1949–50 Port Vale F.C. season
|Stadium||The Old Recreation Ground|
|Football League Third Division South||13th (41 Points)|
|FA Cup||Fourth Round|
(knocked out by Burnley)
|Top goalscorer||League: Cliff Pinchbeck (14)|
All: Cliff Pinchbeck (16)
|Highest home attendance||18,218 vs. Nottingham Forest, 11 February 1950|
|Lowest home attendance||8,496 vs. Torquay United, 27 March 1950|
|Average home league attendance||12,983|
|Biggest win||4–0 vs. Millwall, 12 November 1949|
|Biggest defeat||0–3 vs. Millwall, 1 April 1950|
The 1949–50 season was Port Vale's 38th season of football in the English Football League, and their fifth full season in the Third Division South. It was the last season to be played at The Old Recreation Ground – despite numerous clashes with the authorities over the construction of the new stadium. The sale of Ronnie Allen raised a massive £20,000.
Third Division South
The pre-season saw the arrival of experienced full-back Lol Hamlett from Bolton Wanderers, and young keeper Ray King from Leyton Orient (brother of George). On his arrival King stated that The Old Recreation Ground was like 'some shanty town out west' and compared the dressing room to 'a dungeon', despite which somehow he 'felt completely at home'. The playing staff now stood at 59 amateurs and 27 full-time professionals.
The season opened with a 1–0 win over Bristol Rovers, which was followed by a 1–0 reverse to Southend United at Roots Hall three days later. This loss was thanks to an own goal from Garth Butler, who put the ball into his own net despite being some distance from any Southend players. A seven match unbeaten run followed, built upon a defence that leaked just five goals, King and Hamlett settling in well. Bad news off the field returned however, when Stoke-on-Trent City Council rejected the club's application to move two stands from The Old Rec to the new stadium. As a result, the club set up a 100,000 Shilling Fund to build the two stands from scratch. On the pitch results began to turn against the "Valiants", and so striker Cliff Pinchbeck was signed from Brighton & Hove Albion for a £3,500 fee. Pinchbeck marked his debut with a hat-trick over Millwall, receiving a standing ovation from his new fans. More off-field stadium troubles came when the Regional Officer of the Minister of Works refused a licence for the stadium on unspecified grounds. Club officials were forced to travel to London to discuss the matter with the minister, eventually convincing him to change his mind. The home match with Newport County on 15 October was notable as the first Vale match to offer a matchday programme.
A successful Christmas period took Vale into sixth place by mid-February. George King was then sold to Barrow for a four-figure fee, after which Pinchbeck was the only regular scorer. Six games without a win followed, ending the club's hopes of opening the new stadium in the Second Division. The Shilling Fund had only raised 17,738 shillings, and so Ronnie Allen was sold to top-flight West Bromwich Albion for a massive £20,000, smashing the club's transfer record. Allen went on to play for England, whilst the fee went towards the new ground. Back to the league, the Vale were seventh at the start of April, but six defeats in their final eight games saw them tumble down the table.
They finished in thirteenth place with 41 points. The defence was the third strongest in the division, however only Watford scored fewer goals. Pinchbeck was the only goalscorer of any consistency.
On the financial side, a profit of £10,671 was made, another record, this was due to the sale of Allen which gave them a transfer credit of £15,000. The wage bill had risen by £6,000 to £22,333, whereas gate receipts had risen by around £3,000 to £29,050. Eric Eastwood was the only major departure of the summer. Trouble with the new ground continued, as the Regional Officer of the Ministry of Works refused to permit the transfer of the stand from the old to the new stadium, despite having approved similar procedures at Liverpool and Millwall. Chairman William Holdcroft felt this was unfair, and was supported by Stoke-on-Trent North MP Albert Davies. Despite this set-back the stadium was opened on 2 August in a ceremony attended by 12,000 rain-soaked people.
In the FA Cup, Vale progressed past Athenian League amateurs Wealdstone and Tranmere Rovers of the Third Division North with 1–0 home wins. Beating Newport County at Somerton Park with a Ronnie Allen brace, they came up against First Division Burnley in the Fourth Round at Turf Moor. There they lost 2–1 in front of 49,692 spectators – 12,000 of which were Vale fans.
