1960–61 Port Vale F.C. season

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Port Vale
1960–61 season
ChairmanJake Bloom
ManagerNorman Low
StadiumVale Park
Football League Third Division7th (49 Points)
FA CupThird Round
(knocked out by Swansea Town)
League CupSecond Round
(knocked out by Tranmere Rovers)
Supporters' Clubs' TrophyWinners
Top goalscorerLeague: Cliff Portwood (24)
All: Cliff Portwood (26)
Highest home attendance15,504 vs. Walsall, 20 August 1960
Lowest home attendance4,068 vs. Bristol City, 22 April 1961
Average home league attendance9,702
Biggest win7–1 vs. Chesterfield, 3 September 1960
Biggest defeat0–6 vs. Swindon Town, 1 October 1960

The 1960–61 season was Port Vale's 49th season of football in the English Football League, and their second season in the Third Division. Aiming for promotion, the club were disappointed with their eventual seventh-place finish. The first season of the League Cup ended for Vale at the Second Round, whilst they exited the FA Cup at the Third Round. They did however taste success in the second and last Supporters' Clubs' Trophy series, beating rivals Stoke City 1–0 in a replay.

Overview[]

Third Division[]

The pre-season saw the club's management attempt to build a squad capable of promotion, this meant recruiting former Wales international inside-right Noel Kinsey from Birmingham City as a player-coach, and 21-year-old outside-left Dennis Fidler from the Manchester City Reserves. It also meant a concerted effort to sign a star forward, a £10,000 offer for Aston Villa's Gerry Hitchens was rejected, and the club's interest in Ronnie Allen also went nowhere. Instead 'bustling' Ted Calland was signed on a free transfer from Exeter City. Fred Donaldson was sold to Exeter for £2,000. Vale Park was also improved, with yet more new drains installed to help ease the winter mud spots.

The season opened with a Harry Poole goal fifty seconds into an eventual 1–1 draw with Walsall in front of a season-best attendance of 15,504 on 20 August. Vale's campaign really got going nine days later however, with a sequence of three consecutive victories. This included a 7–1 'annihilation' of Chesterfield. Seven games without a win followed, ending with a collapse to an impressive Swindon Town side at The County Ground on 1 October. Vale were much improved after this, recording six wins from eight games. The following month Norman Low signed Bert Llewellyn from Crewe Alexandra for £7,000. Llewellyn scored past Barnsley in his debut game on 12 November, and scored a hat-trick past Hull City the next month. This win over the "Tigers" came a week after a 5–0 win over high-flying Grimsby Town at Blundell Park, in what Roy Sproson later described as his 'greatest memory' and 'one of their finest hours'. The performance was so impressive they received 'a standing ovation' from the home crowd, as the "Valiants" finished the game 'rolling the ball about like a game of chess'.

In sixth place, a 6–2 hammering from Walsall at Fellows Park on 17 December set them back. The goals continued, this time in Vale's favour, with a 5–0 win and 3–3 draw with Tranmere Rovers, and a 4–1 victory over Bury. In January, Albert Leake was transferred to Macclesfield Town, leaving Sproson as the only survivor of the legendary 1953–54 outfit. Vale continued to entertain and win games, as The Sentinel's Jon Abberley described Harry Poole as 'one of the best wing-halves ever produced in the Potteries. By 11 February, Vale were four points from second place, as Vale battled to a 1–1 draw with Torquay United in 'a sea of mud' at Plainmoor. A week later Llewellyn scored a hat-trick past Swindon Town. However, on 4 March QPR ended their promotion hopes with a 1–0 win at Loftus Road, the second of a streak of five games without a win for Vale. The next week Notts County easily beat Vale 3–1, in a game for which Stan Steele was rested after 195 consecutive appearances. Steele immediately handed in a transfer request, and got picked up by West Bromwich Albion for a £10,000 fee. Vale's season then petered out, ending with an attendance of only 4,088 for a 1–1 draw with Bristol City at Vale Park, followed by two away draws.

They finished in seventh place with 49 points, with their tally of 96 goals bettered only by the two promoted clubs. The season was a disappointment however, and their away record of two wins in twelve games was put to blame for killing their promotion hopes. Cliff Portwood scored an impressive 26 goals, followed closely by Bert Llewellyn on 20 (who had also scored 10 for Crewe).

Finances[]

On the financial side, a disappointing home attendance average of 9,702 was a concern, though a profit of £4,253 was recorded. This was down to a £9,501 donation from the Sportsmen's Association and a slashing of the wage bill by around £4,000 to £29,915. The management decided to cut the playing staff but to increase the wage budget. Eleven players were let go, crucially: Harry Oscroft (Brantham Athletic), Ted Calland (Lincoln City), John Poole (Macclesfield Town), and Peter Hall (Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic).

