1950–51 Port Vale F.C. season
|Football League Third Division South||12th (45 Points)|
|FA Cup||Third Round|
(knocked out by Stoke City)
|Top goalscorer||League: Cliff Pinchbeck (16)|
All: Cliff Pinchbeck (19)
|Highest home attendance||30,196 vs. Newport County, 24 August 1950|
|Lowest home attendance||2,630 vs. Exeter City, 30 April 1951|
|Average home league attendance||10,832|
|Biggest win||3–0 vs. Exeter City, 10 February 1951|
|Biggest defeat||0–3 (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.
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.
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.
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.
|13||Brighton & Hove Albion||46||13||17||16||71||79||0.899||43|
Port Vale's score comes first
Football League Third Division South
Results by matchday
; = Away; = Home; = Win; = Draw = Loss
|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|
|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|
|Pos.||Name||Football League||FA Cup||Total|
|Place||Position||Nation||Name||Third Division South||FA Cup||Total|
|May 1950||MF||Syd Peppitt||Stoke City||£4,000|
|May 1950||FW||Stan Smith||Stoke City||Free transfer|
|May 1950||FW||Pat Willdigg||Stoke City||Free transfer|
|March 1951||MF||Bill McGarry||Huddersfield Town||£12,000|
|Summer 1951||MF||Syd Peppitt||Worcester City||Released|
|1951||FW||Derek Tomkinson||Burton Albion||Free transfer|
- 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.
- "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.
- Port Vale 1950–1951 : Results & Fixtures Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.