|12||Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic||42||16||10||16||57||56||1.018||42|
Port Vale's score comes first
Football League Third Division South
Results by matchday
; = Away; = Home; = Win; = Draw = Loss
|20 August 1949||Bristol Rovers||H||1–0||15,097||Allen|
|23 August 1949||Southend United||A||0–1||9,434|
|27 August 1949||Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic||A||2–2||19,101||King (2)|
|29 August 1949||Southend United||H||0–0||14,686|
|3 September 1949||Crystal Palace||H||2–0||13,788||Martin (2)|
|5 September 1949||Ipswich Town||H||2–2||12,297||Martin, Cheadle|
|10 September 1949||Watford||A||2–0||10,583||King, Aveyard|
|17 September 1949||Reading||H||1–1||12,948||o.g.|
|24 September 1949||Leyton Orient||A||0–1||15,698|
|1 October 1949||Exeter City||H||1–0||11,499||Martin|
|8 October 1949||Norwich City||A||1–0||26,831||Allen|
|15 October 1949||Newport County||H||1–0||12,599||Allen|
|22 October 1949||Bristol City||A||0–2||19,855|
|29 October 1949||Brighton & Hove Albion||H||3–0||11,189||Aveyard, Allen, Barber|
|5 November 1949||Walsall||A||0–1||9,605|
|12 November 1949||Millwall||H||4–0||12,918||Pinchbeck (3), Aveyard|
|19 November 1949||Swindon Town||A||0–0||9,039|
|3 December 1949||Aldershot||A||0–1||4,043|
|17 December 1949||Bristol Rovers||A||1–2||10,105||Palk|
|24 December 1949||Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic||H||1–1||13,092||Pinchbeck|
|26 December 1949||Northampton Town||H||3–1||17,212||Pinchbeck (2), Martin|
|27 December 1949||Northampton Town||A||1–1||19,263||Martin|
|31 December 1949||Crystal Palace||A||1–0||12,609||Pinchbeck|
|14 January 1950||Watford||H||2–0||17,387||Allen, Pinchbeck|
|21 January 1950||Reading||A||1–2||11,284||Pinchbeck|
|4 February 1950||Leyton Orient||H||2–0||14,176||Allen, Martin|
|11 February 1950||Nottingham Forest||H||1–1||18,218||Pinchbeck|
|18 February 1950||Exeter City||A||1–3||9,632||Pinchbeck|
|25 February 1950||Norwich City||H||2–2||11,204||Hayward, Palk|
|4 March 1950||Newport County||A||1–1||8,762||Aveyard|
|11 March 1950||Bristol City||H||0–2||11,444|
|18 March 1950||Brighton & Hove Albion||A||1–2||11,852||Aveyard|
|25 March 1950||Walsall||H||2–0||9,763||Aveyard, Pinchbeck|
|27 March 1950||Torquay United||H||2–0||8,496||Hulligan, Potts|
|1 April 1950||Millwall||A||0–3||18,088|
|7 April 1950||Notts County||A||1–3||32,097||Palk|
|8 April 1950||Swindon Town||H||0–1||9,607|
|10 April 1950||Notts County||H||3–1||15,380||Pinchbeck (2), Hulligan|
|15 April 1950||Torquay United||A||0–0||8,037|
|22 April 1950||Aldershot||H||0–1||9,645|
|29 April 1950||Nottingham Forest||A||0–2||5,906|
|6 May 1950||Ipswich Town||A||1–2||12,451||McGarry|
|R1||26 November 1949||Wealdstone||H||1–0||14,935||Pinchbeck|
|R2||10 December 1949||Tranmere Rovers||H||1–0||14,716||Pinchbeck|
|R3||7 January 1950||Newport County||A||2–1||17,781||Allen (2)|
|R4||28 January 1950||Burnley||A||1–2||49,692||Martin|
|Pos.||Name||Football League||FA Cup||Total|
|Place||Position||Nation||Name||Third Division South||FA Cup||Total|
|May 1949||DF||John Abbotts||Ravenscliffe||Free transfer|
|May 1949||GK||Ray King||Ashington||Free transfer|
|May 1949||DF||Lol Hamlett||Bolton Wanderers||Free transfer|
|July 1949||DF||Roy Sproson||Stoke City||Free transfer|
|November 1949||FW||Cliff Pinchbeck||Brighton & Hove Albion||£3,500|
|February 1950||FW||Ken Griffiths||Northwood Mission||Free transfer|
|February 1950||MF||Albert Leake||Stoke City||Free transfer|
|March 1950||FW||Roland Lewis||Congleton Town||Free transfer|
|November 1949||MF||Bernard Jones||Winsford United||Free transfer|
|February 1950||FW||George King||Barrow||'four-figure fee'|
|February 1950||FW||Pat Raftery||Wellington Town||Free transfer|
|March 1950||FW||Ronnie Allen||West Bromwich Albion||£20,000|
|April 1950||DF||Eric Eastwood||Released|
|April 1950||MF||Wilf Smith||Buxton||Free transfer|
- Kent, Jeff (1990). "Creating Sunshine from the Shadows (1939–1950)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 151–171. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7.
- "The first Vale Park match programme". onevalefan.co.uk. 20 October 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
- Port Vale 1949–1950 : Results & Fixtures Archived 16 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.