1950–51 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1950–51 season
ChairmanWilliam Holdcroft
ManagerGordon Hodgson
StadiumVale Park
Football League Third Division South12th (45 Points)
FA CupThird Round
(knocked out by Stoke City)
Top goalscorerLeague: Cliff Pinchbeck (16)
All: Cliff Pinchbeck (19)
Highest home attendance30,196 vs. Newport County, 24 August 1950
Lowest home attendance2,630 vs. Exeter City, 30 April 1951
Average home league attendance10,832
Biggest win3–0 vs. Exeter City, 10 February 1951
Biggest defeat0–3 (twice)

The 1950–51 season was Port Vale's 39th season of football in the English Football League, and their sixth full season in the Third Division South. It was the first season to be played at Vale Park, and Roy Sproson also made his debut for the club. In the FA Cup there was excitement as the Vale took rivals Stoke City to a replay in the Fourth Round, only to lose 1–0. It was the last season in the reign of Gordon Hodgson, who died in the summer after long suffering from cancer.

Manager Gordon Hodgson during his playing days.

Overview[]

Third Division South[]

The pre-season saw expansion for the league, and so the addition of two new teams to the division, nevertheless only one promotion place was available for the 24 teams. For Vale, two attacking players were added to the squad; Syd Peppitt arrived from Stoke City for £4,000, and Roland Lewis was signed from Congleton Town.

The season opened with a 2–0 defeat at Carrow Road, though the real excitement came five days later on 24 August, when Vale Park hosted its first league game; 30,196 turned up to see Newport County beaten 1–0 with a Walter Aveyard goal. The stadium had cost £50,000 and held 40,000 spectators, though work was still needed to complete the covers. Three straight losses followed, and as a result four players were transfer listed. As the weather turned bleak the attendances suffered, as less than a fortnight after its opening the stadium hosted 15,884 fans for the win over Ipswich Town (a reduction of almost 50%). The lack of cover did nothing to encourage fans to show up. Nevertheless the team won six of their opening seven home games, whilst they lost six of their first seven away games. On 28 October they travelled to The Den, where they fought to earn a 2–2 draw with high-flying Millwall, Tommy Cheadle playing on despite breaking three teeth in a hefty collision. On 11 November they drew 1–1 with Gillingham at the Priestfield Stadium, a game which saw the first of Roy Sproson's 842 club appearances.

Results tailed off after Christmas, leaving Vale in a re-election fight by the start of February. This was partly due to an outbreak of flu, which affected eleven of the players. A run of eight wins in eleven games soon allayed any fears of Vale losing their league status. The club were so confident in fact as to sell right-half Bill McGarry to Huddersfield Town for £12,000 – he would later be selected in the England squad for the 1954 FIFA World Cup. Waterlogging of the Vale Park pitch caused numerous games to be postponed, this meant a run of six home games would be played between 23 April and 3 May. This gave young reserves the chance to impress.

They finished twelfth with 45 points, a whole 25 points short of promotion. Cliff Pinchbeck proved to be the only regular scorer, with nineteen goals, though he was on the transfer list at his own request.

Finances[]

On the financial side, a profit of £5,367 was recorded thanks to a transfer credit of £12,315. Gate receipts had fallen to £27,650, though the wage bill was slashed to £20,063. Leaving the club were new signings Peppitt and Lewis, the former joining Worcester City. On 16 May the club hosted Progrès Niederkorn of Luxembourg, who were on their British tour, Vale won 4–1. After the game 3,000 tons of soil were removed from the stadium, as a new drainage system was installed. On 14 June, manager Gordon Hodgson died following a lengthy battle against cancer, his funeral at Carmountside was conducted by Reverend Norman Hallam. His replacement was Ivor Powell, who was signed as player-manager from Aston Villa.