Cup competitions[]

In the FA Cup, Vale were superior to non-league Chelmsford City, winning 3–2 in the First Round clash. Fourth Division Carlisle United were Vale's Second Round opponents, who Vale dispatched 2–1. Struggling Second Division side Swansea Town bettered Vale on a mud-filled and hole-ridden Vetch Field.

In the League Cup, they bettered Queens Park Rangers in a replay following a 2–2 draw at Loftus Road. They next round held Tranmere Rovers, who eliminated Vale with a 2–0 win.

In the Supporters' Clubs' Trophy, the two leg game with rivals Stoke City came to a 1–1 draw, and so a replay was held at the Victoria Ground on 24 April, which Vale won 1–0 thanks to an own goal.

League table[]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv Pts
5 Notts County 46 21 9 16 82 77 1.065 51
6 Grimsby Town 46 20 10 16 77 69 1.116 50
7 Port Vale 46 17 15 14 96 79 1.215 49
8 Barnsley 46 21 7 18 83 80 1.038 49
9 Halifax Town 46 16 17 13 71 78 0.910 49

Results[]

Port Vale's score comes first

Football League Third Division[]

Results by matchday[]

Round12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546
GroundHAAHHHAAHHHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAAHAHHAAHAHAA
ResultDDLWWWLDDLLDLWWLDWWWWLWDWDLWDLWWDLLDLWLDWLDDD
Position11919961567712121513131413119978988878777666566666647657
Source: Statto
A = Away; H = Home; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Loss

Matches[]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
20 August 1960 Walsall H 1–1 15,504 Poole
24 August 1960 Shrewsbury Town A 1–1 9,022 Steele
27 August 1960 Bury A 1–3 6,593 Fidler
29 August 1960 Shrewsbury Town H 4–1 9,212 Steele (2), Fidler, Portwood
3 September 1960 Chesterfield H 7–1 10,104 Calland (2), Jackson, Steele, Portwood, Miles, Fidler
5 September 1960 Watford H 3–0 15,175 Portwood (2), o.g.
10 September 1960 Southend United A 1–2 8,758 Portwood
13 September 1960 Watford A 0–0 16,719
17 September 1960 Reading H 1–1 11,521 Portwood
19 September 1960 Halifax Town H 2–3 10,251 Steele, Fidler
24 September 1960 Torquay United H 0–3 10,502
26 September 1960 Halifax Town A 3–3 5,967 Portwood, Oscroft, Steele
1 October 1960 Swindon Town A 0–6 11,960
3 October 1960 Brentford H 3–2 6,843 Whalley (2), Portwood
8 October 1960 Bristol City A 4–3 8,803 Portwood (2), Jackson (pen), Whalley
15 October 1960 Queens Park Rangers H 0–1 8,802
22 October 1960 Notts County A 2–2 10,725 Portwood, Miles
29 October 1960 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic H 3–0 7,752 Steele, Calland, Fidler
12 November 1960 Barnsley H 2–0 10,760 Llewellyn, Fidler
3 December 1960 Grimsby Town A 5–0 8,843 Portwood (2), o.g., Jackson, Fidler
10 December 1960 Hull City H 4–1 9,006 Llewellyn (3), Jackson
17 December 1960 Walsall A 2–6 8,381 Poole, Steele
26 December 1960 Tranmere Rovers H 5–0 14,029 Portwood (3), Llewellyn, Fidler
27 December 1960 Tranmere Rovers A 3–3 7,838 Llewellyn, Jackson (pen), Portwood
31 December 1960 Bury H 4–3 14,453 Poole, Llewellyn, Jackson, Portwood
14 January 1961 Chesterfield A 0–0 5,816
21 January 1961 Southend United H 4–0 9,517 Llewellyn, Portwood, Jackson (pen), Oscroft
4 February 1961 Reading A 1–2 6,394 Portwood
6 February 1961 Colchester United H 3–0 6,504 Poole (2), Portwood
11 February 1961 Torquay United A 1–1 5,606 Oscroft
13 February 1961 Newport County A 1–2 5,107 Portwood
18 February 1961 Swindon Town H 4–1 9,673 Llewellyn (3), Oscroft
25 February 1961 Grimsby Town H 3–2 9,367 Llewellyn, Portwood, Steele
28 February 1961 Bradford City A 3–3 6,883 Llewellyn (2), Steele
4 March 1961 Queens Park Rangers A 0–1 12,711
11 March 1961 Notts County H 1–3 10,931 Miles
18 March 1961 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic A 1–1 8,735 Portwood
25 March 1961 Bradford City H 2–4 6,278 Poole, Llewellyn
31 March 1961 Coventry City H 3–1 6,528 Llewellyn (2), Fidler
1 April 1961 Barnsley A 1–5 5,680 Poole
4 April 1961 Coventry City A 1–1 8,285 Jackson (pen)
8 April 1961 Newport County H 3–1 6,302 Fidler, Oscroft, Llewellyn
15 April 1961 Colchester United A 0–2 3,437
22 April 1961 Bristol City H 1–1 4,068 Llewellyn
25 April 1961 Brentford A 0–0 3,503
29 April 1961 Hull City A 2–2 4,439 Llewellyn, Fidler

