsbury Town 46 16 12 18 83 81 1.025 44
16 Millwall 46 15 13 18 82 87 0.943 43
17 Watford 46 17 8 21 82 85 0.965 42
18 Barnsley 46 15 11 20 63 74 0.851 41
19 Bristol Rovers 46 15 11 20 70 88 0.795 41
20 Reading 46 16 8 22 74 78 0.949 40
21 Bradford Park Avenue 46 14 12 20 79 97 0.814 40
22 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 12 12 22 58 84 0.690 36
23 Carlisle United 46 13 9 24 61 89 0.685 35
24 Halifax Town 46 9 12 25 64 106 0.604 30

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

Results[edit]

Port Vale's score comes first

Round12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546
GroundAHHAAHHAAAHHAHAAHAHHAAHHAAHAAHAAHHAAHHAHAHHHAH
ResultWDWDLWLWLLWWLDDLLDWWDWWDLLWWLWLWWDLLWWLWWWWLWW
Position12128484811847681013121159988813121011910108791098106653643
Source: Statto[2]
A = Away; H = Home; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Loss

Football League Third Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
18 August 1962 Wrexham A 1–0 14,042 Llewellyn
20 August 1962 Millwall H 1–1 12,469 Longbottom
25 August 1962 Reading H 2–0 9,506 Llewellyn, Grainger
27 August 1962 Millwall A 0–0 20,553
1 September 1962 Bristol City A 0–2 9,626
3 September 1962 Colchester United H 4–2 11,719 Longbottom, Grainger, Ford, Poole
8 September 1962 Watford H 1–3 11,108 Grainger (pen)
10 September 1962 Colchester United A 1–0 5,919 Wright
15 September 1962 Bradford Park Avenue A 1–2 8,935 Llewellyn
17 September 1962 Southend United A 0–2 10,963
22 September 1962 Coventry City H 2–1 9,816 o.g., Grainger
24 September 1962 Southend United H 5–1 9,618 Edwards (2), Harkin (2), Ford
29 September 1962 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic A 0–2 9,715
1 October 1962 Notts County H 1–1 9,245 Edwards
6 October 1962 Bristol Rovers A 1–1 12,374 Poole
11 October 1962 Notts County A 0–1 14,320
13 October 1962 Brighton & Hove Albion H 1–2 7,503 Poole
20 October 1962 Carlisle United A 1–1 5,627 Steele
27 October 1962 Swindon Town H 2–1 5,825 Harkin (2)
9 November 1962 Barnsley H 1–0 8,798 Steele
17 November 1962 Northampton Town A 0–0 8,718
1 December 1962 Hull City A 1–0 7,259 Rowland
8 December 1962 Crystal Palace H 4–1 6,537 Llewellyn (3), Rowland
15 December 1962 Wrexham H 2–2 7,172 Grainger, Llewellyn
22 December 1962 Reading A 3–4 5,578 Ford (2), Miles
2 March 1962 Brighton & Hove Albion A 1–3 10,050 Edwards
9 March 1962 Carlisle United H 2–0 6,308 Rowland, Harkin
16 March 1962 Swindon Town A 3–2 12,090 o.g., Steele, Rowland
18 March 1962 Peterborough United A 1–3 10,162 Harkin
23 March 1962 Peterborough United H 3–2 10,260 Steele, Harkin, Edwards
29 March 1962 Barnsley A 1–2 4,368 Edwards
3 April 1962 Halifax Town A 4–0 2,808 Harkin (2), Richards (2)
6 April 1962 Northampton Town H 3–1 8,781 Richards (2), Harkin
12 April 1962 Shrewsbury Town H 0–0 11,315
13 April 1962 Queens Park Rangers A 1–3 5,690 Steele
15 April 1962 Shrewsbury Town A 1–2 6,819 Ford
20 April 1962 Hull City H 1–0 4,673 Rowland
22 April 1962 Halifax Town H 2–0 5,968 Richards (2)
27 April 1962 Crystal Palace A 1–2 13,183 Richards
29 April 1962 Queens Park Rangers H 3–2 5,974 Richards, Rowland, Sproson
4 May 1962 Coventry City A 1–0 18,307 Richards
6 May 1962 Bradford Park Avenue H 2–1 6,680 Miles, Steele
11 May 1962 Bristol City H 3–1 5,337 Richards (2), Rowland
13 May 1962 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic H 0–3 7,362
18 May 1962 Watford A 2–1 5,955 Richards, Wright
20 May 1962 Bristol Rovers H 2–0 5,015 Richards (pen), Miles

FA Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 3 November 1962 Bristol Rovers A 2–0 8,180 Llewellyn (2)
R2 24 November 1962 Aldershot H 2–0 12,638 Llewellyn, Edwards (pen)
R3 27 February 1963 Gillingham A 4–2 6,713 Steele, Edwards, Ford, Grainger (pen)
R4 13 March 1963 Sheffield United H 1–2 22,207 Grainger

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 27 September 1962 Bristol Rovers A 0–2 6,126

Player statistics[edit]

Transfers[edit]

Transfers in[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
August 1962 FW England John Rowland Nottingham Forest £6,000 [3]
August 1962 MF Northern Ireland Bernard Wright Republic of Ireland Sligo Rovers Free transfer [3]
September 1962 MF Northern Ireland Terry Harkin Northern Ireland Coleraine £2,000 [3]
September 1962 MF England Jim Watton Netherlands De Graafschap Free transfer [3]
March 1963 FW England Tony Richards Walsall £9,000 [3]

Transfers out[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
January 1963 FW England Arthur Longbottom Millwall £2,000 [3]
February 1963 FW England Bert Llewellyn Northampton Town £7,000 [3]
May 1963 MF Northern Ireland Bernard Wright Released [3]
July 1963 MF England Stan Edwards Wales Bangor City Free transfer [3]
Summer 1963 MF England Peter Ford Macclesfield Town Released [3]

Loans out[edit]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Date until Ref.
April 1963 MF Northern Ireland Bernard Wright Stafford Rangers May 1963 [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 Kent, Jeff (1990). "Flattering Only to Deceive (1960–1969)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 196–226. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  2. ^ Port Vale 1962–1963 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
General
  • Kent, Jeff (1993). The Port Vale Record 1879-1993. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9508981-9-8.