Cup competitions[]

In the FA Cup, the "Valiants" progressed past Third Division North New Brighton and Lancashire Combination Nelson with two 3–2 home victories. Drawn against First Division Potteries derby rivals Stoke in the Third Round, it was the first competitive derby game since 1933. Vale showed some 'lively attacking' to achieve a 2–2 draw at the Victoria Ground on 6 January in front of a crowd of 49,500. Vale Park had problems with drainage, and so the replay two days later had to be played at the Victoria Ground as well – this time 40,977 fans showed up. Stoke won by the odd goal from Frank Bowyer, though Vale were consoled by the £2,800 worth of gate receipts they had earned.

League table[]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv Pts
10 Bristol City 46 20 11 15 64 59 1.085 51
11 Newport County 46 19 9 18 77 70 1.100 47
12 Port Vale 46 16 13 17 60 65 0.923 45
13 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 13 17 16 71 79 0.899 43
14 Exeter City 46 18 6 22 62 85 0.729 42

Results[]

Port Vale's score comes first

Football League Third Division South[]

Results by matchday[]

Round12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546
GroundAHHAAHAAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAAAHAAAHHAAAHHAHAHHHHHA
ResultLWLLLWLDWLWWLWDLDWWDDLDDLLWWLWDWLLWWWLDDLDDWLD
Position191621242419212118212016181514161313131314151516171714171314121314131211121313141413121212
Source: Statto
A = Away; H = Home; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Loss

Matches[]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
19 August 1950 Norwich City A 0–2 27,288
24 August 1950 Newport County H 1–0 30,196 Aveyard
26 August 1950 Northampton Town H 0–3 21,424
31 August 1950 Newport County A 1–2 13,537 Palk (pen)
2 September 1950 Plymouth Argyle A 0–1 19,288
4 September 1950 Ipswich Town H 1–0 15,884 Pinchbeck
9 September 1950 Nottingham Forest A 1–2 29,295 Hulligan
13 September 1950 Ipswich Town A 2–2 10,724 Pinchbeck, Hulligan
16 September 1950 Torquay United H 1–0 14,424 Pinchbeck
23 September 1950 Aldershot A 0–2 7,358
30 September 1950 Swindon Town H 2–1 9,517 Peppitt, Bennett
7 October 1950 Leyton Orient H 3–1 12,899 Hulligan, Peppitt, Pinchbeck
14 October 1950 Walsall A 0–2 9,686
21 October 1950 Watford H 2–1 12,112 Pinchbeck (2)
28 October 1950 Millwall A 2–2 25,799 Martin, McGarry
4 November 1950 Bristol City H 1–3 11,603 Hulligan
11 November 1950 Gillingham A 1–1 12,103 Peppitt
18 November 1950 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic H 3–1 8,153 Pinchbeck, Palk (pen), Aveyard
2 December 1950 Southend United H 3–1 8,339 Pinchbeck (2), Palk
23 December 1950 Northampton Town A 1–1 8,785 Martin
25 December 1950 Bristol Rovers H 0–0 13,250
26 December 1950 Bristol Rovers A 0–2 22,279
13 January 1951 Nottingham Forest H 1–1 13,148 Pinchbeck
17 January 1951 Brighton & Hove Albion A 2–2 5,754 Pinchbeck (2)
20 January 1951 Torquay United A 2–3 6,280 Aveyard, McGarry
27 January 1951 Reading A 0–3 15,409
3 February 1951 Aldershot H 3–1 8,606 Aveyard, Pinchbeck, Martin
10 February 1951 Exeter City A 3–0 7,893 Palk, Hulligan, Martin
17 February 1951 Swindon Town A 1–2 7,889 Pinchbeck
24 February 1951 Leyton Orient A 3–2 6,861 Hulligan, Pinchbeck, o.g.
3 March 1951 Walsall H 1–1 13,071 Pinchbeck
5 March 1951 Plymouth Argyle H 2–1 4,894 Aveyard, Martin
10 March 1951 Watford A 0–2 6,610
24 March 1951 Bristol City A 1–3 17,301 Hulligan
26 March 1951 Crystal Palace A 2–0 11,320 Barber, o.g.
31 March 1951 Gillingham H 4–3 5,947 Aveyard (2), Griffiths, Barber
2 April 1951 Norwich City H 2–1 10,247 Barber (2)
7 April 1951 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic A 1–3 8,742 Barber
16 April 1951 Colchester United H 1–1 8,520 Palk
21 April 1951 Southend United A 1–1 8,554 Griffiths
23 April 1951 Brighton & Hove Albion H 0–1 10,340
26 April 1951 Crystal Palace H 2–2 7,069 Palk, Bennett
28 April 1951 Reading H 0–0 3,402
30 April 1951 Exeter City H 2–0 2,630 Cunliffe, Barber
3 May 1951 Millwall H 0–1 5,459
5 May 1951 Colchester United A 1–1 8,414 Barber