FA Cup[]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 5 November 1960 Chelmsford City A 3–2 9,000 Portwood (2)
R2 26 November 1960 Carlisle United H 2–1 12,113 Jackson, Fidler
R3 7 January 1961 Swansea Town A 0–3 10,601

League Cup[]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
R1 17 October 1960 Queens Park Rangers A 2–2 6,564 Steele (2)
R1 Replay 19 October 1960 Queens Park Rangers H 3–1 6,829 Steele, Kinsey, Fidler
R2 24 October 1960 Tranmere Rovers H 0–2 8,206

Supporters' Clubs' Trophy[]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers
Final 1st Leg 10 October 1960 Stoke City H 1–0 7,267 Steele
Final 2nd Leg 7 March 1961 Stoke City A 0–1 9,605
Replay 24 April 1961 Stoke City A 1–0 4,000 Own goal

Player statistics[]

Appearances[]

Pos. Name Football League FA Cup League Cup Supporters' Club's Trophy Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England Ken Hancock 39 0 3 0 3 0 2 0 47 0
GK England John Poole 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 0
GK England John Cooke 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
DF England Roy Sproson 43 0 3 0 3 0 3 0 52 0
DF England David Raine 38 0 3 0 3 0 1 0 46 0
DF England Selwyn Whalley 13 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 14 3
DF England Terry Lowe 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
MF England Terry Miles 46 3 3 0 3 0 3 0 55 3
MF England Peter Hall 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 0
MF England Brian Jackson 43 8 3 2 1 0 2 0 49 10
MF England Harry Oscroft 21 5 0 0 0 0 1 0 22 5
MF England Cliff Portwood 41 24 3 2 3 0 2 0 49 26
MF England Peter Ford 41 0 3 0 3 0 3 0 50 0
MF England Colin Davies 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
MF England Dennis Fidler 34 11 3 1 2 1 2 0 41 13
MF England Roy Gater 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
MF England Colin Corbishley 3 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 6 0
FW England Harry Poole 45 7 3 0 3 0 2 0 54 7
FW England Stan Steele 35 10 3 0 3 3 2 1 43 14
FW Wales Noel Kinsey 3 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 6 1
FW England John Archer 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
FW England Bert Llewellyn 28 20 2 0 0 0 0 0 32 20
FW England Barry Hancock 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
FW England Ted Calland 12 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 13 3

Top scorers[]

Place Position Nation Name Third Division FA Cup League Cup Other Total
1 MF  England Cliff Portwood 24 2 0 0 26
2 FW  England Bert Llewellyn 20 0 0 0 20
3 FW  England Stan Steele 10 0 3 1 14
4 MF  England Dennis Fidler 11 1 1 0 13
5 MF  England Brian Jackson 8 2 0 0 10
6 FW  England Harry Poole 7 0 0 0 7
7 MF  England Harry Oscroft 5 0 0 0 5
8 FW  England Ted Calland 3 0 0 0 3
MF  England Terry Miles 3 0 0 0 3
DF  England Selwyn Whalley 3 0 0 0 3
11 FW  Wales Noel Kinsey 0 0 1 0 1
Own goals 2 0 0 1 3
TOTALS 98 4 5 2 109

Transfers[]

Transfers in[]

Date from Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
1960 FW England Derek Edge Stoke City Free transfer
May 1960 MF England Dennis Fidler Manchester City Free transfer
June 1960 DF England Terry Lowe Stoke City Free transfer
August 1960 FW England Ted Calland Exeter City Free transfer
November 1960 FW England Bert Llewellyn Everton £7,000

Transfers out[]

Date from Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
January 1961 MF England Albert Leake Macclesfield Town Free transfer
March 1961 FW England Stan Steele West Bromwich Albion £10,000
May 1961 FW England John Archer Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic Free transfer
May 1961 FW England Dennis Bailey Released
May 1961 DF England Colin Davies Stourbridge Free transfer
May 1961 MF England Peter Hall Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic Free transfer
May 1961 MF England Harry Oscroft Brantham Athletic Free transfer
May 1961 GK England John Poole Macclesfield Town Free transfer
July 1961 FW England Ted Calland Lincoln City Free transfer
July 1961 MF England Cliff Portwood Grimsby Town £6,000

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. Port Vale 1960–1961 : Results & Fixtures Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  3. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.
General