FA Cup[]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 25 November 1950 New Brighton H 3–2 8,997 Aveyard (2), Pinchbeck
R2 9 December 1950 Nelson H 3–2 11,088 Pinchbeck, Hulligan, Aveyard
R3 6 January 1951 Stoke City A 2–2 49,500 Bennett, Pinchbeck
R3 Replay 8 January 1951 Stoke City A 0–1 40,977

Player statistics[]

Appearances[]

Pos. Name Football League FA Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England George Heppell 17 0 0 0 17 0
GK England Ray King 29 0 4 0 33 0
DF England Basil Hayward 25 0 1 0 26 0
DF England Tommy Cheadle 32 0 4 0 36 0
DF England Garth Butler 5 0 0 0 5 0
DF England Reg Potts 23 0 2 0 25 0
DF England Lol Hamlett 45 0 4 0 49 0
DF England Stan Turner 6 0 1 0 7 0
DF England Roy Sproson 10 0 0 0 10 0
DF England John Abbotts 3 0 0 0 3 0
MF Northern Ireland Jimmy Todd 8 0 0 0 8 0
MF England Alan Martin 42 5 4 0 46 5
MF England Bill McGarry 31 2 4 0 35 2
MF England Mick Hulligan 46 7 4 1 50 8
MF England Alan Bennett 28 2 3 1 31 3
MF England Albert Leake 1 0 0 0 1 0
MF England Syd Peppitt 11 3 0 0 11 3
MF England John Cunliffe 8 1 0 0 8 1
FW England Stan Palk 45 6 4 0 49 6
FW England Walter Aveyard 33 7 4 3 37 10
FW England Cliff Pinchbeck 30 16 4 3 34 19
FW England Ken Griffiths 8 2 1 0 9 2
FW England Len Barber 14 7 0 0 14 7
FW England Roland Lewis 6 0 0 0 6 0

Top scorers[]

Place Position Nation Name Third Division South FA Cup Total
1 FW  England Cliff Pinchbeck 16 3 19
2 FW  England Walter Aveyard 7 3 10
3 FW  England Mick Hulligan 7 1 8
4 FW  England Len Barber 7 0 7
5 FW  England Stan Palk 6 0 6
6 MF  England Alan Martin 5 0 5
7 MF  England Syd Peppitt 3 0 3
MF  England Alan Bennett 2 1 3
9 MF  England Bill McGarry 2 0 2
FW  England Ken Griffiths 2 0 2
11 MF  England John Cunliffe 1 0 1
Own goals 2 0 2
TOTALS 60 5 65

Transfers[]

Transfers in[]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
May 1950 MF England Syd Peppitt Stoke City £4,000
May 1950 FW England Stan Smith Stoke City Free transfer
May 1950 FW England Pat Willdigg Stoke City Free transfer

Transfers out[]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
March 1951 MF England Bill McGarry Huddersfield Town £12,000
Summer 1951 MF England Syd Peppitt Worcester City Released
1951 FW England Derek Tomkinson Burton Albion Free transfer

References[]

Specific
  1. ^ Kent, Jeff (1990). "Fame and Fortune (1950–1959)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 171–196. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7.
  2. "The Sentinel's 1950-51 season preview". onevalefan.co.uk. 11 November 2014. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  3. Port Vale 1950–1951 : Results & Fixtures Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  4. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